I have only the most casual interest in soccer, but I think I'm more into it than the average American sports fan. I watch the World Cup pretty closely, and if a Premiere League game is on, I won't change the channel. I've even been to 7-8 MLS games in Columbus, but mostly for "buck-a-brat" nights.
I was happy to see the Sounders succeed this season, but I've also had some less charitable feelings towards Seattle's MLS team. Mostly, I'm jealous of their instant rise to respectability and their status as the "cool" sports team in Seattle now. A huge number of my friends have Sounders season tickets, and some have gotten into it enough to start talking shit about the Seahawks.
Of course, that REALLY pisses me off, because it brings back the bad old days from 95-02 when Mariners fans would OPENLY piss on me for being a Seahawks fan. I remember I was out for a visit right after 9/11, and on the following Sunday, I was supposed to go to the Seahawks/Chiefs game, but it was postponed until the end of that season.
I was out at breakfast with a friend, and I was lamenting the fact that there wasn't a game that day. I understood why there was no game, but watching the Seahawks would have cheered ME up, at least. This total stranger in Mariners garb decides to chime in with "pffft. Seahawks? Who gives a crap about THEM?"
With murder in my eyes, I said "I do. And when did you get that M's gear? October of '95?"
So yeah, I'm hyper-sensitive to the Seahawks being anything but #1 on the Seattle sports landscape. I think it would be great if the Sounders won the MLS Cup, but part of me would be upset about a team winning it all in their first season, while my Seahawks are still waiting for a title after 33 years in the NFL. I just hope they don't lose to a team wearing Steelers colors (The Crew) in the MLS Cup because of awful officiating.
Back to our Seahawks: I'd love to give a pep talk, but I feel nothing but absolute dread about this game on Sunday. I'm going to go to a bar and watch, as always, but I'm not excited about it. I feel like I'm going in for a root canal or an IRS audit, not to watch my favorite team play. I'm watching more out of loyalty and obligation than because of any realistic hope the Seahawks will win the game.
...and that's the insanity of my fandom. If I was rational, I'd dump the struggling Seahawks, and pop on a Sounders FC jersey. I'm much more likely to enjoy the thrill of victory from Seattle's soccer team right now, and each Seahawks loss is like a dagger jabbing into my mind. However, if I did that, I'd feel like the biggest doucheschmuck of all time.
I'm not trying to hate on Sounders fans, particularly those of you in Seattle. It's hard to slap the "bandwagoner" label on fans of a first-year team, and that's not what I'm trying to do. But for me personally, adopting the Sounders seems oddly disloyal.
Yeah, that probably sounds crazy. Maybe I should up my meds.