Friday, December 2, 2011

Bucket List

In 27 years of life, I've only been able to cross one item off my "Bucket List." The summer after I graduated from high school, my family went on a trip to New York City (and other eastern cities/states) and I was able to see my favorite major league baseball team, the New York Yankees, play live at historic Yankee Stadium. Amazing.

That was almost 10 years ago. Since then, my Bucket List has been set aside and been replaced with equally amazing things, such as meeting and marrying the man of my dreams and raising 4 beautiful babies. But through the years of changing diapers, making meals and sweeping floors, my Bucket List has always been on my mind, begging me to cross another item off its enticing list.

This past Thursday, December 1, I was able to cross another item off my bucket list. I have always loved sports and have been fortunate enough to attend a number of professional sporting events. But the only pro games I've seen have been in basketball and baseball. Not living anywhere near a pro football team growing up, and knowing that nearly 90% (or more) of NFL games are played on Sunday, I knew this item would be difficult to cross off my list.

Since moving to the Seattle area 8 years ago, I suddenly lived within a short drive of a pro NFL team- the Seattle Seahawks. Ben and I became very excited of the prospect of one day being able to attend a Seahawks game together. But we quickly remembered that the NFL's primary day to play was on Sunday, and although a Bucket List always require great effort to achieve items on its list, I knew I wasn't going to ever attend a Sunday game. We knew that some NFL teams occasionally get a non-Sunday game. It was rare, but there was still hope.

Married life quickly became busy for us- I was in school, Ben with a new job, and then the kids started coming like rabbits. We would check the Seahawks schedule every year and were disappointed to find that for many years in a row, they didn't have one non-Sunday game. One year we found a non-Sunday game, but we had 2 infant twin babies that could not be left without me for that long.

Finally, this past August, we checked the Seahawks schedule and were shocked to find that they had not one, but three non-Sunday home games this season. We knew that this was the year. The dream almost didn't happen- the day tickets went on sale, we got online and on the phone and within 5 minutes, literally, of the ticket office being open, the cheap seats that we could afford were sold out. But as luck, and the Bucket List angel watching over us would have it, 4 tickets together, in our price range, became available. We talked some friends into going with us (thus the 4 seats together) and we were set. Boy were we excited. And 3 months was a long wait.

But it came!

In front of Century Link Stadium

We are very familiar with this part of downtown Seattle, as the Seahawks stadium is right across the street from Safeco field, where the Mariners play. But we never go downtown in December, so it was neat to see the Christmas lights up on trees and other seasonal decorations.

We were almost at the very top of the stadium, but it was still an awesome view! We had a great view of the jumbo tron, which was fun.

And a fantastic view of Seattle, too.

The Seahawks, who have been struggling this year, scored a touchdown just minutes into the first quarter. 4 blue Seahawk flags were run onto the field in celebration.

We had a great time with our friends Ashlee and Josh. They are fellow football lovers as well and this was also their first NFL game.

It was FREEZING cold (39 degrees to be exact). During half time, we all got up and walked around for a minute to try and stay warm. It was ok that it was so cold- it was totally worth it.

All 4 of us.

From the way they played against the Philadelphia Eagles (also a struggling team this year), you wouldn't know the Seahawks are having a losing season- they played a great game.

The Seahawks are known for their loud, sold out crowds. They are so loud, in fact, that their fans and crowd have become known as the 12th Man. The fans have had such an impact on the success of the football team that the number 12 was retired in 1984. In 2003, the 12th Man Flag was made and at every home game, just before kickoff, the flag is raised in honor of the 12th Man. Celebrities often are asked, if in attendance at the game, to raise the flag. The night we were there, Bill Russell, retired NBA legend, raised the 12th Man flag. The fans were very excited about that (and so was the usher by our seats, for that matter).

It would have been cooler to have a 12th Man jersey on, but all I had was a Matt Hasselbeck one (yes, I am aware he no longer plays for Seattle). Still pretty cool to me, though.

The Seahawks went on to win 31-14 in a very exciting game. We had such a great time and it really was a dream come true.

One last shot of Century Link field as we were leaving the game.

Walking back to our car, we came across a Krispy Kreme and it was calling to us. We were more than happy to wait in a long line- it was warm inside and we had a front row view of the donut making magic. Perfect ending to a perfect night.

Bucket List:

1. Watch NY Yankees play at Yankee Stadium- CHECK
2. See an NFL game in person- CHECK

Now on to the next!