Advice for New Seahawks Fans
This post was written by my brother, Bill Savage, a football fan and a Chicago Bears season ticket holder. He has some advice for Seattle residents who don’t know what’s expected of them now that our pro-football team is headed to the Superbowl.—Dan Savage
OK, Seattle—take a deep breath. Hold it, hold it—now, exhale through the nose. Repeat as necessary. You all know this zen yoga shit.
Your Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl, and word is that the whole town is losing its mind, even people who recently didn’t know the species of the local NFL fowl. I’d like to offer a few words of advice for how to enjoy the coming two weeks of media hype and giddy anticipation, how to act like you know what’s going on when discussing football, and then the actual game itself.
As for the game, rent a car, load it up with food and drink and drive all night, south through Mississippi (watch out for the cops in Yolabusha County, no mercy on the speeding tickets there, I can tell you) to New Orleans, where they know how to throw a party.
Wait, that was Super Bowl XX.
Sorry, flashing back a bit to when the Bears were in the game—Post Ecstatic Stress Disorder, the happy cousin of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder . If the Seahawks win, you’ll all experience the symptoms of PEST, including inexplicable grinning and high-fiving total strangers.
But back to the present: in keeping with Seattle’s Never Won Much Luck, Seahawks fans get that once-in-every-20-years Super Bowl in a cold weather site. Instead of the Big Easy or Miami or even Los Angeles, you get Detroit—an urban wasteland which bears something of a resemblance to post-Katrina N’Awlins, without the sublime juxtapositions any natural disaster creates.
If you’re going to the game, the word on Detroit: I wouldn’t stay there. Stay in Windsor, on the Ontario side of the river, for better bars, legal gambling, and strip clubs that serve booze.
More on that later—back now to the media hype, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since since the last Super Bowl.
Journalists—local and national—will delve into every crevice of the town and the team looking for stories to fill endless pages of newsprint, since they now have 13 days to fill without the benefit of an actual game to write about. They’ll find every possible background story, every angle, every meaningless bit of nonsense. What are you to do when presented with this onslaught?
Read every word.
You must, it’s your civic duty—and trust me, you might not get the chance again for a while.
This daily ingestion of blather then enables the non-fan to join the conversation. You Stranger-reading hipster bandwagon-jumpers should abide by two rules:
1) Keep your mouth shut. If you don’t know what you’re talking about—see my brother’s liveslogging of the NFC championship game for a primo example—you don’t want anyone to know. When some knowledgeable fan says “Seattle beat Caroline while the Bears couldn’t because the Bears Tampa Bay-style Cover 2 scheme left a seam for Steve Smith”—just nod, since you wouldn’t know Cover 2 from Cover Girl. Football is a hypermasculine game, and strong and silent works just fine.
2) If you must speak, though, the best thing to do is just to agree and extend a bit. If you’re at the Comet and some crusty old-timer with an ancient, soiled Seahawks cap says “Shaun Alexander can’t win The Game for us, he’s too much of a finesse runner, can’t take a hit,” simply reply, “Finesse never wins in the running game.” This will allow Old Crusty to think you know a thing or two, buy you a Fat Tire, and continue the conversation with observations about Matt Hasselbeck’s passing options.
When in doubt, refer to rule 1.
More to come in the days ahead. Tomorrow: Speaking Football 101.