Super Conflicted

The uncomfortable boosterism in media.
The uncomfortable boosterism in media.

The uncomfortable boosterism in media.

Two summers ago, I was on my feet at Safeco Field only because it was the only way to see. As Felix Hernandez was putting the finishing touches on a perfect game on Aug. 15, 2012, the woman next to me began to weep. Her boyfriend turned to me and said, in a concerned tone, “It’s OK to look happy about this.”

But I struggled with that sentiment, as I did last night, after returning home from watching the Super Bowl with my parents. “Congratulations!” said a friend, who watched the game with my wife. I felt odd about not brightening up, but not as odd as I would have felt fist-bumping my friend over my hometown Seahawks’ 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XVLIII.
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22 (semi) Brief Thoughts About Why I’m Mad at Richard Sherman

Scene of the crime.
Scene of the crime.

Scene of the crime.

1. Richard Sherman made a marvelously athletic, immaculately timed play to save Seattle’s 23-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in an NFC Championship game that instantly is labeled a “classic” and sends the Seahawks to the first and maybe only Super Bowl that will take place in the New York mega-media market. Seconds later, Sherman stalked Michael Crabtree, the 49ers receiver against whom he made the play, and chose probably an inappropriate time (he’d just, for all purposes, ended Crabtree’s season) to, he claims, try to shake the guy’s hand.

2. Then Sherman flashed the “choke” sign, he says, at 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Then Sherman ranted in an on-field interview with FOXSports’ Erin Andrews, calling Crabtree a “sorry” receiver.
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Seattle Shows Its (Seahawk) Colors

The hammer's about to come down at SAM.

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My wife Florangela got the brilliant idea that I ought to photograph various ways that Seattle was showing its Seahawk colors in advance of Saturday’s division playoff game here against the New Orleans Saints. I had planned on staying warm and dry, but the idea grew on me. So I’m presenting the images a couple ways – via slideshow above and individually below (so they can be viewed a little larger).

This effort, and especially its spirit, is dedicated to the memory of Fred Cordova, a critical supporter and mentor of mine, and voice, journalist and historian for the people.

Enjoy and go Hawks!
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The Seahawks’ Yutes at Midseason

Richard Sherman trashes Tom Brady

Richard Sherman trashes Tom Brady

Richard Sherman reflects the Seahawks’ youthful bluster

This column originally appeared at SeattleWeekly.com

The Seahawks have, in the eyes of many, navigated half of an expectant season to a glass half empty. They once stood, after all, at a replacement-ref-inflated 4-2. So reaching the NFL’s midseason with a 4-4 record means the Seahawks have stumbled of late.

Still, the very word that explains the tidal inconsistencies of the first eight games is the same that should inspire optimism for the final eight: Yutes.

Not to go all My Cousin Vinny on everyone (though George Costanza isn’t the only dude with a thing for Marisa Tomei), but what people outside of Jersey refer to as “youth” is an additive, to a sports team, tantamount to chili flakes. Sprinkle in just the right amount, and you get a kick. Too much, and you can get burned.
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Russell Wilson as the ‘black Doug Flutie’

Is Russell Wilson pointing the way in terms of preparation, or is his tale an aspect of reverse-racing profiling? (photo by Seahawks.com)

Is praise of Russell Wilson pointing to a form of reverse-racial profiling?
(photo by Seahawks.com)

People of color generally take a rooting interest when other people of color reach a grand stage and strive for greatness. My heart was aflutter and my eyes dewy when Barack Obama gave us a Yes-We-Can moment, becoming the first black American to be elected President of the United States. Similarly, I’ve been captivated by the rapid, stereotype- and obstacle-bashing rise of Russell Wilson, a young black athlete, from third-round NFL draft pick to starting quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks.

However, though I have cheered every positive-modeling tale weaved about Wilson’s approach in Seattle, I have had grave doubts from the beginning about the wisdom of elevating a rookie to the sport’s most critical position on a team that otherwise seems poised for a major breakthrough. I am a longtime chronicler of sports, after all, as well as someone with more than casual interest in the Seahawks. I can’t help but also view Wilson’s story through those filters as well.

You wouldn’t name an intern as your CEO the week before your company’s IPO, would you?
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