Space Needle's big 12th Man symbol en route to Super Bowl
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The Associated Press
Seattle Seahawks fans sign a 25-foot by 35-foot 12th Man flag Wednesday near the Space Needle in Seattle.

Peninsula Daily News
news sources

SEATTLE — A big symbolic piece of the 12th Man is en route today to New Jersey in time for the Seattle Seahawks and the Super Bowl this Sunday.

The iconic 12th Man flag — symbol of Seahawks fans — was hoisted to the top of another Seattle icon, the Space Needle, above thousands of rallying fans at Seattle Center on Wednesday morning.

Then it was brought down to have fans sign it in a display at the base of the Needle.

At 4:30 p.m., the 25-foot-by-35-foot flag — the one flown atop the Space Needle for every recent playoff run — was taken by caravan to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to be flown to New Jersey.

For the first time, the 12th Man flag will tour New York City and New Jersey landmarks.

Then it will be given to the NFC champion team prior to Sunday's 3:30 p.m. kickoff between the Seahawks and AFC champion Denver Broncos.

As fitting for the 12th Man, there was bedlam and a lot of Seahawks symbolism in blue and green at Wednesday's pep rally — during a patented Seattle chilly drizzle, of course.

The costumed mascot Blitz, the Blue Thunder drum line, the Sea Gals cheer and dance team — including Port Townsend native Brita Guthrie — and former Seahawks players helped pump up fans for the big game.

Fans wore blue and green clothing, wigs and point; flew flags; held signs; and cheered loudly for “their” Seahawks.

“This has been the longest week of my life, waiting for this game on Sunday,” said one of the fans, Donovan Rhodes.

“I can't wait.”

The rally even melded championship accomplishment and hopes.

Lenny Wilkens, coach of the 1979 NBA champion Seattle SuperSonics, hoisted the 12th Man flag to the top of the Needle on Wednesday morning.

The flag flew for a short time before it was brought down for signatures and shipment to New Jersey.

“This group, they're anxious,” said an excited Wilkens, now 76.

“They can't wait for the game.”

Mayor Ed Murray took the stage and announced he would join the celebration by not reading a mayoral proclamation in its entirety aloud.

But he fired up the crowd with the summary: It is officially Seahawks Week in Seattle and the Northwest.

Now the super-question begs: Will a certain 12th Man flag fly out of the MetLife Stadium tunnel when the Seahawks take the field Sunday?

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Coming in Friday's PDN: 12 great North Olympic Peninsula places to watch the Super Bowl, where to hammer a minivan painted in Denver Broncos colors to smithereens and more Super Bowl preview information.

Last modified: January 29. 2014 7:14PM
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