Monday, February 3, 2014

Many moons ago

Many moons ago, I was born and subsequently raised in Seattle. There are thousands of fond memories that fill my head about the place of my birth. Like most that have grown up and then left the area they’re from, I have a special place in my heart for my hometown. It is easy to think of countless people, places and events that shaped who I am today and I would be foolish not to acknowledge the impact that Seattle has had on me. And while I am fast approaching a time when I can say that I have lived in Oregon as long as I lived in Washington, Seattle will always be my first home.

The jokes about Seattle are as endless as the rainy days in the fall, winter and spring (and half of summer), and yet I would not trade my childhood for anything. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest has given me a deep love for so many things, including fresh seafood, the North Cascades, the Puget Sound, taking a ferry ride, Dick’s restaurants and of course, Seattle sports. While there certainly has been much futility over the years, there have been a few bright spots. Moments such as the 1979 Sonics team that won it all, or the Sounders going to the Soccer Bowl in ’77, or the Mariners winning the division championship over the Yankees in 95 (I was there!!) or even the Seahawks making it to  Super Bowl XL. There have certainly been some memorable moments and I am thankful to have been there for most of them. Seattle is by no means a powerhouse city of sports teams that dominates a given sport, but I will say this; the fans are like nothing else.

This past football season saw a Seattle fan base set its own records in regards to loudness, as measured in decibels. At one point, Seattle fans actually recorded an earthquake as recorded at the University of Washington Seismology Department. That, my friends, is crazy. However, to give credence to Seattle 12th man football fans, the Seahawks provided very good reasons to cheer this season, rattling off a 13-3 record before heading into the playoffs. The Hawks went on to beat a very good Saints team, a pesky 49ers team and then absolutely crushed what was supposed to be a powerhouse of a team in the Denver Broncos, to win the Super Bowl.

Even as I go back and watch highlights, I am still in shock that a Seattle team could win a championship on a professional level. For years we endured losing season after losing season by every pro team in the area (with the exception of one Sonics team). Then, even when a team like the Mariners wins a record 116 games in a single season and looks unstoppable, they turn around and get killed in the playoffs. To me, that 2001 season was the epitome of Seattle sports. Years of futility rolled into one season by one team. For a true Seattle fan, that was a tough pill to swallow.

And then came the Seattle Seahawks of 2013/2014. A team led by a young 2nd year quarterback named Russell Wilson (a true class act) and a defense that will be talked about for years to come. The Seahawks dominated in a way we have come to expect from so many other teams that aren’t from Seattle. But, in the end, this Seahawks team was the only one left standing, holding a trophy that looked pretty good in its coach’s hand. And that same trophy will look awfully handsome as it is paraded through downtown Seattle as there is sure to be an unbelievable celebration in the days to come.

I was 6 when the Seahawks came to be. I have watched this team for 37 years, and like the Mariners, I have wanted very much for a trophy to come home to Seattle just once. I’m not sure if the Hawks will ever win again but to be honest, I don’t care. Right now, the Seattle Seahawks are the best team in the land, and that feels pretty good for this fan.

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