The age of petitions is upon us, and 710 ESPN Seattle’s Bob Stelton says it’s self-described “12s” – and not Seahawks fans – who are to blame.
A recent petition to ban Panthers quarterback Cam Newton from CenturyLink Field has pushed Stelton over the edge.
“They’re an embarrassment; you embarrass me,” Stelton said. “I’m a Seahawks fan and I’m embarrassed to be attached, associated in any way shape or form. There’s where I draw the distinction between a 12 and a Seahawks fan.”
In Stelton’s mind, “12s” tend to be “irrational and completely unreasonable and at the same time feeling completely rational and reasonable.”
Stelton isn’t the only one shunning the petition against Newton, as it’s spawned an reaction that includes at least three change.org petitions (here and here), including one created by Danny O’Neil, plus a Deadspin article mocking Seahawks fans.
Stelton, who has also worked in Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles, said this kind of fandom happens in other markets, but not to this extent.
“You get the whiny, vocal minority in any fanbase that thinks the refs are out to get them, ‘The play-by-play guys are out to get us, they’re biased’ – you hear that everywhere,” he said. “But it is more prevalent here than anywhere else I’ve been.”
Although Mike Salk called the Newton petition “the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life,” he thinks a future of petitions fits with Seattle’s M.O.
“I feel like we’re just getting started. I feel like this is gonna be the way we handle all of our business in Seattle,” he said. “If you keep doing it, doesn’t eventually it become avant-garde and it’s fine? Like it’s sort of a joke, everything’s in tongue-in-cheek and you can start using petitions for everything that bothers you in your life.”