Former Seahawks LB Brian Bosworth humbled to be raising 12 Flag
One Seahawks tradition that always seems to get the fans talking is the raising of the 12 Flag before each home game.
Local celebrities and fans of the team often raise the flag, as do former players. The person raising it for Sunday’s NFC West championship match with the San Francisco 49ers is former Seahawks linebacker Brian “The Boz” Bosworth, one of the greatest characters in football history.
Bosworth was one of the best collegiate football players of all time during his time at Oklahoma and the Seahawks selected him in the 1987 NFL Supplemental Draft and quickly signed him to a 10-year deal that was the largest in franchise history.
Shoulder injuries derailed Bosworth’s career, and he retired during his third season in Seattle. Known for his haircut, headbands, sunglasses and outlandish personality, Bosworth is arguably one of the most polarizing figures in football history.
In honor of #NFL100, we take a look at the history and legacy of former linebacker Brian Bosworth.
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) December 27, 2019
Now 54, Bosworth is an actor and a public speaker and says he is much more grounded than in his playing days, citing his faith, and is happy to be back in Seattle for the game on Sunday.
“I was humbled,” Bosworth told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Bob, Dave and Moore about when he learned he would raise the flag before the 49ers game. “I just kind of teared up a little bit because it’s one of those things that I’ve always dreamed of being asked to do.”
Bosworth has said publicly numerous times that there’s a big difference between Brian Bosworth and “The Boz.” He feels Seattle fans only saw his persona and not the real him during his short career.
“I didn’t have the kind of career that I wanted to, and I know the relationship in some regards was somewhat soured just the way all of that transpired back in the day of me coming in and not really getting a good foothold in and just before anything really happened it was a blink of an eye and I’m gone,” Bosworth said. “It was just chaos. And it just felt like there was never a true connection between the fans and Brian. There were always these expectations of ‘The Boz,’ and back in those days I felt like I have to do this performance because I guess this is what I created in my own sick world and never got a chance to just create just being a football player.”
Despite that public persona that Bosworth has come to regret, he thinks he approached the game of football the right way.
“I don’t regret the way I approached the game with the passion (I played with),” he said. “I loved the game so much. It really defined who I was and gave me an identity and a sole purpose. It was a goal that I had and a dream.”
Bosworth and Bob, Dave and Moore host Dave Wyman were teammates during Bosworth’s time in Seattle and both played linebacker. The two were roommates as rookies and would become pretty close. Wyman told Bosworth he was envious of his rookie season because it looked like Bosworth as getting a quick footing on playing in the NFL.
“Before the injury, I felt like it was clicking,” Bosworth said. “Especially when we came back from the strike.”
During Bosworth and Wyman’s rookie season in 1987, the NFL players went on strike after Week 2 due largely to issues with the league’s free agency system. After games with “replacement players,” the players returned and the league resumed as normal. That season, the Seahawks made the playoffs.
Unfortunately, shoulder injuries plagued Bosworth his whole career and he tried to play through it when he shouldn’t have.
“Once the injury occurred, it just took on its own life and I tried to ignore it,” he said. “That’s what we do when we’re playing. We have so much pride and for me, it was more shame. I was just ashamed that I was injured and I couldn’t admit to myself that I was injured and I just ignored it … I made a bad thing into a worse thing.”
His early retirement also hurt because Bosworth wanted to make the Seattle area his home for life.
“I went up there and planted roots and bought a house and wanted to stay there,” he said. “I was there for the whole thing. I wanted to be part of the community and the organization.”
Bosworth got the call from the organization in November about raising the 12 Flag, just days after getting shoulder surgery. They asked him to come out for the Dec. 2 game against the Minnesota Vikings, but due to his recent surgery he couldn’t do it. The team asked him to come out in 2020, but he pressed to raise the flag this season and now he’ll be at the game Sunday night.
“I’m really looking forward to coming up there and just witnessing and experiencing that energy that Seattle comes and puts together for their Seahawks,” Bosworth said. “And I hope that we play well, I hope we win the division Sunday, and just go Hawks. Let me hear them soar and roar”
Bosworth also talked about his faith, the infamous “Ban The Boz” shirts in Denver, how “The Boz” came to be and much more.
Listen to Bosworth at this link or in the player below.