Seattle Blogger Says It’s ‘Not Ok’ Not to Care About Seahawks
Leave it to a blogger from Seattle's own Post-Intelligencer (Seattle PI) Newspaper to make my point exactly. This isn't because I am a Packers fan, I didn't really care one way or another about Seattle. But this writer has summed up why I am now extremely annoyed with many of the feathered fans.
Jake Ellison wrote yesterday in the blog section of the PI the following story: "Is It Ok NOT to Care About Seahawks?" And his answer was a resounding "no."
Now in fairness, this article is targeted at West-Siders, and especially residents of the City that's Recently Lost It's Mind ($15 minimum wage). But it also nails the attitude many Hawk fans across the state display towards those who aren't or haven't drunk the Kool-Aid. Ellison makes some points in the story, to which I respond:
*He claims if you want to participate in the social and economic life of this city (Seattle) you have to be a fan. Even a fake one. Even Ellison admits "we are notorious for being fair-weather fans, and now you're either sitting alone at lunch, or talking about the Seahawks." That statement itself is pretty pathetic. That attitude goes beyond sports. To collectively lose one's mind to the point where you alienate, belittle and even heckle those who don't agree with your assessment makes you on the same intellectual level as the Occupy Wall St. Movement. It shows a lack of maturity, faithfulness in supporting a sports team through good and bad, and a lack of character. I cannot recall how many times my wife and I have been told, "you're from Washington - you HAVE to like Seattle." That's like saying my wife has to like onions just because part of her life was spent on a farm in Franklin County.
I guess that kind of mentality is on display when my wife is at work at the bank, and customers reduce her to tears because on "wear your jersey to work day," she wore Broncos gear this fall. Proud of yourselves?
Ellison writes: Like it or not, this city has lost its collective mind over the Seahawks. This is a new feeling for us. Up until a few years ago we were judged to be among the worst sports towns in the country. There are Hawks and “12th Man” flags everywhere. Go to any little community within 600 miles around here and you’ll see icons of the Hawks and the 12th Man posted all over.
This ties in with the fair-weather fan admission. Part of the reason Seattle was voted one of worst sports towns in the U.S. wasn't just because of poor showings by it's collegiate and professional sports teams. It was also the fan base. Where were all you fans when the Huskies went 0-12 under Tyrone Willingham a few years ago? Despite poor play, does that cause you to abandon your team? The fan base snored when Clay Bennett repeatedly threatened to move the Sonics out of town, and moved them to sell-out crowds in Oklahoma City. The city doesn't exactly flock to see the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL. They're one of the most successful hockey franchises in the Western Hockey League, yet the nearby Everett Silvertips outdraw Seattle by considerable margins every year.
But four years later in 2012, they decided they wanted their Sonics back, holding a futile rally in Occidental Park. In 2013, a group of investors tried to get the NBA to allow them to relocate the Sacramento Kings, only to see THAT city slap Seattle in the face by raising funding to build a brand new arena, and make a strong community commitment to supporting one of the most downtrodden franchises in the league the last ten years.
Former Commissioner David Stern never admitted it, nor did the owner representatives, but sources in Sacramento whispered part of the reason the NBA didn't relocate the team is because they remembered the indifference the fan base showed when the Sonics left town.
Besides Hawks, the Sounders draw very well. But soccer fans are famous for supporting their teams, soccer is big on the West side, and the team has been successful. Plus, they only sell half the seats at the Clink for Sounders games, so it's easy to sell out.
These views shared by Ellison and the core Seattle area fan base have spread across the region. It's one thing to have passion and root for a team. But despite being a Packer fan since I was 7, my week isn't ruined if they lose. I don't rip on people wearing Lions jerseys (even though I detest Green Bay's NFC North rival). And I certainly don't bring a poor woman to tears just because my team won the Super Bowl a couple of years ago. Didn't then, I don't now.
So, Mr. Ellison, I believe it IS ok not to care about Seattle. And don't give me that "oh this happens in every city" crap. Does that make it right when it comes to ripping on other team's fans? Reducing a poor woman to tears? Regardless of the sport, class, dignity and self-respect are the real qualities of a fan...even a self-admitted fair-weather one at that, Mr. Ellison.