For those of you bored enough to follow my Twitter, you know that I was among the Seattle faithful at Qwest on Saturday, where the Seahawks became the only home team to win during Wild Card weekend. Longtime reader and commenter The Pirate Sloth has season tickets, and he kindly gave me one of his seats in the lower tier of the southern end zone (the one Marshawn Lynch assaulted his way into).
Saturday’s playoff game was the first sporting event I attended in years without trying to document and record things for future blogging use. My laptop was closed from Friday morning until I returned on Sunday night. I wrote nothing down at the game. I took almost no photos. I started drinking two and a half hours before kickoff and didn’t stop until beer sales ended after the third quarter. For the duration of the game, I was little more than a beer-powered air horn, shouting myself hoarse from the time the Saints offense huddled until they snapped the ball. When the Seahawks had the ball, I’d look up at the scoreboard and wonder what the hell was going on, and how long it could last before it fell apart.
I didn’t, of course, expect the Seahawks to win. Fandom is like religion: some people grow up with faith; some of us are skeptics who come to conclusions based on scientific evidence. This guy has faith:
(That’s a green 12 shaved into his head.)
I do not. The lively Saints fan behind me kept insisting that the Seahawks suck, and I couldn’t disagree given the regular season evidence. The best barb I could give her in the first half? “Have fun losing in Chicago next week.” She was, unfortunately, conspicuously absent halfway through the fourth quarter (Although she was preferable to the Seahawks fan who was yelling for Charlie Whitehurst to replace Matt Hasselbeck after ‘Beck’s deflected pass got intercepted. Holy shit, what a dumb bitch. NOBODY wants Charlie Whitehurst in the game).
Unfortunately, there’s not much more I can impart on the fan experience of being at home to watch your sub-.500 team knock the defending Super Bowl champions out of the playoffs. Qwest is loud, but you can hear that on TV. Some fans were dressed crazy, as some fans of every team do. Beast Mode’s touchdown, from the end zone, looked even more improbable and fantastic than it did on TV, though the stadium lacked the courtesy to show the replay the three thousand more times that we wanted.
So, this weekend the ‘Hawks travel to Chicago, and while anyone with eyes can see that the Bears are as terrible as an 11-5 team can be, I don’t have faith in Seattle’s ability to pull off another upset. I have hope, faith’s more intelligent younger brother. But not faith. The ‘Hawks are, after all, just an 8-9 team.
Or, as I like to think of them: the greatest losing team in NFL history.