I'm a life long Red Sox fan, and I've been to Fenway Park twice. It was an amazing experience each time, but I can say without a doubt it's at best #2 on my list of sports cathedrals.
Qwest Field is not only the most beautiful/best venue in the NFL (and possibly all of professional sports), it's also the loudest and most intimidating for opposing teams. I've been lucky enough to be at Qwest for the NFC Championship and the Wild Card wins at the ends of the 2006 and 2007 seasons... I've seen and felt 67,000 Twelves go absolutely bugfuck crazy many times, and I've seen visiting teams crumble under the combined assault of the Twelve Army and a talented Seahawks team.
That's important to understand... As powerful as the home crowd at Qwest can be, it's a supplement for the team on the field. Us Twelves can give the men on the field that little boost they need from good to great, but we can't make a shitty team win on our own.
I truly believe that in 2009, we have a very good bunch of 53 guys that will go out and kick ass for us, and there will be many points this fall/winter that the Legions of 12 can make that tiny bit of difference that can turn defeat into victory for the Seahawks. If you didn't already know, here's how: The 67k at Qwest scream as loud as they can when the enemy has the ball. That noise, amplified and concentrated by Qwest Field's unique design, can absolutely paralyze the opposing team and provide a huge mental edge/psychological boost to Seattle's defense.
How can you help? Here's a primer for being an effective Twelve... If you've never been to Qwest, but are fortunate to have tickets to the game Sunday, read this carefully. If you're a grizzled vet like me, consider this a refresher course.
1. Take care of your voice before the game.
Drink tea with honey on Saturday if that is your bag... or you can spend some time huddled over a humidifier... Trust me, your throat will thank you Sunday afternoon. Try to limit use of your voice, or at least cut out loud whooping and hollering, for the 24 hours before kickoff.
2. Preserve your voice on gameday
It's fun to scream and get all jacked up before the game, but you really should save it for those key moments where the Seahawks D needs your voice. Particularly during the pre-game intros, clapping without screaming is just dandy.
3. Know your spots
If you yell ALL THE TIME, your voice will be blown out by halftime. Keep an eye on the guy on the sidelines with the big orange mitts... by observing him, you can tell if we are in a TV timeout... DON'T WASTE YOUR VOICE during TV time outs! Also, for the love of Goodell, shut up when Seattle has the ball. Sure, celebrate AFTER a great play, but when Matt and the boys are at work.... SHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
Ideally, start screaming down at Marc Bulger and his minions while they are still in the huddle, and sustain it until the snap. If you sense that you are fading, save your voice for 3rd downs when the D can make a play and get off the field.
4. Drink plenty of liquid
Water, beer... it's all good, and will keep your voice going a little longer. Why not try a delicious, refreshing Jones Soda? hint hint... (If you'd like some Jones Soda for your tailgating party or post-game celebration, consult the links in the sidebar.)
Hopefully, at about 4:30 Sunday afternoon, you'll be walking out of Qwest trying to scream "SEAAAAAAAHAWWWWWWWKSSS!" If you did your job, your voice will be giving out on you at this point. Congrats... You've done your job, Soldier of Twelve.
You can be the difference between victory and defeat. Not many spectators can say that, can they? In Seattle, we do it all the time.
Any other tips/advice/strategies on being an effective instrument of sonic terror? Share 'em up!