Ever since I was a small child, there has always been something magical about Fall. Even before the legendary voice of John Facenda became forever intertwined with my favorite season to me, September was the time of the year that I always seemed to jump a little higher, dance a little longer…Imagine more.
I used to love watching the leaves turn from their Spring and Summer green to brilliant shades of red, as if the leaves themselves captured the reflection of some far away evening sky. The air, gradually cooling, always gave my childhood imagination the idea that somehow the oxygen was better and more pure in the Autumn months. Those practitioners of Eastern Philosophy would no doubt celebrate my mindfulness of the act of breathing.
Somewhere, on the edge of the other side of the world, a monk was smiling. I just knew it.
As the years slowly grew on, the NFL captured my imagination. The Seahawks were still a few years away from being realized but there were plenty of teams whose colors and helmets delighted me beyond description. My friends and I would scramble to collect the NFL pencils at our elementary school (there were always 2 or 3 teams we couldn't seem to get no matter how hard we tried or how much lunch money we spent). This was my only source and experience of trading back then.
I didn't like any other sport other than the NFL. Oh, I tried to allow myself the patience to watch baseball and other sports on television, but nothing compared to the majestic bigger-than-life world of the NFL. To this day, I'm still just as captivated by the dichotomy of the game with its elements of grace, skill, Moments of Glory and yet Gladiator brutality.
As the days began to shrink giving themselves gradually away to Winter, Moments of Glory of my own took flight on the crisp pavement of my neighborhood streets. Although none of us kids could ever possibly understand the complexity of the NFL's rules and plays, it never kept us from building castles in the sky in the form of long bombs and cul-de-sac touchdowns.
I was always Fran Tarkenton or Ahmad Rashad of the Minnesota Vikings. Their cool Nike-like helmet logo and the concept of a Viking were always enough for me. My childhood pal was always, well, someone on the Washington Redskins. Even though I had a cool Rashad jersey, he actually had – and wore - a Redskins helmet.
Then one early Winter morning, it would arrive. Better than Santa himself. The Holy Grail. My Dead Sea Scrolls.
The JCPenney Christmas Catalog.
If those Monks were proud of my mindfulness before, well they must have worshiped my focus levels as I glanced upon the pages with all the NFL team uniforms.
This was my first introduction to the Seattle Seahawks. A jersey with someone named ZORN on the back with the number 10 on the front and back. The silver, blue and green captivated me because they were so different from any other team at the time. But what really launched my rocket was the Seahawks ultra-cool helmet logo. At the time, I didn't understand the cultural and regional relevance. I just knew that I had to have that "Sea-"Hawk" yesterday.
So that Christmas, buried under the celestial lights of the tree, was that beautiful helmet and jersey that belonged to the NFL's newest team. My team. No offense to Mr. Frankenton or Mr. Rashad, but their jerseys never saw the light of a cool, crisp Fall day again.
When the neighborhood kids would gather to play their countless Super Bowls, I never was any other team again other than the Seattle Seahawks. I imagine if you had found your way through my Kent, Washington neighborhood in the late 1970's, "Zorn to Largent……Touchdown Seahawks!!" would be heard early and often from the vibrant lungs of a 10-year-old. I imagine, those moments of my childhood are some of the fondest I will ever know.
A Nerf football traveling high into the cool, Autumn sky…Infectious laughter from children at play. The rustling of the sunburst leaves always in continuous applause…
…Somewhere, a Monk was always smiling.
Todd Breda is the Owner and Creative Director of Seahawks.Net. If you would like to e-mail Todd, send any and all love letters, hate mail, whimsical musings or your own favorite childhood memories to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Breda Report: The Magic of Autumn
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