The last (and only other) time the Seahawks played a "win-and-in" home game the final week of the regular season was way back in 1983- And I was there (and the game is briefly covered starting about the 14:00 point of the '83 Seahawks Highlight film).
I was eight years old, and it was my first ever trip to the Kingdome. When my Dad got us the tickets, we had no idea that the game would have such significance. The Seahawks and Patriots both came in at 8-7, and the winner would take a wild card slot in the AFC playoffs. It would be first playoff appearance EVER for Seattle, after seven years of sitting out of the post-season tournament.
I've written about this extensively before, but here's a taste:
My Dad took me to that game, and EVERYTHING about it was awe-inspiring; from the first moment I saw the Kingdome driving in from I-90, to the dizzying cavernous grandeur of the Dome's interior. Of course, as I grew older I began to consider King County Stadium more or less a shithole, but on that day, it was the Louvre to me.
I screamed for what seemed like 4 hours straight, starting with a shrieking series of boos aimed at the Patriots as they took the field for warm-ups. We were in the 300 level, and there was no way they could possibly have heard me, but I still roared until my voice was gone. What an annoying little shit, huh?
The game itself was perfect: The deafening roar of the 12th Man, a Largent touchdown, and an easy blowout victory. As we left for home, I had no doubt about it: The Seahawks were going to win the Super Bowl. I was too young and ill-informed to think anything else was plausible.
We're so awash in cynicism and defeatism right now. Things have gotten so bad out there that Deadspin has sniffed out the pungent stench of pessimism wafting out from the Twelve Army. But my point today is this: Some 8-year-old boy or girl is going to their first Seahawks game this Sunday, and they won't care that the team is 6-9, or that the adults give the Hawks no chance of winning a playoff game (like I remember all the adults doing before the game at Miami in '83), or that a win would mean a worse pick in the 1st round of the 2011 draft... They aren't reading Steve Kelley's columns, or the comments sections on a dozen blogs dripping with smug, self-satisfied derision for the 2010 Seahawks.
They will be in awe of Qwest Field, and intoxicated by the roar of the Twelve Army- And when the Seahawks win, they will be hooked for life. A million words written about the utility of a higher draft pick can't match the significance of THAT.
What do you think, sirs?