12th Man Unite! – or something like that

Today marks the start of the NFL playoffs and somehow the Seahawks are in it.  And not just in it, but hosting a game.  So, good on them.  I don’t wish them ill will, but I am definitely not a Seahawks fan.  (As previously discussed, we’ve got a lot going on in the football world in our house.)  But for today, I’m happy to cheer them on because their victory does not hurt any of my football allegiances.  Might even help them.

One of the great things about Seattle is that it is a city with a smaller town feel.  Maybe not town, but it feels smaller than it is.  Which is great and maybe just says more about the big city I came from – Washington, DC – then it does about the city we live in now.  Either way, the city really unites for events and behind sports teams, etc.  I was so surprised at how the city embraced the holidays – complete with a “holiday” tree atop the Space Needle.  It really had a small town feel to some of the holiday events.  Even smaller events like SeaFair or Pride Weekend are celebrated city-wide (and often with something atop the Space Needle to commemorate it.)

All of this relates to the Seahawks play off game because on my way to work yesterday morning I was greeted by this sight:

It’s the “12th Man” flag flying above the Space Needle.  The mayor of the city and one of the captains of a Deadliest Catch boat raised it high above Seattle yesterday morning.  (The Deadliest Catch boats dock in Seattle when not out doing deadly things in Alaska.  You can see them from the Ballard Bridge.  I believe most of the captains live in the area, but maybe I’m making that up.)   Qwest Field is one of the hardest stadiums to play in and A tells me it is the loudest outdoor stadium in the NFL.  (I wouldn’t know, I did not attend two games this season,  ahem.)  This distinction allows the Seahawks fans to feel pretty good about their contributions to games and declare themselves the “12th Man.”  As part of pregame tradition a local celebrity raises the flag at Qwest field to get the crowd going.  Even Sunday Night Football was pretty impressed with the tradition (and it did lead to a win last week.)

This sort of enthusiasm is hard not to feel and catch just a bit of.  As some photos have shown, we get pretty dressed up on game day here – matching Skins jerseys and bandannas or Pats maternity shirts.  When we would get dressed for the game when living in DC, we would often walk the dog before kick off to ensure that he would be quiet for the game.  It was unusual to run into fellow Skins fans.  Steelers fans, sure, but Skins fans (in DC mind you) was less common place.  I guess my point here is that people here are Seahawks fans.  There may be some transplants (like us) that they make DirectTv commercials about, but we’re the exception.  And that’s kinda nice.  So for now, go Hawks, long live the 12th man!


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