By Julie Muhlstein Herald Columnist
Her Christmas tree is still up, decked out with Seahawks ornaments and blue and green lights.
Her TV room, filled with Hawks memorabilia, has two LG big screens, a 65-inch and a 50-inch, on adjacent walls.
Her bathroom decor is Seahawks blue and green, but it’s more specific. Russell Wilson is the theme, and the quarterback’s images cover the bathroom.
Debra Hindman’s Mill Creek-area house looks ready for the biggest Super Bowl party around. But this 12th Woman is not home.
“I have my Super Bowl ticket in my hot little hands. Let’s Do This … Go Hawks … Taking over NY/NJ!!!” Hindman, 41, posted on her Facebook page from New York on Thursday night.
Never mind that she paid $2,000 for her $1,500 face-value ticket to today’s Seahawks-Broncos battle, where she’ll be in the 100 level of MetLife Stadium.
Never mind that she spent more than $25,000 to take her parents and her brother to Detroit in 2006, when the Seahawks lost Super Bowl XL to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
No matter what, Hindman was determined to support her Seahawks at Super Bowl XLVIII. She had no doubt the team would make it to today’s game. “I bought my airfare a couple months ago,” she said before boarding her flight early Thursday.
Win or lose, and for nearly all her life, this team has been her pride and joy.
“I was almost born into it,” said Hindman, who is single and has no children. She works for King County Juvenile Detention. “From the time I was a little, little kid, I remember Jim Zorn and Steve Largent at training camp. My parents would take us.”
Joan and George Hindman, of Lake Forest Park, were among the first Seahawks season-ticket holders in 1976. In their daughter’s house is a large photo of the Kingdome implosion. Debra Hindman has had her own season tickets since 1999.
She was featured in this column in 2013 when she followed the Hawks’ postseason journey. Without coming home, she saw the team’s 2013 playoffs win over the Redskins in Washington, D.C., and the loss soon after to the Atlanta Falcons.
There’s a difference this year. Hindman can feel it. “There’s an electricity. They have a drive,” she said. “Last year, in the last 30 seconds of the Atlanta game, it felt like it was not our time — it’s next year.”
She just knows her team will win today.
During this year’s playoffs, using social media and her Hawks fan friends and connections, Hindman set up Seahawks rallies at bars all over Washington. Hundreds of fans showed up for rallies she organized in Lynnwood, Mukilteo, Monroe, Shoreline, Seattle, Tacoma, Federal Way, Bremerton, Mount Vernon, Spokane, and Vancouver, Wash. Some rallies included appearances by the Seattle Sea Gals or “Blitz,” the Seahawks mascot.
From New York on Friday, Hindman was still at it, using a Facebook post to gather fans: “Hard Rock 12th Man Take Over 10 p.m. tonight.” She’s with friends, about 75 of them, who are also crazy about the Seahawks — although probably not Deb Hindman’s level of super-fandom.
While packing Wednesday, she was still trying to decide which jersey to wear for today’s game. The 12? Or the Richard Sherman? Her jerseys aren’t washed between games, so they smell a bit gamy. “I can’t keep them in my closet,” she said.
There wasn’t much in her pile ready to be packed that wasn’t Hawks garb. “What stays and what goes?” she said, trying to decide. For sure she was taking “Bronco Buster” shirts, special-ordered from Imperial Screen Printing in Sunnyside, along with hand warmers, Seahawks stickers, and a team-colors tutu she planned to wear around New York but not to the game.
“I usually host a party here,” she said Wednesday, looking around her TV room where a Hawks helmet signed by players was on display in a glass case. To think of being far from the Seahawks’ home, she was a tad wistful.
Yet Hindman had to be there — not here — to show her Seahawks how much she cares.
“They’re humble people, the people on this team,” she said. “They make you feel part of the team. They always say thanks to the fans.”
Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; firstname.lastname@example.org.