20 years ago today, this happened:
I've written about this amazing moment in this space before, but in this current period of angst for the Twelve Army I thought I'd go a bit deeper into why this meant so much to me...
I was 15, and going through an incredibly lame period in my life. My parents were splitting up, but that was actually some of the BETTER news in my life. I was never close to my Dad, and my parents were absolutely miserable together by that point, so my father leaving the scene was a fairly welcome development. The worse news was that we were bankrupt (good move buying that RV and that pontoon boat, dad!), and we were being forced to sell our house in Richland.
When I've written about this before, I've noted that the Chiefs game was happening during an Open House being held by our Realtor, and I refused to vacate my Seahawks cave in the basement to watch the game somewhere else. Why? It's pretty clear to me now: Everything else in my life was uncertainty, instability, and bone-deep fear. The one thing I could count on every week was the three hours I'd get to spend with the Seattle Seahawks, and I'd be damned if I was going to give that up.
I remember as that game wore on, I fell into a deep, unfathomable sadness. It was an ugly, fairly boring game, but it looked like we might pull it out holding a 10-9 lead in the 3rd quarter. Then came one of Derrick Thomas' record-breaking sacks that day, forcing Krieg to fumble... KC recovered in the end zone for a TD, and even though there was a quarter left to play, the game and the season felt lost. We would fall to 3-6, and all realistic hope for the post season would die.
Every one of Thomas' sacks hit not just Dave Krieg, but me as well. Not only were we going to lose, but an opposing player was going to break records against us. I could already feel the taunts that would be hurled at me the next day in school. I was at that pivot point where the Seahawks went from being relief from the drudgery of my life as a high school dork to pushing me further into depression and despair...
Then those last 48 seconds... Then Krieg slipping away from Thomas on the final play... The perfect pass... Skansi's amazing catch in traffic... Seahawks win! Catharsis! Ecstasy!
I floated on air for a week... The Seahawks rose up and made their last 7 games meaningful; I even got to watch them beat Barry Sanders and the Lions from the 100 level of the Kingdome on the season's final Sunday. Seattle would miss the playoffs on a tiebreaker, but I still cherish my memories of the 1990 season.
Right now I'm underemployed and living with my in-laws. Things aren't as bad as they were for me in 1990, but I still NEED that three hours with the Seahawks every week. Every day I wake up thinking "Yes! One day closer to Sunday!" I need them to win at Arizona, and make the last two months of the season meaningful.
I want to sit at Qwest Field on January 2nd, and watch the Seahawks fight for their playoff lives while I scream myself hoarse. Anything more than that is a bonus. Maybe my expectations are too low; It's more likely that I just have a well-developed ability to fool myself into thinking the best about the Seahawks... because facing stupid reality is just too depressing most of the time.
What do you think, sirs?