U MAD? U MAD BRO? UH…WHY?

U MAD? U MAD BRO? UH…WHY?

By |2013-12-10T12:46:37+00:00December 10th, 2013|8 Comments

Maybe it’s the rain. Maybe it’s the one major professional championship in our city’s history; won of course by a team that doesn’t exist anymore. (Two if you count the Seattle Metropolitans 1917 Stanley Cup win over Montreal. Of course, THEY don’t exist anymore, either.) Maybe it’s the gnawing, unending fear that Big Bertha is permanently stuck on something.

For some reason many Puget Sounders seem to have a collective inability to embrace winning and the giddy happiness that should come along with it. For these people there’s a paranoia, an angst, or something that pushes them (somewhat in the fashion of Michael Jordan) to take any slight be it real, imagined, or somewhere in between, and blow a fuse over it. They seem to spend all day Sunday WAITING to get mad about something rather than enjoying this ridiculously fun football team.

Stop being this guy.

Stop being this guy.

To be fair, I’m basing this primarily on social media where hope, optimism, and reasoned thinking all go to die. Monitoring my social media feeds during Hawks games has become a fascinating exercise for me this season. I’ve got 4,120 “friends” on Facebook, and I’ve got 9870 “followers” on Twitter so we’re talking about a decent sample size here.

I first noticed this phenomenon last month during the Atlanta game. The Seahawks were pummeling the poor Falcons, seemingly taking out all the frustration of last year’s playoff loss in one beautiful Sunday afternoon. The Falcons were down 26 to 3 late in the third when they scored their only touchdown on a drive that was kept alive by a questionable roughing the passer call on Michael Bennett.

As soon as the Falcons scored my feeds showed an increasingly nasty side. Many posters angrily and profanely attacking the Falcons, the officials, and the NFL with the overall tone summed up thusly: Atlanta, you bleeping bleep holes only bleeping scored because the bleeping officials are mother bleeping corrupt.

Were they right? I don’t know. But who gives a bleep? The Hawks took the ensuing kickoff and ripped thru Atlanta like Sid Bream scampering home from third base. They burned up the rest of the third quarter and almost half the fourth and scored a touchdown to increase the lead back to 23. Meanwhile…the anger raged on. The Falcons should NEVER have scored a touchdown and they only did because of the refs.

By the end of the game it became obvious to me that, at least on social media, there were some people having trouble enjoying a 33 to 10 win that lifted the Hawks to a 9 and 1 record. They were having trouble enjoying what was obviously the best team in football because they were so focused on the one thing that didn’t go Seattle’s way.

I next noticed this phenomenon on Monday night December 2nd before the Hawks played New Orleans. Social media blew up when about half the ESPN crew picked the Saints to win the game. A percentage of people went nuts blasting everyone who dared pick the Saints despite the fact that the Saints were a pretty decent team and certainly worthy of consideration to pull the upset. I found myself laughing at the reaction. As Seahawks fans are we becoming like armchair political observers, capable of understanding only that with which we 100 percent agree? Some people watch these ridiculous pre game shows that feature a dozen different talking heads blathering on about the game and then get upset if every single one of them doesn’t pick the Seahawks.

Last week Hawk fans took umbrage at Dr. Dre, he of the (among other things) Beats by Dre headphones. The company has produced two new TV ads (more are surely to follow) that feature professional athletes using their snazzy new Beats by Dre headphones to block out the jeers of home town fans as they arrive on the visiting team bus and walk into the stadium.

The first ad featured Nets player Kevin Garnett arriving for a game against the Knicks, the second (which broke last week) features the Niners Colin Kaepernick arriving for a game against the Seahawks.

In both ads the home team fans are portrayed as loud, foul mouthed jackasses who pepper the player with vicious insults. The ads (and remember they are ADS, the people in them are ACTING) are over the top but they make their point: these headphones are so good you can drown out the shouts of the haters.

Before the ad had ended last week reaction started pouring in via Facebook and Twitter. Many Seattle fans took the ads personally. For some reason they became convinced the ad was an attack on them, failing to recognize that the people who make these headphones simply want to sell headphones. Period. When they were doing the ad they didn’t think, “let’s find a fan base to disparage.” They thought, “let’s find an example of the most passionate fans out there and use them to sell this product.” In some ways this was the ultimate compliment.

The funniest thing about this entire mess was watching my Facebook feed. For about 30 minutes the posts almost perfectly alternated between people mad about how the ad portrayed Seattle and people who acted as if they were auditioning for the next ad.

POST: That ad was horrible. 12s would NEVER act that way. Why does everyone hate us? We are kind sportsmanship filled people who never attack opponents.

POST: Kaepernick sure is a weasel turd.

POST: That ad just goes to show you that no one likes Seattle and everyone is out to get us. We are perfect fans who never once complain or criticize the 49ers.

POST: Kaepernick sure is a turd weasel.

On and on it went. People furious that Seattle fans had been portrayed as anything but kind, warm, fuzzy people who never utter a discouraging word about the opponent juxtaposed with people insinuating the Kaepernick’s mom does unnatural things.

Sports are supposed to be fun, a diversion from the real life problems we deal with daily. When you’re lucky enough to have a good team having a good season enjoy it. And when you’re lucky enough to have a GREAT team enjoying a GREAT season STOP looking for foolish reasons to be angry each week. All you’re doing is allowing things that 100 percent do not matter to negatively impact what should be one of the most fun times in your life.

In broadcasts the great Harry Caray used to say it as simply as it can be said: “Hey! Let’s have some fun.”

 

 BOOK STUFF:

 

Wednesday night the Sounders FC: Authentic Masterpiece book tour rolls into Everett at Half Price Books. Here are the details.

Saturday afternoon I’ll be in downtown Seattle at the Sounders FC Pro Shop. Details here.

And Monday December 16th I’ll be at Anthony’s in Olympia with Kasey Keller for a combination happy hour, meet n greet, and book selling and signing extravaganza. Details here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author:

Mike Gastineau has been a fixture in the Seattle sports community since his arrival in June of 1991. In a business where loyalty and longevity are rarely used in the same sentence his 21-year career at KJR Radio screams out both. During his time at KJR Gas created the KJR Kares-a-thon, a yearly charity radio show that raised over $1.5 million for various Puget Sound-area charities.

8 Comments

  1. Todd Shannon December 10, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    I like to think I’m having fun with this…….come on Gas they still throw batteries at the opposing team in Yankee Stadium and they revel in their storied history of World Series victories… I think you are asking far too much from the Seahawks fans

  2. Dan December 10, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    I think all fans are just tired of having great years and losing the last game of the year . Fans in this city desperately want a championship team. We’ve been so close since 1979 with the Sonics Mariners and Seahawks. It’s like a gorilla on our backs. I think everyone calms down once one of our team finishes the season being the best team in sports.

  3. Douglas December 10, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Testosterone-fueled tantrums maybe? Beverage fueled blowouts?
    I was MAD Sunday. Mad enough to reply rather terse-ly to @seahawks reposting of @petecarroll’s comment on twitter. Why didn’t HE say he was mad… Why didn’t every player and fan feel like I did…
    Seattle fans are like the bride left at the alter, or maybe better still, the bridesmaid. Too many times we go on the ride. You know, the roller coaster at the Stratosphere in Vegas. It looks so terrifying from below. Then at the end you’re like… That’s it?? Seattle fans go all-in for their teams only to be left at the alter. Be it Sonics, Mariners, Sounders, Huskies or yes, the mighty Seahawks.
    I am 45 years old- been a Washington resident all my life. I’ve been on the roller coaster since before I can remember. I’m damn tired of great (see 1995 Mariners) regular season teams that fail to deliver when it *really* matters. I believe that the (Atlanta game) you referenced is an example of the anxiety I speak of manifesting itself in social media. Seattle teams tend to fall short in big games.
    Granted, Sunday’s loss is not the end of the road. But it was a chance to make a major statement. For Seattle it was just another opportunity missed. These games are the fear- inducing ones that the fans see as the “shot-across-the-bow” of things to come. 14-2 is nothing if the cake doesn’t come with that delicious frosting. Nothing short of a championship delivers that… And Seattle fans are tired of waiting for the baker.

  4. scott johnson December 10, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Modern social media just means people can prove they’re idiots faster and more publicly than ever before. And Seattle fans must learn to, to use an Australian phrase, “harden the fuck up”. Who cares what anyone says? If the Seahawks win the Super Bowl, then you can be pissed that you’re not getting enough respect. Until then, see above phrase.

  5. Eric Flatness December 10, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    It’s like these people weren’t around to see the last 20 years of Seattle sports. That, or we just never learned how to handle being fans of the best team in the league. I find it funny when experts pick against Seattle at home, but I don’t get mad. Why would anyone get mad? If anything, there should simply be a feeling of satisfaction that in the end, Seattle will have beaten the expectations again. Frankly, it’s more fun to win when everyone doubts you. I expect that anyone who experienced the 2010 playoff win against the Saints would agree.

  6. David December 10, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    I wonder if all this angst has to do with the tension building up toward the end of the season. Every sports fan in this town has, in living memory, seen team come close…but with no cigar. I read Art Thiel quoted as saying something like fans here “are waiting for the other shoe to drop”. And so the tension builds.

    I’m with you though, lets have some fun with this.

  7. darrell weese December 10, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    nice blog!! we live an hour from buffalo and the fans complain about everything. think its just human nature. if they’re not bitching about football they will find something else to harp on. hope all the seattle fans enjoy this season! they are far and away the best nfc team!

  8. Thomas Lynott December 11, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Gas nailed it…! Let’s enjoy this great team led by great coaches and management…thanks Paul for not meddling and thanks Pete for bringing such a winning and positive attitude to our town.

    Refs’ bad and good and “no calls” are part of the game..(the No call on Tate’s push off in Packers’ win) Conspiracy theories are petty and we 12s can rise above the pettiness by relishing our fine team and making the most of these historic moments…Go Hawks.. !

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