Hi guys, hows it going? As the title of this suggests I just wanted to talk a little about my experiences as an international NFL (specifically Seahawks obviously) fan. Now I'm well aware that they're are fans from all over the world that post and comment on here (many of which may have more interesting stories than me) but I imagine we might have had similar experiences over a few things so this may be interesting to you and hopefully everyone in the States too...
Anyway to start I just want to introduce myself to the Field Gulls community. My name is Iain, I'm 21 years old and I come from a little town called Hamilton just outside Glasgow, Scotland. When I'm not obsessing over the 'Hawks I work part time in Asda (a part of Wal-Mart!) and I'm in 4th year at Glasgow University Studying theatre. In my spare time I play bass in a band and I enjoy reading comic books. Now I'm sure you found that super interesting and you'd love to hear more BUT this is a Seahawks site so i better mention them....
I'm sure you won't find it surprising that one of the most common questions I get asked is: 'So why do you support Seattle?' Failing that it's usually: 'How did you get into American Football? (DISCLAIMER: whenever I discuss sport I always refer to American Football as Football and round ball Football as Soccer) Fear not loyal readers (if you've got this far you're loyal in my book. I'd have given up as soon as I said Theatre) these questions shall be answered.
First off, since I was a kid I was never that into Soccer. If you don't know, the 2 big teams in Scotland are Rangers and Celtic, both of whom are based in Glasgow. So basically in my area you supported one or the other and everything else sucked. That was never really for me. Sure I was raised by my Grandfather to be a Rangers fan but I became a Celtic fan when I was like 8 because all my friends were. I was 8! I didn't know sports loyalty! but you damn sure learn it when you win a division 7 and 9! Anyway I never really felt loyalty to a soccer team and I gradually came away from the sport. After a few years I got back into it via Italian Soccer (when I was about 14) which has now fallen by the wayside in favour of that game I so lovingly describe as 'Violent Chess', because people over here understand tactics as 4-4-2, 4-3-3 or put-ball-in-net. I found myself, aged 15, in a video games shop looking for something new to play. I was properly bored with soccer and a sports fan without a team but low and behold I found a cheap copy of Madden 2005 for PS2 and it all started. I took it home and looked through all the teams trying to find who to play as. Eventually I came to a Green/Blue team with a bird logo from the same city as my favourite band! (Nirvana if you were wondering) and the same place that awesome TV show (Frasier) was set. My mind was made up - problem was I didn't understand the game. I distinctly remember punting the ball through the uprights on 1st down and wondering why I didn't get any points!?! Gradually I learned the game and, more importantly learned the team.
When I first began to look at the 'Hawks and research the real life counterparts of these pixelated men named 'Hasselbeck', 'Alexander' and 'Jones' I realised what I had done: let myself in for a lifetime of loving the 'Hawks. It took until I was about 18 before I finally started to get into the game in real life ( I was still an avid Madden player) I saw the odd game ( or parts of it) but it was in my blood without me even knowing it and that is the answer to the first question. It's spiritual, ethereal, beautiful, frustrating, terrifying, BeastQuakeable, HasselbecktoJacksoncentric and so many more things. I was destined to be a Seahawks fan and, although I have never made it to Seattle yet (something I wish to remedy very soon) I refer to and feel Seattle is my spiritual home. This is so true I stood up in my living room, hand on my heart during the National anthem before the game on Sept 11th out of pure respect for A) America as a whole and B) the guys from Seattle because I feel they're from my city. And I was on my knees screaming and crying in pure ecstasy when Lynch ran in that 67yarder against New Orleans in the playoffs. I spent a little while trying to find streams of games online but they always cut out halfway through and were sucky quality. But last year I discovered gamepass and haven't looked back. People think £125 for 16 games is crazy but to me it's worth it. Hell I nearly paid top-up TV £50 for the play-offs last year! ( I managed to get it for £20) This was before I knew we'd beat the Saints but everyone had written us off anyway. But I tell you now I would pay any amount of money to make sure I don't miss a snap of a 'Hawks game.
I'm about to wrap this up now and if you've stayed with my ramblings this long then I thank you very much. There are just a couple things left I want to say: If you haven't read it, read Notes From a 12th Man by Mark Tye Turner. That book is so entertaining and taught me so much. And also the acceptance I've felt from all the Hawks fans I've spoke to. In Scotland people question you for supporting a team when you have no connection to their city but o have never had that from any 'Hawks fan. Everyone is so accepting and welcoming wherever you're from and I thank the 12th man from the bottom of my heart for making me feel so accepted. Next up is a last little anecdote from this very Night! I haven't watched a Soccer game in years but my workmates were telling me Scotland were playing tonight and if we beat defending world champions Spain we would qualify for Euro 2012. Now I decided to watch a little and Spain scored in 6 minutes. I felt nothing. There was no disappointment, I didn't care Scotland were losing. Don't get me wrong I love my country and I'm fiercely proud to be Scottish but I just didn't care. Whereas I felt happy, sad, sick, ecstatic and a million other emotions during the Giants game. Finally, people ask about the 'Hawks and I tell them the truth: We're not a great team and we'll lose a lot of games but we have a lot of potential and people ask why I support a team who are losing or suck or any other negative word, when I don't have any familial or otherwise tie to the team. I could just pick the best team and support them. Well the simple fact is I didn't choose the team: it chose me. I'm a Hawk whether we win, lose or draw. Whatever happens, until the day I die I will bleed Blue and Green and whether people understand it or not doen't mean anything to me.
P.S. Thank you so much for reading this
P.P.S GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!