A message to all "New" Seahawk fans

*Disclaimer-this post is intended to be a set of "rules" per se, just a gentle set of "suggestions" to the newer Seahawk fans who are getting acclimated and are just starting to notice that we have a pretty good football team in the Northwest.

The Seahawks have been pretty damn good for about 2 years well as relevant for most of the decade. With continued success brings new followers, and with new followers comes a mixed bag of emotion for the rest of us longtime, diehard fans.

I have been a Seahawks fan since the day I was born...and will never switch my allegiance to any team outside of Seattle, regardless of the sport. To me, sports is about civic pride, and a chance to show the rest of the nation, and to a larger extent, the world, about what a city like Seattle means to us.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has noticed a sea change (no pun intended) in the amount of fans that our Seahawks are now gathering. With the recent dominant victory in the desert, and a slew of Seahawk fans showing up to represent on the national stage, the Seahawks are the hottest thing since sliced bread...which is a reminder to notify the anonymous people who make up sayings that this one needs to be updated in the worst way. (Hottest thing since the iPhone?, doesn't have the same ring to it) There are Seahawk fans everywhere now. Not just in Seattle, but across the world. I regularly see followers in foreign countries, likely transplant Seattlites.....and now they are showing up in opposing teams stadiums as well. Or perhaps they simply like the way our team plays...nothing wrong with that.

This post is aimed at all "new" Seahawks fans (going to try and avoid using labels here).....which include those that are only following our team in the past year or two.

First off-I'd like to say thank you for your interest, and I appreciate the fact that you would like to join the winning team...but on behalf of Seahawks nation, and before we officially allow to hop on our wagon, I've identified a few umm...prerequisites (not rules, because we don't need no stinkin rules) that I would suggest you abide by in order to refrain from being called out by both Hawk fans and opposing team fans alike:

1. You must recognize the order of things. The most important rule. Us longtime Seahawk fans have withered through battle scars in order to get to where we are. We have endured years of pain and the form of names such as Tim Ruskell, Jim Mora, Aaron Curry, Rick Mirer, Brian Bosworth, Tom Flores, Dennis Erickson, the ghost of Jerry Rice, and countless others who have inflicted years of torture upon our poor souls.

We have suffered through blood and fire to get to where we are today, and you must recognize that we have suffered, where you have celebrated.

2. Like the youngest are by nature spoiled by success, and must recognize our history to truly enjoy our achievements. Okay honest moment, I pretty much straight man-cried when the Seahawks won the NFC championship in 2005 on our way to the Superbowl. No we didn't win, but at that moment, it was such a beautiful moment....because the first thing that went through my mind was how much and how long I have endured to get to that moment. Watching the games with my dad growing up, the great names that put the Seahawks on the map....Cortez, Walter Jones, Matt Hasselbeck, Shawn Alexander, Mike Holmgren....etc. I thought about those guys and what they meant to this franchise.

It may pain you to endure some of the pain of the past....but you at least must be cognizant of it, in order to truly appreciate our current team and their future endeavors.

3. You have to know at least 50% of our current roster. There are 53 players on a roster, which means you should know at least 27 of them. It goes without saying you should know household names like Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, Richard Sherman and others....but now you have to get to know the guys that are lesser known. You must know who Chris Clemons is. You have to know Red Bryant. Brandon Mebane. Russell Okung. You should know these guys because they will be a crucial part of our team moving forward.

You have to be able to represent us, should a member of an opposing franchise question you and your loyalty. A fake Seahawks fan is almost worse than a non-Seahawk fan. Represent us well and truthfully.

(This one is negotiable, as I quizzed my wife and she could only get to about 10-15 players. I still consider her a Seahawk fan)

4. You have to be able to point out our players live on TV/game, and know what position they play. Ex: You cannot, and I mean CANNOT see a great play by Sidney Rice and say "Wow, what a catch by Richard Sherman!"

5. You must be LOUD. This shouldn't be hard. If you get a ticket to a game, whether home or away, listening to the game on the subway, at your office, or need to be annoyingly, life-threatingly loud.

6. You need Seahawk swag. If you have a t-shirt with a blue 12 on it, that's not good enough. Buy a jersey. Buy a jersey for your dog. Paint your car and throw a 12th man flag on it. Tweet it, Instagram it, hashtag it.

7. You must stand together with fellow Seahawk fans in the face of adversity. There will be times where you will be tested. Opposing teams will call you out, call you names, pour beer on you. There will also be times where you will see it happen to other Seahawk fans. Like the military motto goes, leave no man behind and that applies to you as well. Always help fellow Hawk fans in need, regardless of the circumstance. If you see a fight brewing between a Seahawks fan and opposing fan in your immediate vicinity....and then security comes, by default point the blame to the 49ers fan.

8. Lastly-once you are on the Hawk wagon, there's no coming off. None. If and when the day comes when the Seahawks sink back to mediocrity, you must continue to rep the Seahawks as hard as you did the first day. I realize there is no way for us to govern this, so this is where the whole honor system comes into play.

If you have any other suggestions for the newer fan, please suggest some below....after all, Hawk nation is a democracy, not a dictatorship.

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