So I only really started watching football about 3 years ago. I grew up with a sports-obsessed father; he was so immature that he couldn't watch important games live because if his team lost he'd be unbelievably angry and upset. He'd record the games and if his team won, he'd watch. Still, I saw enough of his ugly reactions to setbacks and losses that I tabled my own interest in sports for a long time.
Fast forward to last Sunday and the 43-8 beatdown that the Seattle Seahawks delivered to the Broncos. I watched the game at Nectar with a bunch of friends; from the first whiffed snap and Seattle safety, we were in a state of joyous disbelief. Picks, field goals, interceptions, touchdowns--we whooped and hollered, high-fived and screamed and held our heads in wonder. At least two friends declared they were having heart attacks. When it was over, we emerged into the streets to streams of honking cars, roving bands on the sidewalks, celebrating and slapping hands and screaming. A 26 bus left Fremont with standing room only fans continuing to cheer and beat their hands on the bus windows. Later, I walked down to the Five Point. Fireworks erupted off the Space Needle. The honking and cheering continued. Denny Way was closed down due to a cheering crowd, people waving 12 signs, guys ripping off their shirts, cops standing beside their idling vehicles, lights flashing, smiling. Inside the crowded Five Point, someone put Queen on the jukebox and we all sang "We Are the Champions" at the top of our lungs. It was corny and so much fun. (There was a bar fight around 11pm--more of a shoving match, but the bartender shut off the jukebox and the barback punched the instigator in the face, so it was over pretty quickly and uneventfully.)
Wednesday I worked from home and walked down to the south end of Seattle Center with my neighbor to watch the start of the parade. It started an hour late. In 20 degree weather. We stared at empty tour buses for awhile. Texted friends. Talked and joked and stamped our frozen feet. We yelled 'Omaha!' hoping to kick things off. Finally, a Duck rolled into view, full of lipsticked Sea Gals, with Marshawn Lynch standing on the hood, videoing the crowds (700 000!) National Guard vehicles rolled by then, carrying the O-line, the Legion of Boom, the quarterbacks, Pete Carroll (we yelled Pete-Pete-Pete-Pete and earned a grin)--then finally the trophy. I felt happy and tired and spent. My throat hurt. Life goes on and it's only football but still.
Winning feels grand and I love that the fans are such a visible part of the team. Go here to re-live the highlights and gloat a little longer.