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January 29, 2014 at 9:25 AM

12th Man in the Big Apple: Why not us? Why not now?

By Clinton Pawlick

The Take 2 blog, a forum for readers and fans, is taking a timeout for Super Bowl. We’ll post 12th Man essays on the Seahawks blog’s Fan Zone. Look for them all week.

This is the third in a series of 12th Man posts  from Clinton Pawlick. He and his wife, Jen, live in North Seattle. They love the Hawks, good friends, Washington reds, and their two cats, Malcolm and Ink Pot Pie. Look  for another post before the Sunday’s Super Bowl.

My wife, Jen says I can’t bring my Italian girlfriend with me on our trip to the Super Bowl.  She says it would be awkward.

I can see her point.  Sylvia requires maintenance, is inflexible and a little fussy.  If you don’t treat her just so, you might come away with a burn.  She is both unforgiving and rewarding.  But she makes exquisite coffee.  Espresso with perfect crema and frothed milk as shiny and tight as meringue.

Sylvia is my espresso machine.

She is the reason I get up in the morning, and I think my wife knows.

“What are you going to do without her while we’re in New York?” Jen asked.  “Will you be able to survive?”  Her tone was pleasantly vengeful.

“I’m sure I can find good coffee.  This is the Big Apple.”

“It won’t be the same.”

She’s right.  It will be something new.

It made me think about the novelty of this particular big game.  A cold weather Super Bowl in a city known for bad weather.  It’s not what everyone is used to, and, oh, how the masses have complained.

I’d like to offer a different perspective.  For me, there could be no better venue.  New York is vibrant. A chaotic mix of people, cultures, experience, and energy.  All wrapped in the fabric of raw hope and unabashed dreams.  There are winners and losers, and that’s what makes it great.

People flock to this city, dappled with their own imperfections, yet intent on glory.  Like Richard Sherman, they have the audacity to believe in themselves.  And to me, that is beautiful.  Pure poetry.

My great grandmother was one of roughly 12 million immigrants who passed through Ellis Island.  She, like so many more, pursued a better life in America.  Things weren’t easy, but she made her own way.

Cooking, cleaning, and working in other people’s homes.  She did not become a titan of industry.  Nor famous.  But she had my grandfather, who had my dad, who had me.  And along our chain of generations, she passed the crazy notion that it is possible to succeed.  To do something you haven’t done before.

I am not concerned that most of the Seahawks haven’t been to a Super Bowl.  (Yes, I did watch Pete Carroll’s first Super Bowl week interview in New Jersey instead of cleaning the house or getting groceries.)  I think our team can use that “inexperience” to its collective advantage.  There’s a hunger that accompanies desire.  And all season long, we’ve found a way.  Remember Houston?  I do.

There’s a beauty in belonging and something wonderful about the confluence of time, manner, and circumstance.  I am part of my family’s tribe.  But connection and camaraderie are mutable.  People move on to different lives.  Alliances are broken.  Players leave teams.  I’ve looked at the numbers.  I see the salary cap.  Next year, there will be change.  But right now, we have this team and this moment.  An opportunity to achieve something new.  Bound by common purpose and backed by the belief of an entire city.

We are here.  Now.  With the passion of possibility and a deliberate, undeniable magic.

Why not us?

Want to be a reader contributor to The Seattle Times’ Take 2 blog? Email your original, previously unpublished work or proposal to Sports Editor Don Shelton at dshelton@seattletimes.com or sports@seattletimes.com. Not all submissions can be published. The Times reserves the right to edit and publish any submissions online and/or in print.

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