People just don’t go through the trouble of trying to visit NFL stadiums the way they do MLB parks. And it’s easy to understand why: most NFL stadiums are built for size and utility, not for character and distinctiveness. From the ’60s-’80s, baseball and football parks were often one and the same. And these multi-use facilities were often bland, cookie cutter, perfectly symmetrical, and about as interesting to look at as the most austere building that the Bauhaus school ever produced.
But today, “less is more” only applies to the gridiron cathedrals. In baseball, there’s been an emphasis, perhaps a dysfunctional obsession, with quirkiness. So while the Mariners’ home, Safeco Field has quirkiness, Qwest Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks is more straight edge.
So I took a tour of the place that now serves as refuge for Pete Carroll, as he fled here to avoid NCAA sanctions at USC
By Paul M. Banks
This place is known as home of the “12th man,” so I made sure to check out the spirit of the 12 Wall. It’s easy to see why the Seahawks have such a great home field advantage- it’s FAR! Seattle is just really far away from most of the country. A direct flight from Chicago is close to five hours if you have a strong tailwind.
Seattle is so far, there’s grunge band albums still being shipped to the rest of the country.
But Qwest Field is scenic, especially on a sunny day. And I took in a soccer match (yes, a soccer game, I actually sat through a soccer game in order to tour the Seahawks’ home) occurring during the only 6 hour stretch that I in which the sun was visible during my four days in the Pacific Northwest.
Yes, you’ve heard the stereotype about Seattle being rainy and gloomy. And the city certainly lived down to that perception while I was there. Now that I’ve brought up grunge music and rain, I’ll try to work in a reference to Starbucks and Microsoft. Then we’ll have all the “Jet City” stereotypes covered. (See what I just did there- that’s a Queensryche reference- didn’t see that one coming did you?)
But overall, Qwest is a wonderful place to visit, even if it’s in the part of the country boasting the nation’s highest suicide rate. The clock tower by the entrance is charming, and I half expected a Delorean to come racing by the entrance ramp, hoping to absorb 1.21 Jigawatts.
And this photo below of the Seattle skyline is postcard worthy.
Written by Paul M. Banks, President and CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest focused webzine. He is also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, the Chicago Tribune’s blog network, Walter Football.com, the Washington Times Communities, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com
You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank and @bigtenguru
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