The Carolina Panthers play in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs Sunday at 1pm on FOX. It is not enough for you merely to pull for the Panthers, we must implore you to also viscerally despise the Seattle Seahawks. To help prepare you for this task, we have enlisted the help of Brett Thompson, whose picture we didn’t include lest you make fun of his outfit. Also be sure to check out our Behind Enemy Lines piece on the Seahawks, when Andrew Batchelor wrote about a visit to see the Panthers win in Seattle.
The Carolina Panthers and the Seattle Seahawks are gearing up to play their sixth game against each other in four seasons. With such frequent dust-ups comes both great familiarity and bad blood. After more than three years of seeing these guys, I can safely say it:
I hate the Seattle Seahawks. A lot. I hate their stupid colors and their stupid fans and their stupid uniforms and their stupid Macklemore. I hate their stupid refusal to acknowledge that the sound they make is because of acoustics. I hate their 9/11 truther coach who gets away with not putting his star running backs on the field in championship games (has anybody seen Pete Carroll and Larry Fedora in the same room, btw?). I wish they would move to Los Angeles.
A good portion of Panthers fans hate them, too. If you’re not quite sure if you’re ready to invest so much negative energy into a team all the way across the country from you, here’s a quick guide to justify it.
The Seahawks are owned by Paul Allen, a John Clayton lookalike and Microsoft co-founder. That’s an appropriate thing to note considering that Russell Wilson’s “MVP” campaign was a Windows 95 PC to the finely tuned MacBook Pro that was Cam Newton in
2015. Paul Allen’s net worth is $17.4 billion, which means you would have to hit the highest jackpot in Powerball history more than SEVENTEEN times to be as rich as him. Asshole.
The franchise itself is currently enjoying its first real renaissance. The Seahawks made it to their first Super Bowl in 2005 after 29 years in the league, two years after the Panthers’ Super Bowl appearance at the age of nine. Since then, the Seahawks have made the NFL Playoffs seven times, including four consecutive years under Russell Wilson. In that time, their popularity has skyrocketed, resulting in the most obnoxious fanbase in the NFL.
Imagine if St. Louis Cardinals fans had a football team they cared about. Seahawks fans pride themselves on being the best in football, and will totally remind you of that fact at any moment’s notice. They’re not just fans, they’re PART OF THE TEAM.
No, seriously. The franchise has gone on to completely pander to these Starbucks-swilling hipsters and embrace the “12th Man” nickname they stole from Texas A&M. They passionately refer to themselves as “12s,” because of course they do. In 1984, Seahawks President Mike McCormack retired the number 12 for the years of hard work, dedication, sweat and performance of… Seahawks fans.
It gets worse. The number 12 being retired hasn’t stopped Seahawks fans from wearing their own jersey, and from 2013-14, it cracked the top ten highest-selling in the league. THOUSANDS of adults paid $79.99 shamelessly wear the name “Fan” on their back. They must be stopped.
Stop it. Stop it all of you. For the love of everything good and right in this world please look at yourself in the mirror and see what you have become. Look at that neon green “We Are 12” flag in your hand. Look at that fictional player jersey you are wearing. Look at those Bose headphones around your neck blaring Thrift Shop. None of this is okay and you should feel bad about yourself. I hate you until you can fully understand what kind of monster you have turned into.
(note: As insufferable as they are, a man wearing an actual jersey with his own name on the back still reigns as king.)
There are plenty of Seahawks players who are polarizing at best, but there is one man in particular who stands out among the rest of them.
I hate Russell Wilson.
With a fiery passion that shouldn’t be reserved for another human being. If Darren Rovell were an elusive athlete with a horseshoe lodged firmly up his ass, he would be Russell Wilson. Wilson is a walking stereotype of what fans always dreamed of as the ideal likeable athlete until we realized how freaking unbearable the act is.
And it sucks, because by all accounts Russell Wilson should be a fantastic guy. In any other context, he should be cheered. Glorified. Praised. He’s an upstanding man with clear values and blah blah blah I HATE HIM.
Wilson is not only a frustratingly talented player, but he’s also a great philanthropist for the Seattle area. This is public knowledge, because no hospital visit goes untweeted.
Wilson is undoubtedly a polarizing figure in the Triangle, which is why it’s important to remember why Wilson could actually bring us all together and unite fans of each university alike:
- North Carolina fans: Oh this guy. How frustrating is it to watch Wilson go off on your team for three years, transfer so you NEVER have to see him again, and he end up right back on the opposing side of a rivalry to haunt your favorite team for YEARS to come? To date, your favorite team is an astounding 1-7 against Wilson, and that one win came by a sheer superhuman effort by Cam Newton in the last minute of a game that you already turned off because you refused to watch Russell Wilson tell you God wanted his team to win more than yours. *exhales* He is your Kryptonite. He is Marcus Paige at your PNC Arena. He is the Chapel Hill to your Clemson. He is Michael Myers. No matter how many times you think you’ve killed him, he comes back, more unwatchable than ever. He is your archnemesis. Hate him almost equally as much as you love your Tar Heels and Panthers.
- NC State fans: Even you guys don’t want him anymore, and that’s after YEARS of debate between Wolfpack and Badger fans. Why would you? He believes in Recovery Water. He, uh, Ciara. Sure, he’s like the greatest modern athlete to come out of N.C. State. Yeah, he beat North Carolina a lot when he was in Raleigh. Duh, he wanted to stay until Tom O’Brien pushed him away. Don’t let those good memories of your ex overshadow why you left each other in the first place. He is the enemy now. He even stopped his post-Carolina teleconference tradition of ending with a “Go Pack, Go Hawks.” HE HATES YOU NOW. Turn on him. Join us. Burn that bridge and never look back. #trader.
- Duke fans: Wilson represents the very last of an era where it seemed every Triangle program except your team was somewhat relevant. It wasn’t an immediate shift, but after Wilson left, your team has posted the following records: 3-9, 6-7, 10-4, 9-4 and 8-5. Given how loudly Wilson wears his religion on his sleeve, it’s worth wondering whether there’s any coincidence that the Devils got stronger in his absence. Really makes you think.
Russell Wilson is a natural foil to your quarterback savior, Cam Newton. Newton celebrates, Wilson celibates. Newton is chastised publicly, Wilson publicly undergoes chastity. Newton is MADE, Wilson is Created. Newton is on his #pinnacle, Wilson is Pentecostal*. Newton does Beats commercials with 2 Chainz, Wilson does Bose commercials with Macklemore. These two were destined to feud. They’re Bret “Hitman” Hart and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin: A traditional hero and the way-cooler-and-better anti-hero.
Keep Pounding and for the love of God, beat Seattle.