March 24, 2011

So I'm Proposing a Swift, Orderly Change

There I am at the home venue of the Seattle Seahawks, back in 2002.

In the grand scheme of things, getting all lathered up over corporate names slapped onto sports arenas is a fairly big waste of energy. Hell, even Fenway Park and Wrigley Field's names are rooted in promoting some corporate/business interest. However, what does piss me off is the frequency with which stadium names CHANGE in this corporate-labeling regime. Now it's happening to the Twelve Army.

Is this some horrible injustice? No, not even close. But it is an opportunity for Twelves (and our Sounders FC-rooting soccer brethren) to stand up and say with one voice: "Enough! Just because some company gobbled up another company, it doesn't mean I have to call my team's venue something different!"

Let's be honest: Qwest Field was a crappy moniker too. Yes, since the Seahawks had great success while the stadium had that name, we grew attached to calling it that. But it was flawed itself- The cutesy corporate misspelling of the word quest... The use of the word "field" in the name of an NFL venue. Ugh. I hate that. Save that for baseball venues- In the NFL, they are STADIUMS or COLISEUMS. Field? Just not menacing at all.

So from now on, I'm calling it Seahawks Stadium. From 2002-2004, that was the arena's official name, so there is some history there. It also is short, sweet, direct, and accurate. It is the stadium where the Seahawks play. If you were going to name such a building, what would be your first choice? See? Boom. Roasted(and you Sounders FC folks can call it Sounders Stadium on the same principle).

If I was going to propose a more neutral name? Puget Sound Stadium, or as a nod to the official name of the Kingdome: King County Stadium. But I prefer Seahawks Stadium.

There's a great set of T-shirts pushed by the Uni Watch blog that promotes the "I'm Calling it ______" idea. Go here and send Paul Lukas an email on the link at the bottom of the page. Tell him you'd buy a "I'm Calling it Seahawks Stadium" shirt (I would), and gently urge him to stop slagging on our team's beautiful uniforms.

What do you think, sirs?

March 21, 2011

Vote Twelves for 12!

I haven't actually played Madden in years- Having kids cuts into my gaming time, I can't really bring myself to play Madden the week after a Seahawks loss, and frankly I've never been that good at the damn game.

But this.. This is a big deal- The 12th Man is the Seahawks representative in the tournament that will select the cover image for Madden 12. You can go vote here... Yeah, you can argue that it's only because the Seahawks don't really have an obvious superstar player right now (though I'd argue this would make a great Marshawn Lynch Cover Photo...)

Anyway, EA picking us Twelves as Seattle's representative in this little competition says a lot about how the NFL nation looks at Seahawks fans. Our reputation is fearsome, and for good reason. Other fans have SEEN the impact Twelves have at Qwest Field- In 2005 against the Giants, and in those playoffs, and in playoff wins over the Cowboys, Redskins and Saints since then. It's more clear now than ever- NO home crowd gives their team a bigger home field advantage than the Twelve Army delivers to the Seahawks at Qwest. We are the only superstar fan base in the NFL, y'all... and that's well-deserved and pretty fucking sweeeet.

So go vote early and often- and look at that bracket- look at who our upcoming opponents are-

Patrick Willis (FUCK THE NINERS!)
Michael Vick (FUCK MIKE VICK!)

You should have NO trouble getting geeked up to beat those fuck-os, right? If we got past Vick, we'd probably get Drew Brees- Great guy, but we can kick his ass again! We have until the 27th to vote in our first round matchup against Willis- Hopefully we'll win that one, and by then we'll build a grass-roots movement supporting FANS on the cover of Madden 12- In this time of labor uncertainty, who could argue against a group of NFL fans getting a moment in the sun on the cover of Madden?

Let's make this happen, y'all. And if you are worried about the "Madden Curse?" Seriously- Fuck off. If you really believe in that shit? Fuck. OFF. You might as well think the Earth is flat or that rats come from bales of hay. Yeesh. Ignorant rubes.

March 20, 2011

"He'll be there for you, no matter what."

100 million NFL fans are collectively frozen with anxiety and fear until at least April 6 (You know, when Judge Susan Nelson will hear the NFLPA's request for an injunction to block the lockout). I'm one of these pathetic creatures- almost three decades of obsessive NFL fandom has rendered me unwilling and/or unable to simply say "fuck this noise" and move on with my life, find new hobbies, etc. The NFL and the Seattle Seahawks are such an integral part of my identity that I wouldn't just be "sad" or "angry" if there was no 2011 season- I'd be adrift, a shadow of myself.

I understand the anger a lot of fans are feeling right now, even if I think any anger at the players is woefully misplaced. I understand the fans that are calling for a boycott if the work stoppage wipes out any or all of the upcoming season, even though I absolutely positively would NOT fucking participate. Our annual rituals are ALREADY getting totally fucked up- So I see why a lot of people are already fuming at both sides in this conflict... I just don't feel it- Not yet, anyway. Out of some weird cocktail of faith and resignation, I still hope/believe that we'll have a full season of NFL and Seahawks football this fall.

In part because of that belief, I'm trying to keep myself from getting TOO angry with anyone in this dispute... Yes, even the owners. Why? Because when this thing finally ends, we have to get back to the business of being NFL fans, and more importantly, being Soldiers of Twelve. I keep coming back to Toy Story 3 for some reason.... Even though Andy stashes the toys in a box, and then eventually tries to put them in the attic, Woody constantly pushes the message that they need to be there for Andy when he needs them.

That's how I feel about my relationship with the Seahawks- I WILL be there when they need me, no matter how long I get stuffed in a dark box by a work stoppage. I've lived and died with this team through the most dispiriting seasons, through previous work stoppages, and through threats of relocation. Even if this season is completely wiped out, that's not enough to extinguish my love for this team.

The example of Major League Baseball serves me well here- Yes, it totally sucked when the 1994 World Series was cancelled- And I understood why some people would write off the sport entirely after that... But I couldn't- and the next season I was back rooting for my Red Sox (and most of you readers got swept up in '95 Mariners Magic). If I had turned my back on baseball then, I would have missed out on the 2004 Red Sox... and how fucking stupid would that have been?

So maybe I'm a chump. Maybe I'm a fool, a sucker, a sheep. It might all be true. But if something magical happens for our Seahawks when football returns, there's no God Damn WAY I'd miss it. I've bled blue and green for almost as long as I can remember, and no work stoppage, no matter how idiotic or ugly, could possibly change that.

All that said, I'm desperately hoping that Judge Nelson gives us an actual offseason/season next month- A nation turns its lonely eyes to you, m'lady.

March 11, 2011

Nothing is fucked, Dudes.

The NFLPA has decertified, and now the conflict between the players and owners will be decided in the courts. This is a disappointing day, but not by any means the NFL's End of Days or anything. Numerous observers expect Judge David Doty to issue an injunction stopping the owners from imposing a lockout, which means the league year would start (hopefully with Free Agency preceding the Draft) under the rules of the previous CBA. Bottom line? It is still HIGHLY likely that we'll end up with a relatively normal off-season this year, and a full NFL season starting this fall.

In the meantime, a few general statements-

1. I unabashedly support the players in this fight. If you are looking for a pro-ownership perspective, or some lazy false equivalence between the two sides, this isn't the blog you should be reading.

2. You won't hear me bad mouth anyone in the Seahawks organization during this conflict, and that includes Paul Allen. Yes, he's part of the group that I think is responsible for the mess we are in, but at the end of the day, I'm a Twelve first. Whenever this gets resolved, he's still our owner, and he's still the one who is going to someday lead us to a World Championship.

3. As best as I can, I'm going to try to ignore the rhetoric spewing from both sides over the coming weeks, and I suggest y'all do the same. The most important thing is getting the league year started ASAP, and that's up to Judge Doty now... What the players and owners say to sway public opinion has no effect on that.

4. Take a step back from this, and go to a movie, read a book, get ready for baseball season, etc. I'll still be here blogging about the Seahawks (and other stuff)... But we all need to clear our heads, I think.

We WILL have Seahawks football this fall, and it'll be the real players. We'll get there. Hang in there, Twelves.

March 7, 2011


It's great that we have some reason for optimism that a new CBA will be reached this week (or at least they might get close enough to a deal for another extension). The alternative is decertification, litigation, and Armageddon. From my perspective, there is too much uncertainty and too much risk involved in settling this conflict in court, so both sides have a massive incentive to reach an agreement before things get to that point.

Where does that leave us huddled masses, though? Squarely in limbo/purgatory. I had to psyche myself into writing today, because there's a big part of me that feels like writing about the NFL is fairly pointless until a new CBA is reached. Right now, we have no idea when free agency will start, or what the rules of free agency might be. We have no idea if the NFL will move to an 18-game regular season, or if there will be a rookie wage scale, etc. Even more than usual, nobody knows anything. Here are some random thoughts, though-

-The NFL has such a neat, sensible scheduling formula right now- Moving to an 18-game slate will TOTALLY fuck that up. Will the two extra games be interconference? That's the only option that really makes any sense to me- then you play 6 games against your division, 6 against the rest of your conference, then 6 against the other conference. But what would be the formula used to create the 12 games of your non-divisional schedule? Creating the 18-game slate would put us back into the pre-realignment days when no one had a clue how the NFL schedule was created. No sale.

However, it looks like the 18-game schedule is inevitable, and I'd guess that it'll be a 20-week schedule with two bye weeks per team. Assuming the NFL starts the season a week or two earlier, you have the very real possibility that the Super Bowl will fall on the 3-day President's Day weekend, which is about the only good thing that would come out of an 18-game schedule.

Seriously, isn't there some other way to create this additional revenue? I'd much rather see the playoffs expanded to 14 or 16 teams than an 18-game regular season. I'm no accountant, but wouldn't 2 or 4 extra playoff games also create a shitload of new revenue for the league?

An 18-game schedule is so self-evidently a terrible idea/naked money grab that I'm somewhat shocked that the notion has gotten this far- But it appears the union will agree to it if they get their cut of the additional revenue, and if the owners perhaps throw in expanded rosters and a 2nd bye week. Plus, what the fuck am I going to do? Not watch the extra two weeks of the season? Fuck no.

-I'd love to have Matt Hasselbeck back on the Seahawks next season, but I certainly don't want the front office to massively overpay for a "bridge guy." I can't say that I have a number in mind, but if Beck wants so much that his deal might hinder our ability to bring in FAs at other critical positions, I say have fun in Arizona, Matthew (and hello... um... jeez... Kyle Orton? Carson Palmer? It'd be really nice if we could keep Matt, and draft his successor, wouldn't it?).

-Hopefully this will be a moot point by the end of this week, but I'm curious to know if Paul Allen supports locking out the players. Allen smartly voted against the relocation of the Sonics as owner of the Trail Blazers, which was not just the right thing to do but brilliant PR. If he actually supported a lockout, my glowing opinion of the guy would take a big hit- But like I said, this hopefully will be a dead letter by Friday.

-In home news, I've shaved off my beard, which evidently makes me look about 10 years younger (pic below) Nothing wrong with that... I also have a job interview coming up next week in, of all places, Orlando. I assume they are mostly Bucs fans there? Any of my readers in that part of the country?