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Stop. Complaining. About. The. Referees. (And for DAMN Sure Stop Selling Merchandise About 'Em.)

In a public service so badly needed the Seattle Times put it on the Friday edition's front page, staff reporter Stuart Eskenazi implores those still seething about the suspect officiating in Super Bowl XL to please stop it already:

"Yeah, we got shafted in the Super Bowl," said John Boop, a fan from South Everett. "Yeah, there were unfair calls. Yeah, we were done wrong. Yeah, it sucked. Am I over it? Yeah, I am."

Boop's right. It's time to purge those demons. Our Seahawkatharsis must start now.

"It's not going to change anything, so why keep that bitterness in you?" said Boop, who runs Precision Screen Graphics in Woodinville. "Let it go. Let it go."...

At Pexos Sports Bar & Grill in Lake City, where a Seahawks banner hangs out front, no one is allowed to cry in their beer over the fleecing of the Seahawks last February.

"If the shoe was on the other foot, we would have taken it just fine," bartender Jodeana Bursell said.

I couldn't agree more, and I have already written about this tiresome issue at great length. But I observed something outside Qwest Field before the exhibition game against the Raiders that ticked me off so much, it necessitates an addendum.

On the street outside the west end of Qwest there's a whole bunch of vendors on game days -- hot dogs, pizza, souvenirs, etc. When I was walking around outside Qwest on Aug. 31, I noticed a new concessionaire set up.

These guys were selling yellow towels, in the model of the Steelers' "terrible towels." On the front of these towels were the printed words "Horrible Fouls."

The towels were the only items this particular booth was selling, from what I could see. No Seahawks paraphernalia, no garlic fries, just these parody towels referring to the Hawks getting jobbed in the Super Bowl.

To drive the point home with even more perspective: Somebody, presumably a Seahawks fan, either rented or paid for a little concession shed, and made a wholesale purchase of several yellow towels. They designed a logo reading "Horrible Fouls." They somehow mechanically imprinted this logo on each of these little yellow towels. They secured a vendor's spot and (I guess) obtained a concessionaire's permit. Then they packed up their gear, their shed, their towels, and drove all the way to Qwest Field, where they set up their stand and, I am guessing, sold these towels.

However you slice it up, somebody had to spend at least three working days, maybe more, producing and arranging to sell these towels commemorating a contest that was played seven months ago and, from what I understand, will not be replayed. Someone spent a long time putting their obsession with the bad officiating in Super Bowl XL into a commercial venture.

This infuriates me.

The guys making these towels are a colossal embarrassment to the Seahawks, their fans, Seattle, Washington State, and possibly the Portland metropolitan area as well.

If these guys are going to be selling their towels every home game this season (we can pretty much assume they'll at least be at the home opener), it will speak more to the unintelligence and immaturity of Seattle's sports culture than our fanhood's righteous rage.

I know Seattle doesn't have much of a championship history in sports. One Sonics championship, one Storm championship, one Huskies national championship. Our hunger for national acknowledgement sometimes gets a tad fatalistic. We want this very, very badly. I understand.

I believe very strongly that the culture of a team's fan base contributes a lot to their championship prospects. Maybe not as much as the X's and O's, but it's important. The Seahawks think it's important, anyway, since they gave us our own flag at the stadium, and leased out the rights to the number "12" from Texas A&M to do so.

The relationship of fans to their town's sports franchises matures over a long lifespan. The more history a team has, the easier it is for its fans to process disappointments. They may be pissed off or sad after a disappointing season, but eventually they absorb the philosophical aspects of a season's storyline, learn from it and move on.

Fans in New York, Boston, Dallas, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, understand that. And don't get me started on how much Chicago understands that.

Of course, teams in those cities have been around a lot longer, with a ton of tradition and history behind them. So these towns already know, and have for a long time, why selling something like the "Horrible Foul" towels is an awful idea. It chinks away at your pride, even subliminally. It adds nothing to the chances that your team will win the game. It makes you look like a simpering fool.

If, somehow, the guys selling the "Horrible Foul" towels get on national TV during the season, we are gonna get reamed by the entire country.

I figure we'll be booing the refs a bit more loudly at Qwest this season. Fine. Every team's fans do that anyway. It's an accepted part of the fan culture.

But seriously, dudes -- the ones selling these towels, the inarticulate message boarders who already want to blame the referees for this season, everybody who started "petitions" this summer about the Super Bowl refs -- drop it. Stop it. I've had it. You are doing a terrible disservice to the entire organization and city, and making us look stupid.

Just turn those "Horrible Foul" towels into oily rags and set the damn things on fire (in a remote field with minimal fire hazards and quick access to extinguishers). That's the best thing you can do with them, and the bonfire image sounds like it could be a nice ritualistic purge symbol to boot.

There's a reason the Fabulous Sports Babe used to call Seattle "Hooterville" on her KJR show 13 years ago. Please, somebody, make Seattle accessible by rail and give us running water.

I love that Tom Waits song, but I in fact do wanna grow up.

Thank you. We're going to Lynnwood now. See you on the open thread tomorrow.