My daughter looked up at me asking, Hey Dad, should we stop believing?
She was impossibly crammed in the couch between my friend and myself, both of us elbowing her in the excitement. She squirmed her head up at me, looking.
No. This is how the team always plays. They come from behind and all of the sudden they wake up. They remember they are champions and after that, they win.
The Seahawks were trailing 19-7 with 5 minutes to go for NFC Championship game. Or was it still a game? For all purposes it looked like it was already over.
Almost everyone thought it was over.
Unbelievably, even the fans were leaving the stadium. Seriously? The stadium that the 12th Fan, not Man to my girls, built! Even they gave up?
As they were leaving I was reminded of a Jim Rohn quote. I’ll have to paraphrase, but the gist of it is: When you go to a performance don’t leave before it’s over. Think about all the time they spent practicing. All the time away from their families. If the score is bad, stay and show the team your support. With so many things to be good at in life, why choose leaving early?
Dad, why do we believe?
Because without faith, there is nothing worth living for.
She was quiet for a time. Then looked up again as we scored a touchdown.
Does that mean if they lose we have nothing to live for?
No baby, they might lose. That doesn’t even matter. What matters is we believe in the possibility that they may not.
The Seahawks scored again. There was Green Bay Field goal. Complete chaos was breaking around us. For the first time in my life I felt the deep adrenalin rush of watching, I mean really watching, a sporting event on television.
I’ll have to back up here a bit. Bill Donnelly, Co-Creator of TH3RDFORCE, had few greater joys growing up than inviting me over to his house to watch football.
I hated football.
I did, however, suffer from adolescent-boredom syndrome. It’s a terrible burden for both the afflicted and their friends. So I would sit there or up in his room reading books while the game went on. I always hoped his team would win because if they didn’t it meant he was in a bad mood for the whole night.
So how did I find myself in this particular situation, elbow to elbow with crazy Seahawks fans?
Fate. No other word for it.
I married a Canadian. She hates football for not being hockey. It’s a crime the NFL will never come back from. I have two daughters. I thought I was safe. I thought I had seen my last pro game in high school.
Then Rowy struck. What is a Rowy, you ask? She is my daughter and she’s crazy about the Seahawks. She got into the sport last year. At her school they had Seahawk Fridays. Kids got to wear their jerseys, hats, etc.
Soon enough she told me she was the only kid in her class without a jersey. We asked her teacher. Her teacher said, well yes, she is the only one in our class. She said this giving me the look. Not the you should feel guilty look but much worse, the my God, why don’t you know about this look? Pity, that’s what it was. Pity.
Off to the store to feed the machine. I felt a little ill paying for the NFL jersey. The sting was softened by my kids immediately putting them on.
Next came the Super Bowl. Safe, I thought, we don’t have cable. One of our friends has a daughter about the same age as my kids. He called and invited us to his Super bowl party saying the kids could play. Laughing, I told my wife, yeah right. The kids heard and that was that.
We watched the game. I have to admit. I kind of liked it. Gone were the grotesquely fat, slow, football heads of the past. In their place were the Seahawks who looked more like lacrosse and basketball players than the behemoths I remembered.
This season I didn’t even think of the whole Seahawks thing. But wouldn’t you know it. Rowy asked if we were watching the game this weekend.
Yeah, the Seeeeeeaaaaa HAwkssss.
Fate stepped in. My parents were over for dinner.
Sure, my Mom said. You can come over. I’ll even pick you up.
We never missed a game. Not one.
And that’s how I found myself sitting in the living room. You see by now I had been won over by the sheer athletic ability of the Seahawks as well as their strangeness. Let’s face it. They are as eccentric as any characters in any novel.
Back to the game. It went into overtime. Russell Wilson, the quarterback, had scored perfect 0 in ratings until the last few minutes.
After two absolutely perfect throws the Seahawks won in overtime.
He went from a 0 rating to a 100 rating.
Pete Carrol, the head Seahawks coach said it best, Russ has an internal conversation going in his head that doesn’t allow him the possibility of giving up.
As the game ended and the room exploded, I found myself grinning like a school boy. I hugged my daughter and for the briefest of moments felt a hand on my back. It was Donnelly reaching through time, probability and space – a high five for the team.
Lessons learned: Don’t leave early, never give up and never say never.