I’ve been bystanders in Chicago and in San Francisco when they’ve had their big ticker tape parades. I’ve seen fans line up 10, 15 deep to cheer for their city’s heroes. I have watched the famous athletes drive by in little cars waving as fans chanted their chants and waved their banners, but it has never been my city, my team, me wearing my jersey. Until now.
I am not exaggerating when I say it was 20 degrees out. I was wearing yoga pants (I should have been wearing 7 pairs of them), running shoes in Seahawk colors (I should have been wearing something fur-lined), a tshirt, sweatshirt, jersey, northface, hat, and gloves. And you know what? Even though I’ve gone through 4 Illinois winters and have spent 18+ years in Seattle, I have never ever ever been this cold in my entire life.
Kathleen and I braved the elements for 5+ hours, standing our ground on 4th and University, claiming our little spot of earth – along with 700,000 (as estimated by King 5 News) other fans (more people than actually LIVE in Seattle!!) – to cheer and wave and jump around for our team.
And yes, we got there at 8am. And yes, the parade started late. And yes, it wasn’t until after 12:30 that we actually started to see any movement out on the street aside from the Seahawk Batman on roller skates and that one guy running back and forth waving a giant 12th man flag. And yes, I did have to restrain myself from cuddling complete strangers just for their body heat. And yes, by the time I walked away from 4th and University I couldn’t feel my toes and I hadn’t been able to for a while.
But it was just so cool. It was insanely cool!!
You know those moments where you just want to be everyone’s best friend? They are rare, but not so rare you can’t remember what that feels like. I wanted to be Richard Sherman’s best friend, and Russel’s, and the guy standing next to me who wasn’t wearing any socks with his shoes and whose feet I truly worried for. I wanted to join in with the family in front of us who had been there since 6 or 7 and was militantly guarding their post at the front of the sidewalk. I wanted to turn to every single little kid bundled up in every Seahawk hat and scarf and jersey they owned and say, “Isn’t this SO COOL!?”
High-five Richard Sherman. I see you up there being awesome. The Legion of Boom is right. Until next season, my friends.