Pedantic Semantics

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Personal Top Five Moments in Seattle Sports 2006-2011

Posted by Paul on September 17, 2011

For most of my life, I did not watch sports. Sure, I tuned in to the Mariners occasionally, and I tried Thanksgiving football a couple of times, but until that fateful day in 2006, I really could have cared less about sports. That day was when the Seattle Seahawks finally played in the Superbowl. And lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers. One could argue for millenia about whether the reffing decided the game, but I am past that. I decided that I had missed one hell of a ride, and was not going to miss something like that again. I didn’t. as you’ll see. But for now, were starting with moment number five, and we’re counting from the beginning of football season 2006, and there are sadly no Mariners or Sounders moments. The Sounders are too new, and the Mariners have been too awful, but they would both make a top ten list, if I were to make one. Anyways, let’s get started.

#5 The Tony Romo Bobble

The January 2007 Wild Card game against the Dallas Cowboys was the first Seahawks game I ever attended. I had followed the up-and-down season religiously, mostly in the back room at work, on the radio. Making the postseason was nearly a miracle (not as much so as in 2010, but that’s another story). My brother and I went to this game, not sure what was going to happen. I remember the Hawks getting a good lead in the early going, then the Cowboys coming back. I felt sick as I saw the Cowboy fan and his girlfriend making out in celebration in front of us. It looked like this was going to seriously suck. Even Terell Owens, the man who brings down every team he plays for, was doing well, and Cowboy fan was sure to mention it. Then we got the lead back. But Dallas was quick to move down the field.

Then the field goal happened. Tony Romo was holding, and Nick Folk was going to put the proverbial nail in our coffin. Snap, and Romo mishandled the ball. To his credit, he picked it up and ran for the end zone, but then Jordan Babineaux, “Big Play Babs”, caught him, and kept him from not only getting a touchdown, but a first and goal that could have been even more deadly. We were still in the lead, but we couldn’t run out the clock. So Dallas got the ball back. I should mention that there was this guy, probably in his late fifties/early sixties, who was sitting next to us.  For most of the game, he was listening to the radio cast and not saying anything. But when Romo threw that Hail Mary and we stopped it, he jumped up and down and said, “Holy Shit!” We high fived him. He high fived us. Everyone high fived everyone. And the Cowboys fan and his girlfriend looked dejected and he probably couldn’t even get it up for her for a week.

Every time the Cowboys made the playoffs for three years after that, they couldn’t win, and every time, the broadcasters showed the infamous bobble. And my brother and I were reminded of the best Seahawks game we’ve been to.

#4 The 2009 Apple Cup

November, 2009. My grandfather turned 90. We are a close family, and everyone cares deeply for my grandparents. Every day, I wonder if this is the day that one or both of them will be taken from me. I’ve feared that for a while. Unfortunately, the death of loved ones is a part of life. Happily, they are still around, and it was to celebrate that, as much as the milestone of 90 years of life, that my brother and I took our grandpa to the Apple Cup. While he roots for many Seattle franchises, Husky Football is his team. And coming off a winless season, he was happy to see us doing better. So we gave him this gift. And the Huskies gave him an even better one. A 30-0 shutout at Husky stadium. Watching our grandfather enjoy such a wonderful game, seeing Jake Locker run in a dominating touchdown. And when we had gotten that 30-0 score with time left, and a questionable penalty gave the Cougs a chance to get a score, and the crowd, wanting their shutout, rumbled the stadium and even our grandfather, who had struggled to make it up to our seats, was stomping his feet and smiling. That is the kind of memory you want when someone leaves you forever. I love my grandfather, and I love the Huskies for helping us give him something like this so late in his life.

#3  Cold Blooded!

Let’s go back to my grandfather. He is 92 years old, and has watched more sports games; Baseball, Football, Basketball, Soccer; played uncountable sports for Navy, and played there with a future 49ers coach and the man who legitimized the one-handed set-shot in the NBA. And my grandfather said this, the 2011 Pac 10 Basketball Championship, is the best game he has ever seen. Let that sink in for a moment. The skill level, competitiveness, luck, everything, managed to make this a game to rule above all. And I am close to agreeing. The Huskies and Wildcats were the two best teams west of the Rockies, and they were vying for a championship. Arizona was going to the NCAA tourney either way, but UW had to fight, and fight they did. It went to overtime, both teams scrabbling for an advantage, and at the final seconds, Isaiah Thomas, named for the basketball legend, and now a UW legend in his own right, raised the ball and let go.

And it went in.

This is why I watch sports, this kind of magic. IT collapsed on the hardwood, and I could do nothing but smile.

#2 The Run

My first memory of Marshawn Lynch is not a fond one. It was the 2008 home opener against the Buffalo Bills. Not only did they fool us with a rather obvious fake field goal, but Lynch ran over us like a steamroller. Then he faded into the background, because he was on the Bills for God’s sake, and they’re pretty awful. But that game stayed with me, because it was the beginning of the end for the Seahawks. For two years, we had to watch the Arizona Cardinals steal our thunder (they even lost the Superbowl to the Steelers, just like us!). Then came the 2010 season, and we were somehow, despite all odds, back in the playoffs. Against the defending Superbowl champs.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the New Orleans Saints. If a game they’re playing does not affect the Seahawks, I will root for them almost as passionately as any Seattle team. I was overjoyed when they won the Superbowl. But now they were playing my Seahawks. The Saints had beaten us our last two meetings, but this time it was more important than ever. At first, we went toe to toe, but New Orleans slowly broke us down. All of us at the viewing party were depressed, and getting downright snippy with each other.

Then Marshawn Lynch broke a tackle.

Then two. Then three.

He flung Tracy Porter, hero of the Superbowl, aside like a rag doll, and backflipped into the end zone. All the while, at our party, we were jumping up and down, yelling. I was screaming, “Beast Mode! BEAST MOOOODE!!!” It was wonderful, and even with the two playoff games I’ve actually been to, this is my favorite Seahawks moment. And it would be my number one sports moment ever, if it weren’t for…

#1 Champions

You can ignore women’s basketball all you want, but I’ll be the one enjoying the fact that good seats are affordable because of it. Oh, and also the Seattle Storm are the only professional team in the state of Washington to win more than one championship. I came late to basketball, and it was the Storm that brought me there. I attended a game in 2008, and was instantly hooked (and not just because Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson are raging hotties). My mother was quickly converted, and while other people have attended games with us, we’ve been the core fans in the family. Unfortunately, both ’08 and ’09 saw the Storm exiting the playoffs in the first round. In 2010, it all changed. We tied the record for most wins in a season. We went undefeated at home. We went undefeated in the playoffs. We were basically one giant steamroller, with one of the best starting fives in the history of basketball, and the best bench in the WNBA. We were unstoppable. Being part of a juggernaut like this is something special, and my memories of actually being there at game 2 of the finals, the energy, the noise, our own “Terrible Towels” (white instead of yellow). And then watching the Storm win it all in Atlanta, and being there to greet them at Sea Tac airport the next day, cries of “Big Shot Sue!” ringing in the air.

Watching your team (and they are my team, second only to the Seahawks ) win a championship is an experience unlike any other, and it is my number one moment not just as a Seattle sports fan, but as a sports fan. Here’s hoping for a repeat. Go Storm!

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