By Brian Jones
Reader Brian Jones, 30, grew up in Renton, lives in Everett and spends his days as a sales analyst for The North Face, tormenting himself as Generation Y Seattle sports fan. He’s too young for Lenny Wilkens and Chuck Knox, but remembers The Double and Walter Jones with exacting clarity.
There was a point in the Super Bowl where the world slowed down for me. Amidst the fireworks going off outside in West Seattle, the shouts of joys from my fellow Seahawk fans, and the televisions loudly pumping out the noise from MetLife Stadium, I found myself calm. The world slowed down for 15 seconds.
When the coaches started walking on to the field and the media and every living being seemed to be on the field in New Jersey, time came to a crawl. In
those moments, I relived so much pain.
In those 15 seconds, I remembered the Mariners losing 100 games a season like it was en vogue. I remembered the Indians’ Kenny Lofton climbing the wall in center field taking away a home run in the 1995 ALCS.
I remembered the Nuggets’ Dikembe Mutombo on the court in KeyArena holding the basketball in joy. I remembered the moment Seattle’s mayor waved the white flag to the NBA and the Sonics disappeared.
I remembered the moment of the Steelers’ Willie Parker breaking through the line and seeing nothing but green turf at Ford Field in front of him. I remembered Vinny Testaverde’s magical touchdown from the 1-yard line.
I remembered Washington men’s basketball being gutted by UConn’s Rip Hamilton at the buzzer. I remembered seeing Francisco Garcia and Louisville tear apart the top-seeded Huskies.
I remembered every questionable call. I remembered every blown save. I remembered trade that failed. I remembered Heathcliff Slocumb. I remembered Brian Bosworth. I remembered Robert Swift and Jerome James. I remembered every missed draft pick.
For 15 seconds, I remembered every gut-wrenching moment I endured as a Seattle native and sports fan.
All I felt was the mockery we endured for being the only playoff team in NFL history with a losing record. All I saw was the continual plans and hopes to win in Safeco. All I knew was pain, heartbreak, betrayals, smug national media members, and doubting attitudes locally.
When we are in the middle of the painful moments in life, it is difficult to remember there is a light. For 15 seconds, I remembered everyone one of my painful sports memories of my 31 years as a fan. But when the clock hit zero, it all became clear.
When those 15 seconds finally lapsed, I didn’t join my peers in wild celebration. I merely smiled, fought back a tear, and savored the moment as if it was my last. I said a small thank you to whatever higher power would hear it.
The pain was gone, we had a championship.
Now let’s talk about the next one.
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