"So have you heard a about the clan rallies around here?"
My co-worker Bill meant it in a "you-want-to-come-along-and-check-it-out?"-kind of way and I was scared. It was 1998. I was a Swedish R&D-rookie sent out to our lab in High Point , North Carolina, to start up a small production facility. I had no idea how to do that, my girlfriend had dumped me shortly before I went, my only football shirt was a Kordell Stewart one and the coffee at the office was nothing like the coffee in Sweden. It was all wicked bad.
My one sunshine was that I as a long time linebacker now finally had the chance to follow the NFL season on TV (kids, streaming was not a thing back in the dark ages). I loved football and still do. I was in the market for a favorite team but during the months in Carolina I could never bring myself to adopt the Panthers. Bill and all his banjo-porch-playing colleagues loved the team and that sure didn’t help.
After a half arsed completion of my project I went on a two week trip through the states. New York, Washington, LA, Las Vegas and San Fransisco. I was and felt very much like a tourist, marveling at a lot of stuff, laughing at other, rolling my eyes quite often. Three months in my homesickness was getting lethal.
Then I went to the last stop before my flight home, Seattle. During a three day stay I had coffee like coffee was meant to be had, I could have a discussion about religion without being whished eternal torture, I picked blackberries on Vashon island, I could be my wisearse self without alienating everyone, I got hammered on perfectly drinkable beers , I could hear street musicians playing "the Letter" by the Box Tops and I could breathe the air without resistance. Just… like… home.
After three days the Seahawks were my favorite team for life, even though I wasn’t quite sure how the logo looked. There have been times were I wished that I could change teams but after being saved by the city I will never be able to.
It took a while before I came around to Field Gulls but I very much had the same feeling when I found it as I had when I came to Seattle in 1998. These people are like me. Granted the site has morphed over the years but I am still, if not even more, addicted to this site than I have ever been. The community feeling just feels right. Some people would call it highbrow and arrogant, I would call it Stockholmish.
I have never been more jacked up for a season than I have been for this one. I know the names of assistant coaches, I’ve read Win Forever and I know the Pavlovian importance of the bag drill. For me being energized by and committing to something is getting value out of life. Superb Owl or not be damned, the last three years have been an awesome ride sponsored by Pete Carroll and Field Gulls.