Dear Seahawks Nation,
I am not a Seahawks fan, for my life-long loyalty has and always will reside with my Dallas Cowboys. With that being said, I’m not here to waste time on YOUR blog about a team that receives headlines like it loses important games (I’m aware this isn’t ESPN). No, I’m here to wish your team, your organization, your fan base, and your great city the best come Sunday afternoon as well as to make the case for NFL fans across the country as to why they should do the same, minus 49ers fans, of course.
But before I begin, I will say this. I’m a student at the University of Missouri, so I will also be cheering for the pair of MU alums on the 49ers roster, Aldon and Justin Smith, as well. I mean, that’s my college team.
Anyway, I’ll be pulling for the NFC’s #1 seed on Sunday because there is no team that deserves the title of "America’s Team" more so than the Seattle Seahawks.
Such an iconic title can only be bestowed upon an organization that is not simply just "committed" to excellence on and off the field, but actually sets the standard for living up to that commitment. The only NFL team in the Pacific Northwest is the only NFL team that accurately fits that description. Every team says they are committed to success on the field and off it, just like any American can talk-the-talk and say they live in the best country in the world. But if you are not actually doing what needs to be done in order to maintain the integrity of the statement, what's the point? Talking like that isn't cheap, its worthless.
There’s nothing more American, if you will, than being so passionate and loyal about what you love the most, that you will do anything and everything in your power to protect it. That desire, that willingness to fight for what you believe in, is a value deeply rooted in American culture. It is what our forefathers fought and died for then as well as what we live for now.
That same passionate mentality is heard loud and clear on Sundays in Seattle. Seahawks fans treat CenturyLink Field more like a house, a home, than a stadium and have redefined the role of fans as active participants who can impact the outcome of the game. More than the 12th Man, your crowd, 67,000 strong, is an army that stands united, literally moves the earth, strikes fear into the hearts of the opposition, and, frankly, gives me chills on my couch. That’s a fan base that is not only intimidating, but also undeniably American.
More than an American team with a truly American fan base, the Seattle Seahawks are an American football brand with an established American brand identity. It was not that long ago when your quarterback was overlooked for being too short and your fullback wasn’t deemed worthy of a draft pick due, in large part, to an inability to hear and listen, something almost everyone who can do so has taken for granted at one point or another. On top of that, there was the initial criticism of your head coach upon his hiring as well as the fact that your division used to be as competitive as beer league softball.
But that was then and this is now, in 2014, where Russell Wilson is a classy, resilient, intelligent leader, as well as one heck of a quarterback. Derrick Coleman’s journey is one of the most inspiring stories in sports. Pete Carroll is the coach of the year and the NFC West is the best division in the NFL, although, some of that credit belongs to the 49ers for that achievement. Technically you’re the favorite, but your team’s journey is reminiscent of an underdog who overcame all the obstacles and doubt to earn a spot near the top. Your story is very similar to one we are all motivated and moved by. It’s called the American Dream
Lastly, as someone who doesn’t mind gamesmanship, but expects sportsmanship at the professional level of sports, I’m not sure how I could root for a team whose coach has run up the score in the past and even called a fake punt last week with a double-digit lead and less than a minute left in the game. How can I, as someone who understands the impact both coaches and players have as role models in our society, hope that a quarterback wins on the field while his ego, personality, and maturity continue to be questioned and raise concerns off of the field? How can I choose to cheer for him after he choose to wear a Miami Dolphins hat, play his decision off as "no big deal", and told his fans via twitter he was "goin wear what [he] want regardless of what [they] think"?
Sure, the 49ers have exciting players, an enthusiastic head coach and win a lot of games based on their style of play and execution. The 49ers are far from a classless organization and the Seahawks aren't perfect, but what is a win if it is achieved without class and respect? Not saying the 49ers always do so and the Seahawks never have (last year vs Buffalo) as the cases I mentioned are isolated and not reflective of their organization as a whole. At the same time, I think its pretty fair to ask them, "What's your deal?"
Yes, of course winning is important, especially on such a grand stage, but to do so without values will only lead to a future of failure. Last time I checked, reputation, respect, and professionalism are also pretty important.
A true victory, in team sports, is achieved with class and integrity by a team, a single unit, that strives to win for those who proudly support them with their loyalty as opposed to wanting to win for their individual pride. That’s the American way. That’s the Seahawk way.
I’ll be forever loyal to the Dallas Cowboys, but come Sunday afternoon, I’ll finally get the chance to root for America’s Team – The Seattle Seahawks.