In response to a frustrated Seattle Seahawks fan's essay, a true 12 writes about why real loyalty isn't something you can turn off

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Travis Sherer wrote a Take 2 essay (“Seahawks fan: Why I’m flipping the switch and turning off my loyalties”) on why he was going to stop watching the Seahawks after some recent fourth-quarter collapses. Several Seahawks fans reacted to that post with emails and comments. This is Ian J. Austin’s response to Sherer.

BY IAN J. AUSTIN

Dear Fair-weather Fan (Travis),

You can flip the switch on your loyalty, but don’t come back. While I get your frustrations with this year’s team, I don’t think you were ever a true fan.

You were probably the same person who was questioning why we drafted Russell Wilson and why he took over as the starter. You were probably the same person who asked why we traded for Marshawn Lynch from Buffalo. You were probably the same person who never believed we would come back and beat Green Bay in the NFC Championship game, throwing in the towel early. I’m guessing you turned your TV off then, too.

Good, we don’t need you.

I’ve never even once thought about the organization and what they do, such as raising ticket prices. Who cares how owner Paul Allen took over? That, to me, is no reason to hate your team.

I don’t root for the Seahawks because of who runs the team, who coaches the team, who plays for the team. I root for the Seahawks because they are part of who I am. I mean, if the team left tomorrow I would still live (see the Sonics), but part of me would be missing. See, I grew up going to games with my grandpa and some of my best life memories were made at the Kingdome and the Clink. Since they moved to the CenturyLink Field, we meet at Ivar’s before every home game and have our fish and chips with a bloody mary or two, chat about life and about our team. Then, we trek down to the stadium and head to our seats, where we are surrounded by other loyal fans who have been there for a long, long time.

Watching a Seahawks game is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, win or lose. One day, I will take my son to Grandpa’s seats and let him experience what it’s like to see the Seahawks play. To feel that cool wind hit your face, to see the players run out of the tunnel, to see the 12th Man flag being raised, to hear the national anthem, to hear the crowd, to feel what it’s like to be part of something special. To feel what it’s like to support your city.

It’s people like you who give Seahawks fans a bad name, it’s people like you who give sports a bad name.

It isn’t about how your team is doing in the present, it’s about all the memories that your team has provided you throughout your life. I’m proud to be from Washington, I’m proud to live in Seattle and I’m damn proud to be a Seahawks fan.

This isn’t “blind loyalty”, though. This is being a true fan.

Ian J. Austin, 26, is an Anacortes native who now lives in Seattle. He is a University of Washington graduate, father, director of international sales for an export company and die-hard Seattle sports fan.

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