by Jessica Pahutski – Staff Editor
Although the 2016-17 NFL season is done and the Atlanta Falcons/New England Patriots’ win capped everything off, discussion of American sports shouldn’t stop there. Based on my geographic location, one might assume I’m a diehard Seattle Seahawks and Sounders fan. This isn’t entirely true for either and never really has been. The local pro teams and I have a complicated relationship.
Being just six at the time, I barely remember watching the Seahawks’ first appearance at the final game of that season. I’m almost certain I was more occupied watching the Puppy Bowl than anything on the big TV at my grandparents’ house. All I really know about it is that the refs messed up several times and let the Pittsburgh Steelers win the match. Between then and 2013/14, I was extremely cynical about the Seahawks in general. If they were facing any other team, I’d root for that team. If they won a game, I’d call it dumb luck.
Then February 2, 2014 happened. That day, my family and I were invited to watch the game at a family friend’s house. The Denver Broncos won the coin toss and the first play of the whole game set the mood: a near-complete obliteration by the Seahawks. This alone convinced me to lighten up on them after that, but I still don’t consider myself a real fan. However, I do believe the failed play at the end of Super Bowl 49 was idiotic and contributed to the apparent deification of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
I’ve been an on-and-off Sounders supporter for at least half of my life thanks to my grandmother. She’d have the games on TV all the time when my parents were at work. After she passed away in 2012, it was painful to even see commercials about them for a while. I found other hobbies and focused on those until the 2014 World Cup rolled around.
My love for that tournament initially came from my love for national anthems, but later changed to the sport as a whole. The Women’s World Cup the following year led to interest in England’s Premier League and the Olympic competition. When I heard the Sounders were on the fast track to the MLS Cup, it was like taking a time machine back to 2011. I tuned in to almost every game in the semifinals and the final against Toronto. When the pressure of the extra time got to me, I wandered around the house until penalty kicks started. Toronto’s sixth try comically failed almost as if the box itself didn’t want them to win and history was made in the National League.
I might not be an intra-national sports person, but if my parents are watching a game of any kind, I won’t hesitate to take a peek.