Bandwagon fan? Not me, jerk!

Screw you, pal. I know that look. That smug little smile that silently says, “You bandwagon poser. I bet you bought that Seahawks hat last week and only because Fanzz was out of Panthers caps.”

It’s a valid line of thinking, but completely incorrect. I, and many recently out-of-the-closet Seahawks fans, have been through the wars.

We had to suffer through the years of Dan McGwire, Stan Gelbaugh and Rick Mirer disastrously attempting to complete a pass. There was Chris Warren, who would have been a Hall-of-Famer if he could run the ball as well as he could bar-fight.

And of course there were Tom Flores, Dennis Erickson and, until recently, Mike Holmgren. Three coaches with sterling reputations that had it all flushed down the tubes thanks to the bumbling Hawks.

I can’t remember the last time Seattle won a playoff game prior to 2006 because I had other things on my mind back then-namely learning to walk and eating solid foods.

The worst memory was that fateful day when Ken Behring had the gall to move my Hawks to Los Angeles. I was still in elementary school but had the desperation-anchored math skills to figure out that if the Oakland Raiders had moved to L.A. and only stayed 11 years before moving back to the Bay Area, then, hey, I’ll only be in my mid-20s when the Seahawks do the same thing! Thank God it didn’t come to that, as Paul Allen swooped in and bought the team, saving them from a Seattle-ite’s worst nightmare (other than Tully’s going under).

This is the same feeling we felt when the Mariners won 116 games in 2001. I should have worn a shirt that said “F*** you, I cheered when they had Ken Phelps.”

But I didn’t. And I don’t go up to the smirk-dealers today and bop them in those smelly mouths of theirs when they look at my Hawks hat. Why? Because that would make me a hypocrite, or at least more of one.

I am the worst at that sort of thing. In October of 2002, I looked at the girl in my class with the brand-new Angels cap and thought, “I wonder what kind of trade-in credit she got for her Yankees hat.” I silently sneer at punks in Kobe jerseys screaming their (and our) ears off when Los Angeles visits the Delta Center. Aren’t they the same ones who wore Jordan jerseys and acted as crazy in the late ’90s?

Probably. But maybe they are actually fans of Kobe. Maybe they heard of the kid coming out of high school and were impressed that a hotshot basketball player could score 1100 on his SATs and still be a lottery pick.

So go on. Give me a dirty, know-it-all gaze when you see me in my Hasslebeck jersey. Most of the people who wear them deserve it. But inside, I remember a 12-year-old kid who would sit glued to the Sunday evening Seahawk highlights, even while knowing full well that they had lost by 30.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but I can live with the looks all the way to Super Bowl XL.

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