This morning, I had a funny feeling in my stomach. It’s the feeling one has after drinking a shitload of coffee while heavily medicated on Sudafed. So really, it’s not a funny feeling, but more so the rush of blood and adrenaline that comes along with the consumption of uppers. Maybe this is what meth feels like? Or maybe this the feeling that fans of Super Bowl-winning teams have every year when they kick-off the new season and have to repeat the success of the previous season. Either way, it’s a new feeling to me (except for those times that I have actually had way too much coffee and Sudafed).
I’m wearing my Russell Wilson jersey while at work. (If my manager is reading this, I am writing this blog post during my breaks, I swear.) This is the first football jersey I have owned and I bought it after Russell Wilson’s first year. If you ask a Niners fan* (and every other hater), this categorizes me as a bandwagon fan because this jersey is only a year old. I thought about this as I put it on this morning and figured there would be eye rolls and whatevers from people thinking that I am new to cheering for this team, thinking this is the first time these threads had seen the light of day besides when it was shipped a week ago. These people suck and are jealous and are probably sad on the inside. They also could be from Denver.
This bandwagon thing is not the case; as someone who likes to look good (read vain – I put pomade in my hair even when binge-watching television on Sunday afternoons), I would not be caught dead in a throwback jersey. Steve Largent may be a badass, but the throwback makes me look totally un-svelte. I like looking svelte. Wait – this is not addressing the bandwagon thing. Let me start from the beginning.
My grandpa was an original Seahawks season ticket holder. This means that my family has been a 12 since 1976, before the whole 12 thing became a thing. This doesn’t mean that we were like “oh my god the fucking ‘Hawks!” every Sunday; we were more interested in the Huskies on Saturdays, but I remember going to games relatively regularly. I remember going to the Kingdome. I remember eating hot dogs and being excited to see the Seagalls (ironically, my uncles and dad thought it was because I was interested in their bodies; I was more interested in their dance moves). I remember getting into my first car accident on the 90 when we were on our way to see the Seahawks take on the Cowboys who then shut us out and later won the Super Bowl, which leads me to proof #1: bandwagoners do not get into car accidents on their way to see a team get shut out by future Super Bowl winning teams.
When I was 12, I moved to Arizona. The Cardinals are similar to the Seahawks for the fact that they typically lose. And their mascots are birds. I heard very few things about the Cardinals when I moved to Arizona because Arizonans liked other teams, such as the Cowboys or Broncos or Bills. Most people who live in Arizona (well, Phoenix at least) are not from there, so they typically bring their allegiances with them. Because the Cardinals were perpetual losers (like the Seahawks), the only time people cared about the Cardinals was when they were winning. (Please see the definition of “bandwagoner” in your nearest dictionary.) The difference between Seahawk and Cardinal fans is that you will always find Washingtonians who care about the ‘Hawks regardless if they are losing; this is not really the case for Cardinal fans. This changed a little bit once they go their own stadium, but Seahawk fans were fans before the implosion of the Kingdome.
Here is proof #2 as to why I am not a bandwagoner: I never cared about the Cardinals even when they were winning (except when they played the Steelers in the Super Bowl, but that was because I had no reason to root for the Iron Curtain, especially after Seattle lost to them). I still feel apathetic towards the Cardinals to this day.
Some of my friends reading this are probably all, “But Dean, you didn’t care about football in Phoenix.” Which is true. You are correct in this assertion. I really didn’t start caring about football again until I moved to San Diego five years ago and participated in my first fantasy football league. Because football was absent from my life for 12 years, I didn’t feel any allegiance to the Cardinals (see above proof), and because I decided that I was now from California (which is what all people do who move to California), I thought it would be a good idea to cheer on the Chargers. This felt awkward, like walking into a room with a pony riding a person like a horse with the Macarena playing in the background. It was also potentially painful because if there is a team who regularly sucks more than the Cardinals or the Seahawks, it’s the Browns – and then the Chargers.
Because of these circumstances, I quickly reverted back to being a Seahawk fan. It just also happened to coincide with the Seahawks 2009 season where they went 5-11, while the Chargers went 13-3. This leads me to my proof #3: bandwagoners do not jump ship halfway through the season from a winning team to a losing team.
Back to Queasy
This leads me to today. Today I am nervous. Today, I am wearing my Russell Wilson jersey and looking forward to him and Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas and Percy Harvin and Marshawn Lynch and Jermaine Kearse and Byron Maxwell playing their hearts out. Today, if they win, then I will be a drunk-happy Dean. Today, if they lose, I will be a drunk-sad Dean. But it doesn’t change the fact that I will always root for the Seahawks before any other team. I may have left Seattle nearly 17 years ago, and I may not have been to a game since the Kingdome turned into ashes, but it doesn’t change the fact that Seattle, and in turn the Seahawks, are part of my identity. When I am back visiting my family, the city and the Seahawks keeps our bond alive. (Well, except for the fact that we are related and love one another.) The Seahawks are part of my childhood, and that can’t be taken away, even if people say to us 12s that we are bandwagoners.
And finally, some of you reading this are probably all, “A non-bandwagoner wouldn’t have to write a post about being a non-bandwagoner.” Well to you, dear reader, I say “Fuck off and GO HAWKS!”
*Also, did anyone else notice how many new Niners fans there were after the 2012 season?