Commentary

Surprising Seattle boost in S. America

Updated: November 16, 2011, 12:16 PM ET
By Duff McKagan | Special to ESPN.com

I write to you this fine Sunday from a plane that is en route from Santiago, Chile, to Sao Paulo, Brazil. I'm down here with Loaded playing a few big rock festivals -- as, of course, spring is giving way to summer in the southern hemisphere.

On this very plane, we have pretty much all of the bands that played last night: Megadeth, Alice In Chains, Faith No More and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. The band Down also played, but inexplicably they are all on a different flight that has a layover in Buenos Aires.

Maybe it is because lead singer Phil Anselmo knows there is a sports bar at the Buenos Aires airport that will have on his beloved New Orleans Saints? Anselmo would indeed go that far out of his way to find a place to catch that game (he grumbled something about an NFC South rivalry with the Atlanta Falcons).

I don't care, and I personally can't find myself getting excited about the NFL. My woeful, dang Seattle Seahawks haven't given me much to go on here; and that is saying a lot. I've stuck with them every year since that franchise began, and now only feel myself being jealous when our drummer sneaks off to some Irish pub in Santiago, all excited to see his Oakland Raiders play the San Diego Chargers.

I didn't even know who the Hawks were playing this week. Yes, yes … I could look it up on the Internet, but the one extra "click" that I'd have to make just seems like a bad idea. What, do I really want to see who is gonna shut down our running-game-only team this week? Simple answer is … no.

This mood is a perfect example of just how far off the mental tracks that a bad football or baseball season can pull me askew. I mean, crap! I'm out here playing dang, big, old rock shows all over the planet, and I still can't get clear of my fandom.

Last night, there were something like 50,000 Chilean rock fans at this Maquinaria Rock Festival that we all played. Even with all of that crazy South American rock energy at this huge outside horse racing track that we played at, I could tell there a little less "oomph" in their rock fandom. You see, Uruguay had just beaten Chile in soccer earlier that day, and it was like there was something not too far from actual mourning going on at that venue we played. I guess it is kind of like what I am going through with my quarterback-challenged Seahawks.

And after that dismal Seattle Mariners season and the Washington Huskies just getting spanked by USC … I'm like a man without a country. A fan without a team with at least a chance to win something.

And just as everything seemed right at its most dire, I arrive at my hotel and connect to the Internet. I first check on my Alice in Chains charity league fantasy team to see that I am somehow going to win another week. After starting 0-5, I am suddenly 4-6.

OK. Now it was time to check the NFL scores and, I thought, time to face the awful score I was sure to see. I mean, heck … the Seahawks were playing the (then-) AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens, and we were sure to be getting our behinds handed to us.

But, no. Somehow, and some way … running back Marshawn Lynch found his way around and through Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and his crew of defensive bruisers. Seahawks win. Seahawks win! The drudgery and hustle of this tour somehow all seemed less overwhelming as I basked alone in my hotel room.

But Phil Anselmo may have another take, and perhaps I can even latch on to his spirit for the Saints for the remainder of the season. Or maybe, I can latch onto the Tennessee Titans? I mean, they do have Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker (two very "Seattle" guys).

Musician Duff McKagan, who writes for Seattle Weekly, has written for Playboy.com and has his autobiography out now, writes a weekly sports column for ESPN.com. To send him a note, click here and fill out the form.

Michael "Duff" McKagan, a founding member of Guns N' Roses, writes a weekly column for Playbook Sounds and is a passionate sports fan. McKagan is currently playing in Loaded and Velvet Revolver, is a prolific writer, including an autobiography, "It's So Easy: And Other Lies."