I’ve been a huge sports fan for as long as I can remember. The first football game I remember watching was in 1975 when Larry Csonka and the Miami Dolphins beat the Minnesota Vikings. Booing has always been a form of communication in sports. Some fans, like in Philadelphia, are known for it. When you boo Santa Claus, you earn that claim to fame!
I will admit, I have done my share of booing in my life. As I have grown older though, I have made a conscious decision not to. I’m not sure if that has come around due to coaching high school basketball for six years, but something has changed me. The recent booing of Shaun Alexander of the Seattle Seahawks has prompted me to write this article.
Shaun Alexander has nearly 10,000 rushing yards in his career, which places him in elite company. He is a former league Most Valuable Player. Even if he slows down to average numbers for the rest of his career, he is more than likely a candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And, he has played his entire career with one team, which in this day and age is unique.
Due to recent injuries and an overhaul of his offensive line, Alexander has had less than sterling numbers. The Seahawks “faithful” has been riding him hard and have actually booed him the past two weeks. I don’t get it. Alexander has been a hero for this community and led our once doormat team to the Super Bowl. Not only that, he has been a sterling contributor to our community with his charitable work. How soon we forget. In this society which thrives on “What Have You Done For Me Lately”, it’s not surprising. I’m sure the fans who do the booing would never accept it in their line of work.
Final thought – the Seahawks fans are famous for raising the “12th Man” flag prior to each game. Seattle Mariners star Ichiro Suzuki just did the honors last Sunday. That means we are part of the team. What part of “team” does booing honor? Aren’t we suppose to pull for OUR team and be encouraging? Unfortunately, we here in Seattle are closer to the Philadelphia model of “team” than we might like to believe.