Take 2: Fair-weather Seahawks fan explains why he can't take watching this team
BY TRAVIS SHERER
When the going gets tough, I turn off the TV.
I’m sorry, true, blue Seahawks fans, but if I wanted to watch a teammates bicker while the other team scores, I’d watch AAU basketball.
Thanks, but no thanks.
Sunday’s 27-23 loss to the Carolina Panthers was the last straw. I can no longer sit and watch three quarters of better-than-average football, only to be disappointed in the final 15 minutes.
As much as we’d like to sit around and blame the defense, it’s not that simple. Sure, in the final quarter of the last three games, the Seahawks have been outscored 23-3. In that same period, however, they’ve run just over four plays per drive and have punted six times in nine possessions.
The Hawks have problems on both sides of the ball. Those of us who haven’t moved up here from California in the past two years know that we’ve seen worse than a 2-4 start, but compared to the last few years, this looks like the worst of times.
It’s now when the face painting, blue-beer drinking diehards come out of the woodwork and start yelling things like “If you can’t handle us at our worst, you don’t deserve us at our best!”
But where were the Seahawks when this city was at its most recent low point?
During the great recession (2007 to 2009), did the Seahawks lower ticket prices to help you maintain the privilege of supporting them? No. The average ticket price rose 12 percent from $54.74 in 2007 to 61.25 in 2009 – and has kept rising every year since.
And what about when Seattle stood up and refused corporate welfare to billionaire Ken Behring when voting down a public proposal to fund a new stadium. He tried to move the team to Los Angeles. Only when we gave in to fund a new stadium did Paul Allen “rescue” the Seahawks.
Three Super Bowl appearances in 10 years is elite – especially without being accused of spying or manipulating the equipment. So I appreciate everything owner Paul Allen has done, but when he demanded that Washingtonians had to pay for a new stadium or he wouldn’t buy the Seahawks, he made it clear that his loyalty had to be bought.
We pay taxes to fund the bonds that build CenturyLink Field until 2021. And since I’m paying Allen to keep the Seahawks here and therefore the right to be a fan, I can flip the switch on my loyalty whenever I please.
As a 32-year-old born and raised in Washington, I’ve seen teams move and I’ve seen some mostly mediocre professional basketball, football and baseball. I get that there is a sense of pride when sticking with your team through thick and thin. And I’m glad there are fans out there that do it. I’m just not going to be one of them anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sports enthusiast. In fact, as a part-time sports statistician, I choose to spend some of my leisure time working for many of our local sports teams. I’ve seen more live games than most sports fans, but I am not going to be unflinchingly loyal to a person or an organization that doesn’t reciprocate.
This is in no way a boycott of the Seahawks, but it’s a lot to ask anyone nowadays to get four hours of attention every week for four or even five months. It’s hard enough getting that much time to play with my kid, since I work three jobs just so my wife and I can own a house in Seattle.
Blind loyalty should be mutually beneficial. If that means I’m a fair-weather fan, so be it. After all, this is Seattle and the sun only shines 35 percent of the time.
Travis Sherer, 32, is a West Seattle native who attended Western Washington University. He holds a BA in Journalism, worked as a sports writer for five years and currently works for the University of Washington. He also works part time as an official scorekeeper for Sounders FC and a sports statistician for UW.
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