One of my friends offered to sell her Seahawks tickets on Facebook this week. I don’t know if she actually managed to sell them, but I thought it was funny when one of her friends responded with a single word: *Crickets!*
A hot ticket the Seattle Seahawks are NOT. But, things aren’t as totally dire as I believe they are. I’m amazed how quickly tickets are snapped up when someone at work sends a mass e-mail throughout the corporate offices. I can’t tell if we’re still in that Honeymoon phase with Qwest Field (or, for that matter, our Super Bowl run and string of playoff appearances), or if we are a bona fide hardcore football town like some of these other cities (mostly back East). I do feel there is a collective sense of, I don’t want to call it “civic pride”, but a definite pride in what the Seahawks have to offer (and maybe more specifically what that STADIUM has to offer).
Whenever I go to a Sounders game, I’m always in awe. They’ve got a whole section at that one end where they do nothing but chant, sing, jump around, and otherwise make their presence felt no matter what the score. And that stadium-wide clapping thing they do before games? I honestly thought I was having some kind of acid flashback. It’s like something you would see out of a movie!
I know Seahawks fans don’t really compare – we’re talking apples and oranges here. Seahawks fans (to my knowledge anyway; I haven’t been to any games THIS season) don’t chant or sing or choreograph intense pre-game, stadium-wide fan-participation events. But, they can get loud as fuck. Soccer, without the uber-fans in that one section, would just be a collective series of loud “Ohhh-OHHHHHH!”‘s followed by extended periods of silence. There are more opportunities for fans to get loud for football; it’s just the nature of the game. Whenever the Seahawks are on defense, ESPECIALLY on third down, and ESPECIALLY when the other team is inside their own five yard line. And, of course, whenever the Seahawks score or make a big play (which, in spite of what shit I’ve been talking about them this season, is pretty frequent compared to soccer).
But, I really think it IS the stadium that’s the draw. And I think it’ll continue to be the draw no matter how poorly the Seahawks play this season or in subsequent seasons. Of course, that’s a foolish statement to make, because if they run together a bunch of records like they did in the 1990s, the fans WILL stop going, because who wants to see mediocre football week-in and week-out? But, I dunno.
First of all, there’s just something about going to football outside. The Kingdome was destined to fail because I can’t think of anyone (except the old and the infirm) who would prefer to sit in a dome rather than in an open-air stadium. Pissing rain or not pissing rain; football is best played outdoors. Secondly, the fact that we can generate the kind of noise with an open-air stadium that you only see in a dome? That’s probably the most brilliant thing anyone ever came up with in stadium design since the retractable roof.
Third – and this is our ace in the hole, even though I used to find it pretty hokey – you’ve got to give it up to the organization for their whole 12th Man thing. Yeah, retiring the number 12 for the “Fan” is pretty silly (it smacks of a team with a piss-poor history and nobody worth memorializing), but when you include the fans in that way – essentially making them part of the team – it’s only going to solidify whatever rabidness was already there. People always give other people shit when they refer to the team they follow as “we”, but you know what? In this case, with what the organization has done, and with how the fans show up to cause serious trouble for opponents, Seahawks fans have the absolute right to use the word “we” when discussing the Seahawks.
The fans in Seattle make the Seahawks better. You can see it in the false starts, you can see it in their home record vs. their road record, and you can see it in how the defense plays at home vs. on the road. It’s undeniable. The fans of this city carried Charlie Whitehurst and the rest of the Seahawks to the NFL playoffs last year when WE beat the Rams. Then, the fans literally caused an earthquake when Beastmode went BEASTMODE the following week.
It’s these performances, it’s these moments that keep the fans coming to this stadium to cheer on this team. And that’s why I feel like we’re going to be in good hands going forward as far as the ticket situation is concerned. No longer will we have to pray for a nationally televised game to see our team on television when they’re at home. No longer will we have to go to bars with Direct TV. The fans love this team because the fans ARE this team. That’s a hell of an ace in the hole to have, especially for a city doomed with the label “Fair Weather”.
It’s this reason and this reason alone that I think the Seahawks are going to beat the Bengals this weekend. That and the likelihood (according to reports today) that Tarvar will be under center. How weird is it that for the first time this year I will actually be ROOTING for Tarvar? To SUCCEED! Absolute insanity.
Let’s go ‘Hawks! Kick some Bungle ass!