How I see things as a Buddhist Seahawks fan, by Michael McGrady

The following is how I see, in 500 words or less, things as a Buddhist Seahawks fan.

The Super Bowl this year is a good topic for the Buddhist who is a fan of either the Denver Broncos or the Seattle Seahawks. This is so because the two teams are populated by honorable and good men at all levels. I can say that the fan base for the Seattle Seahawks is happy the temperatures will be good in New Jersey because we did not want an advantage. Seahawks do not want anyone to be hurt. I have no doubt but that Denver players and fans generally have this same perspective.

The coach of the Seahawks is a man who is clearly affected by his Southern California roots and is known to encourage the players not to play the opponent but to play their own game.

On the defense, the Seahawks have the following overall plan: avoid big plays; hit the opponent hard on every play; get the ball (strip or intercept). On offense, the Seahawks have the following overall plan: hit the opponent hard on every play; make big plays; keep the ball (avoid strips and interceptions). This philosophy has the objective of winning the game in the fourth quarter, the only place the game can be won.

There is no chess match envisioned in this game. No trickery and no diversions from the Seahawks point of view.

The Seahawks will come out and do what they have, so far, learned to do. If it is good enough, and if fortunes fall their way enough, then they will win. Otherwise, they will lose. The Seahawks understand this and put the past and the future outside their practices and their planning. The best is what can be done. There is no reason to not keep improving and no reason to lament the point at which the development is.

Coach Carroll also has the view that the personnel you have is what you plan for and there is a lack of lamenting or excuses when players are hurt or face other untoward circumstances, like testing positive for marijuana use.

The game, in other words, is essentially a game that instructs the player, and the fans, to be the best they can be, focusing on themselves and not against anyone else. Not against the Denver players or fans generally. Not against any player in particular.

The game at its best, the Seahawk way, is the Zen of Sports, not unlike the famous book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Root for whom you like. Denver and Seattle have enough fans but welcome anyone, I would think, who is into the sport. We are grateful for the Denver fans and for the whole league. There is plenty of room for improvement but today, GO HAWKS!

About Michael McGrady:

I am a retired Buddhist who has practiced in the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism for over two decades. My perfect teacher is Tulku Anam Thubten Rinpoche, a teacher with the Dharmata Foundation out of Point Richmond, California. I played on the co-national champions (with USC) Naval Academy teams that had Roger Staubach as quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner in the early 1960s and semi-professional football in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I am now traveling around the country with a “safari” rig that includes a meditation sun house and an extensive library of Buddhist and other literature.

Read James Ure’s post on supporting the Broncos here and my musings on “why I gave up pro-football” and call for Op-Eds here.


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