Postgame Riots

By Matthew Halverson October 14, 2011 Published in the November 2011 issue of Seattle Met

RELAX. WE DON’T WANT SEATTLE FANS to celebrate a Super Bowl win by flipping cop cars. The images of hockey hooligans setting Vancouver ablaze last June after the Canucks lost the seventh and deciding game of the Stanley Cup Finals is still too fresh in our mind. But let’s imagine for a second—about as long as Seahawks QB Tarvaris Jackson typically has in the pocket before getting flattened by an onrushing defensive end—this city’s reaction if the Seahawks actually lofted the Lombardi trophy this season. It’s been more than 30 years since we celebrated a major sports championship (sorry, Storm), so could all that pent-up frustration lead to storefront-smashing jubilation?

“‘Pent-up’ implies some passage of time,” says Joe Weis, a University of Washington sociology professor and onetime Seahawks season ticket holder. “Most people who are the type to riot wouldn’t be old enough to have endured all of those decades of frustration.” In fact, he says, a postvictory melee would more likely be influenced by under-the-influence meatheads. Take a walk through Pioneer Square after any game if you don’t believe we have our share of those. “Once you get hundreds of thousands of people out on the street, full of adrenaline and alcohol and other substances—and when most of them are young males—you’re just looking for trouble.”

Mike Gastineau, 950 KJR’s evening drive-time host, says he’d like to believe Seattle fans are too smart to get that nuts, but he’s realistic. “We always say sports are a reflection of society. Well, society right now is kind of frustrated. And it doesn’t take but a few knuckleheads to start something.”

Filed under
Show Comments