Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Are Brooklyn Seahawk Fans Hipster Wannabes?

Even as a kid growing up in Seattle, attending every other home game thanks to my Grandpa's season tickets and my brother's erstwhile lack of interest, the stadium was rarely what you'd deem "full."  Sure there were the monday night games, the games against the Raiders and the Broncos and whatever other actually good team that would waltz through. Those games would get something close to a "sold out" sign on the front door of the Kingdome. But more often than not the view from Grandpa John's cherry seats on the fifty yard line in the 100 level was of a bunch of empty mid & upper bleachers. I can only say mine was a curious fate. I was lucky enough to actually have season tickets and a father who wanted me to take me, unlucky enough to be looked at slightly cross-eyed by my fellow classmates when my weekend plans were made public.  See, the Seahawks were awful. I mean, they really sucked. The sort of mind-numbing terrible where our record was consistently breaking even every year, scratching vaguely to get into the first round of the playoffs, only to have to wait for some other team to lose to see if we'd get in. Coupled with only one single title for any Seattle pro team (thanks to the now very gone Supersonics), this sort of consistent humdrum mediocrity was as depressing as the constant gray drizzle. Yeah, everyone loved Steve Largent and Curt Warner, John L. Williams, Jacob Green, Joe Nash, Ruben Porter, Eugene Robinson, Kenny Easley and the rest. We all put up with Dave Krieg's tiny hands (a curious step down for me from Jim Zorn, who had all but God-like status thanks to my matching Zorn-Largent dolls.) But it was more of a "lovable losers" sort of laid-back Pacific Northwest acceptance of the inexhaustible blah we had to endure. Ground Chuck. Need I say more?  The fact was, or is, that by late high school I was routinely turning down my dad for those Sunday matinees. Of course, looking back I wish I'd taken all those precious chances to stand in line at the bathroom only to belly up to that massive trough, buffeted on either side by some hefty logger, and fail to launch. All those chances to smell the truly stale Rainier beer and feel the stick of my shoes on the concrete steps. All those chances to have the peanuts flung my way by that guy with the afro. But one can't turn back that clock, one can only revel in the memories of yet another quirky sidenote in a boring march out of that prematurely darkening city in search of more accommodating climes. 

This morning my own winter-out-of-touchedness poked me in the nose as I learned of the magazine article implosion that was the "City Surfer Risen" article from Stab. At the moment it was published I was enjoying my own time outside New York, surfing in the sunny consistency of North County, missing completely whatever digital maelstrom ensued. I've never felt like a local anywhere. Partly it's in my nature to be a bit uncomfortable, partly because I never allowed myself the moment sitting still. I read this article, or rather perused it, picking out bits and pieces here and there, paying extra attention to the rabid comment responses with a little bit of amusement, a little bit of head scratching. Really, there is so much obviously wrong about the context of certain statements in this article as to be laughable. I know Chris Gentile well enough. Our kids are buddies, our wives are buddies. I've shared beers with him and gone on a surf trip with him. We don't speak too often anymore, but I know him well enough to know he's probably pretty bummed at being misconstrued as the Alpha & Omega of the New York Fashio-Surf Complex. The guy has poured a lot of his life into that little shop and that is bound to make for hair-raising moments of course. Any surf shop like that, any surf personality in any position of "market-driven import" is gonna be up on a pedestal for a good knocking, and thinly researched (or badly contextualized) articles like this are bound to tee it up. When the Saturdays shop opened they got a lot of flack for their approach, but that seems to have died down appropriately. Those guys are intelligently going for a market as much as Pilgrim is, as Danny DiMauro caustically points out. 

This is to say surfers have always used surfing to surf more. It is one of the secrets of the trade. The argument that surfing, when you're not actually surfing or making hay to surf, is anything other than a considered fashion statement is ludicrous to begin with. If it really did encompass some sort of vibey quasi-lifestyle-state-of-mind, the only niche I can see it realistically inhabiting is the bullshit-macho-insecurity caste of people worried about their wave count. Which, frankly, is a pretty honest worry given the scarcity of resources. 

This brings us back to the Seahawks... hooray Seahawks.


Anonymous said...

the real kooks are the ones in all the big fancy editorial spreads, singing the praises of a certain dreamy summer locale. no wonder these spots are blown out!

Anonymous said...

who is to blame? the publication or the peeps signing up for it? this was a huge feature in the print mag when it came out.


all of this stuff plays a part.

sorry, this is all off-topic...