January 17, 2014
Spinning Angst Into Noise
Last August, I was at Panera Bread picking up lunch for my fellow retail serfs when a total bro in his early 20s noticed the Seahawks lanyard I was wearing. He asked me if I was a Hawks fan. I said of course I was. The next words out of his mouth were... "Fuck the Seahawks!"
I was taken aback. This kid was with his girlfriend and her friends, so he was clearly showing his ass because he wanted to "impress" them (By the way: Fuck you, testosterone). My next move, as usual, was to ask him what team he rooted for. Typically, I'll have a rational answer that parries their assault no matter what team they namecheck... but he said "I'm a Niners fan!"
Because of course he was. Then MY lizard brain took over and I barked out "FUCK THE NINERS!" As Ron Burgundy once said, that escalated quickly. In seconds we were SCREAMING profanities at each other. In Panera Bread. His girlfriend was pleading with him to stop. I couldn't leave because I was waiting for my co-workers' food. He was getting dumber as I was getting angrier and louder. Finally, I got my soup and got out the door. It was a deeply unpleasant experience. I HATE the 49ers and their fans (here's why)... But I hate what happens to me when we play those shitmongers almost as much.
I'm usually an optimistic, positive person, but when the San Francisco 49ers invade my headspace I turn into a belligerent asshole. My stress level days before the NFC Championship Game couldn't possibly be higher, and it's not because I think the Seahawks will lose- It's from the knowledge that Sunday will either be one of the best days of my life, or one of the worst. The fact that we are playing San Francisco is obscuring the fact that this game is for a spot in the Super Bowl. My hatred for that team and (the vast majority of) their fans is so intense that it clouds my judgement.
Being a fan is inherently irrational, and hating another team and its fan base is pretty much batshit insane. When it comes to the 49ers and the Seahawks, the fervent disdain both teams and fan bases hold for each other is curious (particularly for outsiders). The two cities are largely similar in many important ways (including the fact that they are the two major U.S. cities with the largest per-capita transgender populations), and the teams themselves have similar philosophies, strengths and weaknesses. I can tell myself all of this, and I can "know" it in an intellectual sense, but it doesn't stop me from feeling like I'm about to snap and get all stabby whenever I'm forced to interact with a Forty-Niners fan.
I think that's my problem this week- That I'll be forced to interact with these miscreants. My typical coping mechanism is to minimize my exposure to Niners fans. I can ignore their comments on my blog, and keep them from being published (and I will, you mangy red and gold mutts). I can block them on Twitter, and so on. But this weekend in Seattle their arrogance, entitlement, and comprehensive dumbfuckery will be squarely in my face.
I'm excited about going to the game, and the yearning to empty my lungs upon all those Niner eardrums is overwhelming- But I'm also dreading how the delicious sausage of victory will be made. The relatively small population of 49ers supporters at Seahawks Stadium will still be WAY too large for my tastes, and a good portion of them will be drunk (as will a lot of the Twelves at the game, which won't help matters either). My mind can spin out endless unpleasant and possibly dangerous scenarios for gameday. In addition to that, 30 YEARS of fandom feels like it's been leading up to this game, and there's never been a moment in my life as a Twelve that has felt more apocalyptic. The only historical matchup that could have possibly been bigger than this Sunday's would have been Elway and the Broncos visiting the Kingdome for the AFC Championship Game back in the 1980s. If you add all that up, my mental health is in tatters today.
The good news? The Seahawks are WAY more mentally tough than I am. All that stuff I just blathered about? They give ZERO fucks about all of it. They KNOW how good they are (which is better than any other team in the league (including the 49ers), and they understand how close they are to football immortality. They are unburdened and they are focused on what they need to do on Sunday to reach the Super Bowl.
I am trying to emulate their example, as should all of you who are lucky enough to be at Sunday's game. I intend to save as much of my energy as possible until kickoff. I plan to store up all the irritation, frustration, hatred and anger I have towards San Francisco until then too, point myself towards the field, and become a motherfucking sonic weapon. Every fucking moment Kaepernick and flunkies are on the field, my brother and I will be POUNDING THE SHIT out of their eardrums.
In my head, I keep hearing a variation of Jordan Belfort's "Good! Pick up the phone and start dialing!" speech in The Wold Of Wall Street...
Desperate to avoid a YEAR of Niners fans lording a defeat over you? GOOD. When San Francisco has the ball, start screaming.
Terrified of the EIGHT MONTHS you will spend tortured by this game if we lose? GOOD. When San Francisco has the ball, start screaming.
Horrified by the idea of watching Harbaugh and Kaepernick celebrate on our field? GOOD. When San Francisco has the ball, start screaming.
Forty-Niners fans seem to actually believe that they don't make noise at their home games because they are too classy to attempt to affect the outcome. You know what? I've NEVER been classy. I never will be. I will take every advantage within the rules to help my team win. I'm a loud, dirty, Twelvin' BITCH. I absolutely intend to affect the outcome this Sunday. Along with 68,000 or so of my closest friends, you fuckin' KNOW that I will.
23-12 Seahawks, and on to New Jersey. On Monday morning we'll all be exhausted, voiceless... and enjoying the sweetest Victory Monday of our lives.
What do you think, sirs?