Have you ever really wanted something bad for somebody else, even if, on the surface, it doesn’t look like that big of a deal in the first place?
I’m not talking about wishing somebody you love a happy life on his or her wedding day, or burning inside with a desire to see somebody you care about get healthy. It’s not about somebody getting that offer approved on a house, or someone you know who has been out of work for an extended period of time nailing that job interview. No, no, no. Those are all life-changing things, and I would assume most of us want that to happen to everybody, if we are close to that individual or not.
You see, I want the Seattle Seahawks to win this year’s Super Bowl. Badly.
It’s not for me, mind you. I’m a Baltimore Ravens fan, through and through, and I have only recently got over the sting of my team not making the playoffs this year. But we did win a Super Bowl last year, and won another in 2000, so I have had my fair share of glory with my team over the years.
This is all about my good friend, and our technical director at the paper, Shaun Lambert.
For those of you who missed the story on Shaun’s life written by our own Maria Counts a few weeks ago, Shaun is an Inuit Eskimo, born and raised in Alaska. Though for reasons unbeknownst to me, Shaun will not accept my theory that I, too, am Native American since I was born in the United States, I still carry a ton of respect for Shaun.
And Shaun loves his Seattle Seahawks dearly.
Often spotted around the office in a Seahawks jersey and Seahawks hat, while pouring coffee into his Seahawks mug so he can get back to playing with his iPad, which has a Seahawks cover over it, Shaun does not hide his allegiance to the NFL team closest to his native home.
And it rips him up inside that they have yet to win the Super Bowl. Sometimes that comes from his own burning desire to see his team reach the ultimate height in football, and other times that comes from outside sources picking on him that his team owns as many Super Bowl rings as do the Philadelphia Eagles ... or Detroit Lions ... or Barney & Friends.
To be fair, I might be one of those who jumps on Shaun’s team when we are out in a social setting with our other friends. The group we hang out with comprises people with varying NFL rooting interests, with fans of the Ravens, Eagles, Redskins, Saints, 49ers and Falcons amongst the ranks. Conversation can be focused on children, wives, work or global socioeconomics, and somehow the discourse gets shifted back to how many rings each team owns, or doesn’t own.
It’s at that point ... Sorry. I couldn’t stop laughing. Our conversation has never drifted into global socioeconomics. If it ever gets past the gravity of what dipping sauce works best for pretzel sticks or what beer causes the worst flatulence I would have a mild stroke. But I was being honest about the football talk, and how much flak Shaun and fans of the other teams without Super Bowl hardware take on a regular basis.
I’ll also say that Shaun is not one of these bandwagon Seahawks fans popping up over the last two years, as this young team has gotten better and better. He has been suffering verbal volleys from me and others over the years, and usually just smiles and takes it like a champ.
But I’ve noticed that smile seems a little more sarcastic now, as many national talking heads have embraced the Seahawks as the team most likely to win it all this year. He can almost smell the confetti falling from the sky this year and, though he won’t get cocky, you can definitely sense a little more confidence around him about this year’s team.
At some level, I’m conflicted. On one hand, I would love nothing more than to see the Seahawks blow this week’s NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers by fumbling at the end or having a silly penalty that causes them to lose. That’s the teasing side of me. And the teasing side kind of wants to make Shaun cry a little inside.
But a bigger part wants to see the guy who does the least amount of trash-talking of anyone I know see his team win it all. And that’s the part that’s taking over for me right now.