The Seahawks are 2-6. They're facing a legitimate Super Bowl contender on Sunday. In terms of public opinion in the football world I'm as much a "1 Percenter" as Paul Allen, because I actually think that Seattle will win this game.
That shouldn't surprise anyone who reads this blog- But today I'd like to write a bit about HOW I convince myself the Seahawks will win a game, even when no one else feels that way, including the vast majority of other Seattle fans.
For me, it's not enough to have BLIND faith. I have to actually work quite hard to give myself enough evidence to hang my delusional, false hopes upon. I know that many, if not most other fans react to a season like the Seahawks are having so far by withdrawing or actively rooting for losses so the Holy Grail of a higher draft pick is secured. I can't do any of that- and I don't mean that I don't WANT to do that- I literally mean that I can't do it.
I've been a Seahawks fan for 28 years, and a very intense one at that. That fandom has become such an integral part of my personality that I don't know who I'd be without it. I wear some article of Seahawks clothing almost every day- That aint normal for a 36-year-old man. I haven't missed a game since 1983, and I maintain a blog about a team that has a long history of mediocrity so overwhelming that they are more of an afterthought to the NFL nation than any team that is simply, directly, BAD. These are not the actions of a normal, well-adjusted human being. They are driven by obsession, compulsion and fanaticism.
Over the years, I've come to see myself as an extension of the Seahawks organization (thus my frequent references to being an ambassador or missionary for the Twelve Army out here in Ohio) and I've come to see the Seahawks as an extension of myself. This means that any insult, any derogatory thing I hear or see about the team, is taken as a direct personal affront.
What does this all mean? It means that if I admit the Seahawks suck (even when they do), I'm also kind of saying that I suck. It means that if I start treating the Seahawks like they are hopeless, I'm admitting that I'm hopeless as well. So in a week like this one, I don't start off thinking "The Seahawks are probably going to lose- but perhaps there is evidence that they have a chance." I start by thinking "How can I convince myself that the Seahawks will win next week?"
This week in particular my delusional hopes spring from the following sources:
-We're at home! Yay!
-We're the "donut hole" for Baltimore between huge divisional games against the Steelers and Bengals, and they also have to fly cross-country.
-Baltimore has stumbled badly on the road against Tennessee and Jacksonville, and is a pedestrian 2-2 on the road overall this season. They also needed a crazy, implausible comeback to defeat the lowly Arizona Cardinals, and that was at home.
-Tarvaris Jackson is starting at Quarterback, which at least gives us a fighting chance- With Whitehurst under center even I'd have a hard time convincing myself we have a shot.
-We played the playoff-contending Falcons tough at home, and beat the Super-Bowl-contending Giants on the road. The Seahawks have shown SOME ability to hang with elite teams.
I know for a fact that everyone outside the Twelve Army would read that and reply with a dismissive hand wave and "pffft." Shit, they might even give me the old "eye-roll teamed with a wanking motion" move. MOST Seahawks fans probably feel the same way. But I just can't let it go. I've got FAR too much emotionally and intellectually invested in this team to do what a normal human would: Back away from a hopeless football team and do something more constructive on Sundays.
In addition to all that, My twisted, diseased mind can convince itself that maybe, JUST MAYBE the Seahawks can get into a the playoff hunt again IF THEY CAN JUST SQUEAK BY BALTIMORE! We'd be 3-6, but with four upcoming games against 3 teams with a combined record of 7-17 (STLx2, DC, PHI)! Hell, we could be 7-6 before heading to a pivotal game against fellow wild-card contender Chicago!
Even I think that sounds fucking insane, but I can't stop thinking it- because it allows me to build up Sunday's game into something with more meaning and drama than "well, let's just see if the Seahawks can make some progress." It's not just a glorified preseason game anymore- It's a death struggle.
How I feel about the Seahawks is linked to how I feel about myself. When I feel the Seahawks are misunderstood, dismissed, disrespected, and generally shat upon, it resonates because I feel like that is the way the world treats me- I'm an outcast who roots for an outcast team.
Dear readers, I never told you that your author is the picture of tip-top mental health- How I think about, how I write about, and how I react to the Seahawks is hopelessly tangled up in my own insecurities, neuroses, hopes and fears... and all those things say to me:
Seahawks 16, Ravens 15
What do you think, sirs?