Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Toast to 12

Well, 12s, 2012 may be ending, but I have a feeling OUR year is just beginning...a toast to the playoffs, draft, and all that shall come in 2013! *clink* ;)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tonight We're Gonna Party Like it's 12-12-12 12:12

Welcome to your ultimate day, dear #12s. December 12, 2012 is all about YOU.

It seems so fitting that the final triple-digit-date-day this millenium is dominated by 12s, the hardiest, most devoted, and smartest of any NFL fan. {Yes, I said we were smarter than you, Rams fans. Here's proof.}

I'm going to share a little story with you all and I don't even know if there is a point before I begin, but it is fairly poignant. I hope.

Traditionally, I celebrate 12-12 by doing some kind of volunteer service in honor of my Grandma Jane, who passed away in 2000. She would have loved that last Seahawks game, even though she wasn't toooo happy the time I told her, "I do go to church on Sundays, it's the church of the NFL". You all would have loved her, because she was smart and hardy and devoted, like you, #12.

Anyway, knowing that this year was going to be 12-12-12, I figured I should do something BIG. In January I set a pie-in-the-sky goal of going to Africa for a 'voluntourism' trip and also to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and put a 12th Man Flag up there. {Notice I did not say "summit" Mt Kilimanjaro - just 'climb'?}. Here's where it gets weird...

IMAGINE my amazement when I showed up to our first home game at Seahawks Stadium only to find Mt. Kilimanjaro looming large over the North End Zone late this past summer.


Tell me the chances of the people who run tourism advertising for Tanzania selecting Seattle as their target market for an enormous, season-long campaign? Tell me more about how amazing of a year we could have with a rookie QB. And how "TANZANIA!" would become a battlecry on Twitter.

Delegation from the Ministry of National Resources & Tourism, July 2012
It became really crystal clear to me that my 12-12-12 couldn't be spent in Africa, because it was important to be HERE, in Seattle, in December. Looking at the calendar, how do you fit in a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa between the Cardinals and 49ers games? You don't. And YES, it sure is cheaper to stay home, even if Seahawks ticket prices are cray.

I will get to Africa one day. I will take a 12th Man Flag to Mt. Kilimanjaro via TANZANIA. I will continue to volunteer in our community and wherever I am able. And I will celebrate 12-12-12 Day with my family and fellow #12s, because that's how I roll.

Go Seahawks.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Don't Hate Golden Tate...for leaving at 7pm

Tonight I spent a blissful hour an a half in the crisp Seattle dusk standing on concrete (in heels) waiting for Golden Tate to sign my ticket from September 24th's MNF win over Green Bay. I was #240 something in a long, long line of #12s. We knew the chances of Mr. Tate staying past the 7pm cutoff in order to sign our belongings was slim, and yet no one left the line until Golden left the building.

At one point I thought to myself, "who are all these people crazy enough to stand in the cold just to see Golden Tate?"

And then I realized they were all like me. (duh).

Like true #12s, we remained optimistic throughout the wait, and even upbeat when it was declared we were S.O.L.

All was not lost, though. I picked up 2 amazing T-shirts from a couple of enterprising young men selling them out of a suitcase...the front reads "Don't Hate" and back reads "Golden Tate," complete with the GB "G" and the date of the infamous MNF romp. (YAH, I said ROMP...EIGHT SACKS.) Also had an awesome conversation with a fellow #12 in line.

P.S> the 2 guys selling these shirts will also be out at the game on Sunday. How cool would it be to have Showtime himself sign this T? Yes.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Face Smackin' Seahawks

#12, you got passion. So I know you'll respect this Dallas Cowboys fan who posted this video after the 27-7 "smack in the face" that the Seahawks gave the Cowboys yesterday. John Shango, if you're ever looking to switch allegiance, come on over to the 12th side and we'll welcome you with open arms. I LOVE your attitude. And, if it helps, we didn't feel like Dallas was performing all that bad :) XO - 12theHardWay

Monday, August 20, 2012

Farewell to a True Hero

As Seahawk fans, we see heroes come and go probably more than we like to admit. But this weekend we lost a major 12th Man and a true American hero. George Hickman Jr. was a WWII Tuskegee Airman and a part of the Seahawks family.

We can all be proud to have spent Sundays in the same stadium. Thank you, George Hickman Jr.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

VMAC Training Camp: Last Call

After the best preseason game I've ever been to on Saturday, August 11 (sorry Hass), mini-12, Mr. 12, and I headed down to The Landing in Renton to wait in line check in for training camp and catch our bus to VMAC.

It was a gorgeous day, the last day of public training camp, and the 12 flag was flying high. Similar to Saturday's game, Flynn and Wilson took most of the reps, but TJack was in the mix. Running backs seemed to have a break that day, as the wide receivers were most active. T.O. caught a couple of awesome passes and spent some time charming the VIPs in the sponsor tent. Butler does look to be healed up and ready to play, and Braylon Edwards looked good, too.

I remain super excited about Russell Wilson and Bruce Irvin after seeing them on the field. But my main take-away is that a Pete Carroll training camp is much more relaxed than a Mike Holmgren camp.

Back in 2008, things moved at a military pace and you rarely saw players standing around, everyone was drilling, all the time. Today's practice may have been a little lax for some, and I won't say it's wrong, because how else would I get an awesome shot of these three legends-in-the-making:

Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman, and Brandon Browner take a breather at VMAC August 15 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

Real Men Apologize

3 days after his DUI arrest in California, Marshawn Lynch has issued an apology:
"I want to apologize to my family, the Seattle Seahawks, the NFL and the 12th Man for the negative attention resulting from my recent actions. This is not the type of community leader I have been over the last two years or the one I’m striving to become. I want to assure everyone that I will work to be better and look forward to a very exciting, and very successful season with the Seattle Seahawks."
He mans up, admitting fault and taking accountability. THIS is how real apologies work, folks. Marshawn, #12 will pick you up when you fall down. Just don't do it again ;)

Friday, May 4, 2012

RIP MCA - Beastie Boys Influence on One Seahawk Fan

"3 the Hard Way" is one of my favorite Beastie Boys songs, and the inspiration behind naming this blog 12 the Hard Way. It just fit, because there's only one way to roll a 12...there's only one way to be a Hawks fan, and it ain't easy.

So just for today, in memory of Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, aka MCA, 12 the Hard Way is gonna rock this mfer like 3 the Hard Way:

Friday, April 13, 2012

2012 Seahawks Nike Uniforms: Here We Go Now

April 3, 2012. Anticipation runs hot. Twitter is abuzz. After much pomp and buzz-building, NIKE is about to unveil the new NFL uniforms, featuring a complete redesign of the Seattle Seahawks look. The moment has been HYPED.

Along with other devoted #12s, I turn on NFL Network to find...a re-run of Draft pre-coverage. Huh.

So, hit the web for a live stream...Nike's - a live photo blog? That's it?

Yes friends, so the buzz goes bust on Day 1 and now we are a week past the unveiling and we have a little sizzle but no red hot combustion - most polls show 50% of fans in favor tempered by lukewarm or even hateful feelings among the remaining half. Yah, a lot of you talk about how we look like the "University of Oregon Seahawks" now. Maybs. But Kam Chancellor made it look Good at the official unveiling:

Kam Chancellor at the Nike unveiling, Apr 3, 2012 via Twitter @seankjensen
For me, I had to let the details settle in and get used to the design before offering a full rundown of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. And I'm posting these backwards so they'll make more sense when you read the blog. I'm tricky like that.

And the words of Mr. 12theHardWay, "Here we go, Now!"
Celebrate... The GOOD
Witness... The BAD
Shudder at... The UGLY

2012 Seahawks Nike Uniforms: The GOOD

If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all - right? Well, I CAN say some nice stuff about the new uniforms. In fact, here's a lot of nice...

12th Man - Represent!
No other team can touch what the Seahawks have in #12. You can't tell me any different. The details infused in the new uniforms are worthy of a fan base that has performed epic Waves, had their own number retired, caused earthquakes, and gone to hell (1992) and back (2005-6) for their team.

The 12th man emblem is the last thing Seahawks players will see before slipping that jersey on, as it features prominently inside the back collar of each jersey. I'm 100% in love with this detail.

On display for all to see are 12 "feathers" running down the pant legs and around the jersey neckline. Do I love the feathers? No. Have I ever even once thought of feathers in relation to the Seahawks? No. But I appreciate the thought and will grow to love these. I hope.

Away Power
For the first time in the history of the Seahawks, I prefer the Away uniforms to the home unis. This can only help us with our away game performance, with a less-than-stellar record. (Don't get me started on maybe practicing at 10am to get used to time changes. whatevs.)

Color Combo Bonanza
Listen, I like new stuff. I like options. The Seahawks will have plenty of options with jerseys and pants each in 3 colors - officially dubbed (by NIKE), "College Navy, Action Green and Wolf Grey" (gag). Yah, we went from "Seahawk Blue" to "College Navy" and "Wolf Grey"...whatevs.

'College Navy' Home; "White" Away; "Wolf Grey" Alternates and Respective Combos

Neon Details
I love those blasts of neon green. Eye of the 'Hawk. Soles of your shoes. Deion Branch's first gloves. Now the neon outlines our numbers and has even been commented on by major fashion blog, But just to set the record straight, Fashionista, the Seahawks were ahead of the neon trend by several years. We roll like that in the PNdub.

Technology Abounds
Slicker, faster, stronger, is crystal clear that this uniform redux was inspired by and for the players - and not necessarily the fans. Let me be the first to say that these new jerseys are not going to do any favors for the typical football fan's physique. Ya get what I'm saying? But if our receivers can jump a little higher, or 'backs can slip a little easier out of tackles, that's all good.
The jersey is 20 percent lighter and 50 percent stronger than what teams have been wearing the past 10 seasons. The hydrophobic material also repels water while maintaining what Pro Bowl strong safety turned model Kam Chancellor called “a clean look.”
The Gloves
We saw a preview of the new Nike glove design at the Pro Bowl in February. My dad summed it up perfectly when I showed him a picture of the awesome 2-palmed logo design: "someone was told to design to sell a whole shitload of gloves." You got it, Pops. Get me some for Christmas, 'kay?

Next Up:

2012 Seahawks Nike Uniforms: The BAD

...and then someone said "If you don't have anything nice to say...come sit next to me."

Have a Seat. Let's chat.

We Are NOT the Chargers
WTF are those stupid white stripes on the chest? The Seahawks have a hard enough time getting noticed on the East Coast - why do we need to basically look like the old school San Diego Chargers, or worse, what my dad said when he first saw the new look (one guess which stupid NFC rival he likened us to - that one with the kicker-who-shall-not-be-named).

We Are NOT Nike
Seriously, NFL? Seriously, Paul Allen? Are we really giving prime uniform real estate to Nike? Nike Swoosh on the sleeves, Nike Swoosh on the pant. Where did our logo go? Look at the shot without the uniform and tell me what team it's for. THERE IS NO SEAHAWKS LOGO. This better be for prototype purposes, but I can't imagine WHY they would unveil a prototype, so something tells me I'm going to be pissed come August 11 when the uniforms take the field.

Check out this historical rundown of Seahawks uniforms. You'll see that the Seahawk was added as an arm band motif in the Chuck Knox years. You'll also see the various locations of SMALL manufacturer logos. I don't know who Nike slept with to get this real estate, but this is one of the worst ideas ever, if true.

Bring back the Hawk! Do it for Coach Knox.

We ARE the Seahawks...But The New Logo is Weak.
Read here about why it's bad.

Next Up: The UGLY.
Can't take any more? Go Back to The GOOD.

2012 Seahawks Nike Uniforms: The UGLY

Yep. There's the Good. There's the Bad. And then there's the things-that-make-you-go-GAH!

Colonial Seahawks
I just cannot embrace the colonial look in the home uni press photos. Please ban black shoes from the team. I like "Tradition" and the Founding Fathers just as much as the next American, but there are so many better options than looking like olde-timey Williamsburgians out on the field. Here's one place where we gotta go modern.

Ducktail on the Helmet
Can't. stand. it. This downward swoop where the 2 Seahawks logos meet at the back of the helmet makes me think every player has one of those stupid rat-tails that were popular for a minute in the '80's. And, by the way, logos should never point down - rule #493 in the branding world. Down is pessimistic. Down is sad. Down is not what we want for our Seahawks.

Even Seahawks-alum Robbie Tobeck will tell you the real deal:

Back to:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

2012 Seahawks Logo: Where's the Revolt?

After introducing new uniforms AND new logo (if only a change to one significant color) last week, public opinion has ebbed and flowed. I gave myself a week to comment, lest I rush to judgment too quickly.

My opinion: NO thank you on the new logo. More importantly, WHERE is the backlash from #12?

Here's what you need to know about me before I get into the Why-I-Hate-It.
1. Lifelong Seahawks fan. Seriously. The team is a year older than me.
2. I created this blog for the fan viewpoint, which I monitor via Facebook, Twitter, and personal convos/emails/etc.
3. For "real work" I am a branding consultant and have worked with logos and marketing for over 15 years.
4. I like change. I really do.

Sometimes too much change is overwhelming; sometimes a new "improvement" is just so "so-so" that it doesn't move people to embrace it OR revolt against it. They just go along without feeling. And this, #12s is what I imagine may be happening with our new Seattle Seahawks team logo.

The significant change to our 2002 logo is in the coloring. Our dark navy blue seems to be ever-so-slightly brightened and lightened, while the officially-named "Seahawks Blue" on the lower stripe has washed away to the Nike-termed "Wolf Grey", a silver-grey that matches the daily cloudcast we Seattleites are so familiar with.

First off, let me tell you that I painted my walls a similar shade of grey 5 years ago and lived to regret it. When you live in grey Seattle, the last thing you want to look at is grey. Hey, I get it. Grey will be a hot color in the decade to come. The Nike-designed wolf grey uniform is pretty hot. But that doesn't make it a strong logo color. To do away with a color that is NAMED for the team is a pretty major decision, not to be taken lightly. Not to mention my "Seahawks Blue" car, nail polish, shoes, etc have been rendered non-Seahawk colors.

When the logo first leaked, I thought it was a red herring - seriously. I thought there was no way we would have a washed out logo like that, as it was presented on a white cap with a barely visible lower stripe. For the past week the Seahawk's official Facebook page has used the logo on a navy field where the top of the logo blends into the background and I officially hate it more each time I see it. It isn't growing on me. It won't grow on me. It is weak and "unfinished" to quote another #12.

Don't see it? Bring up the new logo and then back away from your monitor/screen and look at the colors. Now imagine you are in the stands at a game. Which color combo is stronger - with Seahawks Blue or with Wolf Grey? You know it's the blue.

But as talk about the new logo lulls, I have lost hope for a Gap-style logo recall. After their epic fail at a logo redesign caused a stir in 2010, Gap quickly switched back.

Not going to happen here. So I'll leave you on an up note. Here is a really cool look at the influences that went into the original Seattle Seahawks logo back in 1975. That's all I can give you for now.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fashionista-Fashionist12: When 2 Loves Collide

I love the Seahawks. I love the fashion world. I'm waiting to let the new uniforms sink in before I comment on them, but how much do we love the fact that the Seahawks' new look made one of the top fashion industry blogs?

It's MA-jor. blog April 3, 2012

Monday, April 2, 2012

Change. It be a comin'.

In the case that you may have been living under a rock for the past 6 months or so, let me be the first to tell you that new NFL uniforms by Nike are being unveiled tomorrow, April 3.

With new uniforms come new color schemes and a nasty little rumor that the Seahawks are changing their logo to navy and gray, instead of navy and "Seahawk Blue".  I doubt that, but I am completely psyched for new unis, thanks to this epic/hyper/faster/stronger/nuclear/breakthrough/electric/wicked promo video by Nike:

"Nike Football Epic Transformation" video

I would love to tell you that I have some insight on just what the new Seahawks uniforms will look like. There are a lot of red herrings out there on the Internet, and rumors abound. It is safe to say we are getting three options - home darks, away white/light, and a 3rd option we hope is not neon green. Mr. 12theHardWay happens to have spent a lot of time working at Nike and has seen some NFL sampling, but will not share, even with me (especially with me?) as everything is highly classified.

So we wait for Tomorrow...wonder what it's like for Reebok.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Seahawks 2012 Opponents

In addition to Home and Away games with NFC West Rivals Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, and the St. Louis Rams, the Seahawks will host the
at the Kingdome/Seahawks Stadium/Qwest Field/call-it-the-Clink-if-you-must.

We'll travel to the Far East on visits to
and spend a couple weeks in the Midwest meeting up with
Official NFL Schedule drops in April, for your 2012 travel plans, #12.