Looks like Hawks Fever is contagious

Originally Published: January 14, 2011
By Jim Caple | Page 2

Three weeks ago, the Seattle Seahawks were 6-9 after their ninth loss of the season by two touchdowns or more (usually more). Two weeks ago, they beat the 7-8 St. Louis Rams at home to become the first 7-9 team in NFL history to qualify for the NFL playoffs. Last week, they beat the defending Super Bowl champs in an upset that literally shook Seattle. And this weekend, they travel to Chicago to play the Bears.

If the Seahawks win, they not only advance to the NFC championship game for a chance to go to the Super Bowl, they would have a .500 record for the season!

Once embarrassed by the team's record, everyone in the city suddenly has Seahawks Fever. And I mean everyone.

That guy in "Sleepless in Seattle"
[A sleepy but irritated SAM (Tom Hanks) wanders down from the loft of his houseboat, one of the tens of thousands of houseboats lining the lakes, bays, rivers, streets and cul-de-sacs of Seattle, all across the street from a Starbucks with a view of Mount Rainier and the Space Needle, and all connected to downtown by the monorail. He is alarmed to find his son, JONAH, calling a radio talk show again.]

SAM: What are you doing, Jonah?! It's 2 a.m.! You better not be talking to Dr. Marcia Fieldstone's radio show again and telling every pathetic Get-a-Lifer in the country how depressed I am because my wife died, and then how I got hooked up with Meg Ryan, only to have my heart broken all over again when she dumped me for Russell Crowe. Because I don't want to go through that all over again. Besides, I like Dr. Frazier Crane's show a lot better.

JONAH: Chill, Dad! I'm on the phone with 710 ESPN radio and the "Brock and Salk Show." We're talking about Marshawn Lynch's incredible run at the end of the game and how we're going to play the Bears and how we beat them already once this season and how if Meg Ryan really wanted to get back together with you, she should meet you in front of Soldier Field at noon Sunday with three tickets.

SAM: No. Not if her lips are still messed up from those horrifying implants.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz
[SCHULTZ is reading the Seattle Times sports section in his office at Starbucks headquarters. He frowns at the NBA standings -- he is puzzled why the Sonics are never listed in the standings anymore, though he assumes the paper is cutting them out in some sort of space-saving move. His eyes light up at the many stories about the Seahawks. He buzzes his secretary.]

SCHULTZ: The city is going nuts about the Seahawks! We should do something! I know, we'll have a one-cent sale! Every customer who buys a Venti caramel macchiato can buy a second Venti caramel macchiato for one cent off the regular price! That means they can get the second cup for just $6.94!

SECRETARY: Sir, in a traditional "one-cent sale," the customer gets the second item for one cent. Not one-cent off. Just one cent, total.

SCHULTZ: Don't be a moron. Oh, and call up Paul Allen. I'd like to buy the Seahawks and then sell them to Clay Bennett.

The hospital staff of "Grey's Anatomy"
[World-renowned fictional neurosurgeon DR. DEREK SHEPHERD wakes up in his trailer on Bainbridge Island (which is about seven miles west of Seattle), has sex with Meredith, goes for his customary morning run on Tiger Mountain (which is 20 miles east of Seattle), showers, has more sex with Meredith, showers again and grabs the 35-minute ferry to Seattle. He arrives at Seattle Grace Hospital by the Space Needle, right next to Paul Allen's Experience Music Project, Paul Allen's Science Fiction Museum and the grounds for Paul Allen's planned "Starburst, Dots, Three Musketeers Bar and My Other Favorite Childhood Candy Museum." SHEPHERD goes to his office, which is flooded with X-rays and MRIs of new head trauma cases. He scans the thick folders of cases.]

DR. SHEPHERD: Grade 3 concussion. ... Grade 1 concussion. ... Grade 2 concussion. ... Grade 3 concussion. . . Grade 3 concussion. ... Grade 3 concussion. ... Grade 2 concussion. ... Grade 3 concussion. ... Grade 3 concussion. ... Hmmmm. The Seahawks must still be in the playoffs. ... Grade 3 concussion. ...

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda
[BILL GATES is going over the monthly household budget while sitting in the private library of his $147 million, 66,000-square-foot home on Lake Washington.]

GATES: Let's see, $1.1 billion for malaria relief in Africa ... $391 million for the Global Health Program ... $592.74 for the utility bill ... $87 million for personal computers in southwest Asia ... $348 million for infrastructure in Third World nations ... $119 for the cable bill ... $255 million for women's rights projects ... $276.45 for the Nordstrom bill ... Wait. Melinda, what did you get at Nordstrom's?

MELINDA: Shoes. They were on sale so I stocked up. (Pause) Oh, I almost forgot. Paul invited us to go watch the Seahawks with him this weekend. Do you want to go? They're playing the Bears.

GATES: Go watch Seahawks and Bears? No, we took the kids to the zoo last weekend. No need to go again for a while. ... OK, where was I? Thirty-seven million dollars to the Seattle Art Museum ... Ninety-eight million dollars to the University of Washington scholarship fund. ... Oh, and Melinda, remember to clip out the coupons before you go to Safeway. ... Seventy-three million dollars to Doctors Without Borders ... $12 for my subscription to Wired magazine. ...

The Dude from "The Big Lebowski"
[JEFF LEBOWSKI, aka THE DUDE and former member of the Seattle Seven ("It was me and, like, six other guys"), is at the bowling alley with WALTER SOBCHAK. They are taking a break to watch the Bears-Seahawks game at the alley bar. Sitting next to them is JESUS QUINTANA, preposterously dressed in a purple velvet bodysuit.]

WALTER: Over the line! The Bears were over the line. That's offsides! That should be a five-yard penalty.

THE DUDE: Calm down, Walter. The Hawks gained seven yards and a first down on the play. They would just decline the penalty anyway.

WALTER: Dude, this is not 'Nam. This is football. There are rules.

JESUS: The Seahawks better not @#$& with the Bears. Matt Hasselbeck might fool the rest of the teams in the NFC West but not the Bears. That @#% may work in a conference where everyone has a losing record but not when you're playing the Monsters of the Midway in the playoffs. They will do a Super Bowl Shuffle on you, today, tomorrow, yesterday, or any day of the week. Jay Cutler and the Bears will @#$& the Hawks up!

THE DUDE: Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

The Mariners
[The Seahawks game against the New Orleans Saints is playing on the TV monitors and radio speakers in the Mariners' clubhouse, just across the street from the football stadium. When Marshawn Lynch scores his victory-sealing touchdown, the clubhouse walls shake, framed photos and bobbleheads fall from shelves, crashing on the floor with an almighty din. The clubhouse attendants shout in excitement but immediately start cleaning up the debris with vacuums and leaf blowers set to maximum.]

KEN GRIFFEY JR: Zzzzzzzzzzz.

Jim Caple is a senior writer for You can follow him on Twitter at jimcaple.

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ESPN Senior Writer
Author of "The Devil Wears Pinstripes" and winner of a Sports Emmy. Reported from 17 World Series, 9 Olympics, 6 continents.