I’ve received piles of letters and emails the past couple weeks leading up to, during and after the Seahawks Super Bowl win. Far more than for any other topic. The majority of responses I’ve sent on to sports editor Don Shelton because they addressed the team’s performance on the field, which is better left to the Sports section. But there are a number of topics that the Opinion section has addressed, such as Richard Sherman’s rant, the media’s reaction and the Super Bowl parade and its costs. Below are several readers’ responses to the issues that fall under the purview of Opinion:
Thanks for remembering Storm championships
Not to take anything away from the Seahawks’ fantastic Super Bowl win, but I’m glad The Times’ editorial board at least acknowledged the Seattle Storm [“Seahawks rule the NFL roost,” Opinion, Feb. 5]
I personally consider the Storm a major professional team, and the fact the team brought home championships in 2004 and 2010 puts them as the best of the WNBA in those two seasons. That is worthy of mention on any list of Seattle champions. There aren’t many major professional team sports opportunities for women in the area, even with the recent addition of the Seattle Reign soccer team.
Some may see the Storm as a niche team, but how could it be anything else when the WNBA is forced to play after the big boys are all done — in the summer months when a lot of people are not thinking about basketball played inside.
The pro women’s game is fun to watch. It’s a finesse game focused on running, passing and shooting — with no 7-foot-12-inch players slam dunking.
And, by the way, all the Seattle teams belong to the entire state. We made a lot of noise east of the Cascades on Super Bowl Sunday and signs of Seahawks support were everywhere.
Bill Lee, Yakima
Sports as a learning opportunity
I want to respond to two questions that have been asked in the past weeks: “Why all the hype?” And, “Why do we let a sports team trump kids going to school?”
First, our city is hyped because, in a city where Bertha can shut down a multimillion-dollar project for days or weeks, our team pushed through the criticism, the doubts and the negative commentary to win the Super Bowl. In a country that has deadlock and constant dissension in D.C., the Seahawks have thrived and fought for this ultimate goal and supremacy as a team.
Second, why not use the team, the games, the interviews, the articles and the cartoons as an opportunity to teach our students? The students in my class are from Somalia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Vietnam and Seattle. They have studied the NFC Championship drive chart and used it to write story problems for each other to solve. They analyzed editorial cartoons and studied the power of words to influence opinions.
Today, we are streaming the parade and writing essays talking about why this event is important to our city using vocabulary we’ve learned throughout the quarter. We cheered at 12:12 p.m. We read our essays, and we celebrated this sublime event that can bring us all together to smile, discuss, laugh and learn from each other.
Finally, I close with a quote from Nelson Mandela, “[Sport] has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.” Go Seahawks!
Liz Strongman, Seattle
Can we unite behind something else?
I appreciate how much happiness the Seahawks bring to Seattle. It’s amazing to see the people of our city come together over a common goal.
Yet it leaves me wanting more. Our passion is rooted in archaic tribalism. Us versus them. We won, they lost. But they are just like us. Another city that cares greatly about football. Has there been any net gain in human happiness? If we had lost wouldn’t another city have gotten the chance to celebrate?
I can’t help but wish our passion and energy were directed to something that makes a lasting difference in the world. If the people of Seattle can come together this much for the Seahawks, couldn’t we do the same for the environment? The widening gap between the rich and poor? Campaign finance reform?
The idea of an entire city uniting over a cause sounds naive to those of us who live comfortable middle-class lives, but it has happened and continues to happen throughout the world. When conditions are poor enough, people rally for change. We shouldn’t have to wait for it to come to that.
Yuri Tolpin, Seattle
The positive economic impacts of sports
In February 2007, Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata told Sports Illustrated the economic impact of the Sonics leaving would be “near zero.”’
Funny, that sentiment should apply to the Seahawks too since they are just another Seattle sports team. As I look around my beloved city, watching complete strangers hug and dance in the street in the afterglow of the Hawks Super Bowl win, I can’t help but recall Licata’s statement and think that the Hawks have proved one more naysayer wrong.
Sports may be sports, but they absolutely have a positive economic impact on the city. Or does the extra tens of thousands of copies of the Monday edition of The Seattle Times not count? Or the shops selling out of Hawks gear? Or the businesses throughout the region making money from the Super Bowl win?
Whether it is basking in the glow of a win, or watching old newspapers blow past an empty KeyArena, our sports teams do have an economic impact on the city.
Demitri Anastassopoulos, Sammamish