Having our hometown Seattle Seahawks go to the Super Bowl was a huge event for our city. My kids’ and other neighborhood schools held Seahawks events prior to the big game: Blue Fridays, contests for which class could show the most Seahawks spirit with the winners earning an extra recess, and taking time out from class to line up the students in the formation of a giant #12 to show their support for our home team. But all that changed when the victory parade was set during a school day. Kids couldn’t miss school for the Seahawks parade…could they?
Die-hard fans had their own arguments for pulling their kids out of school:
“I’ve waited my whole life for this and I want to share it with my kids.”
“It’s a once in a lifetime event.”
“The Seahawks have never won a Super Bowl before. This is history in the making.”
Even Pete Carroll was calling for the schools to close.
They didn’t close, but many school districts recognized that this was something more than an ordinary parade: it was a lesson in civic pride. Education is important, and not everything is best learned in a classroom. Sometimes you have to live it to learn it.
For me, it was a no brainer. I had already set a precedent by flying to Williamsport, PA for a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to support our home town Little League team. I could hardly say no to a simple drive downtown! So I pulled two of my kids out of school, bundled them up, and headed downtown with our friends to witness this historic moment and celebrate with the Seahawks players. (My oldest, in middle school, claimed his workload was too high to miss a day, making for an interesting parenting moment: “You can’t go to school! Wait…what am I saying?”)
Approximately 700,000 other people joined us: old, young, male, female, from nearby and from far away, with every color of skin you could imagine, including blue and green. It was cold—really, really cold—and it was packed, but not much could compare to the moment when Marshawn Lynch, the first Seahawks player in the parade, came into view.
The players were in awe of the outpouring of support from the sheer number and volume of their devoted fans.
The fans were beside themselves, jumping up and down, waving frantically, screaming at the top of their lungs as their favorite players passed by. (This particular fan wished the players wore their jerseys because it was hard to tell who was who after watching them all season with their faces hidden behind football helmets.)
And when Steven Hauschka held up the coveted Vince Lombardi trophy, the roar that went up from the crowd was deafening.
Yes, it was freezing cold, and yes, we’re now drowning in makeup work from a missed day of school, but it was worth every second to give back to the Seahawks what they have delivered to our city, and it’s much more than a Super Bowl Championship. The Seahawks have united our city, and our state, like nothing has before.