Fans to follow every ritual that ever helped Hawks

Staff writerJanuary 12, 2013 

Being a Seattle Seahawks fan during the playoffs is a family affair for some and a superstitious one for others.

Or both.

Deb Hindman’s dad started taking her to Seahawks games when she was 4, and at the age of 40, the Bothell resident had the chance to return the favor.

She flew her parents and brother to the Super Bowl when the team made it in 2006.

“I didn’t want my parents to watch the first Super Bowl at home,” she said.

Hindman hopes to do the same thing this year, she said Thursday from Washington, D.C., where she’d gone for the Hawks’ game against the Redskins.

She’s traveled to every playoff game since 2006, and she and her dad go to all the Hawks’ home games. He couldn’t be with her last Sunday, but she called him crying with joy after the game.

Hindman planned to leave D.C. for Atlanta today, traveling only with her team gear. She’s also been busy coordinating tailgating for Hawks fans on the road.

“My parents have had season tickets since 1976, and they’re original season ticket holders,” she said. “It’s just something that our family has always done. It’s an every Sunday thing. We’re always either at the games or watching them at home.”

Her reasoning for going the distance to make the playoff games: “Seahawks fans need to be there.”

David Beardemphl and his family will be supporting the Hawks from his North End Tacoma home with a pre-game playoff ritual they started when the team went to the Super Bowl. It got them there then, he said, and they’re not about to change it.

The secret is darts.

The family holds a dart competition in “Uncle Dave’s” garage, where most guests are Beardemphl’s nephews, though the group has grown to about 20 people as relatives have married and started bringing friends.

There are stipulations to the superstition, of course. The event is good luck only if thrown the same weekend as the game and at least a day before the Hawks play.

And perhaps most important, the same partygoers have to be there each time.

“If you come to the party the first week, and then you miss it the second week, you’re in big trouble,” Beardemphl said. “We let them sneak back in, but not without some serious razzing.”

A few friends got a bye last week because they were sick, but that’s the only exception, he said.

There’s one other requirement, he added: “You’re not coming here without Seahawks gear on.”

Beardemphl isn’t the only superstitious South Sounder.

Steve Sloboda will be with the same group of friends, at the same Fircrest house they’ve watched playoff games at for years and in the same seats they always sit in. And at halftime, they’ll probably move upstairs like they did last week.

Joe Willie Medrzycki of Tacoma, a 15-year-old self-proclaimed “Super Hawk,” will wear his customized jersey and do a song-and-dance routine at halftime to help his team win, just as he did last week.

For Kelly Stowe of Tumwater, the luck comes from a large blue ring she’s been wearing all season. She’s liked the team since she had a crush on a boy in her second-grade class who was a fan.

She’s now 40, and her love for the Hawks outlasted the crush, but football and romance still go hand in hand for Stowe.

Her boyfriend got the couple season tickets this year as a gift.

“He’s a Steelers fan,” she said. “That’s true love.”

Though she’s hoping for an even better present from the Hawks themselves for her birthday.

She turns 41 Super Bowl Sunday.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268 alexis.krell@

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