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And, yes, Kenny Easley is the biggest reason I became a Seahawks fan over 30 years ago. From the autograph he sent to me as a youngster to being invited to his Hall of Fame party, this has been an incredible experience. It’s funny, because if he had passed his physical to the Cardinals – I may very well be a Cardinals fan today (strange thought) and would have most likely jumped off the Seahawks bandwagon.
The story below was published in our local paper (Redwood Gazette) shortly after Super Bowl XLVIII. It chronicles how I remained a Seahawks fan through the years, while I don’t get worked up over other teams in any other sports anymore. Enjoy.
From Redwood Gazette:
Although football is just a game in the grand scheme of things, having a favorite team can create bonds between fan and team in unique ways. For example, most fans don’t know any of the players personally, but the job and time invested in being a fan can create a connection between them and the team they cheer for on Sundays.
I have been a diehard Seattle Seahawks fan since the middle of the 1983 season, and it’s simply not the fact that I am a fan.
Rather, it’s the connections that run through life that make the team and organization extra-special. The Seahawks advanced to the AFC Championship Game in 1983 and lost to the Oakland Raiders, a team they had defeated twice during the regular season.
I remember being a kid who was upset his favorite team had lost out on a chance to advance to the Super Bowl.
My Mom came over, put her hand on my shoulder and said something to the effect that they will get there and win it one day.
It was simply a moment in which Mom comforts son and my Mom always had that comforting effect on me.
Fast forward through some exciting and early years of being a Seahawks fan to Sept. 4, 1988, which was the opening game of that NFL season, and the Seahawks were playing the Denver Broncos. Back in those days, we didn’t have the NFL Ticket and we never saw many Seahawks games in Minnesota. However, this game was going to be on television, and, as always, I was excited for football – Seahawks football.
Shortly before the Seahawks-Broncos game was to start, the telephone rang. My Dad answered it in the kitchen, while I was getting ready for the game in the living room in my Seahawks shirt. To make a long story somewhat short, the news on the other line was that my Mom had passed away. I remember watching that game and, for the first time as a fan, wanting the Hawks to win but not really caring. I realized that my word had forever changed.
Even though Mom had been out of the house for a few weeks, she was not officially gone. The Seahawks won in Denver on that day 21-14, and those three hours were a welcomed distraction from life – even though not a second went by when I wasn’t thinking of her (if that makes any sense).
There were more bad years than good ones from that point on, but I never jumped from the bandwagon I had hopped on in mid-1983.
As life was passing by and I found the person I wanted to marry, I had two things to ask of her prior to our engagement, and one concerned the Seahawks. If the Seahawks ever made it to the Super Bowl, I wanted to be here. She agreed.
Well, they made it after the 2005 season, and three of my friends and I packed up the car, as we were able to score tickets. We mad the 12-hour drive to Detroit for the game. The night before, wearing a Seahawks sweatshirt, I told one of my best friends about my wife and I having a baby.
It was the first time I had mentioned it to anybody, as she wasn’t yet due until the next October.
The super win didn’t happen that next day and each year after the ’05 season the team seemed to lose a little bit of talent and wins from their record, but life was good, in large part, due to seeing that little girl growing up happy and healthy up to this point.
However, the optimism on the field stated up against with the hiring of Pete Carroll and the talent he and John Schneider had assembled.
On of those talented players that have turned the Seahawks around is quarterback Russell Wilson.
In addition to having a daughter, we have added a two-and-a-half year old boy. Last spring, I sent a fan letter to Wilson for my little guy, and we received an autographed photo from Wilson himself that is hanging in his room.
It was a special moment that originally started with my parents towards me and now with me and my children.
As we all know, the Seahawks beat the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2, just as they beat the Broncos on that lonely day when we got the pone call about 25 years ago.
On this occasion, however, there was reason to celebrate.
While Mom may be gone, her prediction finally came true, and I was able to celebrate the fourth quarter blowout win with my wife, son, and daughter (whose middle name is my Mom’s).
Our daughter has always wanted to throw confetti, and a couple of years ago I told her if the Seahawks ever win a Super Bowl she can throw as much as she wants in the house, and I’ll pick all of it up.
As the clock struck zero in the Super Bowl, our basement became fluttered with confetti in midair.
She loved it, and it’s an experience she’ll never forget. I never had as much fun cleaning her mess as I did after that incident.
I was another moment I’ll never forget with respect to my favorite football team and with the people who mean the most to me – my family.