If you live the northwest, you have to convince yourself of a lot of things.
Like that you don’t need sunshine, or Vitamin D. That it’s perfectly reasonable to live in a city where it rains nine and half months out of the year.
You have to tell yourself that it’s completely normal to spend hours in traffic just to go a few miles. That paying rent which far exceeds what the rest of your non-northwestern friends pay in mortgage is totally reasonable.
You have to tell yourself these things, otherwise you might leave.
And every now and then you are reminded of why, after all your trips, you always return to the same place. To the same rainy little corner of America that has always been, and always will be, home.
I know it’s probably not that important. I know most people outside of Washington (or Oregon) won’t really care. But last night, the Seahawks won the Super Bowl.
It wasn’t a suspenseful game. Not in the end, anyway. Not for those of us who, against our better judgement, kind of knew they could do it all along. Still, I don’t think any of us expected it to be the blowout that it was. The rest of the country, and countless sports analysts certainly didn’t.
The week before the game, Rand showed me a map of the distribution of fans across the U.S. He was trying to set my expectations properly.
Everyone was rooting for the Broncos, except for the Pacific Northwest. Because living here means that you get to have that break with reality. You don’t get nice weather or affordable housing, but you get to believe that a team of misfits and underdogs, of late draft picks and guys who weren’t drafted, period, have a shot against the greatest offense the NFL has ever seen.
That the honorable mentions and runners-up of the world have a chance to bask in the spotlight.
That 5’10” might be the new 6’5″.
It turned out the Seahawks didn’t just have a shot at the title. From the start they acted like it was theirs already. The took the lead 12 seconds in, and they never relinquished it. And as quarter after quarter passed, and the Broncos still remained scoreless, it became increasingly clear: Seattle was going to have its very first NFL championship.
I still can’t believe it. Even though I never really doubted it.
Last night, the city was noisy. We, the deluded masses of Puget Sound, took to the streets. We told ourselves it was perfectly reasonable to feed Skittles to strangers. To run up and down the sidewalks high-fiving one another and screaming (while still managing to obey pedestrian traffic laws). To run around shirtless in 35-degree weather.
To smear black paint underneath our eyes like it was normal.
In the end, the only people who were crazy enough to believe that the Seahawks had a chance were those of us crazy enough to live here.