Carlow East

Dumb

I’m not like them
But I can pretend
The sun is gone
But I have a light
The day is done
But I’m having fun
I think I’m dumb
Or maybe just happy
Think I’m just happy

For the first time since 2013, I didn’t attend a live football game, where the Seahawks were one of the teams playing.  This season, each city we were eager to see a football game in (Charlotte, Chicago, Denver) were out of the question due to timing conflicts.  The other games  played in Seattle, which has become an even year visiting phenomenon for us, just didn’t work.  Sure, there were tons of cities we wanted to visit, and the home city of our preferred football team was always open.  Not to mention, a fun-ass time that would be hosted by the booster club in London by the UK Seahawkers.

In 2014, we went to Seattle.  Baltimore was our 2015 trip.  We went to MetLife across the river AND CenturyLink in 2016.  Another MetLife trip in 2017.  But nothing in 2018.

So, we sat it out this year.  We sat out traveling for football season for the first time since 2014, and we embraced our role as out-of-market fans.  Instead of going on a cross country flight and eating great food over at Pike Place Market and drinking some fancy cocktails over in Belltown, or hitting up Bush Garden for some beers post-CenturyLink, we instead shared our Sundays with our friends at Carlow East on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.  (Although I think having a Seahawks bar in Manhattan would make more sense on the Upper WEST Side…after all, the Pacific Northwest is the UWS of the United States.)

Carlow East and the NYCeahawks are nothing to shake a stick at, though.  In fact, I think no one from the Pacific Northwest can challenge the authenticity of the 12-ing that occurs there.  The chants, the coordinated claps, the high-fives from total strangers who become your best friends and family for a 60 minute duration.  They are all so very real.  Visitors from out of town are always amazed by how loud we can be.  It’s like CenturyLink II.  And whether its #BlueFriday or #VictoryMonday, wearing a Hawks shirt or hat or hoodie, as I am wont to do while working outdoors, elicits a random “Go Hawks!” or fist pump from a stranger.  Hell, in 2017, someone even STOPPED me on the street after shouting in solidarity after a particularly dramatic Hawks win, to show me a video from the game as he had BEEN there the day before.  In Seattle.

It’s a special thing, being a NYCHawk.

But I wonder, if maybe, I’m just a bit stupid for getting emotionally involved in sports.  Like, what is my life worth that I get involved so intimately with the teams in my life…be it Rangers, or Mets, or Seahawks, even St John’s these days (which is mostly for my husband, who is a Johnnie).  That all I do is get my hopes up and dashed with disappointment?

It’s different, being a disappointed football fan.  You only get 16 times a year to have your highs and low, and potentially more if you are lucky enough to root for a team that makes the playoffs.

My heart is broke
But I have some glue
Help me inhale
And mend it with you

We’ll float around
And hang out on clouds
Then we’ll come down
And have a hangover, have a hangover

This year had highs and lows as is wont to happen in the context of a football season.  Starting 0-2, nearly every “expert” lamented the death of the LOB, and eulogies were written for the PCJS Seattle Seahawks era.  QPD.  The “Dynasty that Never Was.”  Yeah.  I called bullshit.

And I mean, it was very easy to think this. The LOB was pretty much DOA this year.  Richard Sherman was goneEarl Thomas was holding outKam Chancellor retired due to injuries.  The bad assery vibe had changed in a way.  I wasn’t too concerned, though.  Yeah, the defense wasn’t the same.  Defensive players don’t age well, and all three of those guys were out for extended periods of time to injury in previous seasons.  Sure, they helped, but not essential to the team’s overall success I felt.  We can argue about their Cantonesque stats, but the one sure lock for the HOF was still our middle linebacker – Bobby Wagner.  (Who is quite easily my favorite Seahawks player right now.)

Yet what was NOT said was that the team was shifting away from being a defense oriented team to building around the offense, mostly around the franchise quarterback, Russell Wilson.  What on earth is wrong that THAT?  I would get so frustrated watching him scramble around with virtually no protection from his offensive team.  And let’s not go there that last year was a field goal here or extra point there from being a completely different ending.

So sure.  Defense may “win championships,” as the old adage says.  But you can’t win if you don’t score.  You don’t score without offense.  Or until you score.  Or something.

I didn’t buy into the rebuild.  But what I saw after a few games was a bit…disheartening.  After the 0-2 start, they pulled themselves out of that hole.  Yet I truly believe they could have won a lot more had they not played to the level of their competition each game.  How many games were decided on a last second “walk off” field goal by Sebastian Janikowski?  Or a close call loss against the LA teams (Rams and Chargers), that in my opinion could have easily gone the other way and been W’s in the column.  Playing to the level of their competition made me feel as though the team believed in the rebuild.  And that got me angry.   It’s okay to play over your heads or to your full potential and win decisively.  No really.  It’s a thing, and it’s all right.

Rebuilds are not a bad thing, though.  Acknowledge it, we’re adults, we can handle them.  Ask me how I feel about a rebuild in Flushing.  And I’m going through one now with my hockey team.  Rebuilds can be fun too, especially seeing the results come to fruition.  I never bought into the Seattle rebuild, though.  This Seattle football team was meant to be a playoff team this year.  What kills me is that they could have been MORE, instead of a one-and-done wild card team against a Cowboys team that quite frankly was not a superior team to the Seahawks.  Cowboys won.  Seahawks lost.  And somewhere, Richard Sherman laughs.  My hockey team sucks.  It’s how many days till pitchers and catchers?  It’s winter, and I’m fucking BORED with it already.

Skin the sun
Fall asleep
Wish away
The soul is cheap
Lesson learned
Wish me luck
Soothe the burn
Wake me up

The fact that I can actually feel real feelings for a football team, which was unheard of not too long ago…that I can be disappointed when one of my teams underachieves or I can truly feel that in my heart….this is what is truly remarkable in my eyes.

Some days I want to give up sports for knitting.

And then I say, well that’s a dumb idea.  So I put my jerseys away for another year.  I go back to eating bad carbs and junk food during the Super Bowl.  Maybe have a hangover the next day.  Mostly, I’ll be happy because it means baseball is right around the corner.

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Kamikaze Jets

My husband is a "12th Man" for Seattle

My husband is a Seattle Seahawks fan.  True story.  He started watching them in December of 1983, and became a die hard ever since.  No one ever told my husband he was “basic,” and that’s the truth.  Although he’s a local Mets fan (but he grew up in the Bronx of course), his basketball team is located in Utah (Jazz), and football team is in a city he’s never visited (Seattle, natch).

Imagine his surprise when last year during the football playoffs, AM New York had a feature on team-focused bars, and they featured Carlow East, a Seattle Seahawks-fan bar that broadcasts every game (and since the Seahawks aren’t exactly a “national” team like, say, the Dallas Cowboys are, it’s rare he gets to see them on National TV).  They don’t have a kitchen, but they have cheap drinks, and are chill about allowing you to bring food into the establishment.  But on football game days, they do bring in a buffet.  Just your standard pastas, salads, wings, and wares like sausage and peppers.  Drawbacks are that they don’t make mimosas (no sparkling wine), don’t have coffee (so no nutty Irishmen or other adult coffee drinks), and they’re on the East Side of the island which is like Guam to me.  BUT they made up a lot of ground by offering us take out menus (an extensive list) and by suggesting I get my own coffee from across the street, and then charging me for a “shot” to “nutty it up,” as the bartender said.

For a brief moment, I wished I was a Seahawks fan, or just a team that doesn’t exactly have “local” roots.  During the game, they had Seahawks based chants like “SEA-Fense!” or “Sea! HAWKS! Sea! HAWKS!”  Whenever the Seahawks scored a touchdown, they gave everyone a round of Seahawk-blue inspired Kamikaze shots.  (Similar to what the Chapmans do on Mets opening day each year, they substitute Blue Curacao to give the margaritas a blue tinge, as opposed to using just plain ol’ Triple Sec, a colorless orange liqueur).

    

Yes, we went from euphoria (well, as euphoric as I can get watching a game with no rooting interest…but I did appreciate being there with a fan base I know so little), to watching the Jets game.  The life of a Jets fan, of course.

Anyone have a hit of Viagra I can use?  That game was as flaccid as…well…never mind.  Simply, the Jets were just awful.  It was so bad that I actually enjoyed, THOROUGHLY enjoyed cleaning my house.  I even cleaned the cat’s litter boxes.  My house is now clean, but the Jets still got annihilated.  At least I can hang my hat on THAT, watching it in a clean house.

So what went wrong?  Well, whatever it was went very RIGHT for the Eagles, a team I cannot stand.  Look, nothing business, just personal.  I hate the goddamn city.  I hate that they have a NYC complex (they should already know we’re the superior city).  I hate Michael Vick (Sorry but I actually DO think most animals should be treated better than people).  I hate the Phillies.  I hate all their stinking drunk idiot fans.  And they ALL spill over into the Linc when the Phillies aren’t playing.  I have an exception for Flyers fans though.  They seem to know their shit.  I can respect that.  All I know is for all the goodwill that the Phils are bringing to their city, sportswise, no one fucking appreciates it.  They’d give it all up for ONE Super Bowl ring, and they all know it.

Now that I got THAT out of my system.  The things that went RIGHT for the Iggles?  Well they proved that not only practice makes perfect (they have a chance to bounce into the playoffs after a lackluster start to the season, how about that for some shit), but that studying does indeed go the extra mile or in this case, extra few hundred yards or so.  The Eagles found the weakness of the Death Star of Jets defense, as they were running plays easily being called.  Fab.

I suppose if there were a game they had to lose, it would be today.  In the category of how ’bout that for some shit, still, the Jets didn’t technically lose any ground.  Huh.  It’s not going to be easy of course, considering they had their life in their hands, and blew it.  Well, all I can say is they better fuckin’ win next week, in the Toilet Bowl as EJ from Happy Recap called it on Twitter yesterday.  Because Sexy Rexy is running his fuckin’ mouth AGAIN.  Look, say what you want about Rex Ryan, but he always flaps his trap (he won’t stop so we may as well enjoy it).  Yet, he can admit where he’s wrong afterwards and ALWAYS takes the heat off his players when it comes down to it.  Seriously though, after this shit show the NY fans had to be subjected to this week?  Although with the shoe on other foot, when the Giants countered with a trash-talk won’t help the Jets, but hey, this game has just as much bearing on the G-men too.

If all was right in the world, this game would mean nothing but bragging rights to the winning fan base (and honestly, I don’t dislike the Giants. I just prefer the Jets).  But lately there’s been a lot of “my overrated quarterback is better than YOUR overrated quarterback” so I’d nothing better than to bash the Giants’ skulls in at any chance.  Yet this game is all of a sudden a must-win scenario for either team.

JUST WHAT I NEED ON CHRISTMAS EVE WHEN I’M AT MY MOM’S, PEOPLE.

I started the day drinking Kamikaze shots in honor of my husband’s team, while the Jets shitbombed their own kamikaze attack on themselves to make a game that should have meant nothing mean everything.

Sounds about right to me.  Merry Fucking Christmas, Jets fans.