This is a copy of the ring our beloved Seahawks earned during the season of 2013. For the first time, the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl. All of us Twelves were elated! As Bill Wixey of KCPQ in Seattle put it, an intense love affair occurred between the Twelves and the Hawks. That love affair continued through the 2014 season and even into 2015 when the Seahawks again went to the Super Bowl and then, like a huge anti-climatic cliff hanger, lost in the last minutes of the game. Poof! No rhyme; no reason. Everyone was stunned including the team.
I’m a fairly new fan of the Seattle Seahawks. I committed my fanatical allegiance to them three years ago when Russell Wilson became a Seahawk. Like Bill Wixey, my husband has been a fan of the Hawks since they first became a franchise. While my relationship with them has been one of hopeful pride and unconditional support, his has been a love/hate relationship. When they lose, he is angry and bitter but when they win, he is naturally pleased.
My reasons for becoming a Twelve may seem a bit naively altruistic. I saw an underdog of a team that played with such heart and determination, it was contagious! I saw humility and sportsmanship unlike any other team I’d seen. They were a cohesive team! All of the players played for each other! When they screwed up, they admitted to it and worked to correct mistakes. No one player was better than another. Off the field, they shared their success with their fans and community. These are the morals, values and principles I live my life by and I saw a lot of myself in them. For that, I committed my fanship to them.
I’m one who is fiercely loyal! Once I make up my mind on something, it takes A LOT to deter me. I’ll get upset and I’ll worry but I’ll still be loyal. My loyalty is not performance based. If that were the case, I’d be moving my fan alliance all over the league and that could get expensive! So, here I am, a Twelve! Every game, I ring the brass bell mounted on the outside of my house by the front door for every touchdown. I holler and scream at the top of my lungs during the plays! I have two official jerseys with the number twelve on them; one for home games and one for away games. I chose that number because unlike all the other numbers – Russell’s three or Richard Sherman’s twenty-four – it won’t ever be retired. This is MY number, just like the other Twelves. I subscribe to the “win, lose or tie; I’m a Seahawks fan until I die.” I utter and post the words, “I believe” on Twitter and Facebook before every game. Boom! I’m in! My front gardens have become a shrine with two flags a-flyin’!
Today, my heart is heavy, though. This last summer, Russell Wilson and several other key players were signed into contracts with HUGE payouts. They are all very rich people now! Has the almighty “Golden Carrot” corrupted the humble Seahawks? Was all of that heart, humility, sportsmanship, grace, teamwork all just a ruse? Did what I see and believe in about the Seattle Seahawks suddenly evaporate like fog to the hot sun? A team who has always had a great defense and who tends to be strongest in the second half has suddenly become ineffective! Though they seem to start out strong, they fade throughout the game. The past two games are pitiful examples of serious complacency. I don’t see players protecting their Quarterback or stepping up to capitalize on opportunities like they did in the past two seasons!
I tossed fitfully, all night long, pondering why! What happened to my beloved Seahawks? Have they returned to mediocre playing because they are very handsomely paid now? Do they now feel they don’t have anything to prove? Where did their honesty and heart go? Where is the dedication? Where’s the teamwork? I would hate to learn that money has indeed replaced the determination to being the best NFL team alive! I would love for them to once again engage the Twelves and make the stadium, once again, resound with record-setting decibels of pride; because for now, there is a silence building.
Yes, my dear Seahawks, you DO have something to prove. Prove to your fans that you aren’t like all of the other teams, focused only on the almighty dollar. Show us your dignity and grace! Prove to us that you still play with the heart and determination of a TRUE CHAMPION. Prove to us that you are still here to play the best game possible. Prove to us that you are all still the team we come to know and love! Give us reason to be the loudest stadium in the world again! Give us a reason to pay those crazy ticket prices!!! Show us that you deserve the Twelves as your fans. Ya gotta be real! Well, are you?