Steve Kelley, Comic Mastermind... And Why I Think He Might Not Be Kidding

Every morning, while the coffee is brewing, I flip open the Seattle Times to the sports section and immediately look to see what columnist Steve Kelley has to say. Most of the time, I read along nodding and shaking my head in agreement or disbelief. Occasionally, I flip to another page while cursing his jadedness in cruel and incomprehensible tongues. But seldom am I ever left dumbfounded.

Congratulations Steve, today I am completely confused. Today Steve's column was a collection of emails that he "received" since the city learned of the Seahawk's Super Bowl berth. These letters are included to showcase the utter lack of football knowledge of the city's newfound fans--people who only this week have decided to jump on the bandwagon. And let me just say that their ignorance knows no bounds.

Exhibit A:


I've often heard that the NFL is a socialists' society, with all that revenue-sharing and what-not, but I was appalled to hear during last Sunday's game that the league actually has a "Red Zone," and the "Red Zone" is a place all teams aspire to get to.

I was alive during the Cold War. I remember the Cuban missile crisis, and I ask you sir, how can this great country allow the Communists this foothold in our most popular sport?

— Roy from Chehalis

Not convinced, here's Exhibit B:

Mr. Kelley:

I am appalled by the comment made by that announcer Mr. Joe Buck during the telecast of Sunday's wonderful win over those fellows from Carolina. Mr. Buck referred to our pass catcher Joe Jurevicius as a "wide receiver." I don't believe there should be a place in society, not even sports, where a person's body type is mocked. Wide, skinny, what does it matter if he can catch the football?

— Molly, president

Positive Body Image, Inc., in Kirkland

In fact, go ahead and give yourself a reason to laugh yourself silly by reading them all right here.

You see, Seattle is not much of a sports town. At least not as much as it should be when you consider the population of the area. Sure, the city has two of the most fantastic sports venues in the known universe in Safeco Field and Qwest Field and the fans who attend games on a regular basis are indeed great fans. Anybody who's watched a recent Seahawks game on tv knows all about the "12th Man" on the Seahawks (my voice still hasn't entirely recovered from Sunday, by the way). But for the most part, this region has a general apathy towards professional, organized sports. And that's why as much as I want to believe that Mr. Kelley created all of those emails on his own for satire, a portion of me believes that they could be real. And I have some theories as to why.

For starters, Seattle is a young city and none of the professional sports teams pre-date 1967. In fact, this season is the Seahawks' 30th anniversary, and the Mariners are only a couple years their senior. And while the Sonics won the NBA Championship in 1979, no team in this city has won a championship since, excluding the WNBA Storm. So you have a lack of history. And when combined with a city that most people move to rather than away from you have a large portion of the population who feels no ties to the Seattle sports teams.

My theory for the general malaise towards professional sports in this city also places a lot of the blame on the individuality of the population. This is a place where people go out of their way to shun the status-quo and who look for ways to break away from the pack and go it alone. But that's not to say that this is an unathletic area. Quite the contrary. Individual sports rule the landscape up here in the Pacific Northwest. It's uncommon to meet someone who doesn't regularly participate in mountain climbing, kayaking, skiing and snowboarding, mountain biking and hiking. In other words, given the natural beauty of the surroundings, many people find it very unhealthy to spend your afternoon chearing for other athletes, when you yourself can be out there doing something active.

And then lastly, my final reason for thinking that the emails in that column might actually be legit, is that there is a very high nerd factor in this area of the country. This accounts for the non-transplants, and the non-individualists, and the non-athletic. Why do these other people fail to chear for the local pro sports? Because they have a grudge. And what do they have a grudge for? Because they were always picked last in gym class.

And they aren't about to forget.

1 comment:

Criscipline said...

I agree whole-heartedly. I was going to mention the computer geeks holding grudges, the dark musician coffee house dwellers who hate physical activity, and yes, the fact that there is so much MORE to do. I'm just boasting that I was thinking like you and my assumptions were correct.

Sorry. (Got too excited.) ;-)