12th Man: The Effects of Fandom
Ask any player, on any team in the NFL “Where is the hardest place to play?”, and chances are, you will hear the words “CenturyLink Field”. Not because of the harsh weather, field conditions, or altitude, but because of the 12th Man. A Fandom not only known around the world, but one that is feared.
The 12th Man, of course, is the name of the Seattle Seahawks’ fanbase. A fanbase so dedicated to helping their team win, they will stand during the entire 3 hour game (one wonders why there are even seats in the stadium). They will yell so loud, that the opposing teams literally cannot hear each other speak, and at times, shake the earth.
On December 2, 2013, against the New Orleans Saints, the 12th Man registered a decibel reading of 137.6, the second loudest recording in the world. Yes, the world. To put it in perspective, your eardrum would rapture at 150 decibels. No wonder it’s hard to play there.
The 12th Man has had such an effect on opposing teams, and contributed so much to the success of the team, the Seahawks’ President, Mike McCormack, retired the number “12” jersey in 1984 in honor of one of the greatest fandoms in all of professional sports.
And nothing fuels a sport’s fandom like a winning culture, which Pete Carroll brought with him in 2010. Now add in a franchise quarterback with Russell Wilson, Beast Mode, and The Legion of Boom, and the Seahawks will always be in the hunt. But the 12th Man, many would argue, is what’s given the Hawks that little something extra, helping them get to 2 of the last 3 Super Bowls.
Go Hawks, and hats off to the 12th Man!
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