The Subject That Dominates My Facebook Newsfeed the Most

Of course there are times where I know that the content on my Facebook newsfeed is going to go a certain direction with my friends all posting about a similar subject. National tragedies, holidays, important votes or elections, and big moments in reality TV always transform my newsfeed into a vertical homogeneous collection of similar editorials, rants, and analysis. However, once the autumn season comes around, I can always count on my feed getting dominated by a certain subject each Sunday (and sometimes Monday).

By far the most popular subject that I routinely see posted on Facebook via my newsfeed on a consistent basis is the Seattle Seahawks. If you are reading this, I think this should come as a surprise to many of you. I mean come on, a sports team claims the title for taking over my newsfeed in the most passionate and routine fashion? And not only that, but the sports team happens to be a squad other than the Montana Grizzlies? A little shocking for sure.

I am not kidding you though. For the couple hours leading up to each game the Seahawks play in through the three hour game and then peaking like crazy for two hours after it, my newsfeed is blitzed with content related to the SEAHAWKS. It is not like these statuses are passive, lighthearted “Go Hawks” statements either. My friends get absolutely crazy on Facebook for the team and pretty much go unfiltered on what they post. It gets rather intense.

The Seattle Seahawks routinely take over my newsfeed.

The Seattle Seahawks routinely take over my newsfeed.

Of course I grew up in Washington state and many of my Facebook friends are from the Spokane area. Also, the state of Montana has no professional football team (or any sports team for that matter) so many people choose the Seattle Seahawks as their team of choice. But I still don’t think these two things alone explain entirely why each Seahawk game is such a huge deal socially. I grew up a dedicated Seattle Seahawks fan but I know for a fact that many of the people I knew at that time did not share my same passion. If Facebook existed back when I lived in Washington I know my newsfeed would not look the same that it does today.

I am pretty sure I know the real reason why I see the proliferation of Hawks posts each Sunday. Actually, let me rephrase that and say I know the reasons, because there are two. First off, the Seahawks are a winning team. Back when I lived in Spokane I locked myself in my room after each Seahawk game because I became so enraged with the way they came up with to lose the game that particular Sunday. Not so anymore. Winning solves all problems and can make a fan out of anyone.

BUT, the main reason why I think I see the crazy amount of Facebook interest each week for the Seahawks is because of the immense interest in the NFL in general. As I have written about before, it is ridiculous how popular the National Football League is. The league absolutely captivates the nation for 20+ weeks each year. Ratings and revenue go through the roof for the NFL. This mania for the league extends to each team and is funneled out to each geographic region. Of course, this interest in each geographic region is then reflected through social media. Case and point why my Facebook newsfeed, composed mainly of friends from Washington state and western Montana, gets taken over by content related to the Seattle Seahawks.

In two hours my favorite NFL team will take on the hated San Francisco 49ers in a primetime Sunday Night game. I already see the status updates popping up on my newsfeed presently but that is just a tiny preview of what is to come. Sunday night Facebook meeting Seattle Seahawk Sunday Night Football (against a rival) is going to result in a complete social media explosion. My Facebook newsfeed is going to be painted in blue and green but that is okay because I understand it….and I also love it. GO HAWKS! Don’t Blink.

Quit Blaming the Replacement Officials

While watching Monday Night Football this evening, I started to write my blog post that had no relation to the NFL or football whatsoever. After watching the ending of the Seahawks controversial victory over the Packers and watching Twitter absolutely blow up, I knew I had to dramatically switch course. Let’s talk real quick about these replacement officials.

All of us need to recognize something right now: None of us have any right whatsoever to take our anger out on the replacement refs. They have ventured into a near impossible situation. Most of these fill-ins were Division III officials last year. There is absolutely no comparison at all between a Whitworth Pirates vs. Pacific Lutheren Lutes game and a San Francisco 49ers vs. Minnesota Vikings game. Rules and game administration between the two levels are nowhere close to being on the same wavelength. If there is something that is similar between the two, than it is magnified 1,000x more in the NFL (everything from speed to athleticism to crowd size to intensity). To think that these officials could have an acceptable grasp on the highest level of football in the world after cramming for a summer is a joke.

Besides the major differences between the levels of football and besides the laughable amount of time they received to get acquainted with the NFL version, these men never had a chance to succeed. They got no respect from the players, coaches, or media. This of course translated into the officials getting no respect from fans. Every game I have watched this season, the announcing crew has made the officiating the focal point of the broadcast. Instead of focusing on player-related storylines, the talent on these broadcasting teams have focused all of their energy on criticizing the officials. When you get these analysts made up of mostly former players and coaches in the booth who have massive followings and larger than life personalities, they are going to sway the audience…especially when they say the same thing over and over for three hours. Over the past few weeks, I have wondered what fans would really think if they sat down and watched a whole game with the mute feature on. No way would they be as irate over the officiating.

I am mad at both the team owners and the NFL referees union for not coming to terms on a deal. Yes, the owners seem to be taking the cheap road by not meeting the demands of the referees when they are supposedly making millions and millions of dollars per team. And yes, the officials are entitled and they do feel that they are worth more than they actually are. I honestly feel that with more training, experience, and seasoning, these replacement officials could do a job on par with the locked out refs. Whenever two sides strongly disagree on issues, the best route to take is one of compromise, right? Can’t the owners and referees somehow sit down and hash something out? But who am I kidding, isn’t this what they have tried to do for several months now?

My main mission is just to get people to lighten up on the criticism of the replacement refs. I know right away that a “fan” is not very educated when they are directing their anger and insults towards the guys who have taken on such a momentous task. I really do hate to see people vilified for doing their best under uncontrollable circumstances, especially when their best is way beyond anything that you or I could ever do. Let’s realize that it is not the replacement officials who are making the most costly bad calls. Rather, it is the team owners who are too greedy to shell out a few extra bucks and the NFL referees who feel they are indispensable and who feel they should make a comfortable six figure salary for officiating sixteen games a year. There are more serious problems in this world. GO SEAHAWKS! Don’t Blink.