Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Superbowl and Bandwagons

This is a different kind of post, but please read anyway.

Here in Seattle we've had only a handful of championship memories when it comes to our sports teams. The 1979 Supersonics and the 1991 Washington Husky Football team make up the only pair of champions we can claim to be our own.

In 1995 the Seattle Mariners came back and beat the Yankees in a five game series and transformed how folks in Seattle look at baseball. You can trace almost all Mariner fans back to 1995 and most of them have never heard of the likes of Floyd Bannister, Mickey Brantley, and Bruce Bochte. In other words...a new bandwagon.

Now our Seahawks are in the Superbowl and everyone cares. Hell, I care too!

I used to never miss a Seahawks game. Starting from 1976 I watched them every Sunday. I remember my dad scored two tickets to a game in their first year and we took a bus to the Kingdome and watched the Seahawks win their FIRST home game against the Atlanta Falcons.

I guess I began to lose interest in the Seahawks and the NFL in general after the player strike and eventually when a bad owner tried to move the Seahawks to Los Angeles. Generally if I had just one day to watch football during a weekend, it was on Saturday, not Sunday. I've followed the Seahawks but only as a casual fan attending a game whenever I had a chance. I am a bit of a bandwagon fan.

But my friend Ken is not. Ken has followed them through the bad years and through everything. He is now being rewarded for following them so closely all these years and will watch his team in the Superbowl. If they win, I'd bet he'll cry. Ken kicks ass.

I'm a bit sad that I don't have that fire for watching the NFL anymore. I really enjoy it but not like the college game. Thankfully this time I'll watch the Superbowl for something more than the commercials and the awful (and I mean absolutely dreadful) halftime show.

I will not cry, but it will be moving. Congratulations Ken, enjoy this.


PlatinumGirl said...

My husband feels about the Eagles the way your friend feels about the Seahawks (and has suffered similarly for it). Ironically, his other favorite team as a kid was the Seahawks, but he discovered the Eagles during the Randall Cunningham era. Still, I think he'd like to see the Seahawks beat the Steelers. I'm only in it for the commercials myself -- and I haven't seen any decent ones in a while. I think my favorite last year was the one where the guy jumps out of the plane w/no parachute chasing after Bud Light. Hilarious!

Monk Mojo said...

You forgot about those 1917 Seattle Metropolitans that won the Stanly Cup!

Go Seahawks, Go Mariners,

Tracy said...

Actually I didn't forget about the Seattle Metropolitans, I merely didn't mention them. The now defunct Seattle hockey team is the answer to the best beer bet debate question around here!

Robert the Grump said...

Seattle is definitely one of the black holes of sports championships. You could argue that we're currently the biggest black hole of all, a situation that the Seahawks can remedy, assuming they don't choke (they do feature two starters who are former WSU Cougars, you know).

But if you look hard enough there are some highlights. The Seattle Rainiers won several PCL baseball championships in the late thirties and early forties, a time when many pundits felt the PCL was actually better than the major leagues. The Rainiers of this period featured Earl Averill, who also played in the major leagues and is in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

In 1936, the 8 man rowing team from the University of Washington came from behind to beat the German team for the Olympic gold medal, in front of Adolf Hitler and the world.

In 1958, tiny Seattle University played in the NCAA Basketball finals, riding Elgin Baylor to the championship game, but falling short. Baylor was as good as Michael Jordan to those of us old enough to remember him.

The 2005 Women's Volleyball team from the UW is the current NCAA champion. I watched them because Sanja Tomasevic and Crystal Morrison are hot, but lo and behold, they were also the best.

Let's not forget that the Seattle Storm won a WNBA championship.

Like your friend I rooted for the Seahawks through the horrible Behring/Flores years, though it was a struggle. Worse yet, I went to a dozen or so Seattle Pilots games in 1969, an experience that almost ruined me for Baseball at age 12.

I'm not angry at the people who jump on the bandwagon when our teams are winning. It's revenue, after all, and it kept the Mariners out of Tampa Bay and the Seahawks out of Oakland.

But only us true long-time sufferers can really appreciate what it means to see the Seahawks in the Super Bowl. Now if we can just get Holmgren to call a fake field goal with a pass to the kicker like the good old days...