For some, sports aren’t just an activity, they’re a way of life, and I am one of those people. Right or wrong, I live and die with my favorite sports teams. I experience the highest highs and the lowest lows. There are those who do not understand this and make statements like, “You aren’t even on the team”. You are right. While that may be true, I am a part of the team.
A team is not just the players and coaches that take the field and light up the scoreboard. A team is an entire family, fans included. Everyone is a member.
In October of 2017, I woke up one morning to my wife laying a Seattle Sounders onesie on my chest. Fast forward 8 months to the labor and delivery ward of Rocky Mountain Children’s and on the TV is the Seattle Sounders vs Portland Timbers match. A match I had a plane ticket, game ticket and hotel reserved for, but there were more pressing matters at hand.
That day, June 30th, the Sounders lost to Portland 2-3, but they gained a new fan. At 5:02 PM my son was born and my world would never be the same. And without knowing it, neither would every member and fan of the Seattle Sounders.
With that loss, the Sounders found themselves in 11th place, truly wondering if a record tenth straight visit to the playoffs was out of reach. Spoiler alert, it was not. The Sounders never lost a match over their next twelve. They went on a record winning streak and found themselves in the midst of a heated playoff hunt. I understand that the birth of my son was not the catalyst to this event, nevertheless, I still held him every week and said, “You still have never seen a Sounders loss”. Twelve weeks I told him that, and every time was better than the one before.
The Sounders eventually lost a game and the streak ended, but all in all, what it created was something only fans could explain. As lucky a fan as I am, I experienced the highest of highs for almost twelve straight weeks and I shared that excitement and elation with my newborn son.
Miraculously, the Sounders worked their way from 11th in the conference to 2nd and earned a knockout round bye. Unfortunately, the Sounders lost in penalties to Portland and saw their 2018 season come to an end. It was tough to swallow, but what happened this season was unforgettable.
Fans should be proud. Players should not hang their heads. What happened was truly magical and for every loss, there will be redemption. We will be back to in 2019. We will be back to sing and chant. And just like these playoffs, you will hear us.
Thank you Seattle Sounders and thank you fans.