Female Seattle fan here. . . . Short background of my fandom: To connect with my dad when I was 7 years old, I learned to watch and understand football. Three years later I had my own team to root for in the Seattle Seahawks. Sherman Smith, Steve Largent, and Jim Zorn were our first heroes. We won only 2 games that first season. What a long road it’s been to where we are now, maybe only losing two this year, if we can get by those tough Cardinals and Rams teams. (Both play hard, both will come ready to play, and so both are serious threats.)
My confession to Niners fans . . . You are right about some things about us:
First, we don’t know how to act as football fans who are possibly on the verge of something we’ve never had or felt before. But we can’t be ashamed of our exuberance, even if we should be. It’ll probably be annoying for you until we have a few trophies of our own (hope is a wonderful thing) and we figure out how to carry ourselves like champions. We’re not there yet. I hope we will be. I offer you nothing but congratulations that you do know how to act like champions. What a great legacy you have! I hope we can have our own era of greatness so we can, on some level, join your ranks. I know your heritage is deep and rich, though. You have much to be proud of.
Another thing you are right about is that some Seattle fans are jerks. I don’t think it is classy to buy a brick for your new stadium or fly a "12th Man" banner over "The 'Stick." Unfortunately, there are such people in every fan base. If I could apologize to you on behalf of all the fans who respect your fandom and your team, I would. But I doubt that is my place. Just know there are many of us who read the nasty fan posts and cringe at the mean-spiritedness on both sides (along with all the other dumb stuff people do and say). It’s a bummer, and it's especially cringe worthy for me when it's coming from my fellow fans. (To qualify the above, I can usually tell the difference between a good stout but friendly rivalry and crossing the line into jerk-ness. The brick and the banner, in my opinion, were over the line.) I personally believe, however, that the majority of fans on both sides are full of class and fantastic team pride.
Third thing you are right about, Niners fans, is recently some of our players have been caught with drugs in their systems: Marijuana, we're told. Are there PED users on the Seahawks? I wouldn’t bet the farm there aren’t. Would you bet your farm that there aren’t PED users on your team? It’s kind of a silly recurring taunt. PED users in professional sports . . . gasp! Say it ain’t so! But yes indeed, our players violated the rules again recently, as weed is not allowed either. They should have known better. I don’t care if a majority of Washingtonians voted to legalize it. These professional football players promised not to use it when they signed their contracts.
Fourth thing you are right about is that talk is just talk. Things are proven on the field. A win is a win, a loss is a loss. How a team wins or loses any given Sunday is of interest and worth talking about, but it's not the bottom line. You beat Seattle by 2 at “The 'Stick.” It’s a win. Doesn’t ultimately matter what the score was at “The C’Link” earlier in the season. We each have a W at home. I hope we get to meet in the playoffs, and I hope it’s a relatively mistake free, fairly played game on both sides. In any case, it will be a thriller!
Finally, it’s no news to us in Seattle that we’ve never won a Super Bowl. It’s no news to us that we’ve never been a contender that’s been taken seriously. It’s no news to us that you, our now-arch-rival team (you are ours, even if we are not yours), have the goodies in the trophy case. Good heavens, I will forever remember watching Dwight Clark make that catch! I was dancing and cheering and crying because it was so, so wonderful!
San Francisco, we aspire to your tradition of greatness. What a track record--past and present! Your heritage is not irrelevant. Great moments and games and players are never irrelevant. For Seahawks fans to call your team’s accomplishments irrelevant is to be irreverent, disrespectful of what is respect worthy. For us right now, we hold out hope for the present and future that we might just get our turn at a memorable run. Our last championship was in basketball in the late '70s when I was still a kid, and I’m not far from 50 now. We are so freaking excited to be where we are right now, win or lose in the playoffs.
I have three nephews who grew up in Southern Oregon and still root relentlessly for your Niners. (Somehow, we find ways to get along. Ha!) As for me, Seahawks forever! I don’t love them for their trophies or rings, I love them because they’re mine. And I believe you’d love your Niners, too, if they’d never brought home even one ring. More power to ya, though, that they've turned in five.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a good run at the Seahawks in the playoffs (wink).
And here's to loyal football fans all over the world. Cheers!