Am I the only Hawks fan who spent last Sunday’s hour-long lightning delay in a crippling state of anxiety-induced paralysis?
I know, I know, it was just the second game of the season. But, for those of us who have rooted for the Seahawks for decades, we know this isn’t just any season.
I’m not too high on our recent hype to remember the abysmal quarterback battle between Brock Huard and John Kitna in Husky Stadium, the Vinny Testaverde phantom touchdown that cost us a playoff birth, the record setting drought of playoff wins (1984-2004), or the referees yanking the 2005 Super Bowl from our grasp. If good things come to those who wait, if the meek shall inherit the Earth, then dear god please give us a Super Bowl.
And this is the year. So last Sunday I arrived at my Dad’s house, where we’ve watched games together for the better part of my life. I found my Dad in his game position: fully reclined on his bed in front of the TV, pillow under his left knee to alleviate nerve pressure from an old back injury, pot belly and bald head equally bulbous. The trivialities of pre-game analysis were muted on the TV, while his iPad was tuned to NBC’s "Meet the Press."
I pulled up the rocking chair along side him. No need for words.
My Dad looked up from his iPad at the muted the TV for a second. A moderately attractive female broadcaster appeared to be pantomiming some sort of pre-game theatrics.
"God, I’m glad the sound’s off for this shit," my Dad said.
Then, the game started. And not well. The first drive amounted to a three-and-out and a blocked punt on a controversial call. As the game progressed, our offensive continued to sputter, as it did for a good portion of last week’s game against Carolina. Oh god, I thought to myself they’re overrated, offensively deficient, doomed to be forgotten in "Southern Alaska," where the teams are bad and the refs don’t care.
And, then, at the height of my anxieties the game stopped due to lightening.
"What the hell?" my Dad screamed at the TV, "There isn’t a finger of lightening out there."
Then the screen showed a snap shot of 5 bolts lighting up Qwest Field like a precursor to the apocalypse.
"Okay, I stand corrected," my Dad said and he turned on his iPad to hide his frustrations about the game behind "Meet the Press’s" Syria roundtable discussion.
Meanwhile, I was a mess. I want to believe. I really do. But I’ve been hurt so bad. And it’s hard to love again. This is Seattle. Our baseball team set the record for regular season wins, only to fail to make it to the World Series. We lost Griffey, "The Kid," only to have him resold to us nine years later, as if we wouldn’t notice he had become less nimble than a T-Rex. Our world famous coffee entrepreneur, Strabucks founder Howard Shultz, stabbed us in the back, making millions as he sold the Sonics—our only championship franchise—to a fat faced oil tycoon in Oklahoma, who used the foundation of our team to create what looks to be a perennial championship contender. And the Seahawks? I remember wearing a Seahawks sweatshirt as a kid during a trip to the East Coast. A man stopped me on the street.
"Seahawks?" the man said, "I didn’t even know they had memorabilia for that team. I mean they haven’t won anything."
Yes, this is what the hour long lightning delay reduced me to. A little boy feeling humiliated by New York asshole with a Yankees cap on.
But eventually the game did resume. And oh how we were rewarded. Not only did we beat the 49ers. We bullied them in a way that not even the 2005 Super Bowl team could. Our defense crushed them. Frank Gore rushed for 16 yards. Anquan Boldin caught one pass for 7 yards. Their qaurterback Kaepernicked his way out of the stadium with his tail between his legs on his longest run of the night.
This Seahawks team is bad. And when I say bad, I don’t mean bad like other Seattle teams, but rather badass. Bad like Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction, when he looks down the barrel of his gun and says, "And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you."
This team believes in themselves. And after Sunday, despite my past disappointments, I believe in them too.