There is no denying that Seattle is a proud city. And to be frank, it’s not an unreasonable feeling to have.
We offer up some of the best coffee on earth—the majority of which can be found within a stone’s throw anywhere in the city. The same goes for craft beer, with many of those funny looking green cones being grown a mere hop, skip, and a jump across the mountains over in the Yakima Valley. It’s a seafood lover’s paradise and just about every outdoor activity and sport imaginable can be found within a car ride or pleasant ferry. The city’s skyline is only bested by the majestic mountains and cool blue waters that surround it.
And although sometimes erring on the side of being reserved (on matters outside of sports, obviously), we’re interesting, articulate, and most of all passionate people. We are one of the most well-educated and well-read cities in the nation and we’re at the forefront of progressive issues such as marijuana legalization and same-sex marriage. We are also the nation's second most romantic city, and the rest of the State is pretty romantic too if you asked me.
Oh, and did I mention Macklemore?
Despite being well aware of how hip the place many of us reside in is, there was still a collective trepidation behind boasting our greatness and achievements too loudly or too publicly. Perhaps it’s the deep-seeded Scandinavian culture of not being too offensive. Or perhaps it was an underlying modesty: the sage knowledge that strength cannot be achieved through propping ourselves up off the backs of others.
Modesty be damned. At least for this week.
There is no shortage of verbs to describe just what the Seahawks did to Denver on that lukewarm New Jersey night. Destroyed. Devastated. Dehumanized. Demolished. And that’s only utilizing one letter.
The Seattle Seahawks accomplished this with a squad mostly comprised of misfits, castaways, and late-round draft picks. But you would have never guessed that judging from the collective confidence that seems to ooze out of every hem, stitch, lace, and chinstrap. They earned a reputation around the league as a team of bad boys. It was one half swagger and one half not giving a f--…well, you get the point.
The Seahawks embodied what many people around the city had so desperately yearned for. Although we’ll likely return to our typical hardworking, quiet confidence within the next few weeks, the Super Bowl encapsulated our moment where we no longer had to suppress our knowledge that we’re better than everyone else. We were superior to the world at something tangible and we weren't afraid to say it.
Given the nature of this blog, it would be foolhardy not to bridge the connection this has to the Sounders. Luckily for us (me?), agtk already covered this connection in detail, not to mention the great read that is Mike Gastineau's Authentic Masterpiece.
And although more likely the case of a playful tongue than game-changing proselytism, Sigi Schmid acknowledged the Seahawks positivity and success as being a point of inspiration to the Sounders:
"We’re going to go back to VMAC [Virginia Mason Athletic Center], we’re gonna walk around, we’re gonna smell the air, we’re gonna touch the "All In" sign [...] we just hope that the good luck rubs off on us and that the city of Seattle keeps winning championships in all sports."
On training at the VMAC earlier on during the preseason:
"They see how the people here are excited, you know. It also makes them feel a little part of it [...] It’s good to be part of this environment because, you know, Coach Carroll and his team have created a very positive environment that’s produced a lot of success."
These are certainly far from earth-shattering statements. They are, however, proof that the energy and vibe behind the Seahawks' recent display of dominance has at least in part rubbed off on the Sounders. While there is no denying that the Sounders’ playoff stigma is far from dead, the city’s collective monkey on its back has finally been released back into the jungle where it belongs. They no longer have to worry about being just another Seattle franchise to perennially come close but ultimately extend the city’s starvation of championship banners yet another year.
When the throngs of Seahawks fans stormed the streets and erupted en masse, it wasn't just a group of passionate fans basking in their team’s glory. There was something much larger going on. It marked the exclamation point for Seattle pride that had been building up to this moment for years. It was the boiling point for a prideful city after years of settling for a constant simmer.
Not all of you reside in Seattle, and not all of you align with the pride behind some of the local and state politics. And obviously not all of you are fans of the Seahawks. But there is no denying that what happened on that lukewarm Sunday night in New Jersey bodes well for the city, its residents, and—ultimately—the confidence and swagger of the Seattle Sounders.