Fishbowl fan vs being on the field

Jackie Haines and Hunter Mckenzie, Graphics Editor and Sports Editor



As you walk up to the G.R.E.E.N. line, you hear all of the screams, hoots and hollers of the nearly 5000 fans in the stands as you prepare yourself for the upcoming 48-minute-long brawl. During this time, you can think of only two things; One, that you are fully prepared to compete at your highest level, and two, that you are much more nervous than you thought that you would be, purely because of the large number of people who have shown up to watch you and your teammates play in what may be the biggest game of your high school career.

A persons perspective on the game changes from their freshman year to their senior year. Back in my freshman year, when we played in the Guppy Bowl, my only thought was setting the tone for the next four years, which we did, winning 42-0. Although there is not a trophy traded back and forth, the only prize is bragging rights, which we take very seriously. Sophomore year followed the same path, winning 37-6. That year’s Fishbowl was the first time that I played in the game. That one play on PAT gave me a feeling of insane accomplishment. The feeling that I got when I was on the field, knowing that I was being watched by thousands, was the kind of feeling that makes you feel sick to your stomach, but in a good way.

By the time that you make it to your junior or senior year, you finally begin to realize that big games like this are fleeting. Around this time is when you truly realize that you couldn’t care less about how your body feels, as long as you are giving your full effort not only for yourself, but for your brothers. Brothers who you have spent a minimum of four hours per day for the past four years with.

To describe the feeling of what it is like to play on the field during the biggest sporting event in all of Gig Harbor, is like trying to describe what what your first kiss was like, or what it felt like to have your first girl/boyfriend. the feeling is just beyond surreal. As soon as I saw my first Fishbowl when I was nine years old, I immediately knew that one day I would want nothing more than to be a big part of the community by playing in it.

Others may remember these kinds of games in different ways, but one thing that I know I will remember for the rest of my life, is the atmosphere. Take a second to listen to the song, “Boys of Fall” by Kenny Chesney. It describes it perfectly. It’s the smell popcorn from the stands, the cheering of the rowdy fans, the sound of my ears ringing after I knocked a player on the other side of the ball clean off his feet, the sight of Major Ali dragging a Gig Harbor player into the endzone and there was nothing that the poor Tide could do about it. That is what it is like to play in Fishbowl.


Walking into a sea of green and gold. Overwhelmed by hundreds of faces and volume that exceeds expectations. Yet in this roaring sea, a feeling of unity is felt. I find myself screaming and yelling, hugging and conversing with the fans standing next to me that are here for the very same reason. Fishbowl.

Fishbowl is a football game that brings the community together in a great rivalry. The rivalry stands between the Peninsula Seahawks and the Gig Harbor Tides. The only catch, as much as I would like to say it is all in fun, as a fan I must contradict that statement. Fishbowl is a whirlwind of intensity and at the end of the night whoever ends up on top wins bragging rights for the rest of the year. A prize both schools desire.

Keep in mind, Fishbowl does not just start when the referee blows the whistle to initiate the fierce game for seahawk fans, no, Fishbowl starts the moment you wake up. For myself, I might find my day going something like this. My alarm goes off and I go straight for my spirit gear that was laid out the night before. There is no such thing as too much when it comes to this game. Everything is green gold and white. This includes my facepaint, sparkles, shorts, shirt, scarf, headwear, socks, even my shoes. I put everything on with pride. I strut to my car and head off to school where I will be greeted by other fans with the same seahawk pride.

School normally feels as if the day takes a hundred years, but on this day it is even worse. All that anyone is talking about is the approaching game. Best part about school on Fishbowl is the extravagant assembly at the end of the day. Posters are everywhere. Students and teachers alike, all decked out in their Peninsula spirit gear. Continuous noise runs throughout the gym. The cheerleaders get ready with their cheers. ASB gets us pumped with a bad to the bone video and then John Selfors, our marketing teacher, and one of the coaches of the football team calls out the seniors for this season. One by one they all come out. The assembly concludes. My hands are so red and sore from clapping but it was worth it. Now I head home to wait for the game.

Showing up for fishbowl an hour and a half early just so I can insure a spot for myself in the already quite filled parking lot. Walking into the stands, I am greeted by others who had done the same as I had. Waiting for the game strikes up nerves and excitement. The anticipation is killing me. Eric Wang comes onto the speaker and informs us that the game will start in 5 minutes. I am so ready to kick some booty. The whistle blows to kickoff the game; almost instantly you can no longer hear your own voice. Your single voice becomes drowned out by the other hundreds voices of the other fans screaming and cheering on our boys. Fishbowl has a way of absorbing you. All you can think of is tackle him, make a touchdown, get a first down, interceptions, penalties and winning. I find myself becoming that overly involved fan yelling at the ref for bad calls. Yelling at the fans to cheer with me. Yelling at the tide football players on the field even though I know they can not hear my banter of trash talk. The goal of being a fan at fishbowl to me is to lose your voice because if you do not then you were not yelling hard enough.
The game ends. Unfortunately this year, the Seahawks did not come out on top losing by only one point. But even though losing is hard, to be apart of the roaring sea of green and gold, knowing that we gave it our all and knowing that I helped in supporting our boys on the field. You realize that winning is no longer as important as the unity that you felt that day. As a fan, it is really easy to become wrapped up in the intensity of fishbowl, but at the end of the night, it is the best game of the season to be a Seahawk fan no matter the outcome. This is what its like to be a fan at fishbowl.