Hey, what about those Seahawks?

As the regular football season draws to a close and the playoffs begin, diehard Seattle Seahawks fans have a distinct advantage over followers of more commonplace NFL teams.

While fans of the ho-hum Raiders, ‘Niners and Packers are hoping soon to celebrate playoff victories or – dare they hope? – a shot at the Super Bowl, canny Seahawks fans have already observed their big event of the season.

You may have heard us proudly shouting out our celebratory mantra just last month when the Seahawks entered what fans reverently refer to as the “Gold Zone.”

In sheep camps, county jails, auto-wrecking yards and better soup kitchens from coast to coast, Seahawks fans were enthusiastically chanting “Second to last! Second to last! We’re second to last in the NFC West!”

Forget the playoffs, forget the Super Bowl, because the Seahawks somehow managed to dig their way out of the divisional basement for one more season and that makes Seahawks fans – all 382 of us – happier than pop-eyed pelicans in a mackerel barrel.

Yes, for a few brief moments this season, Seahawks fans from Tukwila to Tullahoma could once again bask in the glow of a well-deserved and long sought after second-to-last position.

(When this happens, in fact, many fans painstakingly clip the team standings out of the newspaper, laminate them and carry them around in their wallets for the rest of the year as good luck talismans or to win stupid bets in seedy waterfront taverns.)

“We are, like, sooooo much cooler than Detroit or Cincinnati,” a fellow Seahawks fan proudly informed me shortly before accidentally setting fire to his T-shirt while trying to ignite a celebratory Seahawks’ bonfire in his hibachi.

“Gah!” he added, no less proudly.

And can you blame him?

All season, hardy Seahawks fans – at least those who are out on bail – sit patiently through game after game as passes are fumbled, penalties are assessed and interceptions are thrown. It ain’t easy – even when the quarterback does something really cool, like throwing a bullet pass into the center’s helmet.

Admittedly, the quarterback’s not supposed to do that under normal circumstances, but it looks and sounds truly awesome when it happens.

“Whumpf!”

It’s what we fans like to think of as a genuine Seahawks’ moment, a split-second frozen forever in time that we can claim as ours and ours alone.

For each and every battered Seahawks devotee out there who’s ever endured the slings and arrows of outrageous Steelers and Cowboys fans, this is the vindicating moment when we can show – however briefly – that the Seahawks weren’t always in last place.

The season may be drawing to a close, but I can still hear those cries of Seahawk support echoing across America.

“Second to last! Second to last! Second to last in the NFC West!”

Say it loud and say it proud, amigos…

Originally published January 5, 2003

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