I knew it when I married him. He'd grown up in NH, so naturally he had a lifetime membership in the Patriots Fan Club. I've always been a Seahawks fan. I've never lived in Seattle, which makes it more interesting.
I picked them to be 'my team' when I was a teen, growing up in Missouri. I liked their uniforms. Through the years I fell in love with their heart. I loved being a 12 who was representing my team in the no mans land that is every state outside of Washington. I'm pretty thrilled that after all these years, they still have the coolest uniforms in the NFL.
Hubby and I made our opposite team loyalties work. We enjoyed our football Sundays. He did his best to catch his Patriots, and I was giddy when my local television station would play a random Seahawks game. We lived all over the United States, in the 25 years that we've been married, and in no state was my team a priority. For our years in New England, his team seemed to belong to every state on the east coast. I was jealous.
We never had issues concerning our opposing teams because the Seahawks rarely, if ever, played the Patriots. His team would have their runs of successes. Many playoff games and Super Bowls. While my team struggled to figure out who we were. I cheered for them anyway.
In our frequent moves, we happened to move to the mountains of Colorado in 2011. We were geographically closer to my team than we had been back in New York, but I knew there was still no chance my games would ever qualify for 'regional interest'. It was all about the Broncos, all the time.
Two years later I got a new prosthetic leg - a Seahawks leg. Yes, I'm such a crazy 12 that I chose to have our logo plastered all over my artificial limb. I wanted to take every step with my team.
You know what happens next.
After thirty years of rooting for my Seahawks, it was finally our turn. But the team we were facing was the one I had just landed in. I lived in the beehive of fandom that is the Broncos. My Seahawks leg was not welcome here. My go to line was, "Hey, I've been a Seahawks fan for over 30 years. No one cared until this year!"
After the thrashing that was last year's Super Bowl, I tried to lay low for a bit, out of respect for my heartbroken neighbors. I cheered on my own, in the privacy of my own home, and clung to fan groups online.
Then came another record breaking season. And, after much angst (and maybe just a few voodoo trances flung toward the television) the Broncos fell out of the running. Surrounded by my crestfallen neighbors in Orange, I literally breathed a sigh of relief that Sunday.
Then came the final games. I knew in my head, by studying the tables, that it was a possibility, but until it got as close as a single game, I couldn't let myself go there. There was no way hubby's lifetime team would face my lifetime team in a Super Bowl. It just couldn't be.
Now here we are. We celebrated that quarter century anniversary just three months ago. We've had our ups and downs through the years, and we've made it this far with plenty of days that still put smiles on our faces. But this game is coming up. This game.
Our son, seeing what the match up would be, his mom's team against his dad's, and knowing we'd just had a milestone anniversary, texted us from his home in Kentucky. "Well, at least you had a good run."
The hubby is wisely traveling out of state this week for work. He's left me to obsess on the fan pages, wear my blue and green gear (and leg!) every day, and just generally be obnoxious as I celebrate my team. A team that is thrilled beyond words to be playing in back to back Super Bowls.
Before we know it, Sunday will be here. All the years of following our two teams, supporting each other when teams would struggle, and rejoicing together when teams did well, this day will come. After the wonderful naive years of being able to claim our spouse's team as our own, we are on the opposite sides of the field now.
Hubby will be back in town Friday. On Saturday we'll go get our Super Bowl food supplies, walking past the Broncos merchandise on clearance. Most likely we won't even mention the game. There will be too much anticipation in the air, leaving no space for words.
We'll get out of bed Sunday. I'll click on this Hawks covered leg and don my favorite Hawks shirt. He'll pretend he's not nervous. The perfect poker face. He'll take his spot on the couch and I'll take mine.
And then we'll see what happens.