Though I've lived in New England for 302 out of my 310 months of life, it's time to make a confession: I've become a dedicated Seahawks fan myself. Sorry, Pats. I guess you're my backup team, if there can be such a thing. But rest assured: if the Super Bowl comes down to Seattle vs. New England, I place my loyalties solidly on the West Coast, and I FEEL NO SHAME. Here's how my conversion went down.
Stage 1: Start dating someone who likes football.
If you grow up in a family that cares nothing for sports, chances are that football is going to be your least favorite. Baseball is understandable - you hit the ball, run around the bases, and try not to get caught by the other team. Basketball, though tedious, is comprehensible - you bounce the ball, you pass it to your teammates, you toss it in the basket. Hockey is intelligible - you hit the puck with a stick, you aren't allowed to hit people with the stick, and you knock the puck into the net.
Football, on the other hand, is unfathomable unless you know what's going on. The players line up in a bizarre formation until someone yells. Play goes on for about five seconds, teams try to murder each other (basically), and then everything stops for longer than it started. Sometimes the ball gets kicked to the other side of the field. Sometimes someone runs it to the end zone. Occasionally, it gets kicked through the goal post. WHO MADE UP THESE RULES?
However, if your spousal prospect is into football, you're going to be much more likely to watch it than you would if you were on your own. Such was the case for me, anyway. And over the course of a season or two, you will inevitably start to catch on to the rules of the world's most nonsensical sport. Especially if someone is explaining it to you. In addition, I'm inclined to root for his team, because true love.
Stage 2: Who doesn't like rooting for the underdogs?
Historically, the Seahawks were not the greatest of teams. They lost badly most of the time...until they didn't anymore. Suddenly, watching them was extraordinarily akin to watching history in the making. If you count football victories as the essence of history, of course. At this point, you could have accurately called me a fair-weather fan.
Stage 3: Discover good character in unexpected places.
Russell Wilson is the greatest.
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Stage 4: Live-blog the Super Bowl.
Chaz had to go to Abu Dhabi on the same weekend as the Super Bowl last year, and it was the first time in forever that the Seahawks had made it past the playoffs and had a good chance at winning. As a result, I suddenly became fiercely devoted on his behalf to the idea of them winning, and I was therefore abnormally excited when they succeeded. Plus, I blogged the entire thing Twitter(ish)-style so he could get the highlights.
Stage 5: Absolute devotion comes naturally.
Between a now-husband from Seattle, several Seattle-area clients, and friendly Seahawks fans, I'm officially a convert. Every time I'm in the city, I'm tempted to buy another Seahawks shirt and it requires actual effort to restrain myself. #embarrassing. If there's a game on - which is rare, considering networks around here just show the East Coast teams - you'll likely find us on our couch, each wearing Hawks paraphernalia, possibly enrobed in an Accipitriformes-themed blanket, vainly hunting for blue and green-colored mixed drink directions on our phones during commercial breaks, and cheering loudly when Richard Sherman makes some ridiculous play. There's no turning back now.