Seahawks and the State of Affairs

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J_BethanyO

It was Friday afternoon, and I wanted nothing more than to faceplant on my couch after work. But my completely crazed enthusiastic, ever-luvin’ Seahawks fan of a friend Christine had, shall we say, “other plans.” Consequently, instead of my Friday afternoon survival victory nap, I found myself sitting in her CRV as we headed to a town 30 minutes away.

The object of our outing was simple: ice cream. But not just any ice cream. We were interested in one thing and one thing alone: a Seahawks Sundae. Seahawks Sundaes are a thing I wish upon no one after discovering their actual ingredients (blue bubblegum ice cream + green mint ice cream—clearly we were going for color and not flavor). However, as we drove along on our quest, we laughed and giggled, and with every mile, my heart grew lighter.

We passed blue and green twinkle lights, 12th man flags galore, and signs saying “Go Hawks!”… on city buses, businesses, restaurant readerboards—you name it. Any surface that can be plastered with football paraphernalia in Washington state has been. And I’ll admit, it’s all a little ridiculous. This band nerd did not grow up in a re-enactment of Friday Night Lights, let’s just say that. I’ve got all the arguments for why sports are boring and impractical and should be cancelled so there is more time and money for music! Literature! Art! (Though I’m beginning to suspect that’s simply the survival mechanism of one growing up in a state without a lot of good sports action.)

Now that the Hawks are amazing, everything has changed. The fever is intense. It is palpable. It is contageous. Self-professed football haters are suddenly wearing Seahawks gear and posting Seahawks statuses on Facebook. We high five strangers in the grocery store line and marvel at great plays over and over in awed tones.

Honestly, it’s a little embarrassing the things that come out of my mouth during games. I confess that I still call touchdowns “goals” (remnants from my soccer years). I’m a little behind the times with the sport. So I get it. Maybe football isn’t your thing and never will be. It’s ok. But this is what the Seahawks are teaching me: Don’t forget how to celebrate. Find the things in life worth cheering for, and cheer until you are breathless. Just as hard as you mourn the brokenness around you, learn to celebrate that which unites us and pulls us back together.

I don’t need to list out all the things that are going on in the world. And I don’t have any idea what’s going on in your own personal lives, but I can tell you that my list includes illness, brokenness, death—all kinds of darkness. I suspect your list looks similar, if you’re living and breathing and human.

This stuff is hard. Oh so hard. It doesn’t let up for a second, does it? At least not lately, it seems. It was here yesterday and it’ll still be around tomorrow, and it all matters so much. But today, perhaps we could set that aside. Just for a little moment in time.

Let’s go to the store and buy all manner of dyed blue and green food that should never ever be those colors. Let’s gather together and cheer at the top of our lungs when we get a touchdown. Let’s wear clothing that we didn’t even know could be imprinted with sports logos: socks, headbands, you name it. Let’s learn to celebrate together like our lives depend on it.

Because really, I think they do.

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Image courtesy of Christine Crowe

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