I am a football fan, and more specifically, a Seattle Seahawks fan.
The hype, the loyalty, the sweat, the planning, the plays.
I love all of it.
I am the 12th man.
I am also more than that and you are not better than me.
When 700,000 people crowded downtown Seattle to welcome the Lombardi trophy home for the first time EVER, the energy was so intense that I could feel it here, 40 miles south. The city came together and they flooded the streets to witness history and cheer for the team that represents our city in the National Football League.
They braved the freezing cold and stood shoulder to should for hours, just waiting for a glimpse of the young talented men that represent so well the American dream.
The young men like Richard Sherman, who graduated top of his class in a rough neighborhood of Compton, before getting his degree at Stanford and proudly carrying the most sought after trophy in the NFL down 4th ST for over half a million of his closest friends.
My Facebook feed was full of the pictures of rowdy fans in blue and green. Witnessing history and soaking up Seattle’s long awaited national championship win.
Some of you, though, were less enthused. And this one is for you. YOU posted updates that said:
“More people downtown right now than voted in city elections.”
“Wouldn’t it be great if these people were this passionate about things that matter?”
“Where was the parade like this for our troops?”
I get that. Kind of. Voting is important. Supporting our troops is important, and there are things bigger than football in the world deserving our attention
but what a ridiculous assumption it is that people like me can’t love football and dedicate ourselves to larger causes at the same time.
I try to stay aware of the world events and keep up on things that are happening in the world, and do what I can to help. I sign the petitions, I donate my money, and A LOT of my time. I spread awareness and I ALWAYS vote. I spent Tuesday evening appearing before the mayor to bring awareness to a cause close to my heart. While I am proud of the work that I do in my community, I am not saying all of that to make myself look better. I am saying it because I am not unlike many other NFL fans that do the same things.
That’s why we need a break. The human mind is strong. It can handle a whole lot of heartbreak, but sometimes, there needs to be an escape. This is why people check out when they are experiencing heartbreaking horrors that you and I can only imagine. This is why we have repressed memories.
It doesn’t mean we don’t care. It means that we are human, and as such, we enjoy being entertained.
It is the same reason that even during the Great Depression, 60-80 million Americans attended the movie theatre each week. It provided an ESCAPE from the harsh realities that our country was facing. It was a brief time where despair was forgotten, and morale was lifted.
If football isn’t your thing, that’s cool….
but unless you have never sat in a packed theatre appreciating a Broadway show, gotten caught up in a Hollywood movie, or found yourself lost in the art of a song, tapping your foot to the beat and for *just* a moment, letting your troubles be forgotten…
then you have to understand and appreciate the beauty of a positive distraction.
It takes passion.
It takes loyalty.
It takes a loud voice and letting go a little…or a lot.
It is fun. It is wild. It is crazy.
There is talent.
There are dreams being pursued…and dreams being lived.
There is hard work.
There is dedication.
There are many many components to football that make it America’s favorite sport.
I encourage you to step off of your soapbox. It’s fun down here.
700,000 screaming fans is a lot. Even still, there’s always room for one more on the bandwagon.
It won’t make you shallow, or heartless, or archaic if you want to hop on.