It started innocently enough. Pete Carroll posted a picture of himself with former President Clinton (BTW, isn't it kinda neat that we have a Coach that can make THAT meeting happen?), with this caption: "Great visiting w/ Pres. Clinton this AM... he's competing hard for these midterm elections & has an awesome message."
One thing I'm actually proud of about this blog is that I don't do the usual frightened avoidance of politics... I'm a liberal, a Democrat, a progressive. I don't feel like I should hide that. In fact, I sort of feel a duty not to cede the arena to conservative sports fans... I HATE the assumption that NFL fans are all reactionary Republicans (I get this from some of my most hard-core liberal friends), so I feel somewhat obligated to present myself as a counterexample. Yes, liberals can be NFL fans. In fact, quite a few liberals are Seahawks fans (no surprise, given the political culture of the Pacific Northwest).
I already knew that Coach Carroll had campaigned for Obama back in 2008, but it was exciting to see that he's still politically active, and for the party I support. Innocuously enough, I tweeted that it was great to see Carroll politically engaged, just like Matt Hasselbeck has been for the GOP. It wasn't an indictment of Hasselbeck; I knew he signed an open letter supporting Bush's re-election in 2004, and we all remember him attending a GOP fundraiser with Bush in the Seattle area in 2007... The fact that Beck was a Republican in no way affected my adoration for him as the Seahawks' QB, leader, and my favorite player. You mean a millionaire is a Republican? Huge shock! I was just happy that he wasn't an overt, vocal homophobe, sexist or racist.
The evidence seemed pretty clear that Matthew Hasselbeck was a Republican. Then our quarterback tweeted this, directly at me:
@DKSB17 Says who?
Ouch. I have longed for the day Matt Hasselbeck would notice my support or my other pro-Seahawks efforts on Twitter, and THIS is what he responds to? I wanted to crawl into a hole and die. I was mortified. I tried to make it clear that my tweets were not intended as an attack; My assumption that he was a Republican was simply based upon available public evidence. Further, I have NO problem with him being a conservative. I'd PREFER that all the Seahawks players and coaches shared my political views, but I know that's impossible (and would be sorta creepy)... So I just deal, you know?
So, I want to publicly state that if Matt Hasselbeck no longer considers himself a Republican, or if he never did (despite his GOP-supporting actions), I apologize for reaching that conclusion. I know a LOT of people hate having a partisan labels slapped upon them, even if they vote for the same party EVERY TIME... My mom is like that; Has NEVER voted for anyone but Republican candidates, but swears she "votes for the person, not the party."
Well, I vote for the party almost every time, because it makes a BIG difference which party controls the levers of power in the United States. I prefer the policies of the Democrats, so I vote for them. In any case, while I'm not going to suddenly get apolitical here or on twitter, I'm still sort of nauseous over the notion that THIS is how I ended up interacting with my favorite Seahawk.
So, if you happen to read this, Matthew, I hope we're cool. :)
What do you think, sirs?
MAJOR UPDATE: Hasselbeck @DKSB17 We're cool dude. Maybe I am a little like your mom. Great story about the Mack Strong photo with #43. It'll be in my book someday.
How cool is that? HE READ THIS BLOG!