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12th man for the job: Seahawks fans planning rally at Deception Pass
Jason Park considers his blue and green Seattle Seahawks bracelet among his most treasured possessions.
There’s a sentimental attachment because it was made by his stepdaughter. But its value steeped in superstition far outweighs all others.
Park has worn the bracelet for every home Seahawks game the last two seasons, but couldn’t find it last Sunday when Seattle lost to the Arizona Cardinals for its first home loss in two years.
“Whenever there was a commercial break, he was trying to find it,” said his wife Drea Park.
The bracelet was later discovered and will be back on Park’s wrist this Sunday when the Seahawks play host to the St. Louis Rams and try to secure the NFC West title and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Parks are among the many frenzied Seahawks fans on Whidbey who will converge on the Deception Pass Bridge at 11 a.m. Saturday to show off their colors and wave 12th man flags from the bridge.
Kory Dyer, a 2002 Oak Harbor High School graduate, organized the event on Facebook and said his 25 initial invitations ballooned to 1,000 in two weeks.
He said friend Teresa Besaw of Oak Harbor came up with the idea and he ran with it.
“Deception Pass is one of those iconic images,” he said, adding that he’s gotten responses from about 100 people who said they’d be attending, including some recognizable fans from Seattle.
“It’s a good location. Everybody knows it, even if they’re not from the island.”
The Parks wouldn’t miss it.
They’re diehard fans who dress up in elaborate Seahawks costumes at every opportunity.
Jason Park, a maintenance officer at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, and his wife both became fans after attending a game and getting caught up in the hysteria at Century Link Field.
“It was the vibe of the 12th man,” Drea Park said.
The game faces stay on even when they watch the action on television from their home near Cornet Bay.
Drea said her husband follows a specific pregame routine that involves waking up at a certain time, showering, shaving and then brushing his teeth only with a Seahawks toothbrush.
He’ll put on Seahawks socks then dress with a Russell Wilson jersey, but not until just before kickoff.
“He was trying to get a new Earl Thomas one but it sold out right away,” Drea said.
Dyer said he grew up a Seahawks fan and anticipates a strong showing against the Rams and continued success this season.
But first, he’ll focus on making sure Saturday’s event of showing Seahawks support goes well.
Dyer is asking that flags be held securely from the bridge and hopes that they will be visible for a photo from the beach below.
“I’ve been pushing for everybody to be responsible, be respectful and be patient,” Dyer said, adding that safety is top priority.
“It’s going to be a fun event. I plan to be the last one to leave to make sure it’s all cleaned up.”
Jack Hartt, park manager at Deception Pass State Park, said he was unaware of Saturday’s event. He said his only concerns were safety and traffic congestion; he planned to make the Department of Transportation aware.
“The DOT doesn’t like surprises,” Hartt said.