January 23, 2015

Confession of a Bandwagon Fan

Whoever drew a line between Seahawks fans, calling some real and others wannabes or bandwagon fans has caused quite a stir in my Facebook feed. While I know who Steve Largent was to the team way back when and who Marshawn Lynch is now, barring last year's Super Bowl, I've never seen either one play.

I'm not sure I should even be admitting this... Please don't rat me out to anyone with a 12th man flag flying in my neighborhood, or on any of the fan businesses around town, and pretty much on every other car driving down the road. Fans here, "real" and not, are pretty exuberant in their love and support of the team.

Photo: Richard Walker
The staff and students in my kids' schools dress up every Friday in Seahawks gear and so does most everyone at my office. A few months ago, I stopped at a little farm stand on the side of the road to get some produce. The guy greeted me and I asked him how he was. He told me the Seahawks had lost the game. What? I didn't even know what that meant. Does his happiness or health depend on how a team plays? Apparently so.

However sad it can be when the Seahawks lose, I love the spirit of community and unification as we all rally around them not only at game time but all season long. I especially love the Legion of Boom...the fans who are so into the game that they create a near-earthquake when we score.

What I loved about the game last week is how when winning seemed hopeless, not only did Beast Mode go into action, but the entire team put their faith to work and the miracles started happening.

I've seen that happen on two different occasions in my life. Sometimes, just believing the miracle is possible is what makes it possible to achieve. Faith is an action which ties itself closely to hope.

My senior year of college I took an advanced syntax class. My professor knew her stuff. In fact, she authored my grammar textbook from a junior level class. Her personality was fun and laid back. I don't think she wanted to bog herself down with assigning a bunch of homework because she made the grade for our entire 10 week course dependent on three things...a mid-term, final and a language project.

Imagine my dismay when I got a D on my mid-term. Whoa. I'm an A student. D's are really bad. Yet there it was staring at me when I got my paper back. I'll admit that I wasn't really surprised. I mean I had no idea what was going on with Noam Chomsky or his Universal Grammar.

I could have accepted the lousy grade as a bad omen for the rest of the class. But instead I got my calculator out and went to the course syllabus and figured out exactly how many points I needed to get on my final and project to get an A in the class. Simple, right? Ha ha. I needed to get a 98% on one of them and 100% on the other. Yikes!

I took my mid-term to my professor's office and asked all sorts of questions. I visited her at least once or twice a week for the next few weeks. I understood my text book for the first time ever and started getting answers right...and diagramming sentences like nobody's business.

I did my project on Slovene grammar, the language of my 18 month mission to Slovenia. My professor got pretty into the project with me and asked me to present at a linguistics symposium she was putting on for the university. I did. At the end, the department chair asked me a question hoping to stump me. Not only did I answer well, but I added in a little extra information that made my professor proud (which is important for department rivalry).

I took my final and turned in my project.  With hope in the distinct mathematical possibility I could get a good grade in the class (never mind how remote that seemed) and a ton of work plus a touch of humility knowing I couldn't do it on my own, I earned one of my favorite As ever.

I'm also reminded of another series of events I've seen akin to Seahawks miracle. It came about two and a half years ago when Tymon and I were getting our final prep done for going to Abu Dhabi. Then at midnight just 11 hours before our flight leaves Tymon can't find his passport. Anywhere. I went to the airport wondering whether or not I'd be spending our 10 year anniversary by myself. Some of you may remember this story. It's a good one. Packed with a string of events gone right. In short, absolute miracles.

Like the Seahawks and their series of plays gone right last Sunday in the very moment they were needed, it takes acting on your faith and hope to be successful.

The prophet Alma said it best when counseling his son, "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass..." A couple points here, and a handful of points there add up. I stand by my team. Even when they start out lousy, they know when and how to kick it in gear and get the job done. May the odds be ever in their favor come Super Bowl time.

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