The city is crazy with 12th man fever, and so are we. Everywhere you go in Seattle, you’ll see blue and white 12 flags and Seattleites wearing 12 Fan Jerseys; everyone in Seattle seems to be embracing the Seahawks spirit. But did you know that the 12th man’s origins go much deeper than being the loudest fans in nation? The 12th man was quite literally the spectator that was ready when called, to support his favorite team, at any cost.
One of the earliest usages of the “12th man” came on January 2nd, 1922, when Texas A & M played Centre College, then a national powerhouse in college football. Arriving as underdogs, the Texas A & M squad played everyman on their roster until they were depleted. In need of another player, in case of injury, the coach turned to the fans for support. E. King Gill, an ardent supporter, stepped up to become the “12th Man”. Though Gill ended up not playing in the game, his willingness to step up and support helped Texas A & M win, against the odds.
Just like Gill, the fans of the Seattle Seahawks are infamous for the way their support changes the dynamic of the game. The 12th men of the Seahawks aren’t only spectators; they’re people who shift the momentum of the game. The 12th man is so effective that on November 27th, 2005, the Seahawk’s head coach dedicated the game ball to the 12th man. In this year’s drive to the Super Bowl, the vocal support that the 12th man makes has been associated with the Seahawk’s success. The 12th man is so distracting for the other team that one opponent stated that in the Clink “You can barely hear yourself think.”
Founded by Beverly Graham, OSL heeded the call to become the 12th Man for Seattle’s hungry in 1989. Our first meals were served at Occidental Park, in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood. Since then, our area of operations has expanded to include meal service throughout much of Seattle and parts of the greater Puget Sound region. Through our Food in Motion Program, we provide nutritional support to thousands of people, from Lake City to Renton and West Seattle to the Eastside. From our original epicenter in the Pioneer Square neighborhoods, OSL works to shake up hunger and shift the needle towards food security and stability for every Seattlelite, every day.
Throughout history, the 12th man has truly played a pivotal role shaping the outcome of games and standing for their fellow man. That’s why this week; OSL is calling you to join our team against hunger. Just as the 12th man stands behind the Seahawks, we need you to stand behind the OSL team, which goes head to head with poverty every day. Until Midnight on Monday February 3rd, OSL is looking to the 12thMan to Blitz hunger and provide thousands of more meals to more of our hungry neighbors. Our goal of $12,000 will ensure that thousands of more meals will reach those who are challenged with hunger in our community.
So how can you be a 12th man Against Hunger?
- Pledge today at http://www.razoo.com/story/12th-Man-Against-Hunger
- Collect donations at your Superbowl party
- Send your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org showing off your 12th man spirit.
OSL crafted more than 426,000 meals for the food insecure in the greater Seattle area last year, and has served more than 3.9 million meals since we were founded nearly 25 years ago. The City has been brought to life with Seahawks spirit; lets help save the lives of those living in our community struggling with hunger every day.
Don’t just be a fan, be the 12th Man.