Victory is so sweet

Readers who don’t care for the Seahawks can skip this post and read Oprah magazine instead. Here’s a link.

“This is our moment.”

I said those words to my friend Brandon after the Seahawks’ Super Bowl win on Sunday. We were excitedly walking toward Carlow East, the Seahawks fans’ meeting place on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Some Giants fans had just called to us, “Now you know what it’s like to be us!”

I heard the same words while streaming the Seattle FOX affiliate’s coverage of the champions parade. This is Seattle’s moment. And Seattle showed what an incredible city it is and showed up for it. Preliminary estimates say 700,000 people crowded onto downtown streets in 20 degree weather to welcome the team home. The city’s population is 634,000. Anyone who knows Seattle isn’t surprised. Seattleites love their city. They are proud of it.

The Mariners call their fans “The Best Fans in Baseball.” Seahawks fans are known collectively as the 12th Man. Forbes names Seattle the most miserable sports city nearly every year. But that never stopped the city from loving its teams. That’s why Golden Tate, my favorite Seahawk, announced he’d take a paycut to stay with the Seahawks. “Honestly, I would rather take a little less to be happy and win ballgames than to take way more and go to a crappy city where the fans don’t give a crap about the team.,” Tate said in an interview.

Ken Griffey Junior, a Seattle icon, famously returned to the Mariners to finish his career because he loved the team he grew up and started his career with. Seattleites went crazy, knowing he’ll enter the Hall of Fame a Mariner.

Sports bring people together in a way politics and religion don’t. I had so much fun representing my city in New York the last week. I instantly bonded with other folks rocking the blue and highlighter green. I don’t even like Skittles, but I couldn’t not eat a handful while watching the big game. One of my favorite moments was watching the Empire State Building light up in blue and green right after the win.Thank goodness for friends with great views!

Watching the parade on TV made me so proud of Seattle and reminded me why I love that city. I keep thinking it’s time to wash my 12 hat and put it away, but I can’t stop pulling it over my ears when I leave my apartment. Maybe tomorrow.

Best Month Ever

It’s so easy to get caught up in what’s wrong, and when I do that, I write a post like this sad December one. When a polar vortex is hitting New York and I have the option to work from home, it’s easy to get stuck in my four walls. That’s not a good place for me.

But January changed everything. Maybe it was the week I spent in Hawaii. Or the fact that Seattleites have descended upon New York for the Super Bowl. Or the tons of good buddy time I’ve gotten. Or that I’ve been working out because I want to — not because I feel like I need Hawaii abs. Or because I’ve been very consciously eating better.

But I’m happy.

Pinch-me, is-this-really-my-life happy. My Seattle friend Tara likes to remind me to take the time to do things that I need to do. (I need to remind her the same.) For me, that means getting out of my apartment, going to yoga class, drinking green tea, listening to music and seeing friends. I did all those things in bulk this month, and I can’t wipe the smile off my face. I’m feeling much more like myself.

Despite two rounds of the polar vortex, I make an effort to take walks & take pics. This is FiDi.
Despite two rounds of the polar vortex, I make an effort to take walks & take pics. This is FiDi.
Someone put their fully decorated tree on the street. It's been there about a month now. Makes me laugh every time I walk by.
Someone put their fully decorated tree on the street. It’s been there about a month now. Makes me laugh every time I walk by.
I was so happy to be in Seattle for the Seahawks' Division Championship game. The city was bathed in blue & highlighter green.
I was so happy to be in Seattle for the Seahawks’ Division Championship game. The city was bathed in blue & highlighter green. #GoHawks
Tara gives Penny a high-five while mama Heather looks on. Love me some buddy time.
Tara gives Penny a high-five while mama Heather looks on. Love me some buddy time.
Brunch with my girls at Pike Place.
Brunch with my girls at Pike Place.
This was my backyard for six glorious days on Oahu.
This was my backyard for six glorious days on Oahu.
Ohana means family, and these two will always be my family now.
Ohana means family, and these two will always be my family now.
I've had so much fun carrying this flag around NYC.
I’ve had so much fun carrying this flag around NYC.
I went to Puppy Bowl Experience! Puppies!
I went to Puppy Bowl Experience! Puppies!
Giant slide in Times Square = Awesomeness!
Giant slide in Times Square = Awesomeness!
It's been two weeks of trash talking, but we still love each other.
It’s been two weeks of trash talking, but we still love each other.

Drafted!

There was a time not so long ago that I said, “I hate football. It’s so barbaric and dumb. I can’t believe people spend their whole Sunday watching.”

But one day that all changed. I was watching a Seahawks game with friends at someone’s house. I loved it. I loved the excitement of the game. I loved the unifying force of all of us holding our breath together then letting out a cheer. I loved the huge plate of nachos in front of us.

Even after I moved across the country, I rallied behind my team. Last year, I would wear my Seattle gear to the gym and find a treadmill with a view of the game. Occasionally I’d find a like-minded fan (or at least someone who didn’t totally hate the Seahawks). One game went into what felt like extreme overtime. I spent a lot of time walking on the treadmill that day.

It’s also fun to trash talk fans of opposing teams or division rivals. Bougie and I do that a lot. He threatened to bring me a 49ers jersey back from his weekend in San Fran. I told him he was welcome to, as long as he didn’t mind if I kept it at his house. I wouldn’t dream of buying him Seahawks gear.

If you’re the superstitious type, I was single handedly responsible for the Broncos losing the divisional title last year. But that’s not a story my parents or perspective employers need to read.

The Seahawks are my favorite team. It took me a while to figure out that my hometown Minnesota Vikings (that employed me for one whole day) are No. 2 in my heart. The truth is the Seahawks are the team that made me love sitting on my ass on Sundays. They’re the team that makes me scream at the computer (where I watch games).

You could say the Seahawks chose me.

Marshawn Lynch, Golden Tate and Russell Wilson are my starting lineup. I don’t do the fantasy thing. I just care about my team, nachos and beer.