Note: I’ve been off the blog grid lately, aside from Friday Fictioneers (which I’m late for this week!). Too much on my plate, juggling some big stuff, and figuring out how to make my blog and Huffington Post co-exist with out driving myself crazy. Lots of drafts, in the gray room… but getting them on-line is another thing. Oh, and I’ve been cleaning my office… so there’s that.
This piece is also featured in Huffington Post this week. If you have any thoughts, please drop by and leave a comment, share or like. It’s great to have my work supported when they publish it. Thanks! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dawn-q-landau/patriot-or-12-either-way-_b_6588266.html
I should start by saying: I’m not a football fan. It’s only fair to say that first. So don’t fill the comments with that observation; I’m owning that fact up front. However, I’m a homie fan: I love where I live, and I love local pride. I live an hour north of Seattle, in one of the most beautiful places you can find– anywhere, and I’m not shy about tooting that horn. While I’m not generally a football fan, I notice when the home team, the Seattle Seahawks, is front, and regardless of who’s playing, I watch the Superbowl each year. Still, even that is tainted by the fact that I’m mostly in it for the food, friends and fun. And the half-time show; there’s that.
Unless you are even more uninformed than me, then you probably know about Seattle’s infamous #12– The “12th MAN,” the amazing Seahawks fans. Yes, in Seattle the fans are so revered, so beloved, so totally over the top, that they have their own number– known as the 12th man: #12. So influential are the Seahawk fans, that on December 15, 1984, Seahawks’ President, Mike McCormack retired the #12 jersey forever, as a tribute to “the best fans in the NFL.”
It’s not just that Seattle’s fans are enthusiastic or supportive; lots of cities can claim the same. And again, I’m not that fan– this has all been a learning process for me since moving to the Seattle area in 2011. No, it’s not just passion; Seahawk fans have become quite famous for being… loud– very, very loud. It’s a daunting thing for any opposing team to face the Hawks on home turf. How loud are they? Seahawk fans are so loud that on December 2, 2013 at CenturyLink Field, they registered a 137.6-decibel reading– that is the 2nd loudest recording anywhere, in history. History! For reference, the eardrum ruptures at 150 decibels. On December 8, 2011, Seahawks fans literally made the earth shake during the NFL playoff game– when Marshawn Lynch made an epic 67-yard touchdown run. It’s not called Beast Quake for nothing; these fans earned that #12.
So let me say for the record: it’s hard to move to Seattle and not be a Seahawks Fan. When you live here, the #12 is everywhere! However, tonight when I ran to our local market to pick up a few things, my head was elsewhere: I had guests waiting at home; I was in a rush. I got as far as the produce and something tickled my attention. I couldn’t place it right away, but things took on a movie-like feel when I began to realize that I was pretty much the only one in the store that was not wearing blue and green Hawks gear. By chance, I had on just-the-right-blue shirt– and let me tell you, it probably saved me. Everywhere I looked, there were Seahawk jerseys, scarves, hats, smiles… and that’s just the customers! The entire store was decked out in blue and green decorations, banners, displays and products re-packaged for game day. Not just any game day, but Super Bowl Sunday, when the Seahawks will play the Patriots for best in the league.
Did I mention: I’m from Boston? Yes, I’m that girl: loud, brash, wicked ballsy– and please spare me the deflated ball jokes. I have heard more about balls in the past two weeks than anyone should have to suffer, simply because I’ve made no secret of my Boston roots. While I may not be a huge football fan, I grew up in Boston, went to college there, and let me be clear about this: you can take the girl out of Boston, but you can’t take the “wicked local” out of the girl. As the world saw after the Boston Marathon bombing, we are a tight community, and not like many other places. I am fiercely proud of my home town and where I come from– even if I now live nearly 4,000 miles west of there.
This presents a bit of dilemma for me on Super Bowl Sunday. Like I said, generally I’m in it for friends, food and fun… and if I’m honest, the food usually is the main draw. But this year is different; it’s my hometown homies against my adopted homies. Our dinner guest tonight, John, said to me: “I know you love Boston; I really do, but deep down, I know you love Seattle a little more. You’ll be #12 tomorrow.” We laughed, but honestly, I couldn’t say yes.
I do love Seattle– in fact, I’ve never been happier, anywhere else. The people are amazing; the natural wilderness here is unbelievable, and yes, the Seahawks are the bomb! But, and, Johnny, this is a big but: I love Boston too; it’s in my blood– it’s where I’m from. The Patriots were part of every Thanksgiving when I was a kid, and my entire family and all of my hometown friends are die-hard fans. Die. Hard. Patriot fans can give even #12 a run for it’s money in the loud and ballsy department. Yeah, balls;I said it– because Bostonians don’t shy away from an issue, and we’re the first ones to find something to laugh about. If you haven’t seen the plethora of hilarious videos about the deflated balls, start with the Jimmy Kimmel one, featuring famous Bostonian’s Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, as well as several other “fans.” It’s pure Boston.
It’s this simple: I love both.
While Seahawks’ blue and green looks a little better with my red hair, the Pat’s blue and silver is a smidge sexier and easier to accessorize. I can’t choose! So this Sunday, I’ll be on the fence– and I’m prepared to get splinters, as both sides try to pull me off. No matter how it goes, it’s win-win for me. I get to eat nachos; be with great friends, and either way: my homies win! (And, I’ve got tweezers in my purse, for the splinters)
If you’re not a Pat’s or a Seahawks’ fan, I’m sorry your team missed this. But for the sake of betting pools everywhere: who are you going to root for? Share your comments below.
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