Avian Flu Ravages The Pacific Northwest

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 11:38 am

….Otherwise known as “Seahawks Fever”.

Ever since that fateful day, January somethingth, when the Seattle Seahawks beat out the Carolina Panthers in the final round of—um, the Stanley Cup? Wimbledon? Whatever—this town has become insufferable. “Go Hawks” adorns the readerboards of every establishment….I swear to God, some businesses went out and bought wholly unnecessary readerboards just for the occasion. Last—Monday? Friday? Who cares?—was deemed “Seahawk Blue Day”, where everyone wearing blue was assumed to be showcasing their rabid football fanboy status. Sadly, I own no jeans in Pittsburgh Steelers colors….whatever those are…so my tacit support of our beloved Gladiators of the Gridiron was inferred by any who did not know me better. Even the State legislature has gotten in on the hoopla, relaxing their restrictions on informal work attire to allow for Seahawks caps, jerseys and jackets. Presumably stripping naked and painting your body blue and green is still not permitted.

Look, if you approach this whole professional sports thing as entertainment, then that’s just fine, no harm done. People spend unbelievable amounts of money on their own diversion, and I see no reason why football should be the exception to the rule. A good seat at Seahawks Stadium probably doesn’t cost conspicuously more than a good seat at, oh, say, Benaroya Hall or the 5th Avenue Theater, and tickets for a sold-out performance of a major Broadway production doubtless get jacked up, short-sold and scalped just like their professional athletic counterparts. So that’s fine, it’s all just people with abundant disposable income deciding how they want to torch a little of it.

It’s the panting fealty, the misplaced hero-worship that leaves me reeling. So many sports fans actually seem to invest some (or entirely too much) of their self-esteem in their teams, leading to strong words, boiled-over tempers and even brandished fists. Watching people engaging in heated invective (or wierder still, coming to blows) over their favorite football team is like watching people engaging in a smack-down in defense of their preferred touring company of Cats.

“But Uncle Andrew, this is the Home Team! They’re out there representing us, the folks of the Emerald City!” Uh huh. Face it, most of these players are itinerant nomads: they roam from place to place, stopping to graze until greener pastures beckon. Many of them aren’t from around here, and pert near all of them would abandon their homes and their fans in a heartbeat should someone offer them another million-five per year to switch allegiances (A-Rod, anyone?). They’re professionals; this is their job, and they can do it anywhere that will provide them with the proper facilities and support, along with the most competitive salary.

Want hometown pride and dedication? Go to your kid’s high school basketball game, your neighbor’s kids’ Little League championship. Join your local softball league, or volunteer to help drive a van to the state junior taekwon do finals.

Just yesterday afternoon I ran across a kid standing with his dad out in the cold and wet outside the grocery store. They were selling candy bars for his soccer camp. I wasn’t in the mood for a king-size Butterfinger bar, but I gave him ten bucks. The fact that we’ve got two brand-spanking-new stadiums (stadia?) in our town—one just for baseball, one just for football (that replaced the one we hadn’t even finished paying for yet)—while kids stand outside in the cold begging for money for soccer balls and shin guards tells me everything I need to know about this momentously momentous moment in Seahawk history.

[I can’t do it. I was going to end this post with the snide phrase, “Go, Steelers”, but I just can’t. It’s disingenuous. I don’t want the Steelers to win. I don’t want the Seahawks to lose. I don’t want people to be disappointed or angry or feel like they got ripped off. I want people to have fun, to enjoy the spectacle. I’d also like them to keep their revelry confined to their homes, their hotel rooms, their local sports bar, etc., and not force the rest of us to feel the aftereffects of their stupendous victory/humiliating defeat in the form of car wrecks, fist fights, blocked streets and busted shop windows. I’d love for them to treat things like public education, arts, poverty, homelessness and hunger with a little, just a little, more earnest attention than the antics of a herd of hypertrophied muscular juggernauts in blue spandex pants. But that’s not my decision to make.]

*Sigh* go, hawks.

6 Responses to “Avian Flu Ravages The Pacific Northwest”

  1. Joe Says:

    Generally speaking I agree with you. However, every once in a while I enjoy catching a game. My preference is live. The best football I ever saw had mediocre play, way too many penalties, sub-freezing temperatures and a crowd that was totally into it. Martin Stadium in early November can be a real thrill.

    Professional football doesn’t usually interest me. It is too perfect. I like seeing the teams fight their own limitations as much as they fight their opponents. Football on that level is something I can identify with. However, I will be hooking up with some Super Bowl party this weekend. As a local who professes even a passing interest in football a unique event like the Hawks in the Championship has to be seen.

    Still if you want ridiculous football rhetoric, the Stranger Blog references an article equating the Hawks with Hamas.

  2. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Oh, that little snippet was just too dear…. 😀

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Joe, about the attraction of smaller matchups versus the spectacle of the Big Time. I enjoy watching the occasional small-time soccer game myself….takes me back to my AYSO days. High school football may be sports, but NFL is theater. Sort of soft-core porn theater, but theater nonetheless.

    And like I said, I have no problem with people enjoying the game. I doubt that you’ll be out in the street overturning cars if Seattle wins. Frankly, it’s one of your many endearing qualities. 😉

  3. Dalek Says:

    Fisherbear and I intend to strike a blow for humanity by spending SuperBowl Sunday browsing for a new bookshelf or two (or five). We plan on hitting Ikea, which as you know isn’t far from your place. If you and/or Margaret will be around, how about getting together for lunch/coffee/just plain howdy?

  4. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Heya! Margaret is working on Sunday, and I’m probably going to be either cowering in the closet under some coats or helping a friend set up his new computer, but if you’re in the mood and the neighborhood feel free to drop in, or drop me a line. 😉

  5. Michael Haring Says:

    It’s Rugby Season again!!!!! The New Zealand Rugby League (go Blues!) and The Tri-Nations Rugby League (go All Blacks!) are starting up again and I cannot wait to see “The Champions of the World” All Blacks once again do battle with the Springboks of South Africa and the Wallabies of Austrailia. Come on everyone do the haka with me now! :

    “Ka mate Ka mate Ka ora Ka mate Ka mate Ka ora
    Tenei te tangata puhuru huru
    Nana nei i tiki mai
    Whakawhiti te ra
    A upane ka upane A upane kaupane whiti te ra Hi!!!!!!!!!!”

  6. Uncle Andrew Says:

    I dunno, Man, I think I shot my wad with my histrionics over Tochiazuma’s amazing run from behind to take the Hatsu basho yusho in this year’s 14-day sumo tournament. I’m still numb. 😀

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