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Lifelong fan achieves dream, flies too close to the sun, retires from writing forever

...or ‘How I learned to stop worrying and trust the process’

Carolina Panthers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Christopher Mast/Getty Images

More than a decade ago, I was known in my neighborhood as the local resident Seattle Seahawks expert. I was running a small, family-owned grocery store at the time, and I made the rule that the Seahawks games HAD to be on (none of the other employees cared about football, but this was the one time in my life I shamelessly power-tripped my staff). Sure, I watched a ton of hockey and basketball there too, but people came to talk to me to ask for Seahawks updates, or just to know what was going on with the roster or even to simply bemoan a recent loss or coaching decision. Time flies. And it feels like it gets faster every day... which is partially why I am somewhat surprised myself to be even writing this.

Earlier this month, I made the excruciatingly difficult decision to leave the Field Gulls writing staff. While my rationale for doing so is definitely positive (new job and a new career in a new-ish field), it still hurts. In a lot of ways, this gig was a dream come true. In fact, let me rephrase that: this job has been a dream come true, period. I have been reading Field Gulls for well over a decade, and it seemed like an impossibility that I would actually have a Fan Post featured on the front page, let alone articles published under my very own byline.

Yes, my time on the Field Gulls writing staff is coming to a close, but before I go, I want to leave you all with some thoughts. Meaningful ones. As well as meaningless ones. And even a few that are somewhere in the middle. So let’s start with...

Things I got right

  • That the Seahawks would consider Dee Eskridge in the second round, despite being largely viewed as a Day Three prospect.

Things I got wrong...

  • That Dee Eskridge would become a fixture of the offense...

Things I learned

  • That John Gilbert is actually way nicer than some people might think he is.

Things I wish I learned earlier...

  • That drinking and tweeting during late-game collapses is never advisable.
  • And that no matter what, having a football team to root for is so much better than not having one, even if they suck majorly. I spent way too many years waiting for that second ring, when in reality I was glossing over the best football that this state has ever seen.

I want to wrap things up by saying this: outside of the NFL, I am a huge fan of college hoops. My team is the Zags (I’m from Spokane, haters), and every single year we get disappointed to see them go down in the tournament. F-ck, I still have nightmares about the sound of the net every time Baylor drained another three in the Natty. But the thing is, there is something magical about that time before your team has a ring/trophy/etc. Every year feels special, like it could be the one. This is how the Seahawks felt to me for so many years. I had nightmares about the Pittsburgh Steelers and the... questionable officiating in Super Bowl XL. But I still spent every season after that saying things like “maybe they are just one Billy Volek away from being contenders,” because that is the joy of a middling franchise with occasional moments of greatness — you get to dream, and nothing is too crazy, because even making the playoffs seems far-fetched. The Seahawks will never have another year that “feels like the one,” because they will never have another one; they can only have another one.

Such is the price of success; Pete Carroll’s biggest mark on Seahawks football may simply be that he forever changed the way we — the fans — would view the sport. On and off the field. For those of us following the team for several decades or more, I think it is fair to say that this level of sustained success did not seem possible, even during the peak-Holmgren years. So if being a little bit jaded is the cost of seeing my favorite team win a Super Bowl, then so be it.

Whelp. Goodbye y’all. Look for me in the comment sections, I won’t be far away.