Musings of a Depressed Seahawks Fan

Yeah, it's how I feel

Yeah, it’s how I feel

Ever since that final play of Super Bowl 49, I haven’t stopped thinking about the game, how it could have been SO different, why we decided to “snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory”, etc.

So, throughout the week, as my brain continues to work overtime, I’m just going to assemble a collection of my thoughts so I can press them in my scrapbook of Seahawk memories.

1) For baseball fans who don’t follow the Seahawks, Sunday’s Super Bowl loss was like the Mariners going to the 7th game of the World Series, having a one-run lead in the bottom of the 9th, then, with the bases loaded, walking in the tying and winning runs.
I guess the good news is, in football, you get it over with a lot faster.

2) A survey says that 14% of all Baby Boomers are being treated for depression. Most of those, Seahawk fans.

3) Even Johnny Weir was asking, “Why did they pass instead of giving that Skittles guy the oblong ball thing?”

4) The Scientology commercial that ran in the Super Bowl promised “the Age of Answers.” Can we start with that last play call?

5) That’s it! Seattle’s offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is NOT getting a Valentine from this guy this year.

6) Seahawk Sam poked his head out of the rubble in his living room, saw it wasn’t just a bad dream & that means 6 more weeks of depression.

7)  (I channeled Marshawn Lynch on Facebook with this one) “I’m only here so I won’t get depressed.”

8) Every time I try to rerun that last play in my head, I pass instead and it gets intercepted.

9) It’s “Groundhog’s Day”, that day when you live life over and over until you get it right. Where was this day when we could have used it yesterday?

10) Congrats to Hank Wackstrom, Pee Wee football coach from Twisp, Washington. Hank was the winner of the Seahawks “You call the play” contest, where Hank got to call the Hawks final offensive play in the Super Bowl. Way to go, Hank!
Only way I can explain it.

11) Now I know what the Green Bay Packers fans felt like. Is this where I say, “The better team lost?”

12) There was the picture of the seagull with the Seahawks logo on the chest and the caption I put above him, where he’s saying, “Hey, even with my brain that was a bad call.  Just sayin’…”

13) The Seahawks last call really soured me on the entire game.  It reminded me of my bar days.  I always hated the last call.

14)  Hey, Atlanta–how about if we keep Dan Quinn and you get Darrell Bevell?

15) We finished 2nd.  If we have a parade, shouldn’t the team parade be on 2nd Avenue?

16) I heard Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell wants the parade to go over the mountains on I-90 because he prefers the pass.

17) Ironically, after that Super Bowl loss, it’s the Seahawks that are feeling deflated.

18) I mean, it was crazy: one minute I’m watching the Seahawks in the Super Bowl and then it turned into a Cougar game! (WSU friends, insert ‘Husky’ here)

 conspiracy

 (my brain went here–history will decide if I’m right)

Why did the Seahawks pass instead of giving Marshawn Lynch a couple of tries of running it less than a yard?

Theory 1–The Seahawks wanted quarterback Russell Wilson to be the hero, not the crotch-grabbing, few-on-words Marshawn Lynch.

Theory 2–The Seahawks came up with a difficult play that made it impossible for Wilson to complete, thus making it appear as if he blew the game.  Then, when end-of-the-season contract negotiations are underway, he can be reminded of it and be offered millions less.

How did a rookie defender anticipate an a slant pass in a definite run situation?  The only way a play like that could have worked was to incorporate the element of surprise.

Theory 1–The New England Patriots intercepted the play call as Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell talked to Pete Carroll on their radio connection.  The information was passed to the New England defense, who knew exactly how to defend this unlikely play.

Theory 2–Because of everything the Patriots and the NFL went through for Deflate-gate, the league decided the Patriots needed to win.  Russell Wilson threw it directly into the arms of a New England Patriot player from 15 feet away with the promise that the Seahawks would be allowed to win it next year.

Oliver Stone, eat your heart out.

Tim Hunter

 

 

 

The Home That Got Away

Shooting the Penguin Windows commercial at the house

Shooting the Penguin Windows commercial at the house

On February 4th, I’m putting a little piece of me up for sale.

It’s the home I bought back in 2006, when I was starting life anew.  I found this little rambler in Bothell, backed up against a greenbelt, with a huge deck and fenced yard.  I was watching house prices skyrocket out of control and figured if I didn’t hurry up and buy right then, I’d never be able to afford to buy a home in the Puget Sound area.

That was the thinking.  I had $60K as the result of a divorce that I was going to invest somewhere and this seemed like the perfect little place. 3 bedrooms, large master bedroom.  I even allowed the company I worked for at the time to use it to install Penguin triple-pane windows and film it for a TV commercial.

I remember a great summer backyard open house out on the deck and what fun it was.  A deer once wandered through the neighborhood.  Being in the back of the development, only people who lived there would drive by.  There were the neighbors, Dana & Tammy, Norm & Susie and several others whose names I’ve forgotten.

Then, less than a year after buying it, I met a woman too amazing to let get away.  My little rambler was too far from downtown to make it ‘our’ home, so we ended up buying a different home and I planned to sell off the Bothell residence.

But you may have notice the key phrase, 2006, above.  I bought at the absolute peak of the housing market and the crash that followed prevented me from selling.  So, for the next 8 years, I rented it out.  I had never planned to be a landlord, but I found myself in that position–having to fix garage doors, replace a water heater, re-roof, etc.  Combine that along with the fact that rent was hundreds under the payment and it was basically a financial stone around my neck.

However, I got lucky, with two dream tenants who treated the home as if it was their own.  When the most recent tenant decided to move south to be closer to family and with the market recovering, it just seemed like the right time to make my move.

Ten years from now it would be the perfect place to be.  We’re just not at that stage yet.

What I’d like to share with you–with all the preparations that have gone into getting it ready to sell, it’s a really awesome house.  More awesome than it ever was when I lived there.  That made me realize what a shame it is to live in your home and never enjoy its potential.  I’ve become even more resolved, once this adventure is over, to get our Seattle home to where we imagine it could be.  To get it ready to sell, and then… just live there.

If you know someone looking for a home, you might pass this link along to them. It gives a snapshot of what the house is all about, but I’ve got to tell you: it now looks even better.  Just send a note to tim@wackyweek.com and I’ll hook you up with my real estate guy.

I look forward to being an ex-landlord, but at the same time, I’m going to miss that little place.

Tim Hunter

A Rare Opportunity

12 logo

Recently, I blogged about Christmas, encouraging everyone to absorb what was around them and enjoy all that the season offers. It can be such a magical time of year if we just allow it. But, as they say, Christmas comes but once a year, always making its annual arrival at Costco, sometime in August.

Right now, Seattle Seahawks fans have one of the rarest of opportunities available to any sports fans. To follow a team that generations will look back on as one of the greatest N.F.L. teams in history.

In my near 60 years on earth, I’ve had the good fortune to be able to cheer for a championship team or two. There were the 1963 Los Angeles Dodgers, that swept the New York Yankees in the World Series, four games to none. Two years later, they blew the first two games of the World Series, only to come back and beat the Minnesota Twins in seven games. Two championships in three years!  That was back in the days when World Series games were played during the day and the cool teachers were the ones who brought in a TV so we could watch during school.

Always while growing up, I got to experience an NBA championship.  However, it was after years of the Los Angeles Lakers losing to either the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks (I think the league made them take turns).

When I moved to the championship desert of Seattle in the early 1970s, I began my conversion to the local sports teams. That worked out well with the Sonics, as they won the N.B.A. championship in 1979.

And then, the great dark period began.

The Mariners came close.  OK, our W.N.B.A. team, the Storm won a title. The UW Husky Football team won a co-National Championship in ’91. But our professional baseball, football and even our soccer teams would only flirt with greatness: a playoff game or two, then done.

When the Seahawks actually won the Super Bowl last year, you know what it was like. 12 flags all over town, jerseys everywhere. People not normally sports fanatics were talking about them. Then, upwards of 700,000 people took to downtown Seattle in the frigid cold for a victory parade. Amazingly, not a single arrest.

It was a special time that the pundits said was highly unlikely to repeat. And it’s happening. A win this Sunday and we have a chance at winning our second N.F.L. championship in a row.

I believe we can do it. Yes, you risk a serious heart-break if you allow yourself to get caught up in the madness and we fall short.  But first, don’t think that way.  Secondly, if we win—we get to experience sports nirvana. This team is special. The owner, the architects of the club, the talented, colorful and talented players, are the special concoction that every team in the league is trying to mix up. We’ve got it.

I hope you’re going in deep. That you believe. That you’re ready to experience something very few cities ever see. The beginning of a sports dynasty.

And brace yourself—because we just may have to do this all over again next year.

Let’s just focus on winning Sunday, then the re-Pete.  Then, the 3-Pete next year. Go Hawks!

Tim Hunter

Randy & Me

Baseball’s “Big Unit” was voted into the Hall of Fame this week and rightfully so.

6′ 10″ Randy Johnson will go into Cooperstown wearing an Arizona Diamondbacks uniform, but that’s fine by me.  He gave us some impressive years with the Seattle Mariners and they gave him a World Series ring, not us.

But Randy’s new home in the desert resulted in a chance for me to work indirectly with him.

Back in 2005, I was in my rookie year at Destination Marketing, a northwest advertising agency.  I was making the transition from being on the radio to writing copy for radio & television. And just a few months into the job, I was writing commercials that were going to include Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher, Randy Johnson.  Randy and one of our clients, Sleep America, had worked out a trade deal.  We’d set up his home with new mattresses and he’d be a spokesperson.  First, the radio commercials were to be recorded.  It was Sleep America’s spokesperson, Debbie Gaby and Randy in a studio in Arizona and me listening in and coaching them from up here in Seattle.  I gotta say, I was pretty intimidated until we started recording.  Randy can speak his mind when he’s not looking at a script, but he had some serious challenges in the acting department.  Commercials that probably should have taken 10 minutes to record easily took a half an hour and had to be edited together very carefully.  But they came out great.

My next brush with Randy was writing TV commercials for him to do with his family.   I came up with the concepts and wrote the initial spots, but the copy was a little morphed by the time it reached him.  Still, I can lay claim to the fact that I at least had a hand at these.

 

Wow, that was a lot longer ago than I remember.

Roll the credits:

Those were directed by Doug Cooper, written by me, edited by Rich Reynolds and other voices provided by yours truly, Scott Burns and Debbie Gaby.

Just sharing my close encounter with the Johnson kind. Congrats, Randy and thanks for all you did for baseball in Seattle.

Tim Hunter

Start The New Year A Little Smarter

Perhaps this isn’t news to you.  But not all those phone solicitors are legit.

They call during the day.  They call at night.  One time, as late as 9:20pm.  They call, saying “They’re the fire department” or “Helping Veterans” or even “The Shriner’s Hospital.”

Their script tells them to say “Thanks for your help in the past” and while you flip through the rolodex of your mind, trying to remember if that’s really true, they go into their big ask.

The other night, I got one of those calls.

ME: “Hello?”

HIM: “Is Victoria there?”

ME:  No and can you please remove us from your list?

HIM:  Is this Victoria? (strike one)

ME:  Can you please remove us from your list?

HIM:  I wasn’t calling to ask anything.  I’m calling for the Shriner’s Hospital and I just wanted to thank her for her past support. (strike two)

ME:  Please remove us from your list.

HIM:  I’ll call back later. (click and strike three! He’s out)

Now I’m ticked.  It seems that we have laws and that if you ask a telemarketer to remove you from their list, they have to do that.

So, I look up Shriner’s Hospitals.  The nearest one is in Spokane.  I write to them via their Facebook page and much to my surprise, they responded fairly quickly:

I checked with our corporate PR director and there are no telemarketing efforts on a corporate level.  I have a call into our Spokane hospital to check locally.

The ID appeared on the phone as a private number.  Now, we’ve all been trained to be polite, not hang up on people, etc. but I’ve hit the wall.  From now on, if it’s an out-of-area call or private number, I answer, give it a beat, and then hang up.  That practically guarantees Publisher’s Clearinghouse will try to give me a million dollars this year, but it will be well worth it.

That might have been them tonight.  Or at least one of the three calls I hung up on.

Tim Hunter

Christmas Is Up To You

Santa in Hammock

I’m guessing that, with Christmas falling on a Thursday this year, this blog is probably my last in 2014. I’m pretty convinced the world won’t spin off its axis, that it’ll still rain in Seattle and you’ll have watched at least one of the versions of “A Christmas Carol”. (the 1952 Alistair Sim version is really the only version)

So, with that buried deep in my sub-conscious, I’m being more observant of all the things going on around me. I’ve thought about going several directions with this piece and I’ve decided to go in all of them.

Today, I was at the Post Office, trying to get out my parents and sister’s Christmas package in the mail so that it would arrive before the big day. I walked in, saw a HUGE line at the in-person desk (with only two clerks), but there was a six-person wait at the automated machine. No-brainer. I get in the line, waited….and waited for my turn. I was almost there, when the person ahead of me informed me that the machine was full and could no longer do packages.

So, I headed over to the in-person line, which was even longer than when I first arrived. About ten minutes into that, the person who had been in front of me in the other line came over to give me the good news: the machine was working again AND there was no one in line! By the time I had taken care of the postage, I was in and out of there in less than 25 minutes. These days, that’s pretty good.

To my next story.

Without going into the “who”, I saw an acquaintance yesterday that I knew had been having health issues. Here it is, the “happiest time of the year” and she was one of many people having to deal with real life. This particular friend had spent last week getting medical treatments. This week, she was home, but you could just look at her and know things weren’t right.

The other day, I got a call from a friend, going through her first Christmas without her husband of 38 years.

Then there’s the tradition that was rekindled this morning, when I record “A visit with Santa Claus” with my radio buddy Bryon Mengle for his radio station back in Iowa. Something that I wrote and that is most likely heading to next year’s Christmas CD.

That’s another cool tradition. For the 14th year, I’ve put together a compilation of Christmas songs and comedy bits for a CD I call, “Ho Ho Brother.” This year’s edition is “Ho Ho Brother 14.” In all those years, I’ve only used the same version of a song once. Otherwise, every collection is different. I thought, for a while, about just offering it as an audio file, as CD’s are this close to extinction, but I know too many people on my list that still use that technology.

I’m rambling. But where I’m heading with all this is that Christmas happens during life. There will be ups and downs. I’ve got a dad who is failing in health and may not see another Christmas. This is the year to make it count. To enjoy every carol. To watch the amazement of kids when they meet Santa or rip open that present on Christmas Day. To realize that being happy and hopeful and full of dreams is a much-preferred way to live.

As I wrap this up, terrorists from North Korea forced Sony Pictures to stop the release of a movie. A fictional tale of an attempt on the leader of North Korea, but an idea that was crushed by international bullies.

So, what’s next?

I’ll tell you what’s next. Next Wednesday night, millions of kids around the world will find it hard to sleep because they don’t know what Santa will leave for them and what he’ll put in the stockings they left out.  Will he take a bite of that cookie they left on the hearth? And drink the glass of milk?

It’s Christmas. Let it be a magical time for you and yours.

And then, come December 26th, we’ll get back to dealing with all that real world stuff.

Merry Christmas.  See you all next year.

 

Tim Hunter

God Rest Ye This Old Guy

grumpy_old_man_decal

I came to a stop. The light was red. I had slipped into my spot in the left turn lane when, over the Christmas music playing in my car, I heard yelling. I turned off the music and since the light was still red, searched for the source. Maybe it was someone in trouble?  Maybe this was my big chance to help someone, just in time for the holiday season?  How special would that be?

I looked out the rear passenger window and there was an old man yelling out of his car window while looking at me. He looked more mad than troubled, but maybe his face just contorted that way over the years. I’m sure he was at least in the 80-year-old club.

So, using those new-fangled power windows of mine, I rolled down the rear passenger side window to listen: Doesn’t anybody go the speed limit anymore? Why do you people just speed around? Was I going too slow for you?”

I asked for clarification. “What are you talking about?”

“You know goddamn well what I’m talking about. You and the others just whipped right passed me. Don’t you know what a speed limit is?”

At this point, I’m getting a little ticked. Here I was, out of respect for a senior, opening up my window to hear what he had to say and all he could do is be a bitter old man.

I could have said so many things. “If you had a front lawn, I’d be walking on it right now!” or “Prunes! That’s the answer!”

But instead, when his outrage at the world paused for a moment, I just stared at him for a second, then yelled out, “Merry Christmas!”

I rolled up my window, turned up my Christmas music and re-entered the world that he had apparently left a long time ago.  The spirits have another job to do this Christmas.

Tim Hunter