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Friday, January 27, 2006 - Page updated at 01:49 PM

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Steve Kelley

New Hawks fans' football smarts are questionable

Seattle Times staff columnist

The Seahawks' unprecedented trip to the Super Bowl has brought a new group of fans to football in the Northwest. Fans whose lack of knowledge is overshadowed by their newfound passion for pigskin.

And these neophyte fans are filled with new questions, new ideas and new e-mails that I admit I'm slow to respond to. The e-mails read something like this:

Steve:

I've often heard that the NFL is a socialists' society, with all that revenue-sharing and what-not, but I was appalled to hear during last Sunday's game that the league actually has a "Red Zone," and the "Red Zone" is a place all teams aspire to get to.

I was alive during the Cold War. I remember the Cuban missile crisis, and I ask you sir, how can this great country allow the Communists this foothold in our most popular sport?

— Roy from Chehalis

Mr. Kelley:

I am appalled by the comment made by that announcer Mr. Joe Buck during the telecast of Sunday's wonderful win over those fellows from Carolina. Mr. Buck referred to our pass catcher Joe Jurevicius as a "wide receiver." I don't believe there should be a place in society, not even sports, where a person's body type is mocked. Wide, skinny, what does it matter if he can catch the football?

— Molly, president

Positive Body Image, Inc., in Kirkland

Kelley:

Celebrate the Seahawks!


Get your NFC Championship t-shirts and posters today! Visit classicheadlines.com/seattle.html or call toll free 1-866-445-5800.

I'm a transplanted New Yorka. Never cared much for football, but I was listening to talk radio and they said a lofa named Tatupu is going to play in the Pro Bowl. If he's such a lofa, how did he work hard enough to get into the all-star game? And why would they make fun of him like that? I think that Tatupa is a hustla. If those talk-show guys want to give somebody a nickname, why not Hustla Tatupa?

— Michael, originally from Queens

Dear sir:

As a hardworking member of Microsoft, I understand the difficult challenges that abound in the software world. I also know we are not the nerds that the media portrays us to be. So why must the football commentators continue to make fun of our Seahawks' owner Mr. Paul Allen?

All during the game last Sunday I heard them talking about "pocket protectors." Over and over again all my adult life, I've had to listen to that kind of mockery. Why are people who wear pocket protectors so open to humiliation? And by the way, after the game I saw Mr. Allen on television and I didn't see his pocket protector. He must have lost it during the celebration. So they were wrong again.

— Josh from Redmond

Steve:

Watching the Seahawks for the first time I was shocked and, I hate to admit, also a little excited by the level of violence in the game. That's why I was so surprised to hear that Seattle has a player named Marquand Manuel, who is a free safety.

How can a man who risks so much for the team, not get paid? It doesn't seem right. Does he at least get his health insurance covered? I thought Mr. Manuel played wonderfully on Sunday, and since some of his teammates make millions of dollars, I propose they take a collection and make sure Mr. Manuel is rewarded for the courage he displays.

— Clementine, from Belltown

Yo:

Settle a bet for me, would you please. My friend and I are arguing about the history of the 12th Man. He says it started from the early days when the Seahawks were a lowly expansion team and were allowed to use 12 men for home games. Although that makes sense, I'd heard that, when he bought the team, Paul Allen declared himself the 12th man. Which one of us is right?

— Ron from Renton

Steve:

Quick question. Nose tackle. Shouldn't that be illegal? Tackling a guy by his nose has to be as dangerous as tackling him by the face mask. I'm proposing the league make it a 15-yard penalty for nose tackle. What do you think?

— Randy from Stanwood

Mr. Kelley:

While watching the game on Sunday I heard analyst Troy Aikman use the term, "Heck of a job," 74 times. Do you know, is he running for president?

— Christine from Olympia

Kelley:

You hear all this blah, blah, blah about how much money the NFL makes. So you can imagine my surprise when I began hearing last week that the Pittsburgh Steelers are hoping to ride the bus all the way to the Super Bowl.

Now I know Pittsburgh is closer to Detroit than Seattle, but if the Steelers are traveling by bus, doesn't that give our Seahawks a great advantage? I just believe that in the spirit of fair play, if the Steelers can't afford to fly to Detroit, the NFL should pay to fly them there for this game.

— James from Spanaway

Steve:

I moved here about a year ago from Pocatello and, I can tell you, nobody is a bigger Seahawks fan than me. But there was a play in a recent game that alarmed me. During a punt one of the players was penalized for "illegal touching." Where I come from, the penalty for illegal touching is mandatory jail time. The player's team was only penalized 5 yards. Am I missing something?

— Joe, originally from Idaho

Steve Kelley: 206-464-2176 or skelley@seattletimes.com.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company


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