September 2, 2010

"Where's the Fuck You, Where's the Black and Blue?"

I've been ruminating a lot about the bone-deep problems in the Seahawks fan base since the reactions to the Josh Wilson trade rocketed right into loony "Oh noes! My favorite band is breaking up" territory... I hinted at this notion before, but I wanted to explain it in more detail: Seahawks fans have a confidence problem.

When I was growing up and trying to date girls, I suffered from an overabundance of honesty. I was too honest about how I felt about them, and too honest about how I felt about myself (which wasn't very good). This led them either to bolt for the hills, or quickly and firmly place me in the "friend zone," as they dated giant assholes who had the virtue of self-confidence. I was told over and over that I had to "fake it until I made it."

I never got to that point with women. I was lucky enough to find one who liked me as I was, so I never had to put on that bullshit act. But I think this can be applied to Seahawks fans...

As a group, Seahawks fans have many great qualities. Compared to other NFL fan bases we are more educated, in better shape, more progressive, and REALLY FUCKING LOUD. However, in general, we posess a key quality of the geek and the nerd: A lack of self-confidence.

Just take a quick survey of other NFL fan bases... You will see a blizzard of bullshit false bravado at every turn, from Oakland to Jacksonville. Even if their team is doomed to failure, fans in most other NFL cities would get in your face if you shat on their team, or suggested they were doomed to fail.

I don't get that impression from Seahawks fans over the 27 years I've been a Twelve. Even since I was a kid, I've been appalled at how quickly and easily many other Seahawks fans will just fold in any argument with a fan from another team; how quickly THEY THEMSELVES will refer to the Seahawks with derogatory language like "Sea Chickens" or "Sea shits," etc. (Side note: If you pull that shit around me I will call you on it. And if you try to say that it's ok for you to say things like that about my team because you are a fan, I'll retort "Fuck you. you are very CLEARLY NOT a fan.")

I have friends who root for other NFL teams, and they are unanimously amazed at the negativity Seahawks fans bring into the tournament. Even if I don't believe what I am saying, if anyone fucks with the Seahawks, I will defend my team. I've been doing it since I was 8 years old, surrounded by a shockingly high number of Broncos fans in the Tri-Cities.. I lost untold riches making school yard bets on the Seahawks throughout the 80s and early 90s... I felt I had no choice; I had to back up my Hawks, even if it meant pissing away the quarters I had squirreled away to play Paperboy at 7-11 after school. I've spent the last decade out in the midwest defending the Seahawks from fairly regular & bizarre attacks, at the risk of looking like a goddamn obsessive lunatic.

Is it a Seattle thing? I didn't grow up there, and I've never actually lived there, so maybe there is something about the sports culture that eludes me? I'm open to enlightenment here.

I'm begging all of you... Even if you DON'T believe in this team right now, FAKE it. Tell the asshole at work that you think the Seahawks will make the playoffs. Come to Qwest and scream your fucking head off for 3 hours on gameday. Be a motherfucking mean Soldier of Twelve and stow this fucking insidious negativity, at least in public.

Side note: The title of this post comes from this kick-ass Sleater-Kinney song.. enjoy!


bleedshawkblue said...

Same Nixonian philosophy of "We're going to set this country free, even if we have to kill everyone to do it" - "I don't want to get hurt by having my hopes crushed when something doesn't work out, so I will crush my hopes (and the hopes of others) in advance before we even start".

Fuck 'em, lameass pansy doomsayers. Fucking bunch of gutless wonders don't deserve to be fans of anything but lameass heroin bands, where they show up and nod in front of the stage. And hate on people that are happy, who paid their money and showed up because they are determined that something good is going to happen.

Eric said...

Part of it is that we have no reason to think it will all work out. Seattle sports have been notorious for failing to win anything, especially lately, and that has an effect on the psyche of the entire sports scene. Most other cities or areas have had a championship in the last 30 years, and that makes it a lot easier to believe that the miraculous will happen. XL and 116 just made it all worse, because everyone got their hopes up just to get shat over and destroyed in the most awful matter, as if the sporting gods are out to get us. I fully expect that general attitude to go away once our curse finally breaks, even if it's just the Sounders winning the MLS cup (even as a Season Ticket holder and die hard fan, I understand it's not nearly as amazing as a World Series or Super Bowl, though I'd rather have a Cup than whatever shit the NBA gives out).
I suppose I forgot to mention, but I jumped on one of those Hawks season tickets they opened up this year. It's way up in the middle of no where, but I think it proves that not all of us are so cynical. Even when everything has gone wrong in recent years, I still see this year as the one where they break out of it. The Mariners, after almost a decade of ineptitude, have nearly drained me of my faith, but the Hawks are a long way from that. Even in their losing seasons, I have enjoyed watching them play.
Back to the fire-starter: I mourn the loss of Josh Wilson. I also mourned the loss of Leonard Weaver, and Nate Burleson and Sebastian Le Toux and Edgar Martinez. Your decription was very apt; it is like your favorite band breaking up, or at least the singer going to join some other band. It sucks when one of your favorite players leaves, especially when they were one of the few bright spots on the losing team of the last few years. It feels akin to trading John Carlson or Jose Lopez (my biggest mancrush in sports history). Losing makes people, or at least me, more attached to the few stars left. His being gone doesn't make me fatalistic about how the season will go, though I am certainly more worried about our CB depth. It's just a big bummer after a wave of positives (resurgence of Branch, Williams, Tatupu, Trufant, emergence of Thomas, Tate, Butler).

Ricardo Slick said...

I've been a Seahawk fan since the mid-'80s. When I first started cheering for them, it was to piss off my cousin (He's a big Bronco fan). I didn't mind when they were moved into the NFC West either, because my dad is a 49er fan. Ha ha! I am constantly defending the Seahawks here, on the East Coast of Canada, where most of the people giving me grief are damn Patriot fans. Love your blog! You're a straight shooter and you make me laugh my ass off almost every time I read your stuff. Keep up the great work!

MThroop said...

Nice, subtle Lebowski quote.