Still pinching myself

This is how we riot in Seattle:

We wait for the light to change, even when there are no cars. That’s not just my city, by the way, that’s my neighborhood. That intersection is a short walk from our house.

“Law-abiding street parties are the best ones.” — Deadspin

A couple years ago a coach or player from some out-of-town sports team was issued a jaywalking ticket right outside a Seattle stadium, which made the media everywhere else run stories about how backward and quaint Seattle was for actually considering jaywalking an infraction…

During the city’s celebrations right after the win, there were some bonfires in the University District, but even those were on Greek Row. And let’s be honest, the sorts of guys who join fraternities in college are not the kinds of people who become typical granola-eating, extremely-liberal-voting, recycling, starbucks-drinking, backyard-chicken-raising, organic-gardening Seattlite. And some people climbed on some structures they shouldn’t have, but no one was tipping over cars or smashing windows. Lots of people posted pictures of people in the crown high-fiving with cops.

“Seattle’s professional sports teams are famous for losing games, losing star players, and even losing teams.” —

Seriously, only four times in the previous 100 years did a professional Seattle sports team win its world championship, and two of those were in the WNBA, which is ignored by the mainstream media outside Seattle even more than here (where many news sites and blogs were going on about our 35-year dry streak, and referencing our 1915 Stanley Cup win, while complete forgetting our WNBA win in 2010).

When the ‘Hawks made the Superbowl in 2005, there wasn’t anywhere near as much excitement of interest as there was this time. Yeah, there were a lot of bandwagners, but the entire city didn’t light itself green and blue for the entire two weeks after the NFC Championship game. There weren’t Seahawks banners and 12th Man banners on every office building throughout most of the playoffs. This year, there were banners and jerseys everywhere beginning a couple weeks before the end of the regular season.

As I said online to one friend after I admonished him for jinxing us when were were ahead 22-0 at the half, “You don’t know what it’s like to live with 38 years of Seahawks heartache. Even if we’re ahead by 59 points at the two minute warning, deep in my bones I’ll be worried we’re going to lose it somehow.”

Our sport teams can be good for a while, but history has shown us again and again that they will fall apart when it counts. So the most amazing thing about Sunday’s game, for me, is that we brought our best game and we kept playing it all the way until the end. One of the reasons the score remained so unbalanced is that even on those last plays, our guys were still playing as hard as they had been at the beginning.

I’ve been hearing certain people claim that we got this one “free” because the Broncos played so badly. The Broncos are my second favorite team. I watched all their games this season that were available on my cable channels. And while it’s true that they weren’t playing their best in this game, they did not play their worst. They didn’t even play badly. Our defense was rated number one on statistics, and the best defense Denver faced before getting to us this season was ranked number six in the League.

If you’re one of those people who say, “The Broncos kept messing up and you guys just took advantage of it,” you’ve just proven that you know nothing about how a team’s defense works against the other team’s offense. And you’ve shown that you need to go read Aesop’s fable about the fox and the grapes.

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