Fans of Breaking Bad saw their favorite TV show come to a satisfying conclusion on Sunday. If you watched the finale, you likely felt a smile cross your face—perhaps even a tear roll down your cheek—as the final shot pulled us away from Walter White’s world.
What you did not do was scream for joy and hug anyone within reach—as Seahawks fans had earlier that day when the Hawks completed a fourth-quarter comeback as dramatic as anything Vince Gilligan could dream up.
When was the last time you hugged someone out of pure joy? If you can’t remember, you probably aren’t a Seahawks fan. You must have a good reason. Maybe you don’t follow football. Maybe you root for another NFL team. Maybe you think sports are an anachronistic relic of our tribal past, promoting violence, patriarchy, and the inevitable downfall of civilization.
Whatever your stance, I implore you to reconsider—the Seahawks are taking this city on a fantastic ride. Don’t get left off the bandwagon.
When a team goes on a championship run, as the Seahawks are poised to do, it brings a city together like no other municipal event can. It’s like a Macklemore video shoot times 10,000. Here’s why.
Even if you’ve never played sports, you’ve probably had the experience of “winning”—say, getting a job you really wanted or catching a flight you thought you’d surely miss. Now imagine that everyone in the city felt that winning exhilaration at once.
When a city’s team is on a roll, strangers high-five strangers, neighbors shout exhortations at neighbors. The power of a common cause is strong enough to bring people together—something we need now more than ever as the mayoral campaign exposes the stark divide in our city between Seattleites who want many more bike lanes and Seattleites who want not quite as many more bike lanes.
The last time Seattle won a major pro-sports championship. more than 300,000 turned out for the 1979 Sonics victory parade. Can you think of a bigger public gathering since? I can’t. (By contrast, the Kurt Cobain memorial at Seattle Center in 1994 drew about 7,000.)
The main reason I want you on the Seahawks bandwagon is completely selfish: the more, the merrier. More Seahawks fans means more strangers finding a reason to talk, louder crowds at the games and bars, and, hopefully, victory parades. If everything goes right, maybe you and me, we’ll get to hug.