One thing I do miss about the time my husband spent playing football, is game day. I know for my husband, game day was a culmination of practicing, time away from family and film watching; everything led up to Sunday. His skills were put to test and it was time to sink or swim. As soon as he pulled his car into the stadium on game day, he was in GO mode and he channeled all of that anticipation and energy into his performance on the field. There is nothing that compares to game day. But what about little ol’ me? How did I prepare for game day? Let me take you on a journey... a game day with the FabVMom.
First, things, FIRST:
I started off by waking up at 8:00am. Before I ever realized that my four-year-old, two-year-old and one-year-old daughters did not care about football, I brought them by myself to EVERY GAME. The game would normally start at 1:00pm and I wanted to be there an hour early to get settled with the kids. Therefore, I needed to leave by 11:30am to get to the stadium by noon, and I had to be in full makeup, dressed to the nines and my kids needed to look equally as chic. So… an 8:00am wake-up time was mandatory, (because the player’s wife MUST come through and represent. That was a handful to write and even more of a mouthful to say). Are you tired yet?
There I was running around frantic, putting my girls in custom blinged-out “TRUFANT” jerseys with tutus and sparkly Chuck Taylor's. I made sure they had matching bows and their hair was styled to perfection. I was in a complete sweat trying to fully beat my face, complete with full Seahawk-themed eyeshadow, false eyelashes, glitter for days. I spent way too much time curling my hair and then I would put on my matching blinged-out “TRUFANT 23” jersey that had over a thousand Swarovski crystals on it, made by Leah Miller, the Diamond Duchess herself. To top it all off, I would throw on my 6" Louboutin heels with a 2 1/2" platform. After packing diaper bags, snacks, bottles and a big ol’ stroller, it was time to head to the game. In hindsight, I do not know how the heck I did it. Even more baffling, how the HELL did I walk in those shoes? After my third baby, Marcus decided to make it easier for me to bring the kids. He started having a car pick me up so I did not have to drive. After the game, the kids and I would ride home with him.
Driving toward Century Link field was always exciting to me. As soon as you got near the exit, you could see my husband’s larger-than-life picture plastered on the outside of the stadium. It was super cool and quite the honor. The driver would pull into the player parking lot, where the attendant would always greet me with a cheery, "Hey, Mrs. Trufant.". The driver would drop us off near the elevator and then the real work would begin.
Picture me… walking through the stadium halls with 6" heels, pushing a double-stroller with two kids inside and a kick-board on the back with another. A diaper bag, a huge purse, face full of makeup, big hair and a blindingly sparkly jersey, (I think I blended in quite well). On the outside, I SLAYED the stadium hallways. All the attendants would wave and admire our bedazzled jerseys. I would get stares and hear whispers, "That's Marcus Trufant's wife!" Heck yeah I'm his wife and I'm doing the dxxn thing! Now on the inside… sweat would be rolling down my back from being so hot in my jersey, I was one ankle-roll away from breaking my neck and I was having a small panic attack, because my kids were acting crazy. But I would never let you see me sweat. I was too cool!
Once I got to the suite… yes, I said suite, (I know, lucky me right)?! I was blessed enough to sit in Marcus' suite every game for 10 years. Once I calmed my nerves, stopped sweating and got the kids settled, I would watch the players warm up.
The players would start their warm-up by coming out of the Seahawk tunnel in groups. Marcus always came out with the defensive backs, because he played a defensive cornerback. There would be about an hour before kick-off, more and more people would continue to file into the stadium. It’s not full, but you could feel the energy. The music was blasting, the crowd cheered as the Hawks came out, (and of course they’d “boo” the opposite team). Once the warm-up ended, the guys would huddle up and then exit the field. The pre-game ritual would start with the cheerleaders dancing, some announcements and then...The Seahawks entrance music starts, "Bittersweet Symphony," by the Verve, (volume up)!
Okay, now close your eyes and imagine- wait! Finish my blog first, then close your eyes and imagine.
As soon as that first eight counts of violin strings started to play, the energy would change. It was like someone was slowly shaking a can of unopened soda that was just waiting to explode. I immediately would get goosebumps, because I knew it was game time. As the music built and they played highlights of past games, the crowd would get louder, louder. The 12th Man was on their feet, dressed all in green and blue, waving Seahawk towels, high-fives and yelling. What is the 12th Man, you ask? The 12th Man is only the greatest, most intense, most loyal, energetic and LOUDEST fan in the NFL. The 12th Man got their name, because when they make their presence known it's so overwhelmingly strong it's like they are the 12th man on the field. The 12th Man, (or player) is you. They are the heartbeat of the Seattle Seahawks, the electricity in Century Link stadium. They start to come alive. The music builds and builds and builds until there is one final note held... and then... the Seahawk, named Taima, flies out of the tunnel.
All of the sudden, the shaken can of soda, which is the 12th Man, is opened and explodes! Fireworks, bangs, booms and smoke fill the stadium. The first round of players come flying out of the tunnel. When I say the 12th roars, I mean they roar!! I am not kidding when I say the cheering is so loud that my ears feel like they are going to bust and the entire stadium shakes. It is incredible! You really have to experience it to believe it. It is like nothing you have ever seen or felt. At this point, my entire being is in a euphoric state; there is something about the energy in the stadium, mixed with the fact that my husband is about to run through that tunnel, that gives me a high and makes me so proud. The announcer starts calling the names of the starting defense and whatever I was doing in that moment, I pause and go right to the front of the suite. Marcus' name would be called. Gathering my kids, I would point to the big screen and say, "Look, look, daddy's coming out soon."
(Announcer) "At starting cornerback, from Washington State University, MARCUS TRUFANT!"
His picture would pop up on the big screen, the crowd would go wild. You could hear people yelling TRUUUUUUUUUU, (which also sounds a lot like boo when shouted by thousands of people at one time, Haha)! At that very moment, all the time he has spent practicing, all the sacrifices he has made to be the best player possible, is celebrated by 67,000 people. Marcus is not one to show boat, once his name was called he would simply throw up his number one sign and take off out of the tunnel into the stadium. I always loved that moment for him. It was so special to me. That was my husband, my mild-mannered, number one dad to three girls, representing his team, his city, his family… in the NFL. The chills would shoot down my body once again.
After the final player’s name is called, the U.S National Anthem would be played and the 12th Man flag would be raised. I would exhale… until kick off.
During the game, I had an array of emotions. I would be up and down, pacing or nervously shaking my leg. I would be hanging out of the suite, screaming my head off and high-fives with strangers on a good play. I would jump up and down screaming so loud that I would get light-headed on an awesome play. I would pray when we were down and turn right around and curse like a sailor if I did not like a call. I had true potty-mouth on game days... well, I pretty much have that everyday. But I would say it was more masculine on game day. Haha. As a wife, I felt different emotions for my husband. I wanted him to play his best. Every play where he went up against a wide receiver, I hoped he would get an interception or even a pick 6. It gave me great joy when he would shut the wide receiver down. Also, as a wife, I prayed he did not get hurt. The plays when he would be slow to get up, I would instantly say, "Oh God," and hold my breath until I knew he was okay. I wanted the Seahawks to win, but I personally wanted my husband to win too. When they won, but my husband did not have his best game, I would have a little bit of sadness, even though they got the W. I was my husband’s biggest cheerleader.
Once the game was over, if we won, I would leave out of the suite celebrating and dancing. The entire stadium would be on fire. Everyone was extra happy, (and extra tipsy) continuing their high-fives and hugs everywhere you turned. If we lost… well, I would leave the suite disappointed. The games that were especially tough, sometimes heartbroken. But that feeling would fade with the excitement of knowing I was getting ready to see my husband. I knew the kids and I needed to be his bright light, we needed to make him smile and let him know he was going home to be loved on and spoiled by us. I would anxiously wait for him in the family waiting area. The girls would be running around crazy and I would watch, one-by-one, the players come out and greet their families. Of course, my SLOWER THAN SLOW husband would be one of the last guys out of the locker room.
When he would come out, everyone would run up to him to say hi, good game and shake his hand. The girls would go running up to him, yelling, “daddy” and jump all over him. I would slowly walk toward him and I would wait until we locked eyes. Once that happened, he would pause whatever he was doing and say,"Hey mama," And give me a kiss. Marcus, the kids, and I would then say our goodbyes, pack up, hop into his car and drive home as a family. Game day- over.
A game day experience, through the eyes of FabVMom.