THE PALIN BOWL: PACKERS-SEAHAWKS MATCHUP CREATES UNIQUE BUZZ IN ALASKA
by Kevin Scholla
This Sunday's NFC Championship game pits the top two teams in the conference against one another with the chance to play for a world title on the line. The heavyweight match-up speaks for itself. But, did you know it is also the Palin Bowl? The Palin/Heath Bowl to be more accurate. Either way the Green Bay-Seattle collision will be monitored very closely in the great state of Alaska.
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is a huge sports fan. That trait runs in the family. Chuck Heath Sr., her dad was a track coach. Palin's brother, Chuck Jr. played football at Idaho. Todd Palin is a championship snow machine driver. Palin herself won a state basketball title back when she was known as 'Sarah Barracuda'. Athletics are a huge part of life for the Palin clan. All are in agreement there. The difference lies in NFL rooting interests.
Ties to the Packers go way back. Chuck Heath Sr. played high school football with Green Bay great Jerry Kramer in Sandpoint, Idaho. The should be Hall of Famer reminisced on The Palin Update with Kevin Scholla saying Heath was "quite an athlete, a good pal, and a good friend of the family.” After graduation Heath followed Kramer's career with the Pack. Chuck Heath Jr. also became a Packer backer.
Last season during the Seahawks Super Bowl run, the Palins showed their true colors. Governor Palin, Todd, Piper, and little Trig are card carrying members of the Seattle Seahawks Fan Club. Palin posted a picture on social media of their membership cards. So, while the Heaths bleed Green and Gold, the Palins prefer the College Navy, Action Green, and Wolf Grey of the Seahawks.
Palin is no fairweather Johnson. Her support of the Seahawks didn't start with the club's recent success. Back in 2008 when Palin ran for veep, she proudly proclaimed herself a Seahawker even while the team was in the midst of a dreadful 4-12 campaign. Those Palins are a loyal bunch.
The Seahawks and Packers make perfect sense for the Palins and Heaths. Sure, Seattle is the closest team to Alaska and yes, the Jerry Kramer relationship fostered the Green Bay affection but today's teams fit these families. The Seahawks roster is chock full of Christians unafraid to express their faith. Seattle assistant coach Rocky Seto sent shockwaves throughout the secular community when he quipped before last year's Super Bowl that beating Denver would be great but “Jesus is still better.” Very Palinesque. The Packers like the Heaths are tough outdoorsmen. Rugged guys who thrive in the cold. Green Bay like the Heaths puts a premium on family. The Packers are the only community-owned franchise in the NFL.
So, It is on. Not only at Centurylink Field but in Alaska too. From Wasilla to Anchorage eyes will be glued to the crucial contest.
On Sunday the Seahawks or Packers will take the NFC crown. One great family will be watching this last conference game before the Super Bowl in The Last Frontier with particular interest. These squads are the class of the NFC. Seeds one and two fighting it out for the big prize. The politically correct thing to say would be -- may the best team win. As a Bears fan though, that's not going to happen. Go Seahawks! Something else I agree with Sarah Palin on. Imagine that.