An Open Letter To The Seattle Seahawks And Their Fans - By Neal Coolong

Steelers Fever Exclusive Editorial

Welcome to the Super Bowl, Seattle fans.

Just as we have said to the fans of the Steelers opponents before you guys, congratulations on your success. The Seahawks were able to defeat Carolina in the NFC Championship game - a team whose fourth running back played most of the game. We understand the sheer coaching genius behind shutting down a wide receiver on the road without a running game.

But never mind that. It's a good time for the people in Seattle to be excited. With nothing else to celebrate in recent years other than coffee, the memory of grunge music and moderate Mariners success, this is clearly a step up in current events.

In fact, the last sports memory the good people of Seattle can celebrate is Matt Hasselbeck proudly proclaiming "We want the ball, and we're gonna score!" against Green Bay in the 2003 playoffs. The next four minutes the Seahawks had the ball had to be some of the best times in franchise history.

Nevermind the fact Hasselbeck threw an interception on that drive which was returned for a season-ending touchdown. We won't even bother to bring up how Bobby Engram dropped a would-be game-winning touchdown pass against the Rams in the 2004 playoffs. They should be rightfully proud, no matter how spotty their career playoff record is.

In the spirit of being hospitable to all the Seahawks fans, we would like to offer one suggestion: You're better off dropping the whole "we're underrated and no one knows us" bit. As entertaining and utterly pointless as this argument is, you're really just wasting time. Just accept the fact your team doesn't get as much love as, say, the Colts or the Patriots, because no one else does. We in Steelers Nation would like to remind you that the Seahawks and Undeserving MVP Shaun Alexander were on the cover of ESPN The Magazine this year, and the Steelers weren't even picked to win their own division.

In that same light, please lay to rest the term "East Coast Bias." Pittsburgh may or may not be considered part of the East Coast. Detroit is not on the East Coast. Therefore, that argument has no basis here, whatsoever.

We will applaud you, however, for your tradition of raising the "12th man" flag before home games at Qwest Field. This is as inspiring as someone yelling "Gentlemen, start your engines!" to 120,000 rednecks at Daytona. It's enjoyable to rile up the lesser intelligent with such chicanery.

This concept doesn't exactly re-invent the wheel, though. Texas A&M University has already laid claim to the use of "the 12th man" device ("Home of the 12th Man"), and Steelers fans wave 65,000 flags at every home game, and around 20,000 every road game. They're called Terrible Towels.

The Seahawks take it a step further having retired the No. 12 from their team. No player in their history has ever done much wearing the No. 12 - or just about every other number, for that matter - but you retired it anyway. One of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the game wore No. 12 for the Steelers, and the franchise didn't retire his number. We don't need gimmicks to get our people in the door.

If these concepts confuse you, we have a simple remedy: pop some Soundgarden into your iPod, grab an umbrella and walk to a franchised coffee shop, all the while cursing the lack of respect you feel you deserve. We'll help you find it buried underneath the turf, along with your team, on Sunday.