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December 16, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Seahawk 12th Fan of the Week: Bill Sperry cheers from the South Pole

12fan of the week-cThe Seattle Times will highlight a 12th Fan of the Week throughout the season. Each fan will predict the outcome of the next Seahawks game against a Seattle celebrity and Times reporters and columnists.

Bill Sperry waves the 12th Man flag alongside national flags at his base at the South Pole.  Photo courtesy of Bill Sperry

Bill Sperry waves the 12th Man flag alongside national flags at his base at the South Pole.
Photo courtesy of Bill Sperry

Name: Bill Sperry

Age: 62

Resides: Seattle native lives at the Admunsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica, although his permanent home is Tolleson, Ariz.

Occupation: Electrician

School:  Kent-Meridian High School (1970), and Green River Community College

Family: Wife of 38 years Dianne; grown daughters Carrielyn and Katrina; two grandchildren.

Seahawks fan for:  Since the team’s inception in 1976.

Favorite Seahawk: All-time, former quarterback Jim Zorn, 1976-1984. “He was often compared to Fran Tarkington because Jim was a scrambler and escape artist, mostly because he had to be. Off the field Jim was and has been a great ambassador of the game and a great contributor to the community. We’ve seen him on several occasions fulfilling the dreams of young football fans through the Make-A-Wish Foundation and other charitable organizations.” He says his current favorite is quarterback Russell Wilson “for many of the same reasons … On the field, he is so fun to watch because of his high football IQ and his natural scrambling ability. Off the field his work in the community and his great character are a breath of fresh air in the world of sports celebrities.”

Bill Sperry shows his 12th Man spirit despite the cold and isolation of Antarctica.  Photos courtesy of Bill Sperry.

Bill Sperry shows his 12th Man spirit despite the cold and isolation of Antarctica.
Photos courtesy of Bill Sperry.

My story: Sperry worked as an electrician in the Puget Sound area for most of his career, but moved to the Phoenix area two years ago. That’s when he saw a job opening for work in Antarctica. On a lark, he applied for it with no expectations of ever hearing back. “Before I knew it, I was getting ready to go to the South Pole. So here I am for a second ‘summer’ season at Amundsen-Scott South Pole station. My job here is facilities maintenance, which means making sure all of the electrical systems are running well and getting the station ready for the winter season.”

Memorable moment: Seahawks’ victory over the Broncos in Super Bowl, though he was stationed in Antarctica and missed the game live. They sat down the next day to watch the replay and everyone agreed – including several Broncos fans – not to divulge the outcome. Bill already had learned of Seattle’s 43-8 victory, and played along when an avid Denver fan handed him tissues before the game started. At halftime, with the Seahawks ahead 22-0, Bill turned to the fan and offered the tissues. He responded “Denver would make a comeback in the second half.” When Percy Harvin returned the second-half kickoff back for a touchdown,  the Broncos fan was finally convinced his team was toast and “asked for the tissues.”

Fast facts: Loves jazz and plays alto and baritone sax.  … Asked about summers at the South Pole, he quips, “We are all the way up to minus-18 degrees and it is a dry cold!”

Prediction: Seahawks 13, Cardinals 10 – The Cards sputtered offensively under backup quarterback Drew Stanton, and now they’re down to their third-string quarterback, Ryan Lindley. But their defense is more than solid and will make it a close game.

Want to be 12th Fan of the Week? Tell your story via our interactive “Where in the World Are Seahawks Fans?” map, and check out how fans do every week against a celebrity picker and Seattle Times staffers in “Seahawks Pick ‘Em.”

 

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