Fans from the other side are passionate, too

By Darryl Krecji

At the end of last season, the Green Bay Packers stormed back to take the NFL North Central Division title.

Left for dead they toppled the Chicago Bears with the dynamic play of Aaron Rodgers to  Randall Cobb to crush the hopes and dreams of the City of Chicago. Sadly though, the season came to a grinding hault at the hands of the San Francisco Forty-Whiners.

Now, months later, the gladiators of the gridiron prepare for battle against an enemy who when they last met, stole a victory because of the inept officiating of the replacement referees.

Known as the “Fail Mary,” the Packers ride into Seattle to take on the vaunted 12th Man, a well-balanced team and their imbalanced, egotistical coach.  Do I hold a grudge?  Yes, Yes I do. Will I ever let it go?  Let me answer that by asking, have the Vikings ever won a Super Bowl?

So there you go!

This season, I am taking a different approach to each and every game.  In years past I looked to dismantle the opponent and point out their flaws?

On occassion I would even compliment the other team for a job well done.  This year though, after months of deep therapy, multiple 12-step programs and a short visit to a local mental health complex, I have emerged as a kindler, gentler writer.  So I have decided to focus not on the team, the players or the coaches, but rather the single most important aspect of the season.

This season I am focusing on the fans.  Both Packer and opponent.

So after considering a insightful article about myself and why I am such a great fan and writer, I decided to instead write about a co-worker and friend, who though misguided in her allegiance (a Seahawks fan) clearly demonstrates passion and enjoyment in rooting for the Seattle Seahawks.

That fan is Liz Baerwolf.

Many of us who do work with her hope that with intense therapy and an extended vacation, she may see the light and come to the side of the Green and Gold.  In the meantime though we just support her and hope for the best.

I asked Liz when she first became a Seattle Seahawks fan.  She explained that her support of the Seahawks began in 2012 when they drafted a quarterback by the name of Russell Wilson.  His arrival and the influx of success that came with him, cemented her passion with the Seahawks;  She even passed this passion on to her daughter.

Her favorite player is Wilson, who she has followed since his days at the University of Wisconsin. What she likes most about him besides his play on the field is the fact that he is just amazing off the field as well.  She has been impressed with his charity work as well as the fact that he gives his time in coaching youngsters.

Liz wears her Seahawk pride proudly with her daughter in matching Russell Wilson jerseys. She also likes to take the time to do her nails to support her team and even is willing to put her team up against the very best.  And at this point, she has the bragging rights to do so after last year’s Super Bowl victory.

The one thing that any fan in the NFL can attest to is the craziness of the 12th Man in Seattle. I asked Liz why she thought the 12th Man was such an important part of the team’s success.  She stated, “I love the 12th Man because we make Centurylink Field one of the toughest places for an opponent to play at.”

From the passion of the fans to the record setting decibal levels (137.6 decibals making it the loudest outdoor stadium), all of this is a factor in disrupting the other side. In fact it is the support of the fans that has resulted in opponents averaging 2.36 false starts a game when playing at the stadium.

So Liz not only is passionate about her support of the Seahawks, she is also willing to take part in the fun and rivalry that comes between teams.  So as the Packers and the Seahawks prepare to kick off the start of the 2014 season, I asked her what her prediction was for the game tonight.

Liz stated, ” Seattle is my obvious pick for winning. With a Super Bowl victory under their belt, they will come out with confidence and kick some butt!”

Though I disagree with Liz in the outcome of the game, I cannot help but commend her for her support and passion.  Though we work for the same team, our NFL allegiances are vastly different and come Friday morning, one of us (probably her) will be sobbing in our cubicle as the season begins with a victory for one and a loss for another.

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