I’ve followed the Seattle Seahawks since 2002. I held no real expectation of them and so I enjoyed whenever I could hear them on the radio, but I wasn’t really invested yet ... In 2005, I was in my second year of constant posts on the internet forums about the team.
Life was very different back then. Seattle had a very jaded fanbase. Forty years of mediocrity had robbed them of the ability to just go into the games with a fully committed heart. It was hard as a young fan to fight that wave when it’s a lot of what was spoken of: a team of potential waiting to let them down.
When the Seahawks lost Super Bowl XL I was numb. I still don’t feel any rage about the game itself despite the impassioned claims of injustice. However, in the weeks that followed and perhaps even other seasons, I came to the horrible realization that I really didn’t enjoy 2005 at all. Oh sure, I have phenomenal memories of that year — Shaun Alexander’s MVP run, the clutch defense by guys like Jordan Babineux, and so on... But when it came down to it, I spent that season waiting for the decades of failure and mediocrity to present itself and that robbed me of enjoying it for what it was worth.
Fast forward to 2013 and I had no expectations of the team. I was excited, yes, but not “Super Bowl or bust.” I wasn’t projecting wins or getting too upset at tough games, I was enthralled each week as the defense and offense found ways to win.
It was such a far cry from eight years earlier. It was so much more fun. The narrative of the franchise’s failures were gone in favor of watching a defense every week and the Beast Mode unleashed. It’s hard not to go back and watch those games just because it felt so damn good to take it a game at a time.
The next year it was time to talk about a potential dynasty. It was drama, it was “Can they repeat?” Well they almost did. I won’t talk about it, we all feel that pit in our stomachs. I was inconsolable. You can see my twitter feed and know that I was not doing well, most of us weren’t. Once again, I found myself having flushed an entire season of enjoyment down the toilet.
It was even worse than 2005 though. I can’t really remember much about that season. The NFC Championship sure, but games prior? There’s nothing. It’s like my brain just decided to get so fixated on the dynasty dream I forgot to enjoy anything about the journey. I wasn’t excited by the comeback in the NFC championship against the Packers ... I was relieved.
This year after careful consideration of this, I’ve decided to forego the idea of “Easiest schedule” or “This feels like 2013” or other narratives that might get me to look at these games as nothing to be enjoyed, instead seen as just the roadblock to the real joy which is the playoffs and eventual shot at the Lombardi Trophy.
As the players say themselves: “Every week is a championship week.”
I want to enjoy this team good as it could be, one game at a time. I want to appreciate its future stars like Thomas Rawls and Quinton Jefferson while admiring the current ones like Russell Wilson and Earl Thomas. I’m shutting out all noise about the “possibilities” and letting my mind be opened each week to a new start. 1-0.
I love this team, but I want to truly appreciate this team and to do that I need to slow myself down. I must not sacrifice the present on the alter of what might be. Some of you might not be too sure what I’m getting at, some of you might know it all too well, whatever the case, I’m ready for 2016 in a whole new way for me.
As of writing this article I am formally announcing the return of This Week In Defense as a weekly article. My personal project now has fallen into regular schedule that allows me the time to do it. Also I am formally announcing the re-launch of the Pregame Insomnia Podcast (Scheduling the be determined). I have a lot more experience in the audio realm so it should help the quality of the show.
There’s a bit of a difference between, expectation, projection and prediction. Last year we saw Doug Baldwin break the franchise record for TDs by a WR. So does anyone have a prediction like that heading in? I know I’m pulling for Rawls to make a considerable impact, though I don’t have any predictions of my own to offer.
Jacked and pumped for 2016 fellas! I’m In!