It seems like only yesterday when my somewhat bewildered son turned to me after a particularly disastrous Seattle Seahawks’ football game and asked “Uh, Dad, could you tell me again why we’re Seahawks fans?”
Doling out a paternal slap upside the head with a hearty chuckle, I gave the trusting lad all the usual explanations for Seahawks fandom.
“Remember, son, no other team in the National Football League plays quite like the Seahawks. How many other quarterbacks do you know who routinely spike the football into the center’s helmet, or hand off that old pigskin to the opposing team’s head cheerleader? No, son, you’re never going to get bored watching the Seahawks as they, er, dominate the field,” I explained.
Respected football commentator and former coach John Madden, I pointed out, once described the Seahawks as the greatest mystery in American football.
“Hey, everybody loves a good mystery…” I enthused.
My son, however, is considerably older now (if anybody who’s 25 years of age can be ‘considerably older’ than anything), and I fear that sooner or later I’m going to have to tell him the truth about being a Seattle Seahawks fan. After all, I was the one who convinced him that the soaring Seahawks were going to win the 1988 Super Bowl.
Sad as it seems, I’m going to have to tell him that he’ll never have an opportunity to be anything but a Seahawks fan.
You see, those of us who follow the Seahawks aren’t exactly like other football fans. We’re universally perceived as somewhat deranged harbingers of bad luck. The term “nut squad” is bandied about when more than two of us show up anywhere at the same time. So is “Call 911…”
Our reputation has become so grotesque that no other team in the NFL will accept us as fans. Each of us is like a landlocked Flying Dutchman, blown from stadium to stadium with no hope of ever finding a safe harbor.
(See what I mean? This is not going to be easy to explain.)
According to secret documents I’ve obtained from a mole deep within the NFL, there are exactly six Seattle Seahawks fans residing within the state of California. That includes me, my son, three guys here at the newspaper and a chemically-challenged bicycle thief in Barstow.
Our identities have been noted throughout the league and any attempted defection to another team is invariably met with strong opposition.
For example, if I decided to become a Baltimore Ravens fan, I would probably receive a stiff form letter from a Maryland law firm explaining in no uncertain terms that there are no current fan vacancies within the Ravens’ organization.
On the other hand, trying to become an Oakland Raiders fan could easily land me in San Pablo Bay with an engine block tied around my neck.
I suppose I could advise my son to change his name, dye his hair, obtain a Belgian passport and follow the Canadian Football league for a few years before trying to insinuate himself into the ranks of Detroit Lions or Cleveland Browns fans.
Failing that, I suppose there’s always…
“Hey, Son, c’mon – they got a monster truck rally down to the fairgrounds!”
Originally published September 17, 2000