It’s Sunny Skies for Seattle Seahawks
Seattle, Washington is the cloudiest city in the United States. Gloom rules the skies 62% of the year. Gloom has also ruled the Seattle sports teams for nearly a decade. Over the last few years the rise of the Seattle Seahawks has been an amazing ray of sunshine for a city used to gloomy skies.
Let’s be honest, other than a few brief years the Seattle sports scene hasn’t had much to crow about. Other than a few good seasons from the Mariners, Seahawks, Sounders, and “The team that can’t be named”, (even saying the word Supersonics in Seattle is a sure fire way to see a grown man curled into the fetal position crying), the city of Seattle hasn’t had a lot to hang their hat on. Superstars were plentiful. Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Matt Hasselbeck, Ken Griffey Jr, Randy Johnson, Shawn Alexander, Walter Jones, the list is impressive.
Seattle teams have never had a hard time getting the talent they need, but turning the talent into championships hasn’t happened. Yet, the fan bases for the major league teams haven’t waivered much. Sure the Mariners are having a hard time selling seats right now, but that could be due to the fact people are saving money for Seahawks season tickets. The Seattle Sounders have been the most successful major league team in Seattle as of late but they are often ignored because, well its soccer and sadly in America it just isn’t considered important enough yet. There are a lot of long suffering fans in Seattle who were waiting for the time when their city, their teams, would shine.
Media Frenzy Over 12th Man
The media has gone overboard the last two seasons talking about the 12thMan in Seattle. “Loudest fans in the world”, “Strongest fan base”, “Most obnoxious fan base!” “Most feared placed to play in the NFL”, all just media narratives that are truly missing what is actually happening in Seattle. A starving fan base, which has stayed loyal for so long, is finally getting a chance to cheer for a team that is what many consider the best in franchise history, even better than the 2005 Super Bowl team. Consider this. You are a fan of a team that, over the years, has let you down. Not played well, not made it to the playoffs, not grown.
Then you see a spark. You see your team doing well, adding players and coaches that are changing the philosophy and attitude of your beloved franchise. Three seasons later that team, who had been letting you down, is in the championship game. How would you expect those fans to react? They’d be loud, boisterous, proud, and they should be. It is normal to have that reaction when the one thing you’ve wished for in your sports world actually happens. These types of turn arounds and energizing of fan bases happens all the time in college and in the major leagues. Why the media has decided to focus so much on the Seattle fans has some people puzzled. However, I think I may have discovered why.
Seattle is New NFL Elite
If you look over the last decade of NFL playoff teams, no more than a hand full of “surprise” teams have made it to the big game. Teams with long histories of winning are usually who we see. New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants, all are names we’ve come to be used to seeing far into the post season. Those fan bases have become accustomed to the attention their team receives. There is only so much that can be said about Boston loving Brady, or Green Bay having the longest wait list for season tickets.
So whenever a new comer shows up and makes some noise, the media pays attention. Add all this all up: 2nd year stud quarterback, a loud brash secondary, a historic defense, a young and talented offense, a coach that is different than any other coach in the league, and a fan base that has no problem letting their presence be known. It equals a sports reporters dream. This is a team that goes against the grain. The owners and coaches are ok with it, so are their fans. Anytime a team of any sport sticks out or isn’t living inside the accepted box, you are going to hear about it. Heck, they made a movie about one teams unorthodox program. I understand other fans might be sick of hearing about them, but to the Seahawks fans, this is validation. They made it to the Super Bowl, they are getting credit for how well they play, and to hear it said out loud by people who used to only talk about other teams is an amazing feeling.
Seattle Seahawks Fans Have Paid Their Dues
I guess what it comes down to is this. This is the fan’s reward for loyalty. People don’t pay all that money for tickets, gear, and food so they can watch a team that isn’t performing. Oh I understand teams can get away with that for a few seasons, but over time most fans need to feel like they are a part of something special. That is their reward for all the time and energy they spend loving and often defending a team during the bad seasons. Teams give back to their fans in a million different ways, but winning – that is what fans long for. We are not the first fan base to go gaga over their team, nor will we be the last. We feel for those fans that are also long suffering and hope they get a revival of their own soon. We know some 12s may go overboard. Please forgive us though if we seem a little wound up and occasionally act a fool. Its just that we are finally getting to enjoy our reward.