The 12th Man
I posted this on the Book of Faces today. I just felt like it bore repeating.
So I'm a football fan. Obvi. And I'm a Richard Sherman fan, particularly of his passion. Also, this should be obvious. I've reviewed a lot of articles and interviews this week, hoping that the guy I've been defending is who I thought he was. He is. And more. he's the guy who tells his teammate, "don't hit me, I'm going to tip it to you" for the interception.
I can't wait for the Superbowl, if only to see him be the guy Peyton chooses to avoid. I love and respect Peyton Manning, and were it not for him playing my Seattle Seahawks, I'd root for him. But since I was a kid, choosing Seattle over the standard Minnesota or Denver (as a kid from Montana with no true local team), I cannot help but love Sherman's passion for life and the game. Add to that Russell Wilson and the rest of a scrappy Seahawks team and how can you NOT love them? I have cheered through bad calls, good calls, bad seasons and good seasons. I have identified with this team that fits no mold for so long that this season felt like finally coming home to win. No matter what happens in two weeks, my Seattle Seahawks, thank you.
Thanks for giving me a team that is full of passion, pride, joy, leadership and fun all at the same time. Thanks for making my 8 year old girl ask for a cheerleading outfit for a team who lives more than 2000 miles away because of the sheer joy and fun given to her mother. Thank you for never forgetting that your fans are part of what makes you great and thank you for a beautiful, wonderful season of "OH MY GOD, DID YOU SEE THAT!?!?" I am proud to be part of that remote 12th man: those of us who wear the t-shirts, who show up to road games because you're playing near to our chosen home. I am proud to stand in the middle of Carolina Panther country and count myself as a Seahawks 12th man, despite my distance from my chosen team. Thank you for your heart, your grit and your gratitude for our support as fans. I cannot wait for this year's championship game. And no matter the outcome, I stand proudly as one of the many fans who are, forever, your 12th man.