Tuesday, February 07, 2006

All Right, Seattle

Or: How a City Learned The Importance of Self-Respect (One Hopes)
by B. Jones

So, it takes a poorly officiated football game to get you off of your apathetic asses, huh? I guess the attendant media outcry kinda helped, didn't it?

Okay, well, before the flame is extinguished, let me ask you: What's wrong with holding on to that spark?

I'm not talking about complaining contiguously about the game, for that will surely get old, if it hasn't already. Yes, the game was called poorly, with numerous plays that would normally go uncalled suddenly being called. So, yes, odds are that the interception that led to the 21 - 10 score was probably influenced by the bad call two plays prior, but it doesn't change the fact that the interception was thrown. (Let's not dwell on the bad call that took place at the end of that play...insult to injury, really.)

No, Seattle, you're not thinking big enough, as usual. Quite frankly, the poor officiating is the result from the lack of respect the rest of the nation gives Seattle. Think I'm kidding? Let's see:

"You Seattle fans don't just accept mediocrity. You crave it. You support your boys come hell or low water. You show up at the rate of three million a year for the Mariners, who never fail to let you down. Even the stadium sounds cuddly: Safeco Field. You pack the house for the underachieving SuperSonics, led by the NBA's nicest loser, Ray Allen. Your Seahawks went 21 years without a playoff win, and the fans didn't so much as clear their throats...Hey, you can't spell Seattle without settle...Walruses don't do triple Salchows, and Seattle teams don't win titles." -- Rick Reilly, Sports Illustrated

"The Seahawks have the league MVP, a dazzling offense and at least one budding superstar linebacker, but they're the personification of their town too. That is, the town that gets no love from the national sports media, unless you're talking about the national sports media in Japan." Also:

"And you, Seattle Seahawks. Yeah, I'm talking to you. Where the heck is Seattle, anyway? Isn't that in, like, Canada? Why do they let minor-league cities like that into the NFL? You better hope that judge in Texas takes your side on the 12th Man thing, because you're going to need all the help you can get. You might need 15 men on the field to win this game.

Did your receivers ever learn to hang on to the ball? I don't pay attention to foreign news so I haven't been keeping track. Is Shaun Alexander still crying about that one yard he didn't get last season for the rushing title? I see you're the NFC champions. Did you play any teams this year with actual football players on them?"
-- King Kaufman, Salon.com (granted that second quote was an example of what trash talking should be)

Not enough? Okay, let's get ridiculous. Q: What was the music played to get the Steelers onto the field? A: Fatboy Slim's Right Here, Right Now. Q: What music did they use for the Seahawks? A: Verve's Bittersweet Symphony.

I mean, what kind of biased bullshit is that? Whoever programmed the music was dissing us even before the fucking game started! I mean, The fucking Verve? The only kind of bullshit early 90s music that could actually be outdone by Fatboy-goddamn-Slim, in the genre of sports arena bullshit themes?

What's that? Is that a sliver of anger I sense? Good, good. Put down that passive aggressive shield you're so accustomed to, step closer to me.

Do you know who's to blame for this sorry state of affairs, General Seattle Populace (GSP)? You are. Yes, you.

When the Sonics went to the Finals against the Bulls a decade ago, and took them to game 6; who were the first people to say it was a sign of the Sonics' weaknesses, instead of decrying the superstar treatment given to the Bulls? You, GSP, you.

In fact, this attitude could describe the next 8 years, in which every surge towards breaking that national obscurity would fold, and then would be immediately followed by a "yeah, we suck, don't we" kind of mentality (the Mariners' 117 win season is a prime example). I mean, where's the umbrage, people?

"Oh, but, that's baseball and basketball, son. We're a football town."

Izzat so? I refer you back to Rick Reilly's comment above. How many seasons outside of playoff contention?

No, Seattle isn't taken seriously, because you don't take yourselves or your city seriously, GSP. This fair-weather mentality of yours has made you a laughing-stock to the rest of the nation, to the point where refs and umps don't think twice about giving us the shit treatment; to the point where a vastly superior team becomes the underdogs in a national championship.

What? Now you're feeling down, GSP? Dumbasses! You're supposed to be more pissed off, you morons! Fucking release the anger! Lose the hipper-than-thou facade! I compel you to feel something other than diffidence, you charmless robots!

For the sports franchises, the job is a bit easier. Sonics/Mariners, get your fucking shit together assholes, earn our respect. Seahawks, they say you won't be back on the national championship level for a while to come. Are you gonna take that? Go kick their sorry asses, next year. And no excuses next time.

GSP: Take this last national dis and own it. Think about it, no one takes anything you do seriously. They think you're nothing but pasty cave dwellers who can't recognize that grunge is dead, and that hi-tech is still our saviour. They think we take our morning mochas more seriously than life, love, and the arts. They think we'll be satisfied with simply whining away this last Sunday.

Does this describe you, you pathetic lumps? Is this all you are? Is that what this town represents? Are you going to take any of this shit?


I give up.


At 4:28 PM, Blogger thelyamhound said...

Fatboy Slim's Right Here, Right Now. Q: What music did they use for the Seahawks? A: Verve Pipe's Bittersweet Symphony.

There may be a Fatboy Slim song of that title I don't know about, but I think they might be thinking of Jesus Jones. The second one's just wrong--the Verve, not the Verve Pipe (totally different band)--play Bittersweet Symphony.

Shows you how much I care about actual sport . . . but the point about our soggy civic pride is well-taken.

At 4:32 PM, Blogger thelyamhound said...

OK, a quick google fact check verified the Fatboy Slim song, but the other is definitely the Verve (Richard Ashcroft & company), not the Verve Pipe.

At 4:40 PM, Blogger the beige one said...

Thanks, Lyam, quite frankly, I can't recall the difference.

These will be updated momentarily.

At 4:50 PM, Blogger thelyamhound said...

I barely recall the Verve Pipe at all . . . Verve was part of the same scene that gave us the Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine, so I was a little more versed in their discography.

At 5:06 PM, Blogger JJisafool said...

I'm just taking a moment to picture in my mind's eye how unimaginably faggy a football team would have to be to enter to Jesus Jones.

Ahhhh, that's good eatin'. I can even see there promotional video.

At 5:06 PM, Blogger JJisafool said...


At 5:57 PM, Blogger thelyamhound said...

If there were a football team so unabashedly faggy, I'd actually watch football now and again, and not just for about 15 minutes when my home team is at the Super Bowl.

At 9:58 AM, Blogger patrice said...

okay, I'm not a seattlealian, but I can definitely relate. philadelphia sports teams always ALMOST win, but not quite. and we get bashed for it all the time. the entry music is something that rings true to me, too, as does the blatant referee treatment that you guys got. it happens to us, too. we're laughing stocks, too. I empathize.

don't you guys know that only commercials use jesus jones now? (not that they don't use that verve song, too, though.)

At 10:51 AM, Blogger the beige one said...

Thanks, Patrice, but I think Philly has a bit more of a civic identity than Seattle does. You guys do get made fun of, though.

What gets my goat here is the lack of civic pride Ly picked up on. And not just in the arena of professional sports, it's just that professional sports is probably the most proletariat way of getting that across.

For example:

[Crossfade to street scene, a random guy sees a guy in a Phillies jersey.]

Random Guy: Oh, a Phillies fan, eh?
Phillies Guy: Yeah.

[Crossfade to another street scene, random guy sees someone in a Mariners jersey.]

Random Guy: Oh, a Mariners fan, eh?
Mariners Guy: Yeah, I know, they had a good season last year though.


See what I mean? It comes across as obseqious and completely spineless.

At 11:45 AM, Blogger the beige one said...

Well, it's a start:

Seattle Columnist Tries Really Hard

but not close enough. Arguments about the legitimacy of the WNBA aside (my take: It's treated as an exhibition sport for a reason. Very weakly set up. I still miss the ABL. The basis for a later B. Jones rant, I s'pose)...

Class? Every city's populace has class, with a couple of exceptions.

It's not about class, Ms. B, it's about attitude, and it's this that is sorely lacking.

For attitude to work, you need to have confidence to back it up, and the frustrating thing about Seattle, is that we can back it up, we simply lack the confidence in it, and therefore our attitude is wanting.

At 8:25 AM, Blogger JJisafool said...

Seems to me like the media is making this story live now. To tell you the truth, most every fan I know has let things go, and never thought literally, as the writers always imply, that we were literally robbed. We all know those plays made a difference, but I rarely heard anyone, past Monday when we were still sore, that didn't qualify it with "of course, we fucked up, too."

I have to admit, Beigey, I think you are a little quick to jump on the GSP here. I don't think fans are all that bad, and we aren't going to be fans like other cities because we aren't like other cities.

Maybe you shoulda given the folks most of the week to mourn, and then rallied this cry if we were still really moping, not talking about next year, about the off-season signings, about 7 Hawks in the Pro Bowl. But, we are. (I get to say we because I listen to over two hours of KJR every day.)

Think you're just howling at the moon here. Maybe projecting? Demanding from the GSP what you want to see out of yourself?

At 1:29 PM, Blogger Missuz J said...

Ummm. Trying to feel your pain here. Let's see. Nope. I got nothing. Sorry.


At 2:18 PM, Blogger the beige one said...

Miss Uz J, I don't get your passion for Karaoke Revolution either, but I respect it...=^)

[this reply's verification word: uckydajg. I'm hoping that by the end of this dajg, that will have started with an 'l' and not an 's']

At 3:35 PM, Blogger thelyamhound said...

From here, karaoke revolution edges out football in terms of importance, but civic pride edges out karaoke. But JJ makes an interesting point regarding our tendency to place value judgements on the "Seattle" character. All of which somehow lulls me back into a state of bored apathy. Got that? Good.

At 4:06 PM, Blogger Stine said...

Football aside, this whole conversation reminds me why I stopped discussing Seattle's "passive/aggressive" nature.

I'm not a sports fan, I may not know the "true" story. But from where I sit, I see a city paying shitloads of money for a new stadium while theaters close around them, I see Mariner's Fans boardering on psychotic about the game, I hear conversations every day about how great and wonderful our sports teams are.

I dunno, this seems sort of 'civic pridey' to me.

At 6:03 PM, Blogger the beige one said...

I have to admit, Beigey, I think you are a little quick to jump on the GSP here. I don't think fans are all that bad, and we aren't going to be fans like other cities because we aren't like other cities.

This coming from the guy who wrote a poem/tract names "Seattle is for Pussies," or some similarly titled rant.

JJ, I think the entry's purpose isn't clear, which would have more to do with me than anything else.

Firstly, I have no beef with the fans of this town, because there are fans here, much like I am for the Sonics and the Mariners (in that order). Nor is it too much about the band-wagon fans, as I classify myself to be a band-wagon fan for the Seahawks.

No, for me this is an admittedly poorly worded and badly veiled attempt to describe the lack of pride Seattle possesses.

And let me make this plain, since apparently it wasn't clear a few responses ago, not just in the realm of sports fandom.

And here's the reason for this little epistle: Every cultural aspect of this city (and yes, I'm including sports as a cultural commodity), deserves the kind of passion and support that was displayed after the Seahawks lost last Sunday. Is it getting that? No.

Not the Sonics/Mariners*, not the local fringe scene, not the arts/music/film scene. You name it, if it's local, odds are it's getting no respect from within the city.


Lack of pride and confidence.

This goes beyond me, guys. I love this fucking town, think it kicks ass where it counts, and am mroe than willing to defend its legitimacy as an important city. I feel safe in making the statement that the same is true of the Seattle contingent that reads this blighted blog (with, I'm sure, the usual pedantic quibbles).

Take a look around you, and tell me that's what you see around you.

When people get asked about it, they roll out the usual scripts about people being nice, and classy, or simply hide behind a wall of "I'm too hip."

Frankly, the outcry this past week is the most emotion I've seen expressed by the General Seattle Populace, and it was a pleasant surprise. It's the first time I've seen any kind of civic pride in where we're from on a broad level that didn't dissipate the moment things went south.

It is this I am trying to capture and nurture by cajoling.

Sorry if this bores some of you.

*(I'm talking about in the same way the Seahawks were. Last time both of these teams failed to get further, outrage and passion were not the primary reactions, it was "geez, I guess we do suck, don't we?")


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