Meet the Seahawks fans who tried to stay silent through entire NFC Championship
When it comes to doing the impossible, asking the 12th Man to stay silent during a Seahawks game is right up there. So imagine how a bunch of guys felt when they were told they could have $5,000 for their youth football league if they could make it through last Sunday’s NFC Championship without uttering a word.
It all started before the game, when producers with Fox Sports contacted the Greater Seattle Youth Football League and asked if they’d participate in an interview and feature during the game at a downtown Seattle hotel.
“We had no idea. They just pretended they wanted us to do a piece about the 12th Man and they would donate $5,000. So I said yeah that’s good I can divide that with 10 teams. That would help some,” says Kyle Wilson, the league commissioner.
But Fox Sports had other ideas. The producers told them they’d only get the $5,000 if they stayed silent throughout.
“I just kind of looked at her and thought she’s not familiar with the 12th man and Seattle,” Wilson says. “Not to mention she gave us a bunch of Starbucks Coffee and we were all souped up. And they said we had to be quiet and we said ‘okay, can we do this?’ And everybody looked around and we started taping.”
It was tough from the beginning. The guys are used to screaming their lungs out. Instead, they had to continually bite their tongues.
Knowing how the epic game went down, from Russell Wilson’s first-play fumble to Marshawn Lynch’s touchdown run to Jermaine Kearse’s dramatic touchdown catch, they somehow stayed silent. It’s amazing to watch their restraint on the video as the dramatics unfold.
“It was probably the toughest situation any person could be put into,” he says. “Our stomachs were bubbling, when we were down everybody was just mad and we really wanted to say something to each other. A couple of people had to go to the restroom and we had to go one at a time so we wouldn’t talk.”
Somehow, they held on for over three hours. But then came the final drive. As Colin Kaepernick drove the 49ers down the field, the tension mounted.
“Everybody wanted to burst out them, but we were kind of thinking about the bigger picture of the league and the kids and we kind of held our composure.”
Finally, it was too much.
“After Sherman hit that block, we lost it. It was a long three and a half hours of quietness and I think we couldn’t keep it under control.”
The guys exploded. The video captures them hugging, screaming and jumping. But along with ecstasy came the agony. Wilson was hit with the realization they’d just lost $5,000 the league could really use.
“We just thought ‘okay, it’s back to car washes’ and things we do for fundraising,” he says.
But then came another surprise. Instead of sending them home empty-handed, host Joel Klatt told the guys Fox Sports was giving the league not $5,000 but $50,000.
“It was a great feeling, like I had a ton of bricks on my shoulder and I was just real relieved. I don’t think I said a word for maybe up to five minutes. I just had my head in my shirt and I was like ‘wow.'”