Perhaps Someday The Fear Will Pass, And I'll Be Able To Say "Go Seahawks"...
I'm not a terribly superstitious fellow. All that baloney about pitchers not stepping on the base paths during a no hitter, certain clothes bringing good luck etc. seems like hooey. That, and any other pre or during game rituals done by players or fans seems like mild OCD cloaked in some sort of weird, meglomaniacal belief that the deity that controls everything in the sports world is just as neurotic as the humans watching, and that if Joe Lunchpail doesn't wear the same sweater that he wears every Sunday that Jesus/God/Allah/Buddah/Sky Fairy will get all confused and cause the kicker to shank one to the right as the clock runs down.
All that being said, I have been petrified to jump on the Seahawks bandwagon this year. For more than 20 years, this team provided me with no reason whatsoever to believe that this season would be anything other than another slightly mediocre year followed by a quick exit from the playoffs.
You would think that this season should've erased all doubts in my mind. After all, they haven't lost a meaningful game since September, they have a seasoned veteran quarterback having his most mistake-free season ever, a running back who was only good enough to break the single season record for touchdowns, an exciting defense that makes big plays, and a totally solid special teams unit.
They failed to do the one thing this year that would've shut every east coast-biased, Atlantic time zone, Mike and the Mad Dog-listening douchebag up. THEY FAILED TO BEAT THE GIANTS BY MORE THAN 40 POINTS TWO MONTHS AGO. Ever since that day, there's no impressing anyone. They could've gone completely undefeated, and every conversation I've had with an east coast football fan would've still gone the same way. "I'm just not convinced. They totally lucked out that one game. They didn't beat the Redskins THAT convincingly." And most important and compelling, "They're all the way up there in the middle of nowhere".
Even up until last week, I was still apologizing for sticking up for these guys, telling people it wouldn't surprise me if Carolina kicked their ass (even if I knew in my head that they could easily beat Jake DelHomme, and that the only reason they'd run so far in the playoffs up until now was that they'd played two teams that didn't take them seriously, and couldn't game plan on either side of the ball to save their lives).
I'm also aware that pressure is a very real thing, and that the more I go around tooting the Hawks horn, that adds 1 one millionth more of a weight onto their shoulders as they go out there next Sunday.
So let me just say this. In the least cocky, non-pressure creating way I can, I'm going to cheer on the Seattle Seahawks next weekend. The time for keeping quiet is over, but while I'll definitely bring it on gameday, I'm going to sit back and let the pressure on Pittsburgh increase. I've got a lot of respect for Roethlisberger and Bettis, but as they start to see the magnitude of expectations being heaped on them, I think they'll crack, and hopefully Seattle will be there to pick up the pieces.
Now, while I'm on the subject of the Seahawks, let me just air one grievance;
The whole '12th man' thing, just stop it already. It smacks of something that a small town with a crummy team has to do rile up support amongst the yahoos. Yes, we get it, you have passionate fans, I'm one of them, but so does everyone else, and #12 wasn't exactly the MVP of the team while they were getting their heads kicked in the last 20 years, so why are y'all taking so much credit now?
So Knock on wood, cross fingers and toes and put on your lucky socks people! It's time for the Seahawks to play in a Super Bowl!!!