Conservative Corner: The Neutral Zone

Northwest sports fans have been fortunate over the past couple of months. As an avid Seattle Seahawks fan, I am proud to say that the Seahawks and their fans, the 12th Man, have made history for the Northwest by winning Super Bowl XLVIII, and now we have the XXII Olympics in Sochi, Russia. To people who are not football fans or who don’t cheer for the regional home team, this season’s Super Bowl may be old news and boring, but as a lifetime Seahawk fan, I am still riding high on the Seahawk Super Bowl victory.

 As a football fan I would like to thank the Denver Broncos for a good game, even though it didn’t quite turn out in their favor, nonetheless, thanks goes out to the Broncos organization and their fan base for the heated and healthy competition. This year, however, the Seahawks and their fans have something to really cheer about. On December 2 of 2013 in a game against the New Orleans Saints the 12th Man made history by breaking a Guinness record for crowd noise. A crowd of 68,387 Seahawks fans claimed the noise record of 137.6 decibels. At that same time the fans celebrating in the stands caused a magnitude 1 or 2 earthquake in Seattle according to A great season, indeed, for the Seahawks and their fan base. Above all, some sports, especially football, have a unique quality.

If anyone plays a football game in a cold weather climate that person would need to protect him or herself against the elements and any potential hit that would occur during the game. That kind of protection covers nearly all of the body.  At a distance not many can tell if a player is a man or woman, black or white, conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat, or not political at all.

Football is one of those kinds of sports that are usually immune to social and political issues. Unfortunately, not all those who are involved in the game keep political issues out of the game. Sports announcer, Bob Costa, went on an anti-gun rant during halftime of the Philadelphia Eagles-Dallas Cowboys game last year. This was in response to the murder-suicide, of Kansas City Chiefs starting linebacker Jovan Belcher who fatally shot his girlfriend.

Athletes are people too and have problems like everyone else; however, it is not professional to put personal opinions or political and social problems in the game. Mr. Costa’s ill-timed anti-gun rant was a black eye on the face of professional sports broadcasting. Seattle Seahawks cornerback, Richard Sherman, also went on a rant at the end of the 2013 NFC Championship game, but Mr. Sherman later apologized for his rant.

There are some similarities between professional American football and some of the events in the Olympics. The love of country is apparent. Olympians proudly represent their country in the games, while Americans sing the “Star Spangled Banner” and wave Old Glory before each game. In some of the sports events the Olympian athletes wear the uniform and safety equipment and cannot be seen. Like in football, both events, urge teammate to compete and win.

It seems the common unseen thread is the absence of politics in sports. Even if a sports figure leaks that he or she voted a certain way, most certainly a sports fan with different political view is willing to ignore their choice if it means a Super Bowl ring. I recently found out from that Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll voted for Obama in 2008. I most defiantly do not agree with his choice of president, but I fully support is choice for a winning football team.

Even during the Super Bowl parties and tailgate events even the hard-core political and social junkies don’t spread too much talk around; after all, in the lives of the football fan, the game is sacred. The only thing one is to speak of during a football party is player’s statistics and reminiscing about the games of old.

That is the glory of the game of football. There are only scrimmage lines, first downs, defensive linemen that could hold back a German panzer tank assaults, field goals and touchdowns. Even as a conservative, I rarely think of politics or social issues when I watch my Seahawks punch another touchdown through a less-than-adequate defense. During a game there is no talk of liberalism, conservatives, ant-gun talk, abortions, gay weddings, global warming, high taxes, the national debt, or a worthless president, just football.

Just before a play starts the offense and defense line up at the line of scrimmage. The space between these two lines of players is an area call the neutral zone. If anyone enters the neutral zone before the ball is hiked it is a penalty. I like to think of an entire football game like the neutral zone. No negative words (unless its smack talk), no politics, no social issues, no conspiracy theories, no and most of all, no football haters.  Once again, congratulations to the Super Bowl XLVII Champion Seattle Seahawks and thank God for football to help us escape for 5 months from all the crap in the world.






About D.K. Hummel
I am a dis-placed Alaskan, Ham radio operator, Broadcaster/DJ, Seahawk fan, Alaska Aces fan, U.S. Army Vet, and a conservative; but not always in that order.

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