posted by Joe Anaya on February 2nd, 2015

Well, I’m exhausted, because I spent my Sunday cheering and screaming and finally sobbing for my beloved Seattle Seahawks against the hated Patriots in the Superbowl. (I can’t fathom the final play call, but that’s a different story.)

I watched the big game in a sports bar with a bunch of other displaced Seahawks fans. Many of them have become friends.

I realized that sports fans create an automatic brotherhood. When I’m in my Richard Sherman jersey around town in Los Angeles, every now and then I’ll hear a, “Go Hawks.” I’ll scan the area and find the guy or gal giving me the thumbs up. I shout back, “Go Hawks!” We’re now instant friends. Done deal.

I, of course do the same, if I ever see a fellow 12. “Go Hawks,” is like a sports shorthand version of Avatar’s, “I see you.” I already know we have at least one important thing in common. Probably more.

Over the holidays, when I went home to Seattle, I’d get excited every time I saw a Hawks jersey or hat or hoodie, and almost blurt out our battle cry, “Go Hawks.” Then I’d remember I wasn’t in LA, everyone in Seattle is a Hawks fan. But the urge to find a brother in arms was unmistakable.

I was fortunate enough to go to a Seahawks game while in Seattle. It’s as loud and as fanatical as advertised. Every big play from the Seahawks, there was cheering and high-fiving, the guy next to me was a hugger. Big bear hugs from the lumberjack sitting next to me let me know I was officially part of the 12s.

While back home in LA, at the sports bar, during the white-knuckle NFC championship, there was a lot of moaning about the poor second half. A guy wearing his Marshawn Lynch jersey,  I had never met, turned to me for comfort, “Tell me we still can win this.” I didn’t know him but we commiserated.

When our team improbably won in overtime, it was pandemonium. Everybody was congratulating, high-fiving, and hugging. I can’t imagine the shape of whoever was sitting next to my lumberjack friend in the stadium.

Despite the Superbowl loss, I thank the Seahawks for another great season and all the new friends. Go Hawks.

File Under Jack of all Trades