Seahawks are Super Bowl Bound!

Photo from Seahawks.com. Photographer: Corky Trewin

I’d like to be productive today, but I’m still reeling from the Seahawks’ NFC Championship win on Sunday.

At least I’ve finally stopped shaking! What an emotional day.

After viewing hours of postgame reports and interviews, I have 10 thoughts to share:

 

  1. The Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl! Euphoria has swept over our city. I’m thrilled for the players, the Seahawks organization, the fans and the Pacific Northwest.
  2. I’m going to the Super Bowl, too! All season I knew this team was magical and I can’t wait to immerse myself in the midst of NYC’s Super Bowl festivities chanting “SEA-HAWKS” with my fellow 12th Man.
  3. Richard Sherman is awesome! Sure, he may be loud, brash and confident, and perhaps he didn’t exhibit much sportsmanship in the Erin Andrews interview. But, check out this video, which shows Sherman leading into the Andrew’s interview, for more context. Perhaps if you knew him better, or if he played for YOUR team, you’d enjoy his antics and admire his athleticism, commitment to be the best, and selflessness in the community. He’s an animated guy and Andrews happened to grab him at an exhilarating moment immediately after he beat a bitter rival on a game-winning play. He publicly let loose his built-up aggression toward Michael Crabtree, and that was unfortunate. The hatred and deluge of racially-motivated comments that followed were inexcusable and disheartening. Even Andrews said she was glad he was as lively as he was, and she wasn’t offended in the least. The interview provided great fodder for the media, but like he said, it didn’t represent who he is off the field. Sherman is the Seahawks’ Muhammad Ali. He’s confident, aggressive, focused and competitive. I agree 100% with this commentary by KING 5’s Paul Silvi. I look forward to watching Sherman on Feb. 2 as he shows the world why he is the best cornerback in the NFL.
  4. Kudos to the 49er fans who attended the game. They were a much nicer group than I encountered at Candlestick Park in December. The fact that San Francisco chose to shut down their cable cars during and after the game due to fear of what damage their fans might do to them is a testament to what I experienced when I was there. I’m glad a different group followed the team to Seattle.
  5. I was sorry to hear that some Seahawks fans threw popcorn at the injured NaVorro Bowman as he was carted off the field. That’s just plain disrespectful and not representative of the 12th Man. Those of us who watched Bowman’s knee bend backward on the one-yard-line have that painful image embedded in our minds forever. I wish him a speedy recovery.
  6. However, speaking of Bowman, I must sadly add that I find his pregame behavior of tearing up a poster belonging to an autograph-seeking Seahawk fan to be utterly disrespectful. Fans are the reason you have a job, Bowman. Hmmm…do you believe in karma?
  7. The Sea Gals are beautiful, entertaining and full of energy! I’m disappointed ESPN didn’t show them once during the telecast. Hopefully their hard work will be recognized with some exposure during the Super Bowl.
  8. Seahawks-mania is rampant in Seattle! The Seahawks have united our community. It’s healthy for our souls and our economy. Blue, green and 12s are found everywhere you turn. What fun.
  9. The Seahawks still don’t get any respect at the national level. Even after beating the 49ers to win the NFC Conference, there’s no respect. As Governor Inslee said, “We don’t drive covered wagons out here anymore!” Lookout negative-Nellies. I’m pretty sure this “pedestrian” team will be able to “squeak out” one more win this season and prove all of you wrong. Doug Baldwin says your lack of respect has turned the chips on the players’ shoulders into boulders, and fires them up to play even harder. That’s the Legion of Boom, baby!
  10. I love this 2013-2014 Seahawks team – their talent, personalities and community service. They’ve earned their place in Super Bowl XLVIII and I’m going to have the time of my life supporting them “loud and proud” in NYC and New Jersey. Go Hawks!
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A Beautiful Reunion

2013 Sea Gals with alumni in the locker room at the Seahawks vs. Bucs game 11-3-13.

2013 Sea Gals with alumni in the locker room at the Seahawks vs. Bucs game 11-3-13.

I couldn’t get to sleep Saturday night. I knew the next day was going to be one I would remember for the rest of my life.

Reunions inspire reflection – remembering how things were “then,” reminiscing about all that has happened since, and embracing how things are now.

Sunday I reconnected with friends I hadn’t seen in 30 years. I was the choreographer for the 1983 Sea Gals squad and the Seahawks recognized the 1983 Seahawks and Sea Gals during halftime at yesterday’s game.

Some things never change. The gals looked the same. They acted the same. They moved the same. I guess we are who we are despite the passage of time.

Even though three decades have elapsed since we cheered for the Hawks, as we walked around the field rallying with the 12th Man, it seemed like yesterday. The fans cheered, took pictures, shared kind words. It was heartwarming. It was like yesterday.

I’m so grateful for the reunion. I loved rekindling lost friendships, sharing joy with others who share a similar bond, and feeling at peace with myself and my life.

Yesterday was beautiful. And I slept great last night. Bring on tomorrow….GO HAWKS!

Go Seahawks!

My daughter, Kristi, as a 1996 Jr. Sea Gal.

1996 Jr. Sea Gal Kristi

Patience is not my strongest virtue. I’ll admit it. And waiting for tomorrow’s Seahawks game is killing me.

I know it’s just a football game, but this season the Seahawks unified and electrified our city. They evolved into Seattle’s sweetheart team. It’s more than just a game to fans like me.

Throughout the city, fans are dressed, tattooed and dyed blue; city lights are twinkling green and blue; the 12th man flag is flying everywhere. The buzz is all about the Seahawks.

This game is a big deal. Winning will take Seattle one step closer to the Super Bowl; one step closer to winning that pinnacle game, and shedding the negativity stemming from Seattle’s prior Super Bowl experience. Ugh…it pains me to even think about THAT experience.

So as I wait impatiently for tomorrow’s game, I am doing my best to revel in the camaraderie, the fun and the excitement in the city. I am grateful for the wild and winning 2012 season and the joy it brought to Seattle fans. And, I optimistically anticipate a continued path to the 2013 Super Bowl.

Bring on the Atlanta Falcons, and let’s see how the Seahawks fare. My guess is they will do quite well.

GO HAWKS!!!

Memorial Stadium Memories

Shoreline Wins Turkey Day Game
Our joyful Shoreline cheer squad celebrates winning the prep football metro title in Memorial Stadium.

Ah yes. Reading Bill Kossen’s story, “Turkey Times – 50 years of tasty Turkey Day Game memories and my love of prep football” printed in the Seattle Times Nov. 22, 2012 brought back many happy memories.

Kossen said he went to his first high school football game 50 years ago at age 7, and every year since has made an annual pilgrimage to Seattle’s Memorial Stadium (in the shadow of the Space Needle) to catch a game. That game 50 years ago hooked him into the world of prep football, and now as an editor and writer for The Seattle Times, he shared some of his fond memories.

I, too, have fond memories of Memorial Stadium and prep football. My father was a football referee, and oftentimes my sister and I would go to his games. We loved the energy of the crowd, the excitement, the band, the colors, the lights, and mostly, the cheerleaders.

We were young – pretty sure I was in elementary school and she was in middle school, yet we had a great time evaluating the cheer squads’ choreography (and picking up some new moves). We chose who we thought was the prettiest, who had the most pizazz, and who had the coolest uniforms.

Little did I know that those memorable childhood nights were setting the foundation for my lifelong part-time career. My sister and I both were high school cheerleaders and twirlers at Shoreline High School. I then became the only person on earth to be a featured twirler at both WSU (freshman and sophomore years) and the UW (junior and senior years). I loved the thrill of game day so much that my senior year I twirled for the Huskies on Saturdays and cheered for the Seahawks as a Sea Gal on Sundays. (And somehow I still managed to graduate in four years.)

At age 23 I became the choreographer for the Seattle Seahawks Sea Gals, and I’ve judged Sea Gals tryouts for over 20 years. I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that those exciting nights in Memorial Stadium would lead to decades of dance, cheer, coaching and choreography, but I never thought it was a talent. I always thought everyone could do it.

To this day, I love watching football. And I love watching the cheerleaders.

Recently my daughter asked me, “Mom, can’t you ever just sit back and enjoy a performance without critiquing it?”

“No, Kristi. I can’t. I can’t help but see ways to make it better!”

I try not to be judgmental in everyday life. And I certainly keep life in perspective and realize that cheerleading, dance, twirling and football are all just hobbies. But I am thankful for them because they provide a brief escape from my daily routine. They’ve brought joy, fun, friends, excitement, and hundreds of cherished memories into my life.

As far as this weekend goes, I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s Seahawks game. Yesterday’s Apple Cup matchup between WSU and the UW was one of the closest ever. And as for my high school alma mater, I can no longer cheer for it. The Shoreline Spartans, who reigned supreme in the Turkey Day battle when I was one of their cheerleaders, are no more. The school is now the community’s senior center. Ouch!