January 31, 2014 in Reflections on Pop Culture
Not long ago, I watched the movie Friday Night Lights. It was ok, but as a longtime fan of the TV show, the movie didn’t come close to capturing the heart of the Dillon Panthers or their coach (hello, Kyle Chandler!) like the TV show did. Connie Britton’s Tami was a throwaway part in the movie, but a force to be reckoned with on the TV show as the coach’s wife: a complicated blend of Southern charm and inner strength that earned her two Emmy nominations. Then there was the TV football team itself, filled with players like Smash, cocky, talented, and desperate to use football as his way into a life, and Matt Saracin, the kind, tentative quarterback singlehandedly balancing school, football, and his ailing grandmother, and Tim Riggins, the hot, sexy bad boy with a vulnerable heart.
Through all the personal challenges the characters faced, high school football ruled the small Texas town in both the movie and the TV show. The camera panned along empty storefronts on game day with “Closed for the game” signs posted in the windows. Not an empty bleacher seat could be found in the stands as the town gathered behind their team to cheer them on.
And this was high school football. Can you imagine what would happen to a city if their hometown team, an underdog in many ways, made it to the granddaddy of all sporting events, the Super Bowl?
I don’t have to imagine it; I am witnessing it in my own hometown and it is a thrill to watch.
The Emerald city of Seattle has turned blue and green with Seahawks fever.
You can’t buy Skittles anywhere: Marshawn Lynch’s favorite candy is sold out. You can’t get Seahawks jerseys either, but you can get Seahawks T-shirts at Safeway and Bartells. Everywhere I look, I see 12th Man flags on cars flapping in the wind as they drive by, 12th Man signs on buildings and windows, and Seahawks jerseys, hats, and other apparel on fans flushed with anticipation of the big game on Sunday. Boeing even painted a 747 with the Seahawks logo and flew it from Seattle to Spokane in a 12 pattern.
Photograph from Komo News
It is safe to say that the 12th Man is strong and proud here in Seattle while our team gets ready to battle the cold and the Broncos in New York.
The Broncos are good. Peyton Manning is a precision throwing machine with Super Bowl experience. The Seahawks have 0 players with Super Bowl experience and Russell Wilson is new in his career. On paper, the deck is stacked in Denver’s favor.
But the Seahawks have heart. They have passion and desire and a fire in their bellies, and the 12th Man is 100% behind them. The fans have flocked to New York, hoping to turn the Giants stadium into a Seahawks home field advantage, and I have started to see these signs crop up in the storefront windows:
In the battle of heart vs. machine, who will win? It will be close, but I’ve got to give it to the team with heart.
Go Seahawks! You have earned this.