Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sunday Ticket

My Sunday was just what I needed; some quality father daughter time. I just love spending days with my dad. Today the two of us hit the road early in the morning and headed south for the border. We knew the lineups would likely be long on account of our currently strong Canadian dollar and we had to make it to the Qwest Field in Seattle in time for the Seattle Seahawks one o'clock kick off against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Thankfully, we arrived with plenty of time and headed straight into the madness. NFL football games truly have a culture all of their own. It never ceases to amaze me; adrenaline is pumping. Every single time that I attend a game in Seattle, I am astounded by the quality of the production as well as the intensity and loyalty of the Hawks' fans. The pre-game tradition every week is a massive tailgate party; and let me tell you, these fans know how to party. It's a total zoo. Trucks and trunks are open all around the venue. Music is blasting, beer is flowing, guys have barbecues set up in the parking lot and are cooking up and feasting on hot dogs everywhere you turn. You would be hard pressed to find somebody who is not wearing a Seahawks jersey, or hat or t-shirt; not to mention all of the people who are fully decked out, head to toe; including wigs, masks, face paint and in some cases, full out costumes. The energy and the atmosphere are indescribable. People are into it and you can feel it. My dad and I scarfed down the best hot dogs ever and took in the scene with an hour to kick off.

Making our way into the venue, we waited for the elevator to take us up to our club seats. Everybody packed in and up we went. On the way to our seats, we encountered several greeters and ushers for the building, and in my experience, everybody who works at Qwest Field is a character; they are all absolutely friendly and positively helpful but with many of them, you have to see the comedic possibility. I think that being in a place with such an enormous number of people from such a cross section; of all ages, races and genders is probably what makes 'people watching' at these events so priceless. I swear, I was writing skits for Saturday Night Live in my head all day long. Plus, I can always count on my dad to be able to read my mind to some degree in these moments so that makes it even more fun.

Once settled in and upon being introduced to all of my dad's season ticket holding buddies who are in the seats around his, I was super excited for the show to begin. The thing about NFL football games, is that it doesn't stop at the football. At Qwest Field, besides the men running around in tight pants and helmets showcasing their incredible athleticism, every game is also a production of fireworks and pyrotechnics, beautiful dancing Sea Gals, a marching band, a real live hawk and jumping out of planes! Pre-game, they shot to live image of five guys in a plane above with cameras strapped to their heads and parachutes strapped to their backs. These guys then jumped from the plane; we could see their view on the big screen and they floated down. One by one, they came into view and landed on the field.

Then it was kick off...the game was thoroughly entertaining and what was possibly more entertaining than the game itself was watching the fan reactions when something exciting happened. A good play for the Hawks led to high fives and fist pumps plus hugs and kisses (in some cases quite lengthy make out sessions) all around. "Go Hawks Go" echoed through the building in waves. There is something very cool about all of these thousands of people coming together for a couple hours, forgetting their troubles in life and losing themselves in the game. There is a bond between fans that connects complete strangers. After four intense quarters of play, the Hawks managed to pull off a 24-21 victory over the visiting Bengals.

We capped off our day together with a stop in at The Outback Steak house for a scrumptious dinner and then headed back up north. The whole day was perfect. Thanks Dad!

Now I'm back at home, ready to get some much needed sleep so that I can face the week ahead. I couldn't be more excited about my head hitting the pillow tonight.


PatZ said...

did you paint your face with seahawks colours?

Jennifer Stoddart said...

Not this time patz, but next time I am going all out; face paint, a wig, I may get a full Hawk costume :)

Keira-Anne said...

Looks like fun! You took some great shots, Jen. :)

Scott said...

Yeah! Football!

I haven't been to a game since college. I'm going to have to take the wifey next time I go back home. She's never been and I'm sure she would love it. Or at least the tailgating anyways.