When It's Okay Not to be Estatic About a Super Bowl Win
I'm going to admit, as much as I enjoyed watching the Seahawks win Super Bowl 48, I wasn't quite as emotional and giddy as when the Giants beat the Patriots six years ago, mostly predicated on this play. On that Super Bowl day, I remember my brother and I tackling each other in euphoria because of that win over the then 18-0 Patriots. Even in the NFC championship game when Sherman tips the ball away from Crabtree, there was a rush of emotions that simply was not there last Sunday. Of course the fact that the game was never in doubt takes away from the excitement of a victory in the making.
So the question is -- what does that say of me that I wasn't hooting and hollering over the Seahawks' first ever championship win? However, before we get there, a short history of my sports fandom to put the question into context.
I was born in New York and lived in New Jersey for the first thirteen years of my life, and those were the formulative years of my sports passions. The Giants in the 80s were my team as were the terrible Yankees. I lived in Orlando for more than three years, and that was where I gained my passion for the Magic. When I moved to Seattle when I was 16, I gained an appreciation for the teams here -- the Mariners, the Seahawks and the Sonics, but they never really impressed me that much simply because they were not my teams I first fell in love with. Eventually, I learned that I hated baseball, and the Sonics were stolen from Seattle. That really only left the Seahawks, and I grew to appreciate them more after the Shaun Alexander days and simply from becoming a fan of the NFL rather than a fan of the Giants. What it comes down to is that the Seahawks are the only Seattle team I can root for now.
Flashforward back to present time, I knew that I had to go to the victory parade yesterday. It was an opportunity to celebrate the championship in a way I never could with none of the Giants' Super Bowl victories in this decade or in the 80s. Against my better judgement, I woke up at 6 AM to carpool with a friend, and we found ourselves curbside at Third and Washington at 8 AM. People were everywhere despite the 26 degree early morning, and everyone seemed very excited.
Impromptu Sea-Hawks chants erupted for no reasons, and the bane of my existence that day, besides the cold weather, were the annoying horns wise people were selling for $5 in blue or green. It was truly a horrible noise -- like a yeti in heat dying. Still, everyone was dressed up in their jerseys and carrying their flags and other Seahawks memorabilia. The streets were packed, and people were on the balconies and buildings, looking down upon the celebrations.
To be honest, I've never really perhaps been the most vocal of fans in any sports. Sure, I'll shout out my frustration or shout a "Yes!" accompanied by clapping, but I don't really want to chant, do a lot of high fives or scream. Perhaps it's the outside observer part of me that wants to take everything in -- put things in context, but I'm more likely to watch than to participate actively in the revelry of others.
So even when the hour late parade started -- apparently the players got stuck in traffic considering 700,000 people were trying to find parking and jam themselves into the two mile parade route -- and after really five hours of waiting, the parade finally rolled up on our section of the route, I found myself smiling a lot, but not screaming, cheering or chanting "Seahawks" like everyone around me. I was happy as each Duck or Humvee rolled up with players waving and celebrating, but perhaps I was not quite as ecstatic as everyone else.
Soon after, the parade ended, and people either began to follow them to Century Link/Safeco Field or filing out of the city. I felt proud and happy, but there was no tears of joy or elation on my behalf, and I wondered if that was a problem. However, later than night, it finally dawned on me what was happening.
For a big part of my life, I was kind of a transplant because of all the moving I've done. It has made me feel sometimes like an outsider because I don't have those life long friends that other people I know seem to have. My history with people seemed a bit abbreviated because of that, but now, after twenty years of living in Seattle, this is the place I've lived the longest. It shames me to think of all the trepidation I had when I found out we were moving from Orlando to Seattle. I knew that there were a lot of Asians here, and living in predominately white Orlando, I grew to hate the fact that I was Chinese and to hate all other Asian people as foreigners. I wanted to be white, and I was coming to place -- a church -- where they were a lot of Asians. And that scared me.
But this is the place God wanted me to be -- to come to the church I attend now and have the friends and family that I have. This Super Bowl is the cap on that realization. Things might have seemed more exciting when the Giants won the Super Bowl, but the reason why this championship is more important to me is because this is my home. This is my city, and I was celebrating my home town team's championship with the people I care about in a way that I will never have with the Giants or the Magic. It's okay that I'm not overflowing with emotion for this Super Bowl because, instead, there's a contentment in the victory. I'm home, and there's no other place I'd rather be.