Peter Callaghan: Marketers hope 12th Man still cuckoo for Seahawks

Staff WriterFebruary 11, 2014 

Having never lived in an area where a local team won a major sports championship — at least not recently — I was unaware that such things produce so much stuff.

Stuff as in mementos, souvenirs and various commemorative items. Watching the Super Bowl is not enough. Even recording it and rewatching it does not satisfy our need to hold it dear for, like, forever.

The parade? Attending was not enough, it seems. To really tell the world that the Super Bowl victory of the Seattle Seahawks has special meaning, we probably must have the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Express illuminated real working HO-scale train collection (not available in any store!).

Not that it isn’t cool. I’m just not sure it’s $300 cool.

I also hadn’t come to terms with the fact that no real 12th Man lacks a limited-edition Super Bowl XLVIII 30-ounce stein with custom-designed, sculpted metal lid. I’m not sure if anyone would want to drink beer out of such a treasure — especially after dropping $119.96 plus shipping and handling. But it is described as “food-safe.”

I’m intrigued by the “Super Bowl XLVIII Champions Game Ball” because I can’t figure out how they managed to create the game ball with the final score already engraved on it. Wait, it wasn’t actually used in the game? But it says “Game Ball?”

It looks like most of the stuff — all of the above except for the “Game Ball” but including the Super Bowl XLVIII Champions Seattle Seahawks Commemorative Edition Heirloom Porcelain (TM) Plate and the Go Seahawks #1 Fan Charm Bracelet and Super Bowl Champions Commemorative Fan Ring with free personalization and the First-Ever Seattle Seahawks Silver Dollar and the Seattle Seahawks Cuckoo Clock — is being offered by the Bradford Exchange of Niles, Ill..

Fearing that I might not be seeing the full array of keepsakes, I searched the Web and found so many more. There are T-shirts and posters and commemorative books (including one with the work of News Tribune writers and photographers that is a true bargain at just $14.95). There are coins and pennants and shot glasses and autographed helmets and bobblehead dolls. There are hats and hats and hats and even hats. There are cutting boards? Yes, football-shaped cutting boards with a little drawer for knives.

There are pins and scarves and rings and license plate frames and golf balls and mouse pads and water bottles and stocking caps and car flags and watches and onesies for the baby and gloves just like the receivers wear, except these say Super Bowl XLVIII and have a drawing of the Lombardi Trophy on them.

There are even Super Bowl XLVIII Champion High-Res Plastic Street Signs. Check with city officials before installing these, but I’m sure they won’t mind. Go Hawks!

Most interesting — if you define interesting as “deeply disturbing” — is the Seattle Seahawks Sexy Men’s Thong Underwear (“These are comfy, and fans will love these for any occasion.”)

As we all have been so often reminded, the Seattle area had not claimed a major professional sports championship since 1979 — you know, not counting the Seattle Storm and not counting the “mythical” national championship the University of Washington football team shared with the University of Miami in 1991 and not counting the UW women’s volleyball team and softball team.

What is considered major in the sports worlds is not an exact science. But the National Basketball Association trophy won by the Seattle SuperSonics did not properly prepare us for what we are supposed to do in the afterglow of victory.

So much has changed. I was at the parade in downtown Seattle in June 1979, before the sports-themed logowear phenomenon had been imagined by the professional leagues. Historic photos confirm my recollection that no one was holding a stein or plate or charm bracelet or cuckoo clock. Hardly anyone was wearing a Sonics jersey or T-shirt or hat. And no one was wearing a Sonics commemorative sexy men’s thong.

I can only guess on that last one, of course, but I’m pretty sure.

Peter Callaghan: 253-597-8657 peter.callaghan@ @CallaghanPeter

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