I am 33 years old. I've been rooting for the Hawks for as long as I can remember. This, in anticipation of what I fully expect will be our triumph in the Super Bowl, is my confession.
For a while when I was young, I was more a Steve Largent fan than a Hawks fan. I liked the Hawks, but I loved Steve Largent. At one point, in early middle school, my cousin and I decided that our religion would be "Largent" and we would kneel and cross ourselves whenever we entered a room with a picture of Largent on the wall. So, like, I'd walk into 5th period choir, where my teacher had that big old Seattle Times Largent pinup adorning the wall, and I'd kneel and cross myself. It was a good time, but didn't last long.
Throughout high school and college (Go Dawgs!), I was entirely convinced that I was the only person in the world who was a real Seahawks fan. Nobody else, I thought, went through the highs and lows that I did as this team won or lost. Somehow, I even thought that people who decked themselves out in all sorts of green and blue wigs, and jerseys, and face paint and shit were lesser fans than I. What a smug prick.
If I'm honest with myself, I know that I was a pretty shitty high school football player. It happens. But, from my position as mop-up duty wide receiver, I once sprung Marcus Trufant for a long touchdown run with a solid block on the corner. Why was Trufant in for mop-up duty? He was only a sophomore at the time, our second string running back at Wilson that year.
I've not lived in Seattle for nearly a decade now, with school and work keeping me from the area. I had to suffer for the first six of those years away listening to Hawks games via the radio calls provided by Raible and Moon. Look, I like hearing Raible go bananas on a big play as much as the next guy. But when you're trying to discern basic information, like how many yards were gained on a given play, Raible is a tough listen. And Moon is among the worst color guys I've ever heard. I get that he's a former Hawk, and a Hall of Famer, and a fan. I appreciate all that. But I cannot recall a single moment in six years of listening where he provided truly meaningful insight. That's probably a gross overstatement, but that's how I remember it. Thank god for the invention of the Slingbox.
I believed in Matt Hasselbeck longer than I should have. At the time, I wasn't yet into advanced stats, or Field Gulls, or thinking too hard about declining players who were among my very favorite. Hasselbeck limited us pretty significantly in his last few years, I've come to believe. Still, there's nobody I'm looking forward to seeing raise the 12th Man flag more than Matt Hasselbeck. God I fucking love Matt Hasselbeck.
I sometimes tear up ever so slightly when I think about what Tarvaris Jackson did for this franchise during his year as a starter. He worked his ass off, battled through a serious and painful injury, supported his teammates, and carried us to a respectable record as Pete and John started to get their pieces in place and devise their long term QB plan. T-Jack was, to take it probably too far, a bit of a martyr. I'm so glad he's back for this Super Bowl run.
It's taken me a longer time than maybe it should have to fully embrace Pete Carroll. I think my feeling was that he was a great motivator, but not a great tactician. And I was bothered immensely by the fact that we're always among the most penalized teams in the league when Holmgren's teams were always among the least. But fuck it. We've not lost a game by more than a single score since 2011. I can barely comprehend that reality. We are fiercely competitive in every single game we play. Good fucking god that is an amazing fact.
I hadn't owned a Seahawks jersey, ever, until shortly after Christmas last year. I told myself that if we won the Saints game (regular season), I'd buy a Wilson jersey. I did.
I think Mack Strong should get his case heard for the Hall of Fame. I know he never will, and I'm not sure he should get in, but I'm goddamn certain he should get his case heard. Do you know how good of a blocking back Strong was? Of course you do, you're a Field Gulls reader. He had a job. It was to block. He did it superbly for a long time. At a bare minimum, he's a future Ring of Honor member, or I'm going to storm the VMAC.
I have an almost sick annual fascination with the Seahawks training-camp wide receivers. Every single one I hear about I think is likely to become the next great Seahawks receiver. Doesn't matter when they were drafted, or if they weren't, or what their pedigree is. Somehow I blame Clare Farnsworth for this. His camp reports are roughly 65% discussions of the heated competition at wide receiver, or the great catch by so and so in the morning practice. You can imagine how I feel about Doug Baldwin. I once named my fantasy football team "Hairless Victory." I won the league that year.
I really and truly believe we're going to win the Super Bowl this year. I went to the 2006 game, and I honestly wasn't sure about that one. Thought we had a chance, but didn't have a great feeling about it. This time? I feel calm. Calmer than I've felt about a Hawks playoff game maybe ever. In some ways, to me, it's as simple as the following: We were the best team in the NFC, and the NFC was noticeably better than the AFC this year. Regardless, it feels fucking great to be calm.
This is the first FanPost I've ever authored. I have no idea if anyone will read it. I do know that Field Gulls is one of the best football sites around. I discovered it about three years ago, and I so appreciate the fact that it exists. My sincere thanks to all who make it possible. Go Hawks!