Sports bring people together

January 29, 2014 

Enjoy this moment. Too often, we look forward to what’s next.

When we were kids, we wanted to be adults and have more freedom. When we were in high school, we wanted it to end so we could go to college.

In college, we enjoyed our first couple years, and then we wanted that to end so we could get out in the real world and start to make money. When we land a job after college, we wonder what our next job will be.

When it’s football season, we look forward to basketball season. When it’s basketball season, we look forward to baseball season.

When our summer SportsCenter feeds are filled with too many outfielders making diving catches, we say, “I wish it was football season.”

We live in an attention-deficit society that’s been programmed to expect instant gratification.

Stop; breathe. Enjoy this moment.

Our Seattle Seahawks have put together a remarkable run — and, yes, it is remarkable.

After a 13-3 regular season, Seattle earned the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Regardless of how loud the 12th man is — earth shaking, Guiness-Book-of-World-Records loud — winning in the playoffs is never easy. Beating Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, then the San Francisco 49ers, the hottest team in football, in back-to-back weeks, is remarkable.

This team is young, brash, cocky and, most importantly, very talented. But perennial success is far from guaranteed.

Just ask the Baltimore Ravens, the 2013 Super Bowl champions, who failed to make the playoffs this year.

A lot of people I talk to expect Seattle Super Bowl appearances to be fairly regular for the next decade. While they’re certainly positioned to do that with a young franchise quarterback and a ridiculous defense, there’s no guarantees in the NFL.

The time is now.

That’s why I encourage you to enjoy the moment. We don’t know if it will come again.

The Seahawks’ run has brought our community together in the best kind of way — the way only sports can do. While it’s true that, at the end of the day, the success of the Seahawks has little to no tangible impact on our daily lives, there’s nothing wrong with feeling connected to the success of the team.

Maybe the 12th man thing is overblown; maybe it’s nothing more than a brilliant marketing tactic. But this is our team, and this is our time.

Sports are fun, and the effect the Seahawks have had is fun. Seeing the 12th man flag plastered all over the state and in photos all over the world is fun.

My sister goes to school in New York. She was wearing her Seahawks beanie and told me she stopped and talked to about 10 different people about the Seahawks.

Our teams give us a sense of identity; they’re woven into the fabric of our lives. They excite us, energize us, entertain us. They make us hug strangers and chest-bump 60-year-old men.

Why? Because the 49ers suck, that’s why.

Our teams give us moments and seasons to remember for the rest our lives, and, yes, at times they break our hearts, but when they do, they remind us how important they are to us.

For better or worse, we are connected to this team. Enjoy the wonderful ride.

I polled Twitter for some Super Bowl XLVIII predictions from my followers. I’ll post my pick at the bottom. Here they are:

Gig Harbor High School head football coach Aaron Chantler: Seahawks 27, Broncos 21. MVP: Richard Sherman. “I think the game will be tied heading into the fourth at 21 and then the defense will make a few big plays.”

Peninsula High School junior quarterback Robert Kvinsland: Seahawks 28, Broncos 21. MVP: Earl Thomas.

Alex Weymiller, West Point Academy, Class of 2017: Seahawks 27, Broncos 17. MVP: Marshawn Lynch.

Shane Skladany, PHS, sophomore: Seahawks 30, Broncos 28. MVP: Percy Harvin.

Alayna Piwonski, PHS, senior: Seahawks 27, Broncos 24. MVP: Golden Tate.

Jordan Oldenburg, GHHS, senior: Seahawks 31, Broncos 28. MVP: Marshawn Lynch.

Evan Indahl, University of Utah, freshman: Seahawks 31, Broncos 30. MVP: Golden Tate.

Vince Metti, Gonzaga University, Class of 2013: Seahawks 31, Broncos 27. MVP: Russell Wilson.

Taylor Flynn, GHHS, sophomore: Seahawks 27, Broncos 21. MVP: Russell Wilson.

David Reed, Bethel High School, Class of 1995: Seahawks 31, Broncos 17. MVP: Marshawn Lynch.

Grady Glover, Goodman Middle School: Seahawks 35, Broncos 31. MVP: Russell Wilson.

Alex Wenman, PHS, senior: Seahawks 24, Broncos 20. MVP: Percy Harvin.

Jake Flynn, Kopachuck Middle School, seventh grade: Seahawks 17, Broncos 14. MVP: Russell Wilson.

Dan Medrzycki, Curtis High School, Class of 2010: Seahawks 27, Broncos 23. MVP: “Beast-mode.”

Joey Malloque, University of Washington: Seahawks 27, Broncos 17. MVP: Marshawn Lynch.

My pick: The weather will make life difficult for Peyton Manning, and Skittles will be banned in Denver following the game. Seahawks 24, Denver 14. MVP: Marshawn Lynch.

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