Fan Noise - "This Really Makes Me Somebody!"

In "The Jerk", Navin R. Johnson discovered back in 1979 that your life can change, usually in ways most unexpected. Fame and Fortune can sometimes be a bad thing.

The new phone book's here! The new phone book's here! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity I need! My name in print! That really makes somebody! Things are going to start happening to me now!
--Navin R Johnson

Well, at last it’s just about over. The suckiness of the off season is just about done. Woohoo! If there ever was a sucky off season, this has been it. But this weekend is the start of the Seahawks' 2004 training camp, with first workouts on Monday morning in beautiful Cheney, Washington.

As we have been reading multiple times over the past long, boring months, there has been quite a stir in the media that THIS IS IT. This is the year we do it. Playboy magazine has us in the super bowl. Other less gushing pundits have us fighting Philadelphia for the NFC championships to GET to the Super Bowl. Worst-case scenarios have us as NFC West Champs. Any way you slice it, things are going to start happening to us now.

Or maybe not.

Mother: Navin, it's your birthday, and it's time you knew. You're not our natural-born child.
Navin R. Johnson: I'm not? You mean I'm gonna STAY this color?

One trap our players need to avoid, going into our first regular season game, is that just because everyone expects you to win doesn’t mean the other team sees it that way. The other team isn’t just going to bow down to your mighty press releases and roll over.

The fawning press isn’t going to suddenly make our receivers catch everything thrown their way. It isn’t going to vault our defense to a top-10 echelon squad.

It’s been a long, long time since we’ve had this much publicity in these parts. While it feels good, it also scares the bejeebus out of me.

I’m just afraid that our team is going to start believing in the hype, and get hit hard at the first sign of adversity. You just need to look at the Minnesota Vikings last year, going on a tear to start the season, then fading into obscurity once they lost their first game. They choked.

The encouraging signs, however, are everywhere, that this team is more serious about winning, and winning big, than any other year in recent team history. Record attendance in off season “optional” (snicker) workouts. While most of the players before couldn’t wait to board a plane out of town once the season ended, a lot of them stuck around and tried to improve themselves. By the way, at the end of the 2002 season, I had my only brush with “greatness”. I ran into Shawn Springs at – you guessed it – the airport. It was right after the season ended, and the team had finished up their meetings. Big surprise, right?

I’m just hoping the players adopt the attitude of “If we lose, that means we just have to push ourselves HARDER to win the next one”. And to show no mercy.

Navin R. Johnson: Why are you crying? And why are you wearing that old dress?
Marie: Because I just heard a song on the radio that reminded me of the way we were.
Navin R. Johnson: What was it?
Marie: "The Way We Were."

Face it, we’re not the team we used to be. Don’t let the old skeletons in the closet frighten you. Don’t let anyone ever say the words “Same Old Seahawks”. New team. New uniforms. New stadium. New attitude. I know this should’ve been said two years ago, but what the heck.

Navin R. Johnson: First I get my name in the phone book and now I'm on your ass. You know, I'll bet more people see that than the phone book.

Dominate. Make sure when you hit that opposing receiver, he’ll remember your name (but perhaps not what city he’s playing in, or what day it is, or his own name). When it’s a question of being hit or fighting for that extra yard, FIGHT. When that ball is sailing through the air towards your outstretched arms, become one with the ball. Become so focused time slows down you can see the individual strands of the stitching.

Navin R. Johnson: Well I'm gonna to go then. And I don't need any of this. I don't need this stuff, and I don't need you. I don't need anything except this
[picks up an ashtray]
Navin R. Johnson: and that's it and that's the only thing I need, is this. I don't need this or this. Just this ashtray. And this paddle game, the ashtray and the paddle game and that's all I need. And this remote control. The ashtray, the paddle game, and the remote control, and that's all I need. And these matches. The ashtray, and these matches, and the remote control and the paddle ball. And this lamp. The ashtray, this paddle game and the remote control and the lamp and that's all I need. And that's all I need too. I don't need one other thing, not one - I need this. The paddle game, and the chair, and the remote control, and the matches, for sure. And this. And that's all I need. The ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, this magazine and the chair.

And maybe a nice shiny new championship ring.

Glenn Geiss writes the "Fan Noise" column for Seahawks.NET every week. Feel free to send him feedback at Top Stories