Why I still root for white guys who wear number 12

Disclaimer– this blog post has almost nothing to do with Real Estate  




These Seattle Seahawks are hard to dislike. And I am a very experienced disliker of Seattle Seahawks.

I’ll explain.

My family drove into Washington State on the nation’s bicentennial– July 4, 1976– from my childhood home in the Bay Area. The Seahawks played their innagural game three weeks later, kicking off a hate affair that has lasted nearly forty years.
Before we left California, Uncle Larry held season tickets to the Raiders, and I spent many a Sunday afternoon in the early ’70s in the gritty bleachers of Oakland Alameda County Stadium rooting for one of the most colorful franchises in the history of organized sports. Raider football was my life, and even though they won the Super Bowl the year we moved to Federal Way, I loathed & distrusted my new home team nearly as much as I loved my old one.

The improvisational theater of Efren Herrara

The teams were instant rivals, of course, playing in the same division (most of) those first 25 seasons. And spectacularly awful as they were in those early days, the bumbling black-shoed Seahawks would often rise to supernatural stature when facing the Raiders, staging breathtaking upsets. Seattle won 4 of the first 5 meetings, in fact, against variations of the Raider squads that dominated Super Bowls XI and XV. Oakland (and later LA) managed only a 4-game advantage over Seattle for the entire 20th century, with the teams’ two post-season contests split down the middle– one win each. Bear in mind the Raiders won three Super Bowls during this era, while the Seahawks largely languished in their own feces like the expansion team they were. Still, they proved a nagging burr in the saddle of the Silver & Black, much to my historical chagrin.

At school, I was subject to a vast array of Monday morning asskickings: spiritual and literal, not to mention financial. Twice a season I took every bet offered to me– brashly giving points and talking shit. Countless Monday mornings taunted, poked and shoved in the hallways– a fistfull of dollar bills in my handraider and a tear in my eye. I suffered for my Pride & Poise (the Raider motto before Just Win, Baby) and my resentment for the popular Seahawks deepened.

Fast-forwarding to 2015, I could give two shits about either team or the sport in general. I made a conscious decision to get off not only professional football but also professional basketball in 1997 when I found myself reading hockey box scores in the morning paper. Kicking at home allowed me to continue to enjoy baseball without guilt while staying out of rehab. It was good timing, of course– aside from their accidental appearance in Super Bowl XXXVII, the Raiders have been very awful since then. Poetic that they have bottomed out just as the Seahawks have risen to what some are starting to call a Dynasty.

It’s a bit early for this type of labeling if you ask me, as good as this team is playing. You need more than consecutive Super Bowl victories to have the D-word slapped on you, and I’m not sure this same Seahawk squad takes the field next season, regardless of what happens in Arizona. This team has secrets– and even Pete Carrol’s pandemic bright-side howdy-doos aren’t enough to obscure that. I get the feeling the Seattle locker room is not very awesome, and during the first half of the season it looked like those distractions were going to cost them not only a repeat but maybe even a .500 season. But I’ll be damned if they haven’t pulled it together and stopped playing down to their opponents. The defense appears to be all it’s cracked up to be and the offense continues to not fuck up. I don’t think either of the AFC teams have a chance against them and I don’t like the Packers’ chances in SODO.

Roger Staubach VI

As much as I’m grossed out by the bloated culture and economics of the league, I still do enjoy the game itself, and will occasionally look in on the post-season contests if I don’t think anyone can see me. So I know that all three of the other quarterbacks still eligible for immortality are white and wear number 12. I am only rooting for them because they don’t play for the Seahawks, who you will recall I detest. It has nothing to do with the fact that they’re white, and I only named this piece what I did to see if I could get you to read it. If you are still reading, I will reward you presently with some thoroughly inane statistics about white quarterbacks who’ve worn 12 in the Super Bowl: 

Terry Bradshaw XIII, XIV
Joe Willie Namath III

More than half of the Super Bowl MVPs have been quarterbacks. Of those 25, 7 have worn 12– far more than any other position or number. Another 7 number 12s have won the game but not the award. Only 9 defensive players of any number or position have ever been MVP (10 if you count the Cowboy split in XII). One special teams player has taken home the hardware, and the rest are all guys who get fed the ball from the quarterback.

 It’s a quarterback-centric league and it always has been. Very few teams have won let alone lost the Super Bowl with even an average Joe. And while Russel Wilson aint Joe Montana, he’s also no Joe Pisarcik. He’s accurate, athletic and smart– and he plays within himself. I want so badly to dislike him, but he makes it really hard. Off the field or on, he’s just not going to show you his butt by trying to board an airplane with a loaded handgun or certainly by punching down his girlfriend. 

Bobby Wagner

I didn’t like Beast guy until I saw that video on the internet, and I respect the fact that he tells the league to get fucked with regard to media obligations. I didn’t like Richard Sherman after his post-game spasm last year either, until I learned what a thoughtful badass he was the following Monday. I didn’t like Bobby Wagner because he plays for the Seattle Seahawks, but dude reminds me of a less murdery Ray Lewis and seems to always be near the ball. Pete, Kam, KJ– I’m doing everything I can to dislike and dismiss them. But they’re making it really hard… 

So forgive me if I can’t join you Twelves. I’ll be rooting for a different 12– any different 12. I don’t care what color his skin is– I’m more interested in the color of his jersy…

Oh, and check out my new listing on Alabama Hill! 


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