The 12th Man phenomenon is making its voice heard outside CenturyLink. Turns out Seahawks fans can make noise far beyond Seattle’s city limits or even our state’s borders.
Trust me. I heard it loud and clear in recent weeks.
I vacationed in Maui and Moscow – Idaho, not Russia – for Seahawks games the past few Sundays. On the Hawaiian island of Maui, because of the three-hour time difference, I found myself bellying up to bars on back-to-back Sunday mornings to catch early Seattle games. For the Seattle-Carolina contest, the biggest and most vocal knot of NFL fans sat in one corner cheering for the Seahawks. Plenty of other fans were scattered around the bar with their Bloody Marys, Mimosas and Longboard lagers cheering on other teams, but Hawks fans were considerably louder for that 10 a.m. game.
The next Sunday, I found myself at an outdoor hotel bar nursing an OJ (that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it) at 7 a.m. for the Seattle-Houston game. Again, Seahawks fans were the most numerous and vocal. They probably numbered about 20 among approximately 60 total patrons. Many wore Seahawks jerseys and caps. The 12th Man stayed fairly quiet as the Texans dominated the first half, then seemed to take over the bar while the Seahawks took over the game in the second half.
Obviously, it never approached CenturyLink’s record-setting decibel level but it was loud as the clock passed 10 a.m. One young Seahawks fan seemed to be the self-appointed cheerleader for the group, and by the time Richard Sherman ran back an interception into the end zone with one shoe, he had his whole gang on its feet, screaming.
Then the game went into overtime and things got crazy. Tables shook. Beers tipped. All eyes seemed to be on the Seahawks-Texans game, even though every other live NFL game was on TV somewhere in the same bar. As the winning Steven Hauschka field goal gave Seattle the dramatic victory, a Seahawks fan celebrated by diving into the nearby hotel pool.
Unfortunately, the pool was only 3-feet deep. Fortunately, he escaped serious injury, but reportedly had to get stitches to close a wound on his head.
Last Sunday, I found a much quieter scene at a bar in Moscow, Idaho, watching the 10 a.m. Seattle-Indianapolis game. No one seemed to be paying much attention to the Seahawks game except for me and Theo Lawson, a senior Journalism student from the University of Idaho who interned with The Seattle Times last summer.
Or so I thought.
By the time the game ended, this time in disappointment for the Seahawks, I noticed two of the bartenders shaking their heads in disgust. One told me he usually works in one of the hotel’s restaurants, but asks to be reassigned on Seahawks game days.
All of which makes me wonder whether you’ve had similar experiences when you’re out of town watching the Seahawks. I’d like to hear your 12th Man stories, whether they are from Billings, Beijing or somewhere else. Email me at the address below or add your story in a comment on this post.
So let’s hear your out-of-town game stories, 12th Man.
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