I know this will truly be a blow to many of you fellow Seahawks fans, but I must tell the truth.
I have not been a 12 for very long. Only since the fall of 2005, in fact.
Egad, does that mean what it implies? That I became a fan in the winning year of 2005-2006, when the Hawks went to the Superbowl for the very first time? Oh, dear. Yes, I’m afraid it does.
But before you write me off as a fair-weather fan or a bandwagoner, understand that I didn’t grow up with football. In fact, I didn’t grow up following any kind of sports at all. As a teen, my sister got me involved with horseback riding, dressage to be specific. So I watched the summer Olympics with great interest for some time, but I must say it didn’t stick with me.
Maybe it’s because I don’t like to be the only one in the room who cares about the outcome. Or maybe it’s because I’m lousy at learning a game on the fly and require some assistance in learning WTH is going on!
Whyever it may be the case, I never really paid any attention, until in 2005 I found myself surrounded by friends who did pay attention to football. Very close attention, in fact! They were tailgaters, boosters, Monday morning quarterbacks, cheerleaders, and more. Many had played the game as kids, and they dragged me (not unwillingly) onto the field on holidays. (Not even touch or flag, we played tackle! Ahhh, the memories…)
So it was that as the “boys of fall” started the season in September 2005, I had reason to come along for the ride. And what a ride it was! In August I couldn’t have told you what a safety was, but by January I was able to converse in an intelligent (albeit limited) fashion about teams, players, prospects, and how the year had gone.
Then, the most amazing thing happened: we went to the Superbowl! I got to watch Mike Holmgren guide Matt Hasselbeck and the rest of our boys to the Big Game. I also got to watch in horror as they lost said game… But hey, it was my first year watching, and it was magical.
Now, as Pete Carroll demonstrates a new way to run a team, as Russell Wilson redefines what a winning quarterback is, and as John Schneider builds the least predictable winning roster ever seen in the NFL, I get to see the future unfold. I’ve been here for the founding of this dynasty, which I do believe will last for a decade or more.
Does that sound pompous and arrogant? Overbearing? Overdramatic? Maybe it is. But the way Seahawk football is played, the way the team is run and the way the players are treated by management and treat each other, all these factors make me believe we’re seeing something new, something that will stand the test of time and be seen as an alternative to the Bill Belichick/Jim Harbaugh “tough love” meme that’s currently accepted as de rigueur in the NFL. And it’s pretty tough to argue with results like this, wouldn’t you agree?
Today, I’m a 12. Tomorrow, I’ll still be a 12. I stayed a 12 after we lost the big game in ’06, and I’ll be a 12 even if the unthinkable happens and the franchise falls apart next year. I guess what I’m saying is similar to some Texas bumper stickers I’ve seen:
I wasn’t born a Hawks fan, but I got here as soon as I could.