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  • Writer's pictureLiz Totton

12th Man in Abu Dhabi?

12th Man on the Burj Khalifa

12th Man on the Burj Khalifa

So, I have to confess that I cannot stand watching football. Most everyone who knows me, knows this. We do kindly get an invitation from some lovely folks (The Baker Family) who invite us every year to their amazing Super Bowl party despite the fact that we don’t understand the game and are some times Vegan in February–don’t ask. We aren’t this year. I don’t know a thing about the game. If the game were not being played in my scandal-ridden home state (New Jersey) and it did not involve the team of my adopted home (Seattle), I would not make a mention of the Superbowl. But, both happen to be true, so I am.

Seattle is home to an amazing fan base for a game that I happen to find rather snore-worthy. While I have no time for the game itself, I have loads of admiration for its fans. Despite years and years of disappointment, Seattlites are really devoted! If it had been me, I would have switched teams years ago. Who doesn’t want to win?! Seattle has this 12th man thing that I have never really understood. In fact, I just had to look it up. To quote wiki:

“The 12th man or 12th player is a term for the fans within a stadium during American football and association football games. As most football leagues allow a maximum of eleven players per team on the playing field at a time, referring to a team’s fans as the 12th man implies that they have a potentially helpful role in the game.”
12th Man Soda, Jones

Jones 12th Man Soda

I have not heard of any other team who has such a passionate 12th man fan base. I’ll give it you, Seattle fans, you are fans like no other (but please remember to consider your source. This comes from someone who admittedly knows nothing about the sport). It is so much fun watching Facebook alight with Blue & Green skittles, Blue and Green Skittle-infused vodka, and some pretty amazing Blue and Green cakes. I am amazed at your creativity and would really like to try one of those jello shots, Anne!! You know all I care about is the food at the party in the same way others care about the halftime ads. Never fear die hard fans! You will not find me hogging precious TV-viewing couch space. You will find me at the table talking about the hors d’oeuvres and just how cheap avocados are every super bowl weekend. Yes, I mention this every year. Inexpensive Hass avocados and Costco samples are the highlights of Super Bowl weekend for me.

Seattle Seahawks-inspired Jello Shots

Seattle Seahawks-inspired Jello Shots, (photo courtesy of a friend’s FB page).

Fun Fact: Apparently, every year we move and leave a place, that city’s team goes to the Superbowl. True story. North Carolina went right after we moved away. Philadelphia went the year we left there. Seattle, you might want to pay us a small thanks for moving. Maybe? Probably not. I guess you might have gotten there on your own, but it couldn’t have hurt that we moved.

This morning, at 3am, there will be a reluctant 12th man in Abu Dhabi. She’ll not be at a Super Bowl party or at a football-starved, American expat bar here in Abu Dhabi, like Stars and Bars. She will be snoozing through this most important of games. But, she is kinda sorta with you in spirit, Seattle. Mostly because I love Washington, and I wish I could teleport myself there for just a few hours to hang out with good friends at a great party.

12th man cake

12th man cake

To conclude, I will share with you a video from my kids’ old elementary school, Centennial Elementary, put together by the very talented Mrs. Jana Gedde to the tune of another very famous Seattlite, Macklemore. Go Seahawks! You deserve it. It’s yours, and it’s gotta be this year because I cannot tell you when we will move from there again. 

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