It’s no secret that I’m a huge Seattle Seahawks fan. Have been for many, many years.
Just so happens that last year and this year we’ve been able to get to the Super Bowl. Last year was a lot more successful as far as taking the championship home. This year, although not as fruitful, showed more of how much heart this team has developed.
That’s not what this article is about though.
I’m writing to talk more about the community of people and fans that have either fallen in love recently or have been in love with this team since its inception. No, I’m not going to talk about true fans or fair weather fans, or even bandwagon fans. I’m going to talk about the pride that this team and its recent success have resurrected in the sports fans in the Pacific Northwest.
Briefly, let me talk about the culture of the fan in the Pacific Northwest as far as its sports is concerned. Before the Seahawks, Seattle has claimed a few world championships.
The 1979 Seattle Supersonics had taken home an NBA world championship. It was the only one it brought home. It came close but thanks to the Denver Nuggets and the Chicago Bulls, our basketball team was able to bring it back. And then in 2008, our team was stolen from us. Yes I said stolen. To learn more about that you should watch the Sonicsgate documentary. It’s truly eyeopening.
Our WNBA team, the Seattle Storm, brought home its first of two championships. This team is our most successful to date. These awesome athletes brought home a championship in 2002 and 2010.
The Seattle Sounders, our futbol or soccer team, has brought home 4 US Open Cups.
The only major athletic team to not bring home a championship yet (and I believe that we have a squad that can do it now) is the Seattle Mariners. Since 1977, the team has endured many a heartbreak. I won’t get into the details of those heartbreaks but truthfully, up until the Seahawk’s championship win in 2013, the Mariners probably best describe and define the fans and fandom of this region.
It’s hard to believe in good things happening for Seattle sports. Many times you’ll listen to the radio or talk to a Seattle sports fan and you will hear hesitation in giving full belief on some of the good things that may happen. Maybe a good cliche’ would be, “Close but no cigar.” Or another would be, “Cold day in hell.” Well, you get the point. Until that the championship in 2013, that was the Seattle sports fans storyline.
This Seattle Seahawks team has changed that feeling. For the most part, the fans or as we call ourselves the “12s”, are starting to believe that curse, that grey cloud over or city’s sports teams, has been lifted. The 2013 team has proven that. Even with the loss this year in the Super Bowl, you already hear the talks of being champions in 2015. The national take on us and our team: we are now the villains. That’s a good thing. Why? When you win, everyone who isn’t in line with you and have their own team to root for, believe you are the worst thing that has happened to them and their team. Our team is now…that team. Our fans can be or are…those fans.
My take is that the 12s can be mentioned in the same breath as the fans from the Green Bay Packers, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the San Francisco 49ers…really any other team that has gained success and has maintained that success, you will find some passionate, die hard, go home or die trying fandom. That’s a beautiful thing.
Like many other fan communities, the 12s take it past just the idea of football. They take the road of charity and philantrophy and organize on behalf of the Seahawk fan community.
When you walk around our region and you are wearing the team colors you will be be given the “Go Hawks!” similar to the greetings in Hawaii with “Aloha.” It’s a token that carries that pride far past the football field. In some crazy way, you can say it’s starting to become a way of life. The crazy fans from New York, Boston, LA, Chicago and all the other crazy sports organizations have them. Well now, Seattle has it’s own also.
That fear of failure has been lifted for the time being and should be for a long while. The Seahawks are the organization to get its due from its fans. The Mariners, the Reign, the Sounders, and when the Sonics come back, will have a fan base that now believes. That’s a scary and beautiful thing.
I speak for my 6 year old son, myself, my friends…shoot…the 12s when I say, I’m excited for Seattle and our sports teams. I hope all other parts of our region (political etc) takes heed. When you start believing, you will get some really great results.