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I have always enjoyed watching football. I watched the games with my father as a little girl. I’ve watched the games throughout my adulthood years, but I have never TRULY been a fan of any football team – be it NFL or college. I’ve always oriented my alliance with various teams depending on my geographic location. It wasn’t until two years ago, when Russel Wilson was recruited to the Seattle Seahawks team as one of the quarterbacks, that I made the fan connection. The magic that caused the transformation? It’s simple. Even though he was a rookie and slated as backup for the primary quarterback, his performance and leadership dictated that he BE the Primary QB. Along with that was his humility and simple approach to improving performance which made him an instant leader for this team. But, it doesn’t stop there. His intelligence and focus on the task at hand was infectious. These qualities brought forth a special synergy and cohesion within that team that resonated throughout and the end result is a Championship team! World Champions! Winning the Super Bowl!
That was what solidified my “fan-ness” for the Seahawks. I love a person who doesn’t let their ego get the better of them. I love it when he is questioned about his success and he simply says, “Why not us?” He doesn’t hoard the accolades all to himself. In fact, he is more apt to put the entire credit toward the team; as it should be. He is a true leader and I admire that; especially in a world where true leadership is very rare. Most folks in leadership positions these days abuse it or have no clue what to do with it. His leadership qualities SHINE through and fosters teamwork and true focus without dwelling and gloating on past successes like last year’s Super Bowl win. That was then and this is now! That’s what it is all about!
Of course, we can’t have a leader without a great manager making those quintessential choices on team members and that fell on Pete Carroll. Pete is a steadfast, wise, yet positive manager with a great knack for thinking outside the box. How many coaches would choose a small guy for such a large roll? How many coaches have such a vision to see the raw talent, speed, skill-set and leadership qualities necessary to make a successful football team? Pete Carroll is that guy! He is open-minded, patient and takes a youthful, fresh approach.
It is this combination of character qualities, personality and belief that is the catalyst for growth, drive and focus for the rest of the team. Sure. We have the well-educated yet out-spoken Richard Sherman; natural leader for the defensive line. To some, he may seem full of himself, and perhaps to some degree he is. But, what I see is a well-articulated spokesperson for the team. He just says it like it is. He’s just a little more vocal. He’s the red pepper spice to the team. We need heat in our recipe for greatness! Just like a great recipe, you have to have a great balance of seasonings and spices in order for the dish at hand to be wonderful. That is how this team is. A lot of great flavors coming together to make a wonderful thing.
The Legion of Boom is an integral part of the Seahawk success story to include Avril, Bennett, Mebane, Scruggs and Earl Thomas, to name a few. There is Marshawn Lynch in Beast Mode, pounding down the yards with a stellar carry towards the goal. Other notables are Percy Harvin with magic speed, fleet-footed Jermaine Kearse, Robert Turbin and Doug Baldwin; all contributing to the power of the punch. Who can forget Stephen Hauschka’s true-toed, almost-NEVER-misses saves and kicking prowess! These guys make a powerful team and they make football fun to watch. They’ve historically been a second half power machine but they continue to focus, grow and improve! Already in 2014, they’re scoring well and consistently in the first half! It look like another exciting football season to witness and I’m excited to be associated with it as a TRUE FAN! A TWELVE!
This post is dedicated to this FIRST FOOTBALL TEAM I’ve ever truly become a fan of. I now have my own team jersey with the number 12 on it. I chose that number because it will never be retired! Pete Carroll will not always be the coach of the Seahawks nor will Russell Wilson always be the quarterback. We would LOVE for that to be the case but realistically, that can’t be. However, the TWELFTH MAN will ALWAYS be there in support of the Seahawks. That number will NEVER be retired. So, I proudly wear my jersey on game day, ring my brass bell -at my front door- for every touch down and fly my 12 flag for the entire football season. This page is dedicated to greatness, leadership, humility, determination and focus. GO HAWKS!!!!
Play me too!
The regular season is now done. The Seahawks have won the AFC West Championship and are now in the playoffs, heading toward another Super Bowl Game. Super Bowl XXXIX! Not only that, but because their final game was victorious, they also enjoy a “Bye” week and home field advantage throughout the playoffs! Here is a recap of their 2014 season:
|Seahawks Preseason 2014:|
|Seahawks Regular Season 2014:|
Will we go to the Super Bowl again? I believe we will! Why? Not because this team thinks they are “all that,” because they don’t. Not because they believe they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. No. None of that. This team plays with humility, dignity and grace. Sure, they have been leaders in penalties but they continue to work to correct that. Those penalties aren’t because they are trying to pull something fast over the other team. There isn’t ONE MEMBER of this team that thinks their success is solely because of themselves. They are a cohesive team with superior leadership that begins from the top, down. Pete Carroll believes in consistency, study and practice. He also believes in having fun! He trusts his team leadership on the field. The team quarterback does not showboat; he merely leads with honesty. Each player is equally valued. All players feel they are a viable, contributing factor in the success of this team. This true team spirit, leadership and humility is what brings them continued success!
If you watch the game, during the commercial breaks, you can see them dancing on the sidelines and having fun! They understand that this is their job but also they LOVE their job. They feel they are honored and privileged to be playing the game they love and understand that they are being paid well to do it but at the same time, their success comes from a synergy between the coaching staff, managing office and owners but also – and for them, most importantly – their fans, the Twelfth Man. They take each game as it is, the next game. They focus on THAT game. The ultimate goal is, of course, the Super Bowl, but in order to get there, the Seahawks know that they have to play one game at a time to get there and do it the best way they can. They share in the work, the study, the honing of skills, help each other out, mentor, acknowledge and have fun; all at the same time!
Off the field, their positive attitude carries forward into the community! Each player has a story of where they started from. Each player understands their humble beginnings. Russell admitted this year that growing up, he was a bully. In sharing this with his fans, his message is that just because you started out a certain way DOES NOT mean it is the only way to be. Once a bully; always a bully? No. His message is that we are all human and have life lessons to learn and demons to overcome. In recognizing that, he sets an example on how we all should continue to grow and live life successfully. Kam Chancellor spoke about his humble beginnings in Norfolk, VA, where his mother – a single parent of six children – worked sometimes THREE JOBS to take care of her brood. She didn’t make excuses or ask for handouts. She simply knuckled down and provided; understanding that her kids were HER responsibility. This instilled in Kam the value of working hard to achieve your own goals, on your own, and in succeeding, giving back to those who helped you along the way. In this case, it was his mother. He told her once that he would buy her a home some day and he did just that!
These guys are unabashed when talking about their roots, their personal challenges and how they moved forward to success. Money does not define their success. Instead, they express that it is the honor of playing a game they love for a fan base that loves THEM! In honoring their fan base, they give back! Pete Carroll focuses on trying to reduce teen violence in cities like Los Angeles and Seattle. Richard Sherman works to help provide school supplies for foster kids and those families who cannot afford them. Earl Thomas has a foundation called Guardian Angel. Russell Okung has a foundation for helping single parent families. Russell Wilson visits Children’s Hospital in Seattle every week! Marshaun Lynch has his 1st Family Foundation. The list goes on. Their success is measured in how they are able to give back.
THIS is why I am a fan of this team! So, as a Twelve, I support their success, one game at a time, to this year’s SUPER BOWL! That is also why, just before every game the Seahawks play, I post to my Facebook news feed, “I believe!” I simply believe in this team!