The Super Bowl is in less than a week, and ever since the Seahawks clinched a place in it, Seattle has lost its collective mind. Which I sort of understand. I played sports. I understand competition. I come from a sports city that has seen its fair share of championships. I know what it’s like to see a team that you’ve spent your life cheering for make it to the last game, the big one, the one that determines which team is the best team. There’s a mania to it, and since a mania is a psychological disorder, I suppose it makes sense that for a minute there, it feels like you had something to do with it.
But you don’t, of course. No, Seattle. No, St. Louis. No, people at my work who tried to convince me that the crowd is very loud and because of that, other teams get confused and that is why the Seahawks are in the Super Bowl and the 49ers are not. No. As a citizen of your hometown’s team, it makes perfect sense that you are a part of the celebration, but in no way did you contribute to the team itself winning the actual game that put them in this position.
I’ve got nothing against normal sports fandom. But when it comes to that creepy, continued use of the pronoun “we,” or referring to players as though they were close personal friends, or, shit, let’s make this worldwide, crazed violent hooliganism, hey, sports fans, are you fucking crazy? And not in the acceptable way?
I don’t even think I’d feel differently if I was a football fan. Or if I was living in a city where everyone wasn’t so fair weather about its teams (because yeah, Seattle, it’s reasonable to keep crying about the Sonics leaving six years ago but by all means, continue to leave by the fourth inning of every Mariners game). I’ve been thinking about the variables and the only answer I have is that quite a lot of people are deeply deluded and it takes something like the Super Bowl (or the World Series, or one team leaving a city for another city because professional sports are a business and that’s what happens sometimes) to bring them out of the woodwork. And I think it would be nice if the Seahawks won. I enjoy civic pride. I just want it to be reasonable and I want to stop hearing people talk about Marshawn Lynch like he was just over to their house for dinner.
At work today, one of the people who was trying to convince me of the Seattle fandom’s absolute involvement in the Seahawks victory claimed that over 30,000 people showed up to wish the team farewell on their way to the Super Bowl. They also claimed that only 200 showed up in Denver for the Broncos farewell.
Which is – ahem – false, but I think what bothered this person most was when I replied “Yeah, but Denver has won the Super Bowl before, so maybe the people there know what it’s like already.”
Be cool, everyone. Act like you’ve won something before. And stop saying “we” so much, it’s fucking nuts.