A Fan's Reflection: The Bye Week

I shouldn’t be on this site right now. My dorm is still holding whatever remnants of the early Thanksgiving dinner my floor had last night; my roommate got a little too wild and puked on his sheets; my 4-6 paged paper is due in three days and I’ve barely written one sheet; My bed’s a mess, I’m a mess, and suffice to say, looking up more articles on the Seahawks should be the least of my priorities.

But here I am again, on this blog called Field Gulls trying to find something to write about, find something interesting about this team. Which is practically impossible, because the Seahawks don’t play tomorrow, and Field Gulls is 99.9% about the Seahawks. The Bye Week has stagnate my Seattle fandom to the point where I’m forced to look at past game film more times than necessary and that nothing interesting will be up until next week.

As a kid, I used to remember hating bye weeks in the NFL all the time. The fact that Sundays only come once a week meant that I only had one day out of seven to see my beloved Seahawks, and the bye was already interrupting what little chances I have left in watching the Navy and Neon Green. Bye weeks also meant that I practically have nothing to watch on the afternoon, so I would've had no choice but to give away my "slot" to my parents or my little brother without any reimbursement.

I was a stubborn kid back then. Probably still a stubborn kid today. I guess it comes along with being a fan. You have to be if you follow an entity you have no control so closely, and yet you still share their consequences even though you’ve played no part in what they do. We feel we are entitled to share their success and to suffer for their failures.

John Morgan once described it perfectly after a terrible trade:

"I know football doesn't mean shit in the real world, but my life is small, petty and mean, and I live this tiny span, this sixty years of cognizant life if I'm lucky, pouring my time and energy and money into believing in the Seahawks. And right now, I see a logo, a decal, an identifying set of colors, that I suffer for the sake of someone else's incompetence."

I could never imagine how much time John or Danny spent on this blog as head editor, but I could only say it’s probably three times, four times as much for when I write. And I spent probably a good three hours for just one draft.

That’s the tradeoff in spending so much time with a team I suppose. You do so much analysis and review that some of the magic is lost. I broke Beast Mode down into science. I explained how Tom Cable was no miracle worker that somehow fixed our O-Line in one and a half seasons. Russell Wilson went from being spectacular to being effective. In the eyes of numbers, the 2012 Seahawks were only special, not magical.

The Bye Week was installed by the league to give teams and their players some rest on the field, but as I sit here and reflect in front of a computer screen, I realize it’s probably rest for us fans too. It’s a break, a vacation for people to not have to stress out every Sunday afternoon and potentially have their week ruined after a loss. It’s like the team is rewarding, encouraging their fans, saying "You did a great job supporting your team. Now rest up, because we’re going to need you more than ever after this!"

But most of all, it’s a two way reminder to both parties that as professional, as business like and as analytically the NFL is, in the end it’s still a sport. And sports, weather you have a favorite team or not, is something meant to be enjoyed, not to be broken down. That’s the reason why a play made two years ago that went for 67 yards on 2ndand 10 is still magical today.

So as the first Sunday in 10 weeks without the Seahawks playing approaches, I look forward to cleaning whatever’s left of my dorm and tucking in to a leftover slice of pumpkin pie. And as I watch my Jets fan roommate struggle and tense up with every pass play ran by Sanchez or Tebow, I would simply smile and say to myself "Man, I’m glad we have this Russell Wilson guy."

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