Currently living in Washington DC and being away from Seattle where I would have been able to deal with some of the disappointment and frustration of the Super Bowl loss with fellow Seahawks fans, I needed to write a few lines that might be cathartic for me. So, here are some of my thoughts:
It would have been disappointing for me to see the Seahawks lose in the Super Bowl in any way, shape or form, but the way that game ended was just too much to handle. Usually, giving the Seahawks defense a ten-point lead in the 4th quarter means a guaranteed victory. Instead, Tom Brady drives the Patriots down with relative ease, leading them to two touchdowns and a lead of 4 points with 2 minutes to go. I’m dumbfounded. There is however two minutes left and if I know anything about the Seahawks it is that they fight until the last second of the game and that they often execute under high pressure. A few plays later, thanks to a miraculous catch by former UW receiver Jermaine Kearse (Go Huskies!), the Seahawks are back in business. After a Marshawn Lynch run, they are now at the one-yard line with enough time, a time-out and three downs in hand.
We are the team of destiny… we got this, boys… let’s finish them… unleash Beast Mode! My heart is pounding as I think about the video I received on my phone a few minutes earlier of my six-year old, 3000 miles away, crying after the Pats scored their last touchdown. I wanted to be there and give him a hug, tell him it was ok, maybe cry together. I wanted to do that so badly because when I was a kid, my father was never there to give me a hug after a disappointment or a heartache; it was painful and I dealt with all of it alone. Sure, this is just sports but unless you happen to be a true fan of a team, you just can’t understand the emotions involved here and that are linked to a ritual that defines part of you and that connects you to something deep in your human nature.
In all cases, here we are at the one-yard line, the Seahawks will win and my son will experience his first sports heartache some other time, hopefully when I’m around. I close my eyes and cross my fingers, and all of a sudden, I hear an eruption of joy of a bar made up in majority of Patriots fans (in addition to Seahawks haters that I probably annoyed all game with my “Go Hawks!”). No Beast Mode… not even a run by Russell Wilson who has been spectacular with his feet all day; the offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell calls a risky pass play into a crowded neighborhood and the always-upbeat Pete Carroll apparently approves. Interception! The worst possible outcome. Are you kidding me? And to make things worse, Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin starts a fight and is thrown out of the game in the closing seconds. Unacceptable!
Is anything better than sports to teach one (without the serious harmful consequences) the unpredictability of life and its tendency to throw you into a rollercoaster without your approval? It took me a little moment to realize that I needed to call my boy on the phone to calm him down. I then took a long walk on the streets of the Georgetown neighborhood under a mix of snow and freezing rain. By the time I made it home, I was drenched and still in disbelief. I know that it will hurt for a few days but like many times before, new opportunities and new challenges will keep us all going.
Congratulations to the New England Patriots! Let’s hope among other things that the NFL can clean its act after a controversy-laden season and that people can keep the pressure on the advertisers to further move away from objectifying women in their Super Bowl commercials. Go Hawks!