When the Seahawks walked off the field late on a Sunday night after a crushing defeat to the 49ers, they had no way of knowing that it would be their last home game with the support of the 12s for the next 21 months. But in a critical reminder of all that we take for granted, the 12s were silenced for the 2020 season as the United States—and the world—battled the COVID-19 pandemic.
That battle is still raging as the virus has claimed 4.5 million victims worldwide and impacted 10 times as many people. But there are signs of hope, including the return of fans to NFL games in Seattle. In the grand scheme of life, what the Seahawks do on the field this Sunday is trivial. But the impact of having 68,000 fans return to a sense of normalcy, no matter how trivial the activity, cannot be overstated.
The 12s had what they love taken away from them. The Seahawks lost one of the better home-field advantages in professional sports. But what was really lost, was a community that has one thing that binds them together stronger than most bonds known to man: a love for a team.
It's silly to care so much about a game and the player who plays it. It doesn't solve any of the problems facing our community, city, state, country or the world. But for three hours each week, 68,000 people gather together and work towards a common goal, something no other trivial event can ever hope to achieve. The value of the return of the 12s to the Seahawks can be counted in false starts and decibel levels. But the impact on a community may never be properly calculated.
The 12s are back at Lumen Field for the first time in over 600 days, hopefully with a reminder about how precious these moments are and how easily they can be taken away. If you're going to the game, enjoy yourself. And once the final whistle blows, perhaps remember all we can accomplish when 68,000 members of a community work together to achieve a common goal.
Football is trivial. But the lessons we learn from it, even as outside observers, are anything but.