By Joe Okabe
At the last Seahawks home game at Qwest Field against the Carolina Panthers, the attendance was announced as 66,577. I only have one response to that.
For anyone who, like myself, attended the game, it was clear that there were nowhere near that many people in the stadium. I would bet that the actual number of people in the stands was closer to 56 thousand than 66. This begs the question, “Where was everyone?”
I understand that this was a terrible matchup; a struggling Seahawks team against what is probably the worst team in the NFL. However, could no one be found for the scores of empty seats? For anyone who was interested in attending the game, there were several people hawking tickets outside the stadium, as well as hundreds of tickets available online, most of which were available at far less than face value. Is fan interest in the Seahawks that low?!
The Seahawks fan base takes pride in itself like no other in professional sports. How many other franchises have fans that wear jerseys that feature the number of, well, themselves?
Having endured the brutality of the last two seasons, a certain amount of apathy by fans is to be expected, and perhaps justified. However, this team is still in the running for a playoff spot, and anything can happen in the playoffs. Who would have expected the Arizona Cardinals to make it to the Super Bowl two seasons ago after watching them look hapless that December?! This Seahawks team isn’t merely playing out the string like the last two years. The postseason is an attainable goal. Whether or not they are successful in the postseason is irrelevant.
This Sunday, the team with the best record in the NFC, the Atlanta Falcons, come to Qwest Field. Do I think the Seahawks will win? Frankly, no. Yet I will be there to show my support.
This is a test for the 12th Man. Are Seahawks fans frontrunners who only want to show up when the team is doing well, or are they true diehards who will stick with the team through thick and thin?
I’m not naive enough to think that we won’t see thousands of empty seats this Sunday. However, this Seahawks team needs the energy of the 12th Man more than any team that I can recall. If you have tickets and don’t want to go, give them to someone who does. If you want to go to the game, there are plenty of tickets to choose from at bargain basement prices. There is no excuse for anyone who considers themselves a true fan. For a fan base that thinks quite highly of itself, to let the team down by not supporting them at home is shameful.