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I guess you can officially call me a fair weather fan. I'm very happy that the Seahawks are going to the Superbowl (against the Denver Broncos, no less, my birth city team and, in turn, my choice match up). Although I've never had much interest in football, I've come to learn it a bit more in the past couple years and understanding it definitely helps one enjoy the game more.  As for the game itself I still think it's militaristic and litigious as hell (which I guess sums up America pretty well and explains the popularity of the game) and thus represents the more unpleasant characteristics of my country but, hell, it's still better than soccer.

I've actually been sitting on this blog for a week and didn't want to write it until after the Superbowl was locked down so as to not jinx it. I was inspired to write this a while back when I saw those who were from Seattle hating on the Seahawks on Facebook because they don't like the game or they don't like sports in general. Then it dawned on me, why do some folks have to be such a wet blanket when something is lighting the city up, bringing in business and making people happy? I mean sure, I made a cheap shot about soccer a paragraph ago, but if our team was doing well, which I have seen from Facebook I guess we have, I wouldn't take time out to bash my own city's team, even if I think the sport is dumb.

I know that some of these friends are hating on Facebook because they just hate sports in general. I don't hate sports. When it comes to sports I personally love baseball. I think it's a great game. I don't follow it to the degree that my husband and my father do (knowing all the different guys on all the different teams, all their different strengths and weaknesses, etc). However, I enjoy watching it and going to games if the Mariners are doing well or not. I love the mythology around it, I love the feeling of going to a game, I love playing it and I love the game itself. To me, baseball represents the values of America that I prefer. If football is militaristic and litigious,  baseball represents the everyman, diversity and the American dream. That is (before performance enhancing drugs came into the picture and started ruining everything), the players do not have to be genetic mutants--big, strong, tall etc--to play the game. A little guy who is good at running can play just as an important role to the team as a big guy who can hit the ball out of the park, or an awkward guy who can throw the ball really fast and accurately (see the Knuckle ball documentary--I fucking cried it was so good, But, well you should cry with baseball movies-- with the exception of Major League --because damn it baseball is emotional and that's American too). Also, by playing more games every year I think it's more of an every man's game because the tickets are affordable; tickets to football games are so ridiculously expensive! So all that said, when I was in the UK, I much preferred calling Baseball the American past time than 'American football' because it means more to me and, to me, it reflects America more positively.

That was a bit of diversion, obviously. The point I'm trying to make is how non-football I have been and yet tonight I was at the edge of my seat, quite literally, hoping Seattle would pull through and come back in the second half to beat the 49ers. I mean I really, really felt a lot of emotion about it. I started doing all the things football fans do; thinking that something I did somehow helped or that the douchbag who got a premature Seahawks Superbowl tattoo had jinxed us and we were to hear news that they had found his body in Lake Washington come Monday morning if the team didn't pull through.

But before today's nail-biting game, I have to say, I love how happy the city has been. The Seahawls are known for the 12th man (which I guess is a stolen concept but who cares, we marketed it better and have made it work--and it's not like it will help us in New York for the Superbowl). There were a bunch of 12 and Seahawks emblems everywhere. The skyscrapers had changed night lighting to green and blue. People were going to work with Seahawks gear and there was a genuine buzz about the city.On football Sundays I've noticed in my hood joggers running down the street with big-fuck-off-Sehawks-flags and what is wrong with that? Hell, I even won a free bag of coffee grounds because Cafe Appasinato was doing a Seahawks spin the wheel thing where you cold possibly win a free drink, cookie, or, if lucky enough to spin a touchdown, a free bag of coffee. What's wrong with that?

When it came to the local Seahawks haters on Facebook I was reminded of the loathing I had in high school when we had to go to pep-ralleys for, lets face it, football games and how stupid that was. I don't deny that. That was a huge waste of time. To pull us from our studies to go "rah rah rah" for the popular kids is nothing sort of ridiculous. Here's the difference though. In high school we were all there by default. I was forced to cheer Edmonds-Woodway merely because a string of events that were completely out of my control meant that Edmonds-Woodway was the school I went to. Technically I lived in Mountlake Terrace but merely because I lived on the west side of 1-5 I was supposed to cheer for EWHS. It means nothing. If I had been on the other side of the freeway I would have been forced to a pep rally to go "rah rah rah" for that school's team. There is no pride in where you happen to be when you have no choice. Beyond that, I was being pulled from learning and bettering myself for no real purpose other than the serve the ego of the popular kids and the school. I was the one being shorted.

The real, grown up world and the big city is different than high school. I can choose to be a hater and go "boo whatever" and be a wet blanket but I choose not to. I choose "yeay Seattle! Go Seahawks!" Because this is the city I choose. This is the city I want to see happy with a win. I see the pride of having a good team because it makes the people of my city happy. Is it meaningless? OF COURSE!! It's just as meaningless as were the football games in high school but in high school, taking us out of class to go "rah rah rah" is wrong. In real life, us having our weekend to go "rah rah rah" is not so bad. It brings us together. And Unlike high school I choose this city because I love it. There are plenty of folks who move but still support the teams they grew up with and that's totally fine too. That's what, unlike high school, makes it a choice! I loved London. I loved it to death but I choose Seattle. I have friends who support their local team but can't help but ultimately root for their home teem that's just fine. That's also something really great about our country. (Because what I gathered from England you support your team, but unless you move to London, there's just not as much movement around the cities as much as there is here). It makes us happy. Seattle folk have been in great spirits for January, the most dreary month of the year. For the past year and a half I've been in a job that made me miserable, and I know I wasn't alone being miserable in one's job, what's wrong with the distraction?

Now a lot of my nerdy friends will say, the distraction is the problem! We should be fighting the good fight to fix the problems with the country (and stuff)! To that I totally agree. However to my fellow nerds I have to say, stop pretending that our fandom is any less of a distraction than sports are to regular folk. Seriously. I think it's a crime that sports stars get paid such ridiculous wages compared to teachers and firefighters and scientists, but as do the writers and actors of all the things that we love. You can say that writing and acting are more legitimate than athletic ability but I'm sorry you're wrong. Yes it might take less creative mind to throw a football 40 yards but it's a talent none the less and if if you believe in the American dream (as hard as it is to these days) than that talent is just as worthy as writing a great screenplay. You can say the because it's physical it's not cultural but you'd be wrong because ballet dancers are a purely physical talent that we intellectual types would say support culture. This is all not to say that actual genius is not properly recognized in our culture. Certainly it's not! It's just to say, hey, nerds (of which I include myself) don't bitch about athlete's pay and say it's such a waste of peoples attention when the writers and actors of our favorite things are paid quite well and it, too, is a distraction from the real world.

I know this blog seems all over the place when all I'm trying to argue at the end of the day is to be the 12th man, Seattle. Support your team, even if you don't like sports. Stop being high and mighty and think your ambivalence is cooler than being happy for your city. I'm not saying join the band wagon. I'm not telling you what to think. But really...

Is this stupid and pointless?...yes.

(But so is Doctor Who which I love, nay, adore with more fibers of my being than reasonably necessary. )

Does anyone benefit from being a wet blanket...not really.

If you're not interested, fine. I wouldn't be interested normally either. I guess that's what makes me a fair weather fan. But negativity is ugly. And, to be fair, a lot of people bared with us when we were all excited about the Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode. We would hate it if the jocks came and crushed our personal Superbowl. Lets not be dicks and just let it happen and root for the Seahawks, (or Broncos, I feel I win either way, though I'd rather give a niener neiner to my family in CO, to be honest).

Seattle deserves a win. I hate that the sports commentators think that we're worthless and a waste of space because we're apparently so far away and much of the country thinks that Seattle shouldn't even have any teams because we're too much on an inconvenience. I'm sick of this shit. We are a proper city with a proper fan base and if the commentators don't like it they can suck it. Actually if the internet hub bub about how we don't deserve a team continues, I say that we should just join Canada. We'd get proper health care that way and we're already pretty prone to being polite and saying "sorry."

But I digress. All this said and done, this is not to say that I'm a converted, avid football fan. If the team goes back to sucking I can go back to leaving it to the boys (and Raye) and finding something better to do with my Sunday afternoons. But in the meantime, I'm happy to wear a Seahwaks sweater and say "GO HAWKS!"

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
waldorkio
Jan. 20th, 2014 08:52 am (UTC)
Wow...I haven't read a more powerful piece than this in a long time. Well said, love.
pandapropaganda
Jan. 20th, 2014 09:13 am (UTC)
Thanks, baby! Sine it's public you're more than welcome to share it on Facebook. I think I've work out most of the embarrassing typos.
(Anonymous)
Jan. 20th, 2014 05:46 pm (UTC)
Nice!
Enjoyed this very much :)
aeme
Jan. 21st, 2014 05:14 pm (UTC)
I was just thinking the same. I don't understand why some people feel the need to trample all over someone else's happiness. Also I too loved the spirit in the air on Sunday. I was walking around downtown in the afternoon and got a huge kick out of all the 12's tucked in to the businesses and on the people. I didn't watch the game myself but I loved hearing the whoops and cheers when the game ended.
pandapropaganda
Jan. 21st, 2014 09:42 pm (UTC)
Like
Agreed! The city being abuzz and happy is really enjoyable!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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