A Tale of Two Seahawks
By Patrick Sean Farley, 2006-01-26
The Seattle Seahawks used to be my favorite NFL team. Not only were they the worst team in the league, but they also had the coolest helmet in the NFL — a stylized Kwakiutl eagle emblazoned across a field of glistening silver — at once ancient and futuristic.
But the times, they are a-changin'.
One could easily cheer for that sad bird on the left; staring balefully out at you as he charges into a battle he knows he will almost certainly lose, but which he must fight nonetheless. The bird on the right, however, is a hateful creature; an overprivileged bully who looks genuinely outraged that any weaklings would contest his Rule By Force.
The bird on the left looks like he’s well acquainted with life’s hardships; he sees the approaching conflict as a tragedy that could have been avoided through better communication. He is the reluctant warrior, living by the ethos expressed by Faramir in Lord of the Rings: “I love not the sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness; I love that which they defend.” He has a wife, perhaps a child back home, whom he loves dearly and wonders if he’ll ever see again.
The bird on the right, meanwhile, is a pampered jock who has never been thwarted once in his life. His privilege is transparent to him; he struts around believing that the world revolves around him because it should. He’s the arrogant squad leader who gets all his men killed because he wants a medal for “heroism” so badly. He lives for the approval of his superiors, having no inner life of his own. A childhood of vicious beatings from his “strict but loving” father has left him incapable of any emotions outside an internalized desire to punish “weakness” wherever he finds it, including within himself. One can feel pity for this bird, but at the same time, one can’t help but wish to see him humbled, just this once.
Notes from Xah Lee
The above essay is from A Tale of Two Seahawks By Patrick Sean Farley. At http://pfarley.livejournal.com/83684.html. Used with permission.
Seattle Seahawks is a American football team.