An Aside About Field Gulls

Years into doing this, I now can't even watch Matt Hasselbeck throw a pass without ambivalence, a sense that my love of this team is somehow at odds with my professional goals. As I explained to my wife last night, I just want Seattle to win, but it feels like I need Seattle to win the right way, and lose the right way, the way I said they would, or suffer a perceived loss of credibility and a resulting reduced chance of professional success.

Consider Darryl Tapp. Do I know exactly how 4-3 ends develop, and what profile is particularly able to break out, and if Tapp is someone that develops quickly and then fades, or if Tapp is someone just tapping into his potential and the Seahawks are committing another Michael McCrary-like blunder because of a fixation on size? No, though I did think the possibility of the latter outweighed the gains of trading him. So I wrote as much. And over the months, that's been distilled into something very monochrome and opaque: I thought it was a stupid move. I thought the front office had screwed up royal.

Tapp didn't impress in camps or preseason. Tapp didn't play in the first two regular season games. Tapp played in the third and had a sack. Clemons had two sacks the same day. Clemons has stayed healthy so far. At this moment in time, the Seahawks are winning the trade and by a good bit, and a lot of people think I am an idiot for every disagreeing with the decision.

I got to tell you folks, I'm not an idiot and I'm not a genius, and just because I thought Mark Sanchez was a risky prospect, it doesn't mean I am desperate for him to fail. Mostly, I just do not want Seattle to have lost out on a franchise quarterback. I still don't think they did.

The immediate, unfiltered feedback produced by the internet can be overwhelming, and I'm not someone that likes praise and I'm not someone that can minimize the opinions of others by minimizing others, and though it makes me happy that Field Gulls is an intelligent and growing community, the level of animosity between members embarrasses me and often makes me not want to load the site in the morning. We can barely have an extended comment thread without members engaging in a flame war.

You know what I fear when the Seahawks lose? The resulting anger fans will direct at each other. That has been true every year I have done this. And this year, because I did not agree with every move the front office made, because many of us did not agree with every move the front office made, I face the exact same prospect when the team wins. People come here to fight.

I have never had less fun writing for Field Gulls than I have had this year. I have never seen the community so confrontational, belligerent and polarized. I don't know where this attitude started but it's killing my fire.

I ask, as an honest question to members of the Field Gulls community, what is it that you want from this site? I am sick of the rancor, the in-fighting, the pissing contests about who's the biggest fan, who's most knowledgeable, who's right. Why must a thread about what players tweeted become a referendum on the Darryl Tapp trade?

There are thousands of us that come to this site on a daily basis, and as someone that eats and sleeps staring at the Field Goals front page, I'm starting to wonder why. The Seahawks are 2-1. The Seahawks beat the 49ers and the big bad Chargers, and should win the West, and are definitely building something worth following, but following one of the biggest wins in years, all that Field Gulls cares about is beating dead horses, fighting old wars and picking new scabs.

That sucks.

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