At last

March 5, 2014

By Pat Detmer

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I don’t consider myself to be unlucky, but I also don’t think of myself as someone who wins a lot. In fact the only thing that I can remember winning was in grade school: an Easter bunny cake that the nuns raffled off to benefit poor people in China. I was thrilled when my name was chosen, but less thrilled when I realized what a month on display in the sunshine atop the radiator does to a bunny cake. The coconut fur was the consistency of steel wool, and you needed a circular saw to carve yourself a piece.

In time I became familiar with defeat, and always attempted to be gracious and magnanimous, so I feel especially comfortable in Seattle, the bridesmaid but never the bride, close but no cigar, loud but no Lombardi. The Sonics left, the Mariners disappoint and the Seahawks … well, the Seahawks …

My God, the Seahawks.

There were many Super Bowl parties in Olympus on that fateful day. By pre-arrangement, two parties on our street decided that every time the Hawks scored, we would run to our respective front doors, throw them open and cheer at each other. At the beginning, it went according to plan, but after a field goal, one group did not appear. At halftime, I marched up to their door, demanding that we clarify the rules. After intense negotiations, it was decided that we would not cheer after a mere field goal, nor after six points were scored. We would mutually cheer ONLY when seven points were officially on the board. I went back to our party to report, and the very next play was Harvin returning the kickoff 87 yards. The rules went out the window, and everyone immediately headed for the door.

I’d felt for a long time that the Seahawks were a team of destiny, and a few minutes later I was so sure of it that I once again headed to the neighborhood parties, announcing that when we won — and we would — there would be a celebration in the cul-de-sac near our home. Then I headed to the grocery store (you could shoot a cannon down the aisles and harm nothing save for the crickets I could hear chirping in the background) and bought Champagne, plastic glasses and football cookies.

When the game ended, The Sainted One — who exhibits cat-like tendencies when it comes to getting wet or cold — bitterly complained as we hauled the party to the cul-de-sac, saying that no one would venture out on such a frigid night. Oh ye of little faith! “Wait,” I said.

And sure enough, they came. Coats were grabbed, doors opened, flashlights held by celebrants bobbed their way up the street. Champagne corks popped, cars honked as they passed. Fifteen people, tops. Fifteen minutes, tops.

Worth every frozen second.

 

You can reach Pat Detmer — who admittedly normally has difficulty sitting still through a whole game of anything — at patdetmer@aol.com

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