“I’ve had it for 100 years,” Jordan joked about his shirt, with its image of the Pro Football Hall of Famer wearing No. 80. Largent’s now-retired number hangs at CenturyLink Field, along with No. 12 — that one for, well you know.
While 79-year-old Jordan went with a vintage look, Lois Livingston sported a brand new gray shirt, with Seattle Seahawks emblazoned on it.
“I’ll never forget Steve Largent and Jim Zorn,” said Livingston, who is 83. “My family, my husband and sons, were always into the Seahawks. Now I am.”
Seahawks fanaticism is at fever pitch. The commercials aired during games make it seem like all football fans are young guys. On TV, they’re eating pizza, driving trucks or drinking beer with buddies. But fans are everywhere, including in local retirement communities.
“We’re in a Hawks mood,” said Judith Strand, who works in community relations at Harbour Pointe Retirement and Assisted Living Community in Mukilteo. That’s where Jordan, Livingston and other Seahawks fans, all residents of the facility, got together Friday to share their excitement over this winning season.
“I wouldn’t miss it. It just makes me so happy,” Livingston said of today’s NFC title game, pitting the Seahawks against San Francisco’s 49ers. She’s a fan of Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, whose “beast mode” stole the show in last Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints.
Strand said a Seahawks celebration is set for this afternoon at Harbour Pointe Retirement, starting a half-hour before game time.
Patty and Dick Jenness, both 89, may pop in for the fun, but are likely to watch the game in their room, not in the communal TV area. Dick Jenness takes the Hawks so seriously he doesn’t want the distraction of friendly chatter during games. “I can’t get anybody to stop talking,” he said. The couple are California natives, and fans of UCLA and Cal football. Since moving here, they have come around to the Seahawks.
David Peterson, 81, also cheered for the Seahawks in the Kingdome, which was demolished in 2000. “I remember the wives of players sitting in front of us,” said Peterson, a retired high school teacher.
Fans are also stirred up about the Seahawks at the Josephine Sunset Home, an assisted living facility in Stanwood.
“The 12th Man is all ages,” said Teri Lindgren, Josephine Sunset Home’s nursing home administrator. On this championship game day, a nurse at the facility plans to bring in nachos and “near beer” for a Seahawks party, Lindgren said.
The beer will be the real thing, along with soft drinks, chips and dips, at a Seahawks party today in the TV room at Emeritus at Mill Creek, another retirement community.
“For every game, our crowd gets bigger,” said Judy Kewley, a life enrichment assistant at the facility that was formerly Merrill Gardens at Mill Creek. “They are really psyched for this game,” said Kewley, who stopped by last Sunday to watch the second half of the Seahawks-Saints game with residents.
“Lots of these folks have been to games,” Kewley said. “This is very nice for our residents. It’s a great thing.”
No one waited longer for championship seasons than these fans. Some have been “12th men” from the start, from that first game in the Kingdome. It was Aug. 1, 1976 — against the 49ers.
I know better than to ever call Spokane, my hometown, during a Seahawks game. My 90-year-old dad is one of those forever fans. You won’t see them on today’s commercials, but they have been loyal to their Hawks for a long time — win or lose.
It’s too soon to talk about that big game back east Feb. 2, but I had to ask — Super Bowl?
“I’m going to say yes,” Livingston said. “I’m going to stay positive.”
Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; firstname.lastname@example.org.