Super Bowl XLVIII week begins! Peninsula goes green, blue with 12th Man fever
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Dry Creek Elementary School students and staff form the classic symbol of fan pride, known as the “12th Man,” in Port Angeles.
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A 12th Man flag made by Teri Cummings and Hallie Walsh hangs from a crane along U.S. Highway 101 between Sequim and Port Angeles. Photo by Alan Stevens.
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The 12th Man flag flutters under the American flag on a mast atop the Elks Naval Lodge building in downtown Port Angeles early Saturday morning. Photo by Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News.
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Price Ford Lincoln general sales manager Mark Ostroot unwraps a 12-foot-long submarine sandwich at the Port Angeles auto dealership Saturday after winning a bet with a San Francisco-area auto dealership with the Seahawks’ win over the 49ers on Jan. 19. A selection of San Francisco chocolate was part of the bounty. Photo by Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News.

By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News

An all-encompassing spirit and passion surround the term “12th Man,” a collective concept referring to the Seattle Seahawks fan base.

Seahawks fans have been wearing No. 12 jerseys with “Fan” on the back, signaling their support of the 11 players on the field since the team's inception in 1976.

Seattle supporters have given the team the fortune of playing in arguably the two loudest stadiums in NFL history — first, the Kingdome, which reached volume levels so loud the league at one time created and enforced a penalty solely to punish “excessive” crowd noise.

Cantilevered roof arches larger than Boeing 747s cover the team's current home, CenturyLink Field, and work to trap the noise of the 12th Man and bounce it out toward the playing field.

This is also where seismographs have charted earthquake-like tremors during Marshawn Lynch carries, and where decibel levels reached a Guinness Book of World Records-earning 137.6 during a Monday Night Football match-up in December.

While important, the 12th Man phenomenon is more than just stadium crowd noise and the effect it has on the opposition.

It's developed into a shared sense of pride and devotion toward the team and the area Northwesterners call home.

Evidence can be found across the North Olympic Peninsula in the football jerseys, 12th Man sweatshirts and other licensed team apparel on display seemingly everywhere you look.

Schools, workplaces, construction sites — even the Jefferson County Courthouse clock tower — are in full 12th Man fan fever mode.

A 12th Man flag has flown from the tallest structure on the North Olympic Peninsula, the Elks Naval Lodge in downtown Port Angeles, through Seahawks seasons both thick and thin.

It's safe to venture there are plenty of area children refusing to wear anything but their Russell Wilson jersey or their “Beast Mode” T-shirt to bed or to school, despite pleas from their parents.

Although the Super Bowl between the Seahawks and the AFC champion Denver Broncos will be played all the way in New Jersey, the North Olympic Peninsula and the entire Pacific Northwest will be rocking beginning at game time, 3:30 p.m. next Sunday.

Go Hawks!

Last modified: January 25. 2014 6:26PM
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