Seattle. It still sounds like home. Its been 20 years since I've set foot in the state where I was born and almost raised. I have only scattered memories left of my childhood living in Kirkland. The magic of late summer nights playing in the street. The dreariness of 5pm winter sunsets. The clouds. The green. My God, the GREEN.
Most of all, I remember the Dome. I remember feeling the excitement that only a kid that still believes in superheroes can feel. My hero always wore number 80. And I still think he might have come from another planet with a different colored sun.
My family moved to San Diego in 1995 when I was 13. I never liked the Chargers. They felt foreign. I could never embrace them even as a second team. Much like my Father, who grew up in San Diego, could never really embrace the Seahawks, I endured because I love football. In the dark ages before Sunday Ticket, I was forced into a log distance relationship. Reduced to checking scores and occasionally catching highlights, I began to wonder if being a Seahawks fan would ever feel magical again.
Even in 2005, as the embers of that long dormant fire of fandom were stoked, the magic seemed different. It seemed guarded. There was hope but no faith. There was a sip of confidence from the best of Holmgren's teams that was tasty but never satisfying. Still, It was enough to push through the drought that followed.
To be a Seahawk fan today is different. It is still an uneasy truce with confidence. There is a fragile cease fire with failure. It feels...magical. Its probably no coincidence that the magic has returned with the emergence of a man slight of stature that, once more, makes me believe in Superheros. Or at least aliens.
There was one other thing I'd held onto from my childhood trips to the dome. It was the biggest reason.The best reason to claim, after all these years to be a true 12. The Noise. The collective crash of voices erupting in shared elation as our champions fought to claim immortality. I still feel the echo in my mind.
The real reason for this post is to tell you, my brethren, that after this coming Sunday, I will no longer rely on childhood echoes to hear the NOISE. I am coming home to join the voice of the loudest crowd in world's history. This week, I am 9 years old anew.