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.
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
The soul is cheap
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.
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
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.
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
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.
It rained in New York on that Wednesday. It stopped raining long enough to give us a very beautiful dusk and sunset in Seattle.
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.
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
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.
I think I might take Russell Wilson for granted.
There. I said it.
It’s not because he’s positioning himself to be an elite QB. It’s not because he won a Super Bowl title in his very second year of playing professional football.
It’s because since I follow him so closely, it’s not a “rare treat” to see him in person as much as, say, someone who follows the local teams here in New York.
Prior to last Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, many Jets and local pundits were pooh-poohing Wilson’s not only effectiveness, but that of the Legion of Boom and much-glowed about defense of Seattle was not all *that*.
I thought they were all crazy. I mean, roll my eyes kind of crazy. Certainly if you watched this team as closely as Ed and I do, you’d see there is nothing overrated about Wilson or Richard Sherman or Doug Baldwin or Jimmy Graham…and that Seattle gets help even from role players, like Tanner McEvoy.
Plus…Did they seriously believe the Jets were a superior team? The last time I seriously followed the Jets, Rex Ryan was the head coach, Mark Sanchez was the starting QB, Tim Tebow was the BACKUP, and I literally turned into a Seattle fan at CenturyLink as we saw them play there.
Lastly, this was the first time back at MetLife Stadium since, well, Super Bowl XLVIII. So there’s that.
Why am I going through all this back story? Basically because prior to the Seahawks visiting New York for the first time since winning SB48, a few notable “hot takes” said in not so many words that the Seahawks were overrated and especially that quarterback of theirs. Seeing only his weekly highlights, of course, focus on his amazing footwork and his running game…stuff that quarterbacks aren’t supposed to rely on.
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) October 1, 2016
According to Mehta, prior to week four, “Wilson isn’t nearly as awesome as his Puget Sound loyalists believe, so it’s ludicrous to think that he’ll be able to hobble into MetLife Stadium on a gimpy left knee and right ankle on Sunday and have his way with the Jets.”
There is also this “narrative” that the Hawks don’t seem to do well not just on the road…but on the east coast or “10 am PST” start times. (And touching on Russell’s leg and knee issues, which were legit concerns going into the week…yet when no backup QB was called to replace him…I knew we were in biz and we’d be seeing him on Sunday).
Pete Prisco felt the wrath of 12s with his lazy journalism on these narratives prior to week four.
“This is a long trip for the Seahawks, and Russell Wilson is battling a knee injury. How healthy will he be against a good Jets front? The interesting battle will be to see if Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick can battle back against a good Seattle defense. I think he does. Jets take it,” Prisco wrote.
I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that the so-called “experts” in New York and Seattle haters were wrong, dead wrong.
Hawks won 27-17. I was surprised it was that close, but considering the Jets gave up towards the end (even after scoring an accidental touchdown at one point!), maybe they just took it easy? Why blow them out when they have a week off? (And you know, not kill our ELITE QB AMIRITE?!)
During the game, we had a lot of fun. New York fans are known as being tough as nails. But you don’t fuck with a 12.
That poor bastard from the NY Daily News is getting eaten alive. LOL Bless his heart… #DontMessWithRuss
— DaynaOG (@DaynaOG) October 2, 2016
@MaryL1973 nah. You never bet against the Seahawks. That was your first mistake
— The Coop (@Coopz22) October 2, 2016
BTW whoever wrote or said that Russell Wilson was “overrated” or “hurt” or “not that good” needs to go sit on a drum stick and fucking SPIN
— The Coop (@Coopz22) October 2, 2016
You’d think after 48, the legend of Russell Wilson might have grown. Yet, people are looking at him in the Northeast like they’ve finally SAW him. Now, watch out.
Let’s recap what an awesome display we’ve seen, not just on Sunday, but going into the Bye week in week five.
Russell Wilson now has 25 games with 2+ pass TDs & 0 INTs, the most in NFL history in a player’s 1st 5 seasons to begin a career pic.twitter.com/eA4V05YlJw
— Randall Liu (@RLiuNFL) October 2, 2016
Some words from a friend…
@Coopz22: Finally seeing Wilson in person was a treat. He’s a goddamn maestro back there. Perfect poise, calm feet, pinpoint accuracy. Damn.
— Jerry Beach (@JerryBeach73) October 3, 2016
In case you didn’t get it the first time…DangeRuss got the last laugh.
— Head & Shoulders (@Headshoulders) October 3, 2016
I can’t say it’s anything surprising to Seahawks fans. We know what we have in Russell. It was also refreshing to see Jimmy Graham being utilized to his fullest potential. Also…12s travel well. I’m fortunate I live so close. We were well-represented. SEA! HAWKS!
What I wasn’t expecting was the defeatist attitude coming from Gang Green. It was shocking since I know so many Jets fans, and they are die hard to say the least.
— Alan (@AlanLern) October 3, 2016
I can’t believe what a sad state of affairs it’s been since I crossed enemy lines. Michael Bennett even said something to the effect that 12s would have never left when the Jets fans were leaving in droves. I remember at one point thinking the Jets were still in the game (and I was more positive about going into the game than my copilot on the NJ Transit). There’s no way I would have left if the shoe were on the other foot.
Play to the crowd with your big hit sound
And they won’t simmer won’t simmer, won’t simmer down
Play to the crowd
Play to the crowd
Play yeah yeah
It’s in the way you’re always hiding from the light
Fast off to heaven just like Moses on a motorbike
No revolution maybe someone somewhere else
Could show you something new to help you
With the ups and downs
I want to break it down
Break it down again
In fear of jinxing things, I’ve been to four Seahawks games in person. They’ve won all four. I’m very fortunate, but I do know once the odds are raised, I have a better chance of seeing them lose. I realize how fortunate I am to root for this team. Thank you all for accepting me into the fold.
(Good 12s Twitter follows include: @DaynaOG, @DKSB17, @hipeegrl…also @Studi_metsimus if you can get over the geeky baseball stuff he posts).
Yet, going out on a high note on such a big stage has made people not only shut up, but now realize, hey! The Pacific Northwest has got a machine here, and they show no intentions of slowing down.
Is it Week Six yet?!
My dad was in attendance at Shea Stadium when the Mets mounted one of the biggest comebacks in baseball history in “Game Six.” If anyone says “game six,” whether or not they are a Mets fan, you know they are referring to the World Series Game Six in 1986.
We were also at Shea in 2006 when the Mets were playing the Cards in the NLCS game seven. After Carlos Beltran struck out looking to end the game and sent the St. Louis Cardinals to the World Series, we had gone separate ways to leave that motherfucker as quickly as possible.
My cell phone rang as I walked to the train. It was Dad. He made the first train out of dodge. He said, “I was there for one miracle. I didn’t think there would be another.”
If you recall, the Mets came back to score three runs in extra innings to beat the Red Sox in a game that would’ve brought a championship to Boston for the first time since 1918. In 2006, fortunes changes when Yadier Molina hit a devastating home run for the go ahead in the ninth inning, in a game that was tied for-fucking-ever.
Even when the Mets had put tying runs on base in the bottom of the ninth, you had ’86 game six in your head. But you also remembered that this team was not the ’86 team. And then Wainwright threw his curve.
But whether you are a Mets fan or a Red Sox or even an Arizona Cardinals fan, you believe till the very last second. Because it’s never quite over till it’s over.
I started thinking of the game in 2006 as I watched the Seahawks in their matchup against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. While the Panthers looked as though they were a team headed for destiny all season, if anyone who follows football knows that if any team was going to stop that, it would be Seattle. And I’m not even saying that as a fan of the team and someone who has followed them through really no choice of my own (I married into it and really couldn’t care less about watching football games on TV) for over five years at this point. I’m saying that because there’s something special about Seahawks “devil magic.”
We saw it in the NFC Championship game last year when everyone was salivating over Russell Wilson looking almost “human.” They came back and won. But they lost Super Bowl 49 on a controversial last play call. Most 12s have moved on. Mostly because we knew that was not our destiny.
Yay, if any team was going to knock down the Panthers a notch or two, it would be Seattle.
But the only team they were beating was themselves.
I was okay with it.
I’ve been kind of in hiding since the Mets lost the World Series. Looking back, I think I was very much in denial about the outcome of it. It was tough because of the deja vu of the series (it reminded me a lot of the New York Rangers Stanley Cup run in 2014). It was tough because the team I had gotten so used to fighting back tooth and nail in each game did not do so. I also knew it was the last time I’d see Daniel Murphy is a Mets uniform. Now that was way more upsetting than losing the World Series. They could theoretically be back. But I wanted Daniel Murphy to be a lifelong Met. Now he’s a National.
I even went to a Seahawks game where they were the visiting team, in Baltimore. I didn’t even want to write about it though it was quite possibly one of the most fun sports road trips I had taken in my life, but also in such a short time period (when I visited Cincinnati in September to follow the Mets). Sometimes, I do lose perspective and forget how good I have it as a sports fan, that I have the ability to travel and do things to support my teams. This trip was not one of those times. I told Ed after the game that I was so happy he had brought this wonderful team into my life.
Ed and I got married in 2010. From a sports perspective, I’ve seen three Rangers visits to the Eastern Conference Final, and they won only one of those to advance to the big dance. I know Ed has not been too happy with how the Utah Jazz have performed (and I used to root for them back in the day, because I loved Stockton but also I didn’t want to be a Chicago Bulls fan, like every fan in America was back then). The Mets were more mediocre with the exception of this year when they actually looked like world beaters. To say the majority of our teams have let us down is an understatement. Especially being a Mets fan, you get used to it.
The Seahawks have been interesting. Though I had attended Jets games and even wore my Mark Sanchez jersey that I still have laying around somewhere (that I also wore to my first visit at CenturyLink Field in 2012), I followed Seattle more because whenever they were on, Ed made it a point to watch them. As I told Michelle MsDodgrBlu yesterday, I didn’t care about football for a very long for two reasons: one, my dad is a Jets fan, and I just didn’t care about watching football (baseball was a lot easier for me to understand and enjoy). The other is that while the rest of America gets to lounge around, watch TV and drink beer and eat wings on Sundays, I worked for several years in my adulthood on Sundays, so I missed many games. It just was not a priority to me.
If you ask Ed or super fan Ramona, Seahawks blogger whose posts on being a 12 I truly enjoy, being a Seahawks fan for several years almost mirrored mine as being a Mets fan. Years of ennui, and the times of joy were also sort of peppered with disappointment along the way. When Ed gave me my Steve Largent lesson, he described him as being both the “Ed Kranepool and Tom Seaver of the Hawks” (longest tenured and “Franchise” player to boot). Yet, I’d almost equate Largent with a Mike Piazza type, the truly talented guy who never won a championship (oh and that’s another bright spot for being a Mets fan in these last few weeks: Mike Piazza will be wearing a Mets cap in Cooperstown).
In contrast with the time period I’ve been following, since late 2010, I’ve witnessed such Seahawks stuff of legend, like “Beast Quake” and breaking the Guinness Book of World Records for noise, and even the NFC Championship game last year against Green Bay and the shanked field goal attempt in Minneapolis last weekend…yes, I’ve kind of borne witness to some really crazy shit in my time. If they ever become “basic” I don’t know what I’ll do (that’s almost a joke…basic will be either winning or losing a game regularly without drama or some shit). The wild part? I wouldn’t have even called myself a “12” or a “fan” at that point. I was just casual. It was visiting Seattle that I really got the essence of being a football fan and why people were crazy about the sport.
Despite all you hear about New Yorkers being crazy and the “best fans,” we are not without our faults or worse (need I remind people that I almost had to break up SEVERAL fights amongst Rangers fans in the playoffs last year), I was forever changed visiting Seattle. I can only imagine what it would be like in Pittsburgh or Green Bay where I know their football is almost like a religion. But there was something special about the city too. I visit other cities to do things. I go to Seattle to just be. Very similar to how I am at home in New York City.
I found my home.
My second home, but home nonetheless.
I’ll stick around.
So take your lessons hard and stay with him
And when your car crash comes, don’t be misled
Convince yourself that everything is alright
‘Cos it already is
Yeah it already is
~ Pete Yorn, For Nancy (‘Cos It Already Is)
My feelings on the football season could almost be washed away very quickly. Maybe it’s from my years of being a sports realist and knowing that my team cannot win everything every single year. Maybe it’s because I know my teams will lose some games, and they will win some games, but maybe just maybe we will have some fun along the way. And there has been a lot of fun along the way.
When the Seahawks were down 31-0 at the end of the first half (seriously), I thought…as long as there is light, there is hope. And I don’t care what anyone says, I’m certain the Panthers had fear that the Seahawks’ devil magic was going to work once again.
What I felt for the Mets as they approached game five in the NLDS this year was that, win or lose, I knew they left it all out there. Then they won the series. Then they swept the NLCS. You wanna know why I felt nothing after they lost the World Series? Because once again, the team that has disappointed me over the years returned. This was the Mets team I knew and came to love. Only love can break your heart, as the saying goes. Sure, I was hurt, but the realist in me says, well, what do you expect, Coop?
The disappointment set in because they didn’t leave it on the field. They basically laid down and died. The only thing that will fix that is by winning in 2016. And I’ll leave it at that.
I was sad yesterday as the Seahawks couldn’t win, sure. I was sad, yet hopeful. As I told Ramona on her Instagram account later, I felt a lot better right after the loss, but it got hard over time. I guess at that point, I knew there was nothing else that could be done. They left it all out on the field, though. They didn’t lay down and die. And really, how many teams would have down 31-0 at the half??
As a fan, you really can’t ask for more than that.
But hours after the game ended, it set in again. Like last year after the Super Bowl loss, it wasn’t the losing and HOW they lost that got to me. It was the loss of that awesome and fun team. I was sad because football season goes on, like life always does, but the Seahawks season did not. So goes life, again.
I go to a hockey game Tuesday night, and Ed will be joining me for the first time in several years. Cursing about the New York Rangers is a state of mind for me. In a few weeks, pitchers and catchers report. Then we will have baseball and summer and all the good stuff that comes along with it, plus an amazing trip to Cooperstown that not only will honor one of my own, but Seattle’s favorite son Junior. Then football season will start again and maybe a miracle Mets run again? Maybe?
Yeah. Everything is all right.
‘Cos it already is.
— The Coop (@Coopz22) October 29, 2015
Sometimes, it’s hard to be a Mets fan. Maybe all the time. We’re constantly straddling the line of being afraid to let ourselves be happy, yet at the same time marrying our belief that “believing” and “hoping” is part of our DNA. I think I’m somewhere in the middle. I’m not an optimist, nor a pessimist. I consider myself a realist. Optimists think I’m too negative. Pessimists think I’m too positive. I guess I consider myself “right.” For me, anyway. I couldn’t give less than two shits if a fan is either one. Just don’t be surprised if I call you out on either.
Here’s the reality: this Kansas City Royals team is REALLY good. Like, seriously, the biggest competition and realest threat that the Mets have seen this year. Of course, the “realest” threat is because they’re meeting in the World Series, and the stakes are very high.
Perhaps most of us are not rational beings. But I like to keep things in perspective. Like wanting to deck someone who tells me to cheer up because the Mets are in the World Series, and we totally didn’t think that shit would happen on Opening Day. While true, now that my team is in the big dance, I don’t want them to roll over like teams in the past, take it in the ass and get a trophy for just showing up. That’s not how any of this works.
On the other hand, I want to throw shit (like, literally *poop*) if someone says the series is over and see you next April. Uh, no. This is the best of seven for a reason.
But perhaps you’ve seen this meme going around.
Or maybe this one too…
This is my problem with it. I see very faint similarities with how the 1986 team and 2015 team operate. The 1986 team was SUPPOSED to win it all. If they didn’t, and remember they were very close to losing game six, it would’ve been considered not only a massive failure, but a loss would’ve been more difficult to overcome because their veterans weren’t getting any younger. (And to think we didn’t know about Doc Gooden’s problems with drugs at that time). I could point to the year 2000, and, well, there is a reason we don’t really have a soft spot for them. It was the 1999 team who we all loved, they were truly the little team that could. The 2000 team had Mike Bordick. Nuff said.
I’ll take it a step further. The Mets lose game one in 2015 on an error by their star third baseman. The Mets lose game one in 1986 on a run caused by an error by their second baseman. Let’s not try to compare David Wright, someone who will be a Mets legend and Tim Teufel, who is only a legend because he played on the ’86 team. Meanwhile, the Mets should not have even been IN that position of Wright making an error in extra innings because Jeurys Familia had ONE bad pitch in the 9th. (And hey, did game one of the ’86 World Series have a lead four base error that was scored as an inside-the-park home run? On the VERY FIRST PITCH????).
Or was game one of 2015 like the 2000 World Series where Armando Benitez blew a save. Even better, Timo Perez to this day is still vilified for not running hard around the bases, causing the Mets to not score in a hot inning. Yoenis Cespedes was the defensive version of Perez, la-la-la-ing in centerfield on that play.
The 2015 team is much better in so many other ways. Take the pitching. Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard, Matz and Wheeler when he’s healthy is a HOLY FUCKING SHIT rotation.
So we’ve got the optimists pointing to 1986, you know, a team that was SUPPOSED TO WIN IT ALL. Or the pessimists on the other side saying the last two games were like the year 2000, a team that was in WAY over their heads.
Know who/what I think this team is playing like RIGHT now? The Chicago Cubs, circa a week ago.
John in Palos Hills blaming Theo for the loss and not picking up another pitcher before the deadline. The Mets beat our best pitcher, dummy.
— Elisa (@Eukadanz) October 19, 2015
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsSo you wanna know why people are concerned? THIS IS WHY. Our stop em, drop em ace got shelled. The Mets squandered a Harvey start. Bears repeating that Jeurys Familia had ONE BAD PITCH.
So yes, “ya gotta believe” and all that shit. I was on a podcast a week ago, and I said, “Why Not Us?” Repeating the refrain that got Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks all the way to the Super Bowl championship in SB 48. Except the Seahawks made it look so easy that year. Oh yes, 30+ years of being a Mets fans reminds me that shit does indeed happen, and the Mets have literally not made anything easy for me ever as a fan. Literally. Ever.
I can look at how the New York Rangers got to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014, and squandered two leads whilst complaining about officiating instead of just growing a pair and winning the fucking game. Then they went home down two games, and made game three a “must win” game. And they didn’t win it. And they lost the SCF in five.
How can I compare three different sports and three entirely different teams? I’ve seen it, recently, but most of all, comparing and contrasting two teams in different years is just as asinine. If I’m cautious, I have seen this with my teams. So if I’m not thinking of 1986 here, it’s because I see no similarities with that team except maybe the difference in scores. And that is a stretch. The Mets didn’t lose game one of the 2015 World Series 1-0. If I’m thinking about 2000, and Perez and Benitez, I know the 2015 team is light years better than that team. And will be for years to come.
It’s because my teams have bitten me in the ass before, and I refuse to roll over and take it again.
Russell Wilson says the Seahawks treat each week as “going 1-0.” Just need to treat the next games as such. In the meantime, I’ll realize that my love of sports and its accompanying history will somehow bite me in the ass and make me do weird things in the name of post-traumatic Mets disorder.
(Oh, and get off my lawn)
News in this city
Breaks without pity
Long after the war has ended
We’re still in fatigues
— Jennifer Solomon (@mightyerf) February 2, 2015
I survived Cliff Floyd swinging away per Jerry Manuel’s suggestion. I survived a Mets collapse in 2007, and a denouement in 2008 (suffering PTMD aftereffects today). I had to face New Jersey Devils fans the day after losing a dramatic Game 6 overtime Eastern Conference Final. I had to face the world after the Rangers lost the Stanley Cup Final to the Los Angeles Kings the next day because I didn’t have a choice.
It’s different this time because I am not only relatively new to being a 12th man, I’m relatively new to the whole football experience. Despite having an allegiance to the Jets really since the 2000s (simply because my dad told me as much), I’ve never been so invested in something as rooting for a city that I loved, that in turn turned me into a football fan. It’s a part of my identity that I struggle with and alternatively makes perfect sense to me. It’s only fitting that while I wouldn’t trade being a Mets fan and Ranger fan for anything in the world, despite the agony they bring me most of the time. I was also born to be a Seahawks fan. I just didn’t know it till three years ago.
Until last night, the Super Bowl was just a way for me to watch commercials and an excuse to eat bad carbs and to hate on a team like the Patriots (which was only solidified last night) and the half time shows. When the game ended in the past, I would look forward that baseball season was literally right around the corner. I know, I have my hockey team, but as you all know by now, baseball is my first true love.
Last night, I paid attention to every single play.
And like watching Henrik Lundqvist crestfallen after losing to the Devils and Kings, like seeing Carlos Beltran’s face in the Mets dugout on the last play at Shea in 2008, I saw the faces of my adopted home city team. And I felt *it* all right.
I am a 12. For better or worse, I am a 12th Man. And there’s nothing I can do about it but accept it.
Don’t want to discuss it
I think it’s time for a change
You may get disgusted
And think I’m strange
In that case I’ll go underground
Get some heavy rest
Never have to worry
About what is worst and what is best
Oh oh Domino
There were several different angles I could’ve taken for this post. Had the Seahawks won last night, this post would’ve been called “The Hawking Dead.” The premise of it was my Seattle trip in November, which was borne from ironically my baseball fandom. I never had a chance to write about it, and I figured, it would be repetitive anyway.
Picture it: summer of 2014, Ed and I went to Seattle to follow the Mets. We had another mission: to get as much Seahawks merchandise as we could. When we tried to plan another baseball trip to Cincinnati, to see the Mets, we found the prices to be staggering. To go to OHIO. Driving wasn’t really an option. And I started joking that, oh hey, we can probably get cheaper airfare to Seattle in November for your birthday to see the Hawks.
I opened the travel websites. “OH LOOK HONEY! It IS cheaper!” Then the snowball got bigger and bigger, till finally we couldn’t ignore the fact that we didn’t just want to go back to Seattle, we wanted to see the Seahawks at home the year they were still Champions. The Cincy trip was scrapped till 2015. The Seattle trip was on.
The Hawking Dead was the working title because I had likened my turn to the Seahawks side as turning into a zombie, something I couldn’t control, something I didn’t think I wanted till I got it. Well, maybe being a walker isn’t something we want, but whatever. When I went to the game this time, it was natural. It felt right. We get off the light rail, and walk to the stadiums (Safeco Field is open with beer and food specials, and highlights from the “morning” games). Yet, we weren’t the only people. It was like a march, people doing their rituals, but everyone (save the few New York Giants fans, who also made the trip) was dressed in their Hawks gear and chanting and doing their gameday rituals.
My husband and I have some game day rituals too. Last year, the championship season, we made it a point when there was a nationally televised game, we’d order Domino’s. I know, it’s sacrilegious, living in New York City, but during the Super Bowl in 2013, I saw a Domino’s delivery guy in our lobby. I told Ed, “You know, I want their bread sticks.” Ed doesn’t eat pizza, but he likes their pasta bread bowls. That night, though, they had a modified menu, and he had to get chicken nuggets and plain bread sticks. Last year, they did away with their bread sticks, only cheesy bread. But the pasta bread bowl/cheesy bread thing worked for a good year.
This year, the juju stopped working. Against the Cowboys, we did our thing, and it didn’t work. So I said, we need to find something else, because it’s officially “weird.” He said, well, maybe we need to get something else instead of our “usual”. So I started to make my own pastas, and lo and behold, they were winning again. OF COURSE our game day ritual had something to do with it. And we even changed our bars for the non-televised games. We stopped going to a place we really loved and started going to, ironically, a Patriots bar, but they always had the Seahawks game on for us.
Going to the games, you can’t describe the feeling. If you’re not a football fan, and I will always maintain I never really cared for it, but I loved tailgating and live games, you can’t help but get caught up in the 12-ness of it all.
Not to mention, I love Seattle, can see all my favorite sights from the stadium, and love to take walks after the game. It’s not like you can do anything else. Try jam packing nearly 70,000 people in one area, and have them all go to the train at the same time! Just writing about it, I can visual it, and FEEL the area. I miss it right now. I really wish I was there right now.
We figured, maybe there was a glitch in the matrix, and that’s why they lost that game. Also, we did have to take into consideration that, well, our superstitions don’t mean jack, and they only make US feel better.
Till then, we kept the ritual. And on Super Bowl Sunday, we had breakfast at the same place we did last year, and I grabbed coffee with a friend like I did last year. Then we watched Law & Order: SVU until time for the pregame show.
Our rituals may give us comfort. But in reality, that’s the only thing. It’s a defense mechanism, just like my stupid hashtag, #GivingUpSportsForKnitting.
Because I was so invested in football this year, I started to muse if I wasn’t a sports fan, what would like be like? Instead of, “It’s A Wonderful Life, Coop,” it was more of a thinking that, I need a new hobby that’s less stressful. Like knitting.
— Tom Delgado (@RealTomDelgado) February 2, 2015
So by now, I’m sure most of you know the risky call that blew up in the Seahawks faces and literally caused them to lose the game. The narrative shifted from, the Seahawks are the real deal and Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll et al have built a dynasty and blah blah blah. Yet it’s all about Tom Brady and Bill Belichick and blah blah blah. I’ve always had an unhealthy hate for the Patriots. Now I have to hear about it from all their shit talking fans who don’t show up during the game and gloat only after they win.
By the same token, though, if the Seahawks use the Patriots “dynasty” as a model – in 13 years and winning four championships. I think most of us wouldn’t trade that for any of our teams.
— Unreal_MsDodgrblu (@msdodgrblu) February 2, 2015
Last night was different. Last year, Ed sat watching the game, even with a significant lead, late in the game, he wouldn’t let himself believe until the very last second. Last night, he was cool and collected. Me, I felt off. Even with a lead, I didn’t feel comfortable. So many things didn’t go the way of the team. And if you look at the rest of the game, you’ll realize that it’s not the last 30 seconds that made the game. Marshawn Lynch even said it was a team effort, and they win as a team, they lose as a team.
Even as a die hard Mets fan, I never blamed Tom Glavine for his shitty ass performance on the last day of 2007. It didn’t help, of course. Yet, when I look at the team performance in September, THAT was why they lost. It shouldn’t have come to that game. Last year, when the Rangers were in the Stanley Cup Final, they blew not one, not two, but THREE late leads that led to overtime wins for the Kings. THAT was the difference. Not that they lost game five. They were lucky there WAS a game five.
Instead, our Domino’s ritual became a punch line, since I threw a plate of breadsticks with hot sauce and blue cheese after the blown play, and well, I had some cleaning up to do. Thank goodness for Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. And paint. And strategically placed artwork.
Yes, I realize now it wasn’t just about the last minute of the game. Try rationalizing that while you’re watching.
I could never give up sports for knitting. I wouldn’t be able to keep it real with assholes like Shane Victorino (#BlameShaneVictorinosMothersUterus) or Cody Ross (you’re GARBAGE), and well, if I have one place to be an asshole fan, it’s CitiField.
“@ShaneVictorino: Tom Brady = Greatness 🏈🏈🏈” shove a brick up your ass sideways. Kthxbye
— The Coop (@Coopz22) February 2, 2015
As Mrs. Senor Solly said earlier, there she is. Or rather there I am. I’ve always been here. I’m not going away.
So MLB Network was on, and I got to hear familiar strains of my favorite season of all. Lo and behold, pitchers and catchers is right around the corner.
It’s 64 days till Opening Day, it will soon be spring, the Stanley Cup playoffs are right around the corner, and before we know it, we’ll be following the Seahawks to Baltimore for our first “road trip road trip” (since all our Seahawks games are road trips, technically, for us anyway).
I woke up this morning, and it was snowing. Perhaps it would’ve been more appropriate if it was raining. It rains every time we go to a sporting event in Seattle. But, rain also means change, it means growth, it means renewal.
Win or lose, last night, it was the end of a fun fuckin’ year for football. And it’s really the first time I’ve genuinely meant it.
In the great game of life, you win some, you lose some. Being a 12 is a lot more than rooting for the Seattle Seahawks. You have to genuinely understand the amount of pride this team brings to the city and the Pacific Northwest region. It’s a state of mind, maybe not unlike being a “walker,” but a conscious and very much alive walker.
Like many of the losses I’ve witnessed with my teams, it’s tough but you rationalize it. You accept it. It gets better. Well, it BETTER get better. The feeling can’t get much worse than what we all felt last night.
This team will be motivated and not let the loss get to their heads. They’ll learn from it, they’ll have a chip on their shoulder because of it. And hopefully, put the finishing touches on another winning year next year.
Till then, baseball and hockey will be a place holder. The celebratory champagne will wait in the fridge for another day. It’s okay to hurt. We’ll be up against these feelings throughout the years, it goes with the territory of being a fan.
I’m relatively new to the whole Seattle Seahawks #12thMan thing, but I did happen to note that Russell Wilson had become America’s sweetheart within a few short weeks late last year and early this year. His guts and positivity got the Hawks to the big game, and subsequently won it.
See, I’m not used to that shit. I’m so used to my teams getting my hopes up to the very last possible point, then the shoe dropping and that’s it. #WipesHands
This year was strange. A team I adopted, and genuinely *liked* (trust me – I’ve hated MANY of my teams a lot of the time…a little too much, actually) went the distance. But it was the big heart of the small quarterback Russell Carrington Wilson who said, “Why not us?”
It was no secret that Wilson’s dad passed away several years ago. And it was his dad’s advice that he claims got him to go to the distance, by asking his team, “Why not us?”
So it got me thinking – why not us?
And by “us,” I mean my other teams, the Mets and New York Rangers.
Let’s take a look at April.
Sandy Alderson — and not facetiously, mind you — said that there was a chance the Mets could win 90 games this year.
Once we all stopped rolling our eyes and chuckling — and we did, don’t be that fan that is all self-righteous about loving your team more and supporting them through or think other fans suck if they don’t 100% believe in the team — the Mets started the season 0-3. And lost their closer on Opening Day. And didn’t have their star young stud pitcher at all. Seemed like more of the same. When they won a game, myself and many others joked and said, “89 more to go!” (That was facetious, by the way)
Till they started to win. And started to get good and quality starts from their pitchers. Except for the guy they kinda expected to be consistent. But whatever. The ways they won, and how many games they won (15) in April made us sit up and pay attention. To the tune of tweets like this.
Have this month five more times and, bam, you’ve got your 90 wins. #Mets
— Greg Prince (@greg_prince) April 30, 2014
What if the @mets are…. Good?
— Sully Baseball (@sullybaseball) April 30, 2014
Why not us?
If you look at that pace, it could theoretically be a 90 win season, if they continue on average winning 15 games a month.
We’ve seen weirder. Of course, that might not be enough to win the NL East.
And trust me, I don’t like getting ahead of myself. I even told my husband the other night the famous, “It’s only APRIL” excuse. Doesn’t mean anything. The only April or the averaging 15 wins a month to get to a 90 total win season.
Why not us, Russ?
As I sit here writing, I’m watching the Rangers play the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Semi-finals. It’s very rare that I actually have a good feeling with ANYTHING remotely regarding the Rangers in the playoffs. I spend most of my time tweeting about how much the team tortures me, makes me want to poop on MSG center ice or how much I hate them.
Listen you fucking assholes if you don’t shut the fucking door tonight, I will take a shit in the middle of Garden ice #NYR
— The Coop (@Coopz22) April 30, 2014
— The Coop (@Coopz22) May 1, 2014
studies have shown that being a #NYR fan during a game 7 playoff game is hazardous to ones health.
— jenaissocool (@jenaissocool) May 1, 2014
EVERY RANGERS FAN IS ABOUT TO SHIT THEIR PANTS. PEOPLE USE YOUR TOILETS
— Jill Carcillo (@IWantStanleyCup) May 1, 2014
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) May 1, 2014
The number 1 star goes to Rangers fans for surviving the last 5 minutes of that game
— Jill Carcillo (@IWantStanleyCup) May 1, 2014
But I love them. I really don’t know what I’d do without the Rangers. Or if they weren’t in the playoffs.
Two years ago, I was having a rough year, and the one thing that kept me riding high was the fact that the Rangers were playing so well. Then they lost, but the Los Angeles Kings brought me out of hell, and I got over that Quick (see what I did there?).
I said that unless you live in the vicinity of Pittsburgh, or are a bitter Devils fan, chances are most of America is rooting for the Rangers in this series. NO ONE likes the Penguins. They’re almost as dirty as Philly, and there are more crybabies than the Capitals.
So it’s good to like to good guys for once…but play better, for fuck’s sake.
It’s been a weird year, what with teams I’ve wanted to win are actually, you know, WINNING. Or have won. Whatever.
The Rangers beat the Penguins in OT, 3-2. We know that OT isn’t exactly ideal, and especially in Pittsburgh.
So why not them? Or us?
Those who say, “Wait Till Next Year,” will ultimately say, “It IS next year?”
And that’s probably going to be the first and last remotely positive thing you’ll EVER see me posting on this site.
Shhhh…don’t tell anyone.
In the middle of all this comes the advent of social media, and we have friends in most of the states we visit.
Two baseball seasons ago, we visited Arlington, Texas, and we met some Mets fans from the San Antonio area. When I told them we wanted to make it to a San Antonio Missions game simply to meet Ballapeño, their pepper-inspired mascot, they made it a point to mail us a stuffed critter replica.
Since then, Ballapeño Pepe Sanchez Gomez has taken a life of his own.
You won’t meet a bigger Jets fan than him. He’s not only green but their quarterback is a Sanchez, a fellow Mexican-American.
Speaking of being a Jets fan, I often say that out of all the sports, I like football the least. It doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a game every now and then. It’s just that I prefer baseball and hockey, and well, with hockey not being played any time soon…football is going to have to suffice. Of course, the New York Rangers were my closest team winning a championship anytime in the near future. But my football Jets…uh…yeah. The furthest thing from it. And it doesn’t seem like they’re interested in winning anything, let alone a stupid game, at all. Just to, you know, torture me.
My husband, though, is a rare one. He’s a Bronx boy who roots for the Mets, and his other two teams – basketball and football – have nothing to do with one another and have to do with serendipitous circumstances. He happened to like John Stockton and Karl Malone, and roots for the Utah Jazz today as a result. (True story, is that I also used to root for the Jazz, since they were the only team to play the Bulls it seemed when I really wanted Chicago to lose).
He happened to catch a playoff game in 1983 featuring the Seattle Seahawks. It turns out it was their first. He’s rooted for them ever since.
He also celebrated a milestone birthday this year. Coupled with the Jets visiting Seattle to face his Seahawks this year, which like never ever happens, his birthday and me completing the marathon a week before (which did not go down, obviously), we figured a quick getaway to Seattle was in order.
I told Gal for All Seasons podcast regular “WHOOMP!” ThereItIs Jake that I wouldn’t mind if the Jets lost the game we were going to — I mean, a team HAS to lose right? (no one told that to San Francisco this weekend though) — but that the Jets would probably win just to fuck with me.
Well they didn’t, and even the TD they scored was completely by accident. In fact, good friend Wooooo was nice enough to send this picture to remind me of how annoying this game was for a visiting Jets fan.
When I was in high school, a music movement called “grunge” infiltrated our vocabulary and our ears. This movement was based in the Pacific Northwest region, and most importantly, Seattle. Being a huge music fan, I always made it a point to want to travel to Seattle, I just never had a reason to go. I guess that it’s unfortunate that there will be a few states in the Union that I’ll never visit, simply because there is no baseball or the Mets won’t be visiting that year.
But Seattle has baseball…so that I haven’t made it to Safeco Field at least just once yet surprises even me. But I had no reason not to go this time.
I had never followed my football team on the road. I had never been to Seattle. My husband will only turn 40 once. Therefore, it was on.
On Friday, our first full day in the caffeinated city (where I had a hard time finding a place that was non-Starbucks), we decided to do stadium tours of both Safeco and CenturyLink. On the light rail over to the stadiums area (they are little spitting distance from one another), we met some other Jets fans in from out of town. Though they lived on the west coast now (California), they were from Long Island. And up to see the Jets play.
On the CenturyLink tour, we met another couple from New York where the wife was a Jets fan and the husband was a Seahawks fan.
I thought…it was nice to see others traveling to see their teams play. No matter what side of the fence they were on.
But people were still surprised we traveled that far. Especially with the chance of one of our teams losing. Here’s my thoughts on that: one will have to lose. I travel all over to see my teams play, and there’s a 50/50 chance they may lose. I make my peace with it before I travel. There’s more to it than just my team winning at that point. It’s not like the Jets are going to the playoffs or anything that this game was a must-win.
So I got a drink out of it. A few, actually.
Jets fans are known to be a little bit on the uncouth side, a tad rowdy, and lots of fun. I know there’s also a bit of a reputation of us being douchebags (it’s true, but let’s be fair – ALL fan bases have them), so I was curious to see how we’d be on the road.
One of the things I noticed first off, though the stadiums are in an industrial and underdeveloped area of what is known as “SoDo” in Seattle (technically borders the area), there is not a lot of parking available. I remember reading a few years ago that Seattle is the worst state for traffic in the 50…I didn’t drive, but I can attest that it didn’t look pretty to drive around in some areas. Kind of reminded me of Boston, essentially one highway in and out of the city. Anyway, the next time New York fans complain about how expensive it is to park for baseball games will get smacked upside the head by me. Parking — not even in PRIME LOTS — can cost upwards of $40-50 for events. Talk about price gauging, hubby noticed that any other days (since we were there two days before the game), it’s like EIGHT BUCKS. Plus, much of the prime location parking lots are covered. Therefore, that means not lots of tailgating.
Part of the charm of going to a football game is the tailgating. In fact, when the city talked about moving the Jets to the West Side Stadium (that was never built) a few years ago, I was dead set against it. The traffic for game days would be abominable but also, where would we tailgate? It would be a travesty, really, because even if the team loses, the tailgates really are a lot of fun. Losing that is like losing the green in our team colors.
But on game days, they do make accommodations for tailgating…they actually OPEN Safeco Field on the Center Field side to the Left Field concourse and have concessions open and sell beer for “happy hour prices.” The admission is free, but of course you pay for food. Keep in mind this is also west coast time. By the time this game started, many of the east coast games had finished or were finishing. There were TVs on the games around the horn. It was a great atmosphere. We were disappointed we were not aware of this soiree, as we would have LOVED to show up earlier to experience some of the charm.
Jets fans were there. We were politely heckled, but mostly, everyone kept their cool. I can’t say it would be like that in New York/East Rutherford. I remember seeing the Jets play the Vikings in 2002, I think, and some dude wore Helga braids and Viking horns. I thought he was cool, but the rowdy drunk Jets fans heckled him mercilessly, to the point where I thought the dude was going to punch someone.
For the most part, the fans were very chill here. On both sides. I introduced myself to other Jets fans, and got some pics as evidenced above. It was like we survived a war or something, traveling to follow our teams even though there was a good chance they’d lose.
Of course, they did. Which leads me to Mark Sanchez. I have made no bones that I am a Sanchez chick. He’s my guy, and I don’t get why the blame gets solely put on him. Yes, there was that funny pic of the interception which in essence changed the game dynamic. Yes, they scored on defense, and it was a complete accident.
He’s kind of like the David Wright of the Jets, if you think about it. The kid with talent who is completely misused, but is a complimentary player, not necessarily the “star QB.” That’s the difference between a Sanchez and say, a Tom Brady. Brady can carry a team, even with shitty defense. He’s that talented. Sanchez is talented, but if you remember two years in a row, he helped bring the team the conference championship game two years in a row. To paraphrase President Obama, he didn’t build that. He didn’t do it on his own. As quickly as the Jets rose to stardom, ownership was just as quick in dismantling it by letting key players leave and injuries.
Being a Mets fan, I guess I am a little sensitive to dismantling after a successful run with no reason or rhyme
Once the game was started, we sat in a section called the Hawks’ Nest. This was in the end zone, and I guess I was expecting a bit of a louder more rowdy crowd. You see, CenturyLink is called the “loudest stadium,” and holy shit, when the “12th Man Flag” was raised prior to kickoff, it was deafening. I don’t know if the blowout was the reason or just maybe I got used to it. But while passionate, the fans were also very laidback. There were two Jets fans sitting in front of us — we were dining our guts, meanwhile Seahawks fans were talking us down from the ledge. It was pretty comical.
The first pic of the Hawks Nest is from our tour. On game day, our weather karma ran out and it misted most of the first half, to rain-rain-rain the second half. When we left, we walked in the rain to Chinatown, the next neighborhood over. It didn’t let up, even as we left that evening.
Another thing I learned on the tour was that being that CenturyLink is considered the loudest stadium, and trust me, it was, some players complain about playing there.
As I got on the elevator with some other fans (Jets fans also took the tour), I was like, “I’m sorry, but aren’t these guys professionals? ‘WAH! It’s too loud! WAH!’ What a bunch of pussies.” That got a good laugh. But it’s true! Don’t go into pro sports if you can’t take a few loud fans. /RANT
So there’s not much else to tell. The Jets lost, and looked awful in the process. The Seahawks won, and the Jets fans around me all talked about how their defense was sick. Which is funny – wasn’t that supposed to be the Jets’ MO?
We had hoped that after the game there would still be tailgates open, but I guess like most stadiums, they close down concessions after a certain time. Most importantly, stop serving beer. So we hung out in Chinatown for a few hours, had some food, had some beer, and then went home.
Experiencing a road football game was something different for me. I’ve only gone to see my baseball team on the road, and even have gone to games for the hell of it, even if my team wasn’t there. It never occurred to me to go to a football game. Hell, even my hockey team I didn’t follow around all that often. Just across the river to Jersey.
In any event, I’d definitely do a trip like this again. I’ve heard great things about M&T Bank Stadium, where the Baltimore Ravens play, and I’ve wanted to check out Heinz Field.
All I can say is CenturyLink was a great place to watch a game – very spirited, fun stuff to do pregame. Doubt I’ll be going back to Seattle anytime soon though.
I was disappointed though in the coffee and the music. I didn’t find a good cup of coffee nor did I see any places to review local bands. However, I was one of those late bloomers who didn’t appreciate Nirvana till it was too late, but I still love me some Pearl Jam. We were also greeted by the voice of Jerry Cantrell from Alice in Chains at SeaTac Airport.
I came as I was, but forgot my flannels at home.