Seattle Seahawks

Work of 12th Man wears out commuters; Monday subdued

After a night of celebrating the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl victory rout, the South Sound was subdued Monday.

The morning commute through the region’s most congested areas appeared to flow a little easier. The state Department of Transportation won’t know until Tuesday whether there were fewer cars on the road, but anecdotally it seemed many 12th Men and Women stayed home.

“Our traffic management center staff that work in Spanaway and monitor traffic 24 hours a day for us tell us it did feel much lighter this morning,” Transportation Department spokeswoman Claudia Bingham Baker said.

Those who relied on the agency’s Twitter feed were treated to Hawks-themed congestion updates like this: “Two things are clear: 1. The ramp from SB 5 to Sunset; 2. The @Seahawks are the best team in the world.”

Another referenced quarterback Russell Wilson: “SB 5 Seattle to SeaTac showing a few minutes of slowdown, but overall traffic has been as smooth as @DangeRussWilson.”

It should be little surprise that the Monday after the Super Bowl sees a spike in the number of people calling in sick. According to The Workforce Institute at Kronos Inc., a 2008 survey found 1.5 million people called in sick the day after the big game. Another 4.4 million arrived late.

Those numbers, which the institute says are growing, were used in an online petition on ( that argues the Monday after the Super Bowl should be an official holiday. Created Jan. 30, the petition gives this explanation: “It seems wildly unfair for us to have to rein in our revelry, to diminish a rare occasion of nationwide camaraderie, by having to go to work the following day.”

The petition needs 100,000 signatures by March 1 to get an official response. It had 50 as of Monday.

After posting photos to Twitter and Facebook of employees dressed for Blue Friday, Pierce County’s local governments returned to business as usual Monday. No one reported any plans for celebratory events, except for the city of Lakewood, which was discussing how to honor its hometown Hawk, wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, who scored a touchdown during Sunday’s game.

City spokesman Brent Champaco helped paste blue and green letters spelling Kearse’s name in the windows of City Hall during the Hawks playoff run. He hopes to attend the parade Wednesday in downtown Seattle on Lakewood’s behalf.

“There’s a lot of pride going on right now,” he said. “I don’t think I’m going to be taking this ‘Jermaine No. 15’ sign down from my window anytime soon.”

The Seahawks organization asked fans wait until Wednesday to officially celebrate the Super Bowl victory at the parade instead of meeting the Hawks at the airport or at the team’s practice facility in Renton.

Tacoma Public Schools will make an exception to its dress code that day, allowing students to show allegiance to the Hawks – or any other team – by wearing jerseys or team shirts. Students normally can’t wear shirts with writing or jerseys to school. Principals can also opt to fly a 12th Man flag, but it must be below the American flag on the pole.

Brynn Grimley: 253-597-8467