Silly Games?

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It’s easy to by cynical. We can complain about overpaid athletes and worry about brain-trauma issues in football at every level. We can protest public funds being spent on facilities for the private benefit of wealthy team owners. We can look at Paul Allen paying $194 million for the Seahawks to realize a value, today, of $1.08 billion. We can lament all that money and energy not going into schools, road repair, or any of a thousand more worthy causes. And we can think, as I did after the Seahawks’ Superbowl victory on Sunday, What am I so excited about? I didn’t do anything!

But what is the value of the collective uplift our region felt during and after the Seahawks championship run? Of the grocery checker who usually grunts a monosyllabic greeting, gushing about Percy Harvin’s kickoff return? Of strangers waiting in line at the post office (clad in matching blue jerseys) debating the merits of a cover-3 defense? Of five months of exquisite anticipation for Sundays? Of countless high-fives and cheers and celebrations with friends and family?

And what does it mean when 700,000 strangers, filled with civic pride, enthusiasm and happiness, wait for hours in the icy wind, to applaud our football team one more time? I have never seen so many people in one place in my life. The sheer volume of humanity was mind blowing. The inconvenience of getting there, staggering. And yet, of the thousands of people we came face to face with, I did not hear an angry word or witness even a hint of anything other than joy. Yes, unabashed, wide-open, hootin’-and-hollerin’ joy. In Seattle. In wintertime.

How do we measure such things? Is there a monetary figure attached to Weston yelling down from his perch on my shoulders, There’s Marshawn Lynch right there! He’s handing out Skittles! And there’s Pete Carroll with THE TROPHY!

It’s easy to be cynical. But not this time. Go Hawks!

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