What It’s Like to Live Amongst the 12th Man

space needle 12th manI’ve been in Seattle for a little over 2 months and I’ve learned two things super quickly:

1.) The Emerald city is crazy about composting garbage and recycling (it’s illegal to throw food scraps in your trash).

2.) Seattleites are absolutely INSANE about their Seattle Seahawks. I mean I get it, I’m a Bears fan through-n-through and I’ve always been the one decked out in my fan gear on Sundays. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to cheer for a defending champion NFL team. And although I’ve grown up in a sports city, the 12th man is a whole other animal that has truly encompassed the city. It’s blue and lime green all day EVERY day.

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It doesn’t matter where you go 12’s are EVERYWHERE. Small signs in every apartment window, large signs outside of professional buildings, people wearing their 12th man jerseys like they’re a legitimate player on the Seahawks roster and my personal favorite, the 12th man flag flies proudly atop the popular Space Needle lit with green and blue lights.

If you need more information about the 12th Man, don’t worry, they’ve got a website: http://www.seahawks.com/12th-Man/. Obviously, it doesn’t stop there.

12th man beerWhy not have a local beer dedicated to the fans of Seattle? The 12th Can from Ballard brewmasters Hilliard’s Beer was the answer to this problem. The brew was introduced in 2013.

 

 

12th blendWashington is a state is known for it’s delicious wine. It’s basically the first cousin to Napa Valley. So obviously, you’re going to have a few winos hanging around (myself included). What do you get when you put Seahawks fans and a wine label together? The “12th Blend” produced by Eye of the Needle Winery. It not only has a fun label 12th man fans adore, it also supports Northwest Harvest, a statewide, nonprofit hunger relief agency.

 

12 spiritsIf you’re not a beer or wine fan, don’t you fret. 12th Spirits has some harder Vodka and Gin options for you as well. So basically, no matter what you’re drinking you can always incorporate the 12th man.

 

 

Why stop at booze? The 12th man is a part of daily life here in Washington. I think the next best option would be to decorate your home to show your support? This Ferndale homeowner originally only painted her front door lime green and her neighbors encouraged her to just go all out and incorporate the garage as well. All for the love of the Hawks.

 

12th man house

 

Seattle is also one of the most dog friendly cities in the US. The 12th man doesn’t care if you’re animal or human, all living beings are included in the majestic fan-hood. Take this golden retriever and her puppies for example.

12th man puppy

It’s not just the fans and their pets who have adopted this 12th Man persona, but the team itself is onboard.

Team waving flagBefore every game the 12th Man flag is raised by a player or some sort of celebrity and it is an HONOR in this neck of the woods. Coach Pete Carroll, Quarterback Russell Wilson and the crazy talented and outspoken cornerback Richard Sherman always acknowledge the 12th man in their post game interviews as well.

As an outsider, I think the fact that the city is so supportive of their NFL fans is fantastic. I hope the Bears will actually win a Superbowl in my lifetime and Chicago embraces the obnoxious and amazing fandom.

However, my one qualm is the 12 jerseys. There are so many crazy talented players on the Seahawks your options are endless for jersey choices. Go get yourself a Wilson or Chancellor jersey, otherwise you just look silly (unless you’re a fluffy pup, then it doesn’t really matter what jersey you wear).

So bring on the Superbowl Seahawks. My Bears gear has been put away until next season and I’m hopping on the Superbowl bandwagon with my Seahawks baseball cap. I’m ready to experience what it’s like to win a Championship in the city of the 12th man. Give it to me Seattle 🙂

Two Stars and One Superhero Superbowl Bet

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If you’re going to make a bet for the biggest sporting event in the United States, it better have “Super” proportions. In terms of American pride, it doesn’t get much better than the Superbowl and this year the defending champion Seattle Seahawks are about to battle it out with the New England Patriots. For many people (mostly those of us who’s teams aren’t playing in the big game) the Superbowl is an opportunity to place some bets for cash, maybe buy a few squares, or you can go all out in Vegas with the big dogs. It is rare that a bet making headlines has nothing to do with cash, but rather volunteering at a Children’s Hospital.

Here is the winning combination for a Superbowl bet:

Two actors who play Superheroes + NFL Fandom + Stakes that tug at your heart strings = Perfection

Chris Pratt (Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy) is a Washington native and a passionate member of Seattle’s 12th man crew. On the other side of this bet is Chris Evans (Captain America) a die-hard Patriots fan. The two started a bit of a back-and-forth on twitter Tuesday which resulted in a rather epic Superbowl bet involving Superheros and giving back to the Children’s Hospitals. Check out how it all went down.

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Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 11.13.27 PMScreen Shot 2015-01-21 at 11.08.50 PMI think, regardless of what happens this is a bet where everyone ends up winning in the end. Hopefully, both Children’s hospitals get visits from both Superheroes.

NFL Referees Are Baaaaack

I’ll see you on Sunday says Ed Hochuli

After three months of excruciating negotiations and an insane amount of scrutiny the NFL and the NFL Referees Association have reached a tentative agreement it only took one of the most chaotic displays of officiating in NFL history during this week’s Monday Night Football debacle between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers to speed things up a bit. Lock-out over! Let the football fanatics rejoice!

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell provided an apology this Thursday morning saying, “Something like this, it’s painful for everybody. Most importantly, it’s painful for fans. We’re sorry to have to put fans through that.” Goodell said that, as a fan of the NFL, he’d never want to see a game marred by officiating as Monday’s clearly was.

Here’s what happened: There were eight seconds left on the clock. Seahawks QB Russel Wilson scrambles outside of the pocket, throws a 24 yard pass in Golden Tate’s direction. Green Bay’s Greg Jennings jumps up in the end zone and catches the ball, Tate also jumps and gets his hands on the ball. The two land on the ground fighting and rolling for the ball. The refs call it a touchdown declaring a win for the Seahawks. HOWEVER before any ball was caught Tate committed some SERIOUS pass interference – which he has even admitted to after watching the replay. The real issue was that the two refs (confused in the photo below) were both blind enough to miss Tate push the crap out of the Green Bay defender. Had the initial correct penalty been called, there would have been no argument regarding the touchdown because time was out.

Caught on camera to remember forever

The fury over the replacement refs even got attention from the White House when President Obama tweeted earlier this week, “NFL fans on both sides of the aisle hope the refs’ lockout is settled soon.”

Thankfully, regular union referees will be on the field in Baltimore tonight when the Ravens face the Cleveland Browns. Hopefully they can get things right.

The NFLRA were seeking improved salaries and retirement benefits in their negotiations with the NFL during the lockout. They worked out the kinks in the benefits and 401(k) business and also discussed compensation. Who knew pay day was so nice for union referees? Compensation will increase from an average of $149,000 a year in 2011 to $173,000 in 2013, rising to $205,000 by 2019. Sign me up!

See ya replacement refs – it’s been real, but it hasn’t been real great.