Sunday, January 07, 2007

a night at the Seahawks

I went to the Seahawks games yesterday because my friend Scott had season tickets and the last six people he called canceled. It's good to be the seventh in line. Seven is at the same time the number of deadly sins and cardinal virtues.

The two-and-a-half hour drive wouldn't normally be well over three hours. But Scott's driving tends to warp space-time in a way that unnecessarily prolongs the mundane. With the playoff game in sight, I can overlook the extended sit time in the old Bimmer (really, the radio doesn't work, defrost blows hot air full blast, windshield wipers make a grinding noise, steering is too light, and the check coolant light has been the permanent beacon that lights the interior).

We arrive at the parking garage and get urethra raped for $40. The GDP for one of those parking lots at a Hawk's game must exceed the decade total for Dafur. A brisk walk past Safeco Field, and we are at Qwest Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks.

The energy of the place is incredible.

We met with Ray and Kenny and a few others for a pre-game beer. A tall 20 ouncer costs $8. A foot long Seattle dog will deficit $9 from the wallet. It's the best beer and meat combo ever. Before I can get a picture of it, they were well on their way to become next morning's movement.

Time to go to our seats. Section 328, middle of the way up. I was at eye level with the flag when Trufant raised the 12th man banner.

The sound was deafening. I've been watching the games on HD for the entire season, but nothing prepared me for the noise of being there. The camaraderie of the fans are unbelievable as high-fives and hugs are generously given, provided you're not wearing Cowboy colors.

We had to climb the ramps to our section, and I quipped "Are we climbing the Everest here?" "Hey, if I have sex here, do I get into the mile high club?" The seats might put me into thin air, but the view of the field is excellent. Good thing I can tell who's playing by their numbers.

Throughout I have heard people expressing Tony Romo and the Cowboys sexuality. "Romo is a Homo!" One group chanted. "Brokeback Cowboys!" A sign read and the owner held it over his head. We're not in San Francisco anymore...

They were handing out Hulk colored knit gloves with the 12th man logo hot glued on. These are to resemble Deion Branch's signature catchers mitt, I presume. At any rate, they kept my beer cold and my hands warm.

We were under cover, and the vertical jumbo-tron displayed stats, replays, and fan participating games during game lulls. I always wondered what was going on while the commercials played. I know now.

Half time puts us on the field with Kenny for some more beers. Kenny invites us to go sit in the bleachers with him. These are cheaper seats than where we were, but offer better view. It doesn't have regular chairs (hard, aluminum benches) and is not under cover. It is the trapezoid section at the opposite end of the 12th man flag. Mighty nice of Ken, but I think there is a bit a guilt (he almost made Thanksgiving not happen in the Lee household by promising he's get me a new oven, and forget and never called back).

We march into the bleachers section to catch the start of the second half. The noise here is even louder. This section have a five year waiting period. Only die hard fans live here. There is no cover. We were in the wind tunnel to catch all the air from the bay. I remember watching a game played in miserable snow and rain where Bryant Gumble bitched the entire game between commentaries, and wondered how fanatic one has to be. Now, there I was.

The last 3 minutes were played directly in front of me. There the Hawks are at the end zone, defending their one point lead, with the Cowboys in the red zone. Fourth down at the Seahawks 1.5 yard line. We have a 1 point lead. A field goal would likely ended us. The stadium crescendos as the ball is snapped to Romo for the kick. Romo wobbles, picks up the ball, and runs left. A trick play? He edged into the end zone for a touchdown only to be stopped dead by three blue uniforms. Turnover.

We later find out that Romo bobbled the ball, and the kicker couldn't make the field goal so he had to run it. Alexander takes off for 20 or so yards to get us out of the red zone, and pretty much the end of the game.

The stadium get louder than ever.

The guy in front of me falls down while trying to high five people. Scott falls over to give a reach around to someone, manages to hang on to my left arm with a death grip (people his age probably suffer from osteoporosis and fear falling) that I realized gave me a nice bruise on my bicep.

My voice is slowing returning. My right ear has finally stopped ringing (because Kenny won't stop blowing his frigging duck call in my ear). You have to be in good shape, or well inebriated to attend a Hawk's game.



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