NEW YORK — Maybe the SeaPope should have blessed the double-decker bus before it left San Francisco.
“He was busy blessing the team,” said Ben Seher of Gig Harbor. “(That’s) probably why it got destroyed.”
The bus, nicknamed “The Beast,” was supposed to be transformed into the ultimate tailgating machine in time for a potential Super Bowl XLVIII victory parade. It was the dream of Seher, Lake Tapps resident Gary Buchanan (also known as the SeaPope) and some other friends.
The group recently acquired the double-decker bus for $20,000 and hoped to transform it into a rolling Seahawks shrine, but an accident, mechanical problems and an overturned logging truck have put those plans in doubt.
Buchanan says, “Never underestimate the 12th Man. We will make it happen.”
Buchanan has passionately supported the Seahawks since the first game in 1976. He shows his support by attending games in character as the blue and green clad SeaPope who hears confessions, baptizes new fans and even gives sermons.
He used to own Hawk One, an RV that was a fixture of the Seahawks tailgating scene for nearly a decade.
Buchanan took the RV to Seahawks events around the Northwest and hopes to do the same with The Beast if it ever becomes a reality.
Buchanan and Seher, both of whom will attend Sunday’s Super Bowl, where excited when their search for a double-decker bus led them to an old San Francisco tour bus in Richmond, Calif.
“We wanted to shoot a video taking this red bus from San Francisco and redoing it in Seahawks colors,” Seher said.
The excitement even spread to the team. Buchanan said there was even talk of having Macklemore perform on the bus’ uncovered upper platform during a victory parade.
However, the plans started to crumble almost immediately.
They hired an experienced driver, but he’d never driven a vehicle with a steering wheel on the right side.
He took out a guardrail leaving the lot, Buchanan said.
The next problem came in Eugene, Ore., when the transmission failed. That was hardly the worst of it.
Broken down on the side of Interstate 5, the bus was in the wrong place when a vehicle allegedly cut off a logging truck, causing the truck to lose control and spill its load. The logs damaged the bus and the tow truck that was there to assist.
There were no fatalities even though the logging truck rolled on its side after fishtailing, according to reports.
The bus was totaled but the dream was not.
The Beast was insured and its remnants were taken to a Eugene junk yard. Seher is working to salvage the remains and have it towed north.
When they finally get their hands on The Beast, they plan to wrap it with a Seahawks theme and fill it with history. It will have chairs from the Kingdome, helmets and autographs from each member of the Seahawks Ring of Honor.
There’s also talk of a bar, Murphy beds and an area up top for a DJ.
And, of course, an area protected by Plexiglass so the SeaPope can safely bless his favorite team.
“We might not be able to make it happen this year,” Buchanan said. “But it will be ready for next season.”