Buffalo Bills

Brothers In Arms

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These mist covered mountains
Are a home now for me
But my home is the lowlands
And always will be
Someday you’ll return to
Your valleys and your farms
And you’ll no longer burn to be
Brothers in arms

~ Dire Straits, Brothers in Arms

Prior to the multiple hats I wear now in my professional life, back in the dizzay, I worked in financial services.  One of my old bosses was an Brit via Australia, and we used to talk about music a lot.  We liked a lot of the same bands.  We talked about the “best shows” we’ve ever been to, and he told me that hands down, the best show he ever saw was in Sydney and it was Dire Straits.

And his passion really came through when he talked about the show.  Plus I loved the way he said it.  “Di-uh Straits.”  But Dire Straits…the “Money For Nothing, chicks for free” band?

To this day, whenever I hear a Dire Straits song, I think of my former boss and his description of the show.  So imagine my surprise when I was on a flight to Seattle to not only celebrate the husband’s birthday but to see the Seahawks play a Monday Night Football game, the media and entertainment system in my seat had the Brothers in Arms album on demand to listen to while we flew cross-country.  I guess I forgot how good their songs were.  Very 80s.  “You play the guitar on the MTV.”  But I had it on as background music, which of course leads me to think.  Think about my past, my future.  Even on my present time, as I was heading to my spiritual home in the Pacific North-left.

I left the comfort of my home with a very certain and hopeful present and left Seattle on a vibe that had a very uncertain and shaky future.  As our trip overlapped with an election that rocked my very core, but started with an amazing nail-biting and dramatic Seahawks win.  Sure…we are still feeling the after-effects.  Nothing has changed, but everything has.  Have you ever felt that before?

Seeing the “Brothers in Arms” the Seattle Seahawks, it made me think.   About the importance of being a team, being around people you love, having each other, focusing on the desirable end-result, and most of all, what linking arms can do to provide one with a hopeful future.

Now look at them yo-yo’s that’s the way you do it
You play the guitar on the M.T.V.
That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free.
Now that ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it

Lemme tell ya, them guys ain’t dumb

~ Dire Straits, Money For Nothing

There are many tired narratives with watching the Seahawks and most noticeably reading about them.  Many experts count them out.  Oh and the whole playing bad against east coast teams, especially on the east coast and early Pacific hours.  But this was a home game against the Buffalo Bills…a decent team that beat a Tom Brady-less New England Patriots earlier this season…but most of all, has one of my all-time faves, Rex Ryan, along with twin brother Rob, happens to be running the show there.

There wasn’t a conflict per se, for me.  But I did remark at one point that I felt like my weird-ass crush on Rex would somehow torture me during the game (only a little, but it did).  I never cared for the Bills.

We also had a conflict between the marrieds.  See, we’ve never seen the Seahawks lose while watching them live and in person.  Going to Seattle against the Bills, a team that “beat the Patriots,” as hubby liked to point out, was going to not be easy.  I didn’t think it would be easy either.  But I did think the Hawks would win.

It was Ed’s birthday.  They HAD to win.

He got the action, he got the motion
Yeah the boy can play
Dedication devotion
Turning all the night time into the day

~ Dire Straits, Walk of Life

I turned into a Seahawks supporter sitting in a totally different uniform and actually supporting a team that Rex Ryan was coach of back in 2012.  I’ve had friends that lived in Seattle not caring about football or thinking they also liked a team that had no idea that a fan base could be like the 12s.  I don’t think I can put it into words, which is unfortunate, you know, being someone who blogs about the goddamn team.  You just have to go to a game to see it yourself.

You’re forever changed.

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I mean, look at those faces above.  So youthful and hopeful…and then after the 12s and the loudest stadium EVAR gets to you, you kind of lose your fucking mind.

Prior to becoming a 12, I didn’t care much for football.  I didn’t have a family of fanatics.  Football was NEVER a Sunday thing in my household growing up.  I couldn’t relate to it.  If you know me, baseball was always my one true passion and love.  In my adult years, I worked on Sundays, and then just up till a few years ago, I worked during the east coast games.  So it’s easier for me to follow a west coast team, go figure.

Now, I’m enjoying the game, learning about the history of the game, and mostly how teams come together.

There is something very special going on in the Emerald City.  I was just remarking a few days ago that there will be SEVERAL Ring of Honor candidates from this team in the future.  During the game against Arizona earlier on, I said that “This is almost like Largent’s game against Miami in 1983.”  I’ve paid my dues in such a short amount of time.  It’s a passion that’s different and like no other.

Surprise that a team that caused a “controversy” by openly discussing taking a knee, like rival Colin Kaepernick did, but deciding against it, linking arms instead.  Well, linking arms is a parable for this team.

The boys who can play are Doug and Jimmy and Richard and Bobby and Tyler, and most of all Russell, and everyone who is supposed to contribute is contributing.

In this game against Buffalo, we had tremendous showings by Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham, two guys we need to play well in order to win.  The chemistry with the team is just sick.

There’s so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones

~ Dire Straits, Brothers in Arms
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On paper, the Seahawks won.  But the events on the field while watching it,  it was probably a lot more dramatic than it had to be.  I mean, it literally went right to the very last second.  Ed kept trying to get video of how loud the 12s can be on 4th down, yet Bills kept converting.  He did get the video successfully…on the very last play of the game.  I said..are you KIDDING ME?! PUT THE FUCKING CAMERA AWAY!!!

But he was right, I was wrong and most of all, despite having less than TWENTY MINUTES OF TOTAL POSSESSION TIME in the game (seriously: the numbers don’t lie above), the Hawks won.

It was Ed’s birthday and our fifth live game, and we are 5-0 and the Seahawks are mowing down their competition.

It was a win, but it felt hollow.

But a win is a win, and we take it.

Tuesday was Election Day.  The nastiness and stress that had preceded it and what lingers has made me even have to take a break from Facebook just because it’s been so bad.  I went to Seattle thinking the worst that could happen would be a Seahawks loss.  I went to bed Tuesday night drunk on Seahawks margaritas (seriously, the double margarita was in a Seahawks glass) and woke up Wednesday in my spiritual home, not wanting to face the day.

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It rained in New York on that Wednesday.  It stopped raining long enough to give us a very beautiful dusk and sunset in Seattle.

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But besides the beacon of the Space Needle that still beckons me, I saw that like baseball did in my youth, the Seattle Seahawks can provide me with enough escapism from the real life that I desperately want to escape.

On a non-game day, the area by CenturyLink Field and Safeco Field is pretty dead.  Stark contrast from the craziness we experience on our marches to the stadium.  Fans are probably just as focused as the team is.  We are able to get some unobstructed photos of the players outside the stadium.  Seeing Bobby and Doug and Jimmy make my heart soar.  There is hope, there is fantasy.  Life can get better and we can expect better of ourselves.  Just ask Doug, whom I personally believe is the heart and soul of this team, what he thinks of his Brothers in Arms.

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I may have been leaving the next day to approach a New York that was changing.  At least I am saying goodbye to my Seahawks, and I don’t know when I’ll see them again in person.

Unfortunately a trip that we would have liked to take this weekend to Tampa was kibboshed because of my job that keeps me in town on holiday weekends.

Here I am again in this mean old town
And you’re so far away from me
And where are you when the sun goes down
You’re so far away from me

~ Dire Straits, So Far Away

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I landed to chaos in New York.  My phone had about a million text messages, all work-related.  What was supposed to be a relatively slow Veteran’s Day blew up, and I had to hit the ground running.  My first thought was…and I’m serious…”What would Russell Wilson do?”

I knew he’d say, “There’s no time to sleep, Coop.”

So Ed and I have another successful and not to mention fun Seattle trip in the books.  It’s our fourth time in the city, and third game at CenturyLink (two of our all time wins took place in road stadiums).

Yet, I see the real work needs to be done in the real world.  Whether it’s with my work, or in the country or societal changes, this Seahawks team has taught me that despite any difference, despite any disagreements, we can enact positive change, starting from within.

Now the sun’s gone to hell and
The moon’s riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But it’s written in the starlight
And every line in your palm
We are fools to make war
On our brothers in arms

 ~ Dire Straits, Brothers in Arms

In a time that I can see becoming tumultuous, rough and even getting worse before getting better, I can hear Richard Sherman telling us we can be better as the team rallies around him and jumps up and down.

If people tell Jimmy Graham that his injury from last year is supposed to impact his game negatively this year, I’m going to be like Jimmy…and against all odds, catch that fucking ball with one goddamn finger.

And in this topsy-turvy world, if I can see Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin switching up their comfort zones and still managing to lift each other up…we can too.

Dire Straits, man.  Who knew my fucking former boss’ favorite show would be an inspiration to a painful blog post that took me nearly three fucking weeks to write?

In this crazy-ass time, I choose to be a 12.  I choose to be like a Seahawk.

#WeAre12.  Go Hawks.

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Build It Up (Tear It Down)

There’s that old saying that you build things up to tear them down.  Kind of like celebrities.  Entertainment media spends a lot of time bringing people up to a certain standard, and when they can’t live up to it, people seem to relish in the fall.  It’s almost, like, humanizing I suppose.  Look at Kim Kardashian and her 90-day marriage or however long it was and the backlash from having a ginormous glitzy wedding televised (though in my opinion, she had it coming).

The same could be said about sports and sports figures.  Remember at the beginning of the football season, the Buffalo Bills were the toast of the town, man.  They won their first three games, and prior to their bye week in Week Seven, were 4-2.  Their losses were even razor thin, and could have easily been won.  Pretty soon, they were 5-5 along with the Jets.  Now they’re writing about how this could be their worst “collapse” ever (As a Mets fan, I know a thing or two about collapses).

The Jets, however, were the boners.  The Bills were overplaying to everyone’s expectations, which is always a good thing.  The Jets behind Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez along with Darrelle Revis et al had made it all the way to the Conference Championship game in two seasons…they hadn’t “earned” the right to successfully gloat.  Which I mean, come on, Rex is a blowhard sometimes but he’s funny and always owns up to his mistakes.  If the shit was on the other foot, i.e. I was not a Jets fan, it may piss me off too.  The Jets are boners, apparently, to the masses.  Possibly because of my eclectic sports affiliations and interactions, I find a lot of haters.  Haters don’t piss me off…my philosophy behind them is that you’re doing something right if people dislike you to the point of bashing.

Yet, a few weeks ago, the Bills were the toast of the league, and now the Jets beat them (it was ugly Sunday, that’s for sure) and it’s all, “Well, it’s not that big of a win…it was the Bills.”  Well, fuck that bullshit.  I’m sick of the double-standard.  If the Bills had held on to a lead, I’m sure it would have been about how the Jets suck and they’re horrible and Rex Ryan likes his wife’s feet and blah blah blah.

I was supposed to attend today’s shit show live.  I had a shit show of my own that needed attending to when I was at home and didn’t think it to be a good idea to go a game.  I was sad, I was mad…nothing I hate more than wasting those tickets.  So I just sat home with my green tea, my yogurt and upped my probiotic intake.  And I didn’t drink though for most Jets games, it should be mandatory that I’m stinking fucking drunk.  Period.  End of story.

I know the Jets are flawed.  If ANYONE knows that it’s me.  But back to the haters thing, why not give credit where it’s due.  The Jets and Bills are battling for a playoff spot — if they’re LUCKY — and it’s the JETS who won and who are getting the shit of the end stick regardless.

And what’s worse?  I love taking to Twitter to bitch about them. Yet I was called out for saying “Just forfeit” in jest to someone I follow…a saying, by the way, I’ve been saying for 14 years.  People who aren’t even Jets fans RELISHING in each misplay, misfire, miscue.  Look, I know they half bring it on themselves.  But it’s like they’re the Rodney Dangerfield of football: they get no respect.  Stevie Williams mimes shooting himself in the leg scoring a touchdown, and people defend it.  Plax got the last laugh there, so it’s all good as far as I’m concerned.  Tweeters calling a Jets loss before they even finish.  Do I need to remind them that a few years ago they were all but out and “backed in” only to go almost all the way…and that was a year they weren’t expected to do much!

It reminds me of when the Yankees are in the playoffs.  ALL the haters come out of the woodwork.  Now, I’m not a Yankees fan, but I can respect them and their fans (especially since I’m friendly with many of them).  On the flip side though I understand where the hate for the Highlanders come from.  They’ve at least earned the right to haters, if that makes sense.

So the Jets are a quirky team with a quirky head coach who likes to talk a lot and their QB is a pretty boy with some neurosis (hey, he’s a QB for a NY team that I like…I take the blame for that).  Sit down and shut the fuck up.  I’d like just for once to hear about how it’s the BILLS who dropped the proverbial ball (twice, mind you, against the Jets) and not how the Jets won the game because the Bills decided to lose it.  Fuck that noise.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to sit on the toilet again.