Seattle becomes a play off crowd 

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Seattle becomes a play off crowd

By Shannon Love

Copyright © November 27th 2005

It was a day we all bundled up for a long cold day, a much longer day then all of us thought.  The fans were ready for this game and knew what was at stake; they came with hard hats and lunch pails in hand.  We as fans have come a long way since the first game here at Qwest Field, we all needed to raise our level of participation to become a play-off crowd, and we now have. 

The glory days of the Kingdome, the nation would use the term when discussing the Seahawks, Seahawks and home crowd in the same sentence.  Itís been 25 years sense Iíve heard it again.

 

People, we have done it!  Remember this feeling, what the media is saying about us, the fans.  The Seahawks and the fans in the same breath, same sentence, this is a milestone and an achievement that very few cities will ever realize.  You will hear that fans are not part of the game, or the game plan Ė wrong.  Back in the day, we were the game plan.  Teams would have loud speakers set up on their practice fields and practice with speakers delivering a noise level close to a hundred decibels.  It angered owners, coaches and frustrated players during the week in anticipation for game time.  It flat out took them out of their practice week.

 

As an owner, you can hire a coaching staff, draft players, dedicate dollars for free agents.  But itís tough to hire a crowd.  Crowds are large masses of people that are very unpredictable, more predictable if you are losing.  The advantages of having a home crowd are like having the first 5 picks in the draft every year.  There is no column for this advantage; the fans were never meant to be this important, to have an actual cause in the outcome of a game. 

You will hear other fans from around the country talking about us, Seattle fans and our abilities to make the noise.  They wish their fans and their stadiums were as loud and as smart as Seattle fans. It just doesnít happen overnight; it is years in developing.  Itís a history in the building, or in our case several buildings. As earlier as 1977, when the noise was just beginning, the crowd had stopped the opposing team with false start penalties, the crowd went nuts and a light went off.  Jim Zorn takes the field and the noise returns louder then ever, Zorn deep in his end zone, turns to the crown and puts his hand to his mouth and schusses the crowd to quiet down and then flaps both his hands in downward motion.  The whole crowd goes ahaaaaa Ė another light goes off.  Jim Zorn taught Seattle itís most important lesson, bring the noise on defense, and be quiet as a mouse on offense.  To this day most NFL cities have no clue.

 

It is the knowledge that is passed on from fan to fan, old fans to the newer generation of fans.  This has been our history and heritage; it is our right of passage. We believe in the power of one, our ownership, coaches and players believe and always have supported and given the Seattle fanís their props and respect.

When Chuck Knox, Seahawks Coach announced the retirement of the number 12 jersey, to honor the Seattle fans, it brought a bit of amusement from the NLF community and cities.  This was unheard of in the NFL and seemed kind of silly.  Seattle fans did not take it that way.  It was a tremendous honor that brought us to new heights and accountability.  The fans need rewards outside of home victories, we need the recognition of a job well done, to acknowledge the sacrifices we make each week, during the game and the consequences that follow each game as we return to work with no sleep or voice. 

 

The Seattle fans are back, there is no longer the wave to propel the volumes of decibels being delivered to opposing quarterbacks, we have evolved into our own new machine.  We no longer have the same circular building that brought fans arm to arm; we have various walls separating us.  We no longer have a roof, we have a skyline.  We do have our history, knowledge and heritage, and most important, we have the will to be great again.  

 

All photos taken by Shannon Love on 11-27-2005 --   copyright © 2008

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