1.30.2015

Go Hawks: Please Take Your Worshippers With You

The other day I realized it is not football or even the Seahawks I loathe as much as it is the worshippers, namely the ones who never stop praising and pushing their organized sport on a non-believer such as myself.

verb
To render religious reverence and homage to;
To feel an adoring reverence or regard for (any person or thing)


If I made a dollar for every time I am told about the Seahawks or a game without having first asked, I would make at least $5 every time I go to town.

Do not get me wrong, I understand the concept of sport talk: It is safe small talk, just like the weather. I get it. The thing is, people tend to popularly assume that sport talk will bring folks together since it is not politics and it is not religion. Yet, for myself, it really is both politics and religion when tax dollars are conveniently finagled to pay for a stadium people originally voted against and did not want, and followers spend obscene amounts of time and money worshipping overpaid ball-hurlers.

In fact, with all the Seahawks praise going on lately, I was reminded of a 2006 news report that brings my view to light regarding the worshipping of organized sports: A Pierce County Superior Court judge began a sentencing hearing in a manslaughter case by worshipping the Seahawks in open court. Oh, yes, she did.

Judge Beverly Grant requested attendees in the courtroom worship with her by saying 'Go Seahawks' before being allowed to sit, and when people did not respond loud enough for the judge's approval she asked them to repeat it. Talk about contempt of court. Gag me with a gavel.


What boggles me is the idea that there are people who do exist who would cry to the highest particle if a judge were to start a court proceeding by saying 'Go Jesus,' yet my experience tells me those same people would not hesitate to partake in shouting out praise for their popularly-accepted organized sport if a judge invited them to do it. Oh, the idiocracy. 

It is not as if I try to remember these things, but such behavior from a judge at the opening of a manslaughter sentencing shocked me and, as such, has stuck with me; also, it was my local courthouse at the time and a courthouse where I had worked as a court reporter pro tem, so it hit close to home. Plus the fact that Judge Grant's open Seahawks worship happened around Superbowl time only makes it more memorable, especially when it is Superbowl season yet again and the unofficial outfit for Washington residents is corporate Seahawks logo gear. But I digress.

While Ms. Grant's Seahawks worship was with good intent to bring people together, it backfired and Ms. Grant was disciplined for her behavior by a review committee. Whether for good or bad, she lost her position as a Pierce County Superior Court judge in the 2012 election and is now back in private practice.


In fact, the Tacoma Bar Association gave Judge Grant a positive rating of only 37.6 percent and placed her 21st out of 22 judges, not that it's related to Seahawks worship. It makes me wonder what Judge No. 22 did though.


Think about it: 
  • How would you feel if you showed up for a court case which is critical to your future and the judge begins the proceedings by whooping it up for a sports team and then tells everyone to join in, especially if you are a non-believer?
  • I mean, is there no separation of sports and state?
As if.

Interestingly enough, another case popped up on my research radar, again out of Pierce County Superior Court just this month, with open Seahawks worship. This time it was at the request of the court attendees who asked permission first, which is considerate for the venue they are in; plus, the case was a good thing, something rare in courts -- adoption! -- and not manslaughter charges.

Nevertheless, in spite of the adoption celebration, it still stands as sufficient evidence in my view that Seahawks worship is the widely accepted status quo in Washington State as it is rarely, if ever, looked at as being grossly out of place, unless you happen to be someone like me, a dissenting minority in a mob of democracy. 

Of course none of this is to wish any ill will towards players or fans, but only to express my individual views to a world outside my immediate vicinity. I do not accept that I am the only person who can feel this way; I know I am not that original. So, I write this so that it may reach others who understand the face-palming pains of being a non-believer outnumbered by believers.
Thank You for Not Asking Me the Score!
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