Sometimes it is impossible to put into words the exact emotions of a particular event, even for someone whose livelihood is use of the English language. How do you express the inexpressible or quantify the intangible? I find myself face to face with this dilemma as I sit down to relive one of the greatest moments in my life – the Seahawks winning the NFC Championship.
I’ve been a Seattle Seahawks fan all my life. I remember, as a small child, waiting in line for hours outside of the Albertson’s in Lacey just for the chance to meet Steve Largent and Dave Krieg. The air was cold, my feet hurt, and the line stretched to Tacoma, but I was set on meeting two of my childhood heroes.
My family was often too poor to attend the games while I was growing up, but I attended everyone just the same – right in front of my TV. I was sure Curt Warner and Cortez Kennedy could hear me as I shouted at them through the screen – “hit the hole hard!” “You’ve got to keep contain!” I’m not certain I even knew what those phrases meant, or if I was saying them at the right time, but I was passionate nonetheless.
I remember the excitment surrounding draft picks like Rick Meier and Brian Bosworth. I remember the scare of possibly losing our team and Paul Allen stepping in to keep them in Seattle. I can almost still taste the salt of the tears rolling down my face as I watched the Kingdome come crashing down.
Through all of this, the peaks and the valleys (usually way more valleys than peaks), one thing remained constant – the Seahawks would always let me down. Every single year ended in heartbreak. Some of the years the heartbreak came early as the Seahawks quickly found themselves out of contention (2-14 season anyone?) Other times, the heartbreak came right on the precipice of glory. This year, we as Seahawks fans, once again, find ourselves on that precipice. One foot is on cloud nine, ready to take us into the stratosphere, and the other is dangling dangerously over the drop zone.
Right after the NFC championship game, I was probably feeling more raw emotion than I ever have in my life. I was exuberant, thrilled, excited, you name it. Again, I don’t have words for it. But now it’s days after the Big Game, and I’m finally allowing myself to look ahead to the Super Bowl matchup – and I’m scared.
I’m not scared about the game, really, but more about my own emotions. I don’t want to be let down again. I don’t want another Northwest team to come oh-so-close only to allow us to fall off that cliff once again. Because just like what happens when we fall in love, we have now set ourselves up for either the greatest hurt we could ever experience (at least in sports) or the greatest thrill we could ever experience.
Most of my friends are telling me to not worry and to have faith. That is a lot of faith. I applaud you for having so much – but I’m a lifelong Northwest sports fan. Things like this don’t happen for us. I do hope. I do wish. And I’ll be rooting long and hard. It is time. Seahawks nation deserves this. I don’t use that term often – but after 37 years of waiting, it’s time to bring the Lombardi to Seattle.
I’ll be nervous. I won’t have any fingernails. I might not have any fingers. But I’m going to choose to hope and choose to believe. Final score prediction: SEAHAWKS 23 BRONCOS 21
January 22, 2014/Shane Rivers, Mariners and Seahawks correspondent for KMAS. Talking all thing sports related (and sometimes non-sports)
IMAGE/Shane Rivers JAN 19, 2014
Follow Shane on Twitter @Rainshivers