No holiday warps the boundaries between change and custom quite like Christmastime. This is the most tradition-heavy time of year; traditions are established (much like the run), continued, blended with others or mothballed (for good or ill).
Growing up, one tradition we never really had in my family was watching football during family gatherings. Part of it was the lack of interest among most members who weren’t my father. Another part was the lack of late-December professional football relevant to our interests.
The Seahawks, when they weren’t side-eyeing the city of Anaheim, were always just, kinda…mediocre. Like clockwork, the team would end up at 7-9, 8-8 or a 9-7 that wasn’t quite good enough for a Wild Card berth. And so, playoff football was never really a tradition for me.
But traditions change.
Over the last few years, and especially the last six, playoff runs for the Seahawks were the norm, part and parcel with eggnog, packages, kicking other Southcenter shoppers in the shins and eating way too much animal fat.
Last year, tradition changed, but not for the better. The Carolina Panthers couldn’t uphold their end of the deal, then the Seahawks decided they couldn’t, either. And so Santa didn’t deliver the playoffs to the good little fans of the Puget Sound last year.
Today, Russell Wilson stole the show from one of the NFL’s premier showmen in his own house. After the ball quite literally bounced the other way 5 separate times against them and an historic day from the only running back in the NFL that actually matters, the Seahawks dispelled all of the bad luck plaguing them back in one jolt of electricity. Graham Ganope’s missed kick set the stage for Russ to deliver the final haymaker after delivering a pretty substantial one nearly five minutes earlier.
And now, as I check the NFC standings, it feels like, in a season defined by changes and differences, some traditions do come back around.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….