NYCEahawks

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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