The Draw Play has essentially existed during what I would consider the rise and fall of the Seattle Seahawks golden era, and as a person who lives in the pacific northwest and has witnessed it firsthand, it’s been an interesting experience. I basically witnessed what was almost a small-scale cult fandom balloon into a national powerhouse as the team sharply rose and gained prominence like never before, and then have witnessed that same fandom come to terms with the realities of time in sports.

Many of the so-called “twelves” who were such annoying, loud, brash, dipshits have become…actual fans. Angry, bitter, hopeful, and realistic. If they’ve stuck around. During the height of the Hawks power in 2012-2015, it was hell. I’ve never seen so many damn bumper stickers and flags hanging off every car and house, and I don’t even live in Seattle. You could walk down a random street in Portland and there would be a 50% chance you’d see a 12 flag within 3 blocks. You could go to a sports bar and half the bar would own the same Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, or Marshawn Lynch jersey. A few men of culture would wear Kam Chancellor jerseys. Every once in a while you’d see the real unicorn. A Hasselbeck, Largent, or Lofa Tatupu jersey. Those were the ones I was happiest for, because they had been there…before.

The Bandwagon fan is a vital part of the fandom economy, as much as we hate them. They are newborns who are birthed in success and ride that high. They are easy to loathe because they are loud and proud and haven’t experienced heartbreak. But time takes no prisoners. Even Patriots fans born in the last 20 years will someday actually understand genuine sports misery. When the team dies, many of those bandwagoners die off. The fun is over. They might come back and be annoying when the team experiences a small surge or rebuild, but if they turn fairweather, they won’t ever truly come back. But not all of them will vanish. Not all of them will veer off for greener pastures. A percentage of those bandwagoners will stick around, and become like us. They will understand the way the sport works and appreciate their time in the sun as they watch their team regress and make bad decisions. They will be miserable when the team makes dumb free agent signings and bad draft picks, and hopeful every time they win a tight game and show promise. They will actually talk to you and make good conversation at the bar because they aren’t stupid loyal puppies anymore. We all start somewhere.

I think Seattle is probably boned for a while now. Russ is gone. The LOB is gone. Pete Carroll is dumb and old. The rest of the division is stacked. I used to hate Seahawks fans, but now most of them get it. I see the dead look in their eyes that shows the scars of reality. I appreciate them now, and consider them brothers.