Don’t label me as THAT Seahawks fan

Let’s get something straight, I’m a Seattle Seahawks fan.

But I’m not THAT guy.

We all know THAT guy, the tool dressing up in garb pulled out of a 70s hookers closet, spouting off their knowledge of the team and professing THEY actually have some sort of divine connection with it.

I’m not THAT guy.

I know the game and I root for the same team I watched beat the Pittsburg Steelers 30-0 in 1986 in the Kingdome as a 9-year-old. It was my first NFL game and I was hooked. And even back then, there’s no way I would act like some of the poser fans who call themselves WE and US.

I’m not THAT guy.

I remember the 2-14 year of ’92. It signaled the end of one of my favorite Seahawks, Dave Kreig, and the search for his predecessor. Anyone remember Stan Gelbaugh? How about Rick Mirer? John Friesz? Or remember Gelbaugh actually beat out ’91 No. 1 pick Dan McGwire, brother of juicing slugger Mark? Think the majority of posers wearing neon green could even pick any one of these guys out of a lineup?

I’m definitely not THAT guy.

Who remembers the true reason instant replay was actually reinstated in the NFL? It’s because Dennis Erickson’s 1998 Seahawks got hosed in Jew Jersey when Vinny Testaverde scored a phantom touchdown that the NFL decided to install it into regular season games. Seattle finished with their second-straight 8-8 season and missed the playoffs by losing that game.

Honestly, I didn’t mind the call afterwards because it led to the front office hiring Mike Holmgren away from Green Bay and turning the team into an instant contender.

Tell me how many clowns running around Century Link actually remember Erickson as an NFL coach? They still think of him as the guy at Oregon State and Arizona State.

I’m not even close to being THAT guy.

Now everyone wearing Seattle colors remembers the debacle of the 2005 Super Bowl. The ‘Hawks got jobbed and everyone knows it. Even Bill Leavey, head referee in that game, came clean years later admitting he and his crew screwed the Seahawks. (Check it out here)

But Seattle faded away into obscurity and the land of punch lines following some 4- and 5-win seasons leading to the departure of Holmgren, and into the hands of the biggest pile of coaching feces, in my humble opinion, Jim Mora. Mora lasted one excruciating, mind-numbing year in Seattle in 2009 before being fired, with his most recognizable moment being calling out Olindo Mare – who just so happened to be his best offensive threat that year – for missing a kick vs. the Bears. And the kick didn’t even matter. They lost like 25-19 and Mare had already hit four field goals earlier in the game.

All poser fans can tell you about Mora is he’s the guy at UCLA who graduated from UDub and beat the Huskies this year.

Don’t even start calling me THAT guy.

Sure, I talk smack about the Seahawks. But I do it with friends. It adds some fun to the game. But there I was, watching the NFC Championship game all by myself in a quiet setting, enjoying some time away from my busy-as-hell life. And man were things good for those poser 49ers fans in the first half. Winning in Seattle, where they’ve been dominated for the better part of three years? All was good in Ninerland. Kaepernick was exorcising his prior failures in Seattle and they looked pretty tough.

But with halftime adjustments came a changing of the guard. Seattle turned it around and was the better team when it mattered most. Then I had to dodge haymakers from crazy fans who couldn’t take the shit they were shoveling.

You see, I’m just not THAT guy. I laughed when Richard Sherman’s true colors came out in the post game interview. Not because I’m a Seattle fan, but because I know how intense professional athletes can get. Forget Sherman was a Stanford educated Communications major, his sole purpose on this earth is to earn a living. Now how does he do that? By playing football. When his legacy can be defined and earning power maximized, Sherman’s intensity was displayed for everyone.

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to walk near a football locker room or on the sideline during a big rivalry, you’d see this behavior is not out of the ordinary. Why didn’t you see any other NFL players criticizing Sherman other than Michael Crabtree? Because they know football is a game of emotion, and one that could be ended with one play in every game they step on the field. It’s brutality for our entertainment, plain and simple. AND EVERY SINGLE NFL PLAYER TALKS SHIT AT ONE LEVEL OR ANOTHER ON EVERY PLAY. It’s just part of the game.

Should Sherman have acted in more of a civilized manner? Maybe. But he just secured reaching the caveat of his dreams by beating down a man who called him out at a charity event prior to the season, and he did it on the biggest stage. And moments later a microphone is shoved in his face to get his thoughts on what happened and he painted his picture of the events maybe a little too colorfully.

We joke about all the coach speak from players like Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, always spewing out the compliments as to not cross the line leading to bulletin board material. But when an athlete says exactly what’s on his mind we act like we’re in pure horror.

I like Sherman because he was real. He was put into a no-win situation, but he didn’t act as a poser. He owned up to his persona and said it exactly like it was. Now you can dislike him for being an ass, but don’t hate on him for being real.

Seattle is back in the Super Bowl, and now I get to enjoy a few weeks of buildup to seeing another football game I can root for. That’s all I really care about. And am I going to flick some stuff to my Denver Broncos friends, you’d better damn-well believe it. It will be all in good humor and fun, and in the end I know no matter how much I drink, cheer or hope Seattle will pull it off, it won’t affect the outcome of the game whatsoever.

Now THAT’s the type of fan I am.

Mitchell Stadium project back on track

With the news today of Montana Department of Revenue officials conceding it’s BS claims of “double taxation” by School District 10, it looks like we can finally put to rest an issue which stunted the growth of several district-building projects meant to enhance our schools.

For me, this specifically means that the Mitchell Stadium project is back in the works.

It’s no secret politicians with influence over the DOR and INTERCAP Loans programs threw our school under the bus for no good reason. They didn’t think renovating a “football stadium” with tax increment monies generated by the Mill Creek TIFID was in the spirit of why the fund was created.

But this is where I stand. Mitchell Stadium is a cathedral to me. When it was constructed, it was build by using Works Progress Administration dollars created by FDR’s New Deal. In other words, it put people in dire need of work in the Anaconda area to work during the Depression. In fact, it kept families together and alive.

The building of Mitchell Stadium, along with roads, sidewalks and other structures throughout Anaconda, kept laborers afloat, alive and well in our city. In fact, some of those families still remain today because of the WPA. Many went to work on the Anaconda Smelter or in the mines of Butte after WPA projects were retired.

So when Dr. Tom Darnell saw the need of reviving what has become a death trap of unstable footing, unsuitable restroom facilities and eroding buildings, the news swept through Anaconda like a brush fire.

Finally, because of Darnell and our Board of Trustees, Anaconda was going to have a brand new school facility we could be proud of free and clear of ugly band-aids and cost-cutting patchwork. WE were going to have one of THE premiere facilities for football and track and field in Montana. Well, until the suits in Helena got involved that is.

Hopefully we still push this project through. What better way to honor those who stayed in the Smelter City to raise their families during the Depression and built the grand stadium? Reviving the memory of those responsible for putting the original Mitchell Stadium in play while giving the future of Anaconda a grand place full of history to practice and play with pride while wearing “Copperheads” across their chests is exactly the way we should choose to honor that hallowed ground.

Now I know Anaconda is in need of several projects, namely a multi-use facility in order to serve all the student-athletes and citizens alike or even a new school, but first thing’s first. Rebuild Mitchell Stadium. Use local laborers once again to do so. Rebuild a sense of pride in our school and community by constructing something we can all rally around.

It’s again a good day to be a Copperhead!