Over the last few days, I've been reminded how helpful sports can be as a distraction from the crappiness of actual, real life. On top of the tragic shootings in Arizona (I'll spare you my political rantings about that), my wife is in the hospital with pneumonia, and my 15-month old has two ear infections. I've been running on little sleep and been racked by fear and anxiety, but I can't tell you how soothing it is to just think to myself:
"HOLY SHIT! THE SEAHAWKS BEAT THE FUCKIN' SAINTS!"
I've worn nothing but Seahawks gear since Saturday (which is fairly normal, but I usually mix in a Red Sox cap with my Seahawk apparel), and I haven't gone more than a few hours without some total stranger remarking on how amazing the game was, or how loud the crowd was, or how Lynch's TD was the craziest run they'd ever seen. I've always worn my Seahawks fandom on my sleeve, and most of the time I have a "fuck you" attitude about it (because the most common reaction is usually "why are you a Seahawks fan?"), but since Saturday I've just been BEAMING with pride.
There is such an intense sense of vindication right now for those of us who endured and stood by this team through the first 15 frustrating games of this season. For those of us who wished fervently for THIS team to prove the haters wrong, for those who never got fixated on next year's draft position, these have been a thoroughly satisfying few days.
Has any Seahawks squad transformed its legacy in two weeks more than the 2010 version? On Boxing Day, you could credibly argue that they were one of the 5 or 6 WORST teams the franchise has fielded. Now? They're one of only SIX squads in franchise history to win a playoff game (1983, 1984, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010)! The legacy of Matt Hasselbeck was burnished, and Marshawn Lynch became a Seahawks legend based on a single, unbelievable play. No matter what happens in Chicago on Sunday, the Seahawks have reached the divisional playoffs four out of the last six years. Who else has made it to the NFL's "elite eight" four or more times since 2005? Baltimore, Indianapolis, New England and San Diego.
We're already hearing the chorus of blowhards declaring Seattle has no chance in Chicago this Sunday, which is pretty fucking laughable- it makes me want to quote Homer from that episode where the Simpsons go to Africa: "What did you JUST SEE, Lisa???" Their disrespect does nothing but fuel us and de-motivate the Bears and their flunkies, so I say keep it up, boys!
Obviously, I'm jealous of those that were there at Qwest causing LynchQuakes Saturday, but given my family's health problems it's a good thing I stayed out here in Ohio. If we end up hosting Green Bay in the NFC Championship, I vow to be there at Qwest in Section 325, screaming 'til I cough up blood.
Thank you for being a beacon of joy and triumph in my time of dank sickness and worry, Seahawks. It has really helped me keep my sanity, and a few more wins wouldn't hurt either.