SEATTLE - The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for so many people in different ways. Despite the hardships, fans see a glimmer of hope when watching the Seattle Seahawks fight for the win week after week.
87-year-old Bonnie Fletcher has been a Seahawks fan since 1976 and season ticket holder since 1994. Fletcher, a member of the Sea Hawkers Booster Club Kirkland Chapter, is beloved among fans and players as Mustang Mama. It’s a tradition of hers to visit the team at every away-game sendoff in her vintage Mustang decked out with a custom Seahawks paint job.
"I live for the days we go to the sendoff because then I get out of the house," said Fletcher. "The players know that Mustang is going to be sitting there to wave goodbye to them."
Though the pandemic has changed how people celebrate the team and game-day traditions, parking her Mustang at every sendoff is a tradition Fletcher refused to give up. Now the team is home getting ready for the playoffs—a game that is sure to be a showstopper just like all the others during the regular season.
"I’m glad I have a strong heart because sometimes the end of fourth-quarter definitely makes you hold your breath and you feel like you’re working with them to get it over the line," said Sara St. John, member of the Sea Hawkers Booster Club Kirkland Chapter.
The Seahawks open the playoff season with the Wild Card Weekend game on Saturday without fans at Lumen Field due to COVID-19 restrictions. Post-season without the 12’s in the stands just isn’t the same, but fans still wouldn’t miss cheering on their team.
"It’s something to look forward to every week, something to look forward to. You still get to root for the team if you can’t go see them in person. But it’s just about being there to root for them," said Tami Miller, member of Sea Hawkers Booster Club Kirkland Chapter.
Rooting for the Seahawks and looking like them in official merchandise has kept the Pro Shop at Lumen Field very busy, even without the crowds at the stadium.
"The excitement is still there. People are definitely coming in really excited for the team. They feel like when they come down here especially to Lumen Field they feel a part of the team," said Melanie Hoshino, manager of the flagship store.
While foot traffic has been slow, Hoshino said curbside pickup is booming as customers are still buying swag ahead of the big matchups She said fans gearing up for the playoffs will be no different.
"With the team doing so well this year and of course going into post-season I think our mail orders this year have definitely increased, I think they’ve double actually," said Hoshino.
Though fans are not allowed inside the stadium, the booster club members said the Seahawk spirit is still loud and proud among fans everywhere.
"We’re bad enough when there isn’t a pandemic, just think what it could be like if we could go in after missing the whole season," said Miller.
"If they thought we were loud before we will be really loud when we go back into the stadium," said St. John.
Watch the Seahawks' playoff game airing Saturday, Jan. 9th on Q13 FOX.