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Editor’s note: Seattle Times reporter Jack Broom is in New York and New Jersey this week to cover the fans’ experience at the Super Bowl. He wrote this recollection during his flight to New York.
Seahawks-loving dad would love to hear I’m going to Super Bowl
Times reporter Jack Broom remembers watching the Seahawks with his dad at the Kingdome and wishes his dad were here to enjoy this year’s Super Bowl.
Seattle Times staff reporter
It’s been fun telling friends and family that I’m going to my first Super Bowl, but the person I’d most like to tell isn’t around to hear it.
Andy Broom, my dad, died of lung cancer in 1995 after smoking — by his calculations — three packs a day for 60 years.
He had been a season-ticket holder in the Kingdome in the Zorn-Largent era, and he seldom missed watching an away game on TV. During my hippie-college years, the Seahawks and Huskies were just about the only safe topics for us to talk about, and watching the games was one of the few things we did together.
Dad would have made the world’s worst offensive coordinator. Every time Jim Zorn backed into the pocket, Dad would holler, “Throw it!!!!” at the TV, regardless of whether any receivers were open.
Trick plays of the Jack Patera reign were some of Dad’s favorites. If you’ve never seen the video of kicker Efren Herrera faking a field-goal attempt and then running downfield to catch a pass for a first down, you’ve missed one of the seminal moments of Seahawks history.
If my dad had been coach, they would have tried goofy plays like that six or eight times a game.
Do you remember the Steve Largent Wheaties box? Dad kept one above the fireplace, as if it were a work of art or a family heirloom. It was only years later, after we’d lost track of its whereabouts, that I realized it had been both.
Though I never came out and told my dad, I didn’t really enjoy going to the Seahawks games in the concrete mushroom that was the Kingdome. If I went to a football game, I much preferred Husky Stadium, with its fresh air, daylight and scenery — even risking the chance of wind and rain.
Dad’s Kingdome seats were nine rows up from a corner of the end zone. They were great if a scoring play happened right in front of us. But if the ball was on the other side of the 50, we couldn’t tell if a running back gained 3 yards or 13, except by how long he stayed vertical, what the monitor showed and the noise the crowd made.
Going to a game was an all-day project: catching an early shuttle bus so we’d be at the dome in plenty of time, then drifting back to a bus after the game, waiting for it to fill up and then join the thick traffic.
Part of my disinterest in going to games back then is that I’ve always regarded NFL football and television as a match made in Sports Fan Heaven. You watch replays from several angles, get cheap beer and snacks from the kitchen, hit the head without waiting in line and get video updates from other games across the country.
And that’s in addition to what I view as one of the greatest technological innovations of our time: that movable yellow first-down line you see on TV, but not in the stadium.
In the past few months, I’ve interviewed a number of Seahawks fans, and I’ve gained a better understanding of the spirit and kinship they experience at CenturyLink Field. If Dad were still alive, maybe I’d see about taking him to a game, although it could be a bit of a challenge, since he’d be 97.
Somehow, though, I feel he has been watching every game this season. He’s thrilled to see his team in Super Bowl XLVIII and delighted his son can be there to help cover it.
And I have no doubt that when Russell Wilson drops back into the pocket, and seems to be moving in three directions at once to avert Broncos defenders, a voice in the back of my head will clearly be shouting, “Throw it!!!”
Jack Broom: email@example.com