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Take 2

A different spin on sports by The Seattle Times staff and readers.

February 26, 2014 at 7:23 AM

Seahawks: What bandwagon fans like me helped bring to Seattle

The 12th Man - some diehard Seahawks fans and some new converts - lined Fourth Avenue for the parade Feb. 5 celebrating the Seahawks' Super Bowl victory.  Marcus Yam / Seattle Times staff

The 12th Man – including die-hard Seahawks fans and some new converts – lined Fourth Avenue for the parade Feb. 5 celebrating the Seahawks’ Super Bowl victory.
Marcus Yam / Seattle Times staff

By Beth Hackett

Yes, I give credit to you, the long-time, die-hard fans of the Seahawks (and football).

You’ve been there from the beginning. You know the name and stats of every player that has ever stepped on the field – at the Kingdome or CenturyLink.

You’ve met a Seahawk, pretended to be a Seahawk, or had lunch in the same building as a Seahawk. Your favorite jersey is autographed and framed. Heck, you may have even started the 12th Man phenomenon. I congratulate you and recognize your outstanding commitment to a
team that sometimes brought it, and sometimes didn’t. You are a true fan!
But the way I see it, we bandwagon fans can’t be discounted. Sure, we may be fair-weather, choosing only to follow the Seahawks when they are doing well and not caring two licks when they aren’t. We may just enjoy the colors blue and green, and enjoy sporting a tutu while we’re doing our grocery shopping. But what this bandwagon affect produced was much important than our level of fandom, and I think we could learn a lot from it.

We have a positive, hopeful energy buzzing around the Puget Sound, and I’m guessing that it’s probably more widespread than that. That electric feeling seemed to be everywhere during the the Seahawks’ march to a Super Bowl victory had the same kind of energy you had right before your first kiss, or that feeling you have when you can’t put a great book down. You just want to know what’s going to happen next!

It’s an excitement that fills your being. And nervousness that keeps us aware and loosens our inhibitions. To be courageous about getting a “Fanicure” and entering that Superfan contest – green wig, face paint, and all!

The Seahawks’  Super Bowl season brought people together. It banded together people that you’d never think would even look at each other. Fans stopped each other on sidewalks just to talk about the latest play or media soundbite. How many of you have even gave a nod to someone eating Skittles?

I found people being kinder to one another because we had something in common. There was a little less distance between us. The
football season created COMMUNITY and we all had a common goal, a common GOOD.  Something in common that we were working toward, together, without politics or all the other stuff that usually separates us, getting in the way.

Bandwagon fans wanted to be part of something BIGGER, something “12” but something more. Pride that it means something to be from Seattle.
We weren’t just rooting for the Seahawks. We were rooting for each other.

And that should be celebrated and continued!

Go Hawks! Go 12s!

Beth Hackett is a Redmond mixed media artist who works as a manager in a craft store. She became a Seahawks fan when she saw the effect the team had on the heart of the community. Learning more about football and the players was just a bonus.

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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