BY Steve Rudman 01:47PM 01/17/2014

Who Should Hoist The 12th Man Flag Sunday?

Who will get the honor of raising the 12th Man Flag before Sunday’s NFC Championship game between the Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers? Or, rather, who should raise the flag? Vote here.

Who will hoist the 12th Man Flag Sunday? More to the point, who should? We have five candidates for consideration. / Wikimedia Commons

The last time the Seahawks played for an opportunity to go to the Super Bowl, Jan. 22, 2006, owner Paul Allen hoisted the 12th Man Flag before the NFC Championship game against the Carolina Panthers. Why not? Without Allen, no Seahawks. So who will hoist this Sunday? The perfect choice has to be Jerry Rice, who would jack the animosity level in the rivalry to a whole new level.

Rice created a Hall of Fame career during 299 games with the San Francisco 49ers from 1985-00 before finishing his NFL run in nine games with Seattle in 2004. A Niner for 16 seasons vs. a Seahawk for the blink of an eye, Rice would probably beg off if called upon to raise the 12th Man Flag. Still, it’s a delicious thought.

In the absence of Rice, then who?

For purposes of this exercise, it should not be anyone who has done it previously. That eliminates Allen. Excluding previous flag raisers would also eliminate every living member of the Seahawks Ring of Honor – Steve Largent, Jim Zorn, Curt Warner, Jacob Green, Kenny Easley, Dave Krieg, and Cortez Kennedy — as well as former head coach Chuck Knox.

It would also render the entire 1983 team ineligible. The 1983 Seahawks, coached by Knox, were the first in franchise history to reach a conference title game, but they had flag-raising honors last Nov. 3 before the Seahawks needed overtime to defeat Tampa Bay.

Nine-time Pro bowl tackle Walter Jones, named last week as a Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalist, would be disqualified since he has hoisted the flag twice, most recently Oct. 14, 2012, before a game against New England.

The Seahawks have bestowed 12th Man Flag responsibilities on numerous non-football worthies over the years, including former Sonics such as Jack Sikma (Sept. 22, 2013) and former Mariners such as Jamie Moyer (Jan. 5, 2006), as well as ex-Huskies and Cougars (Chuck Nelson and Jack Thompson, Nov. 21, 2004), an Olympian (Apolo Ohno, Sept. 23, 2007), a golfer (Fred Couples, Dec. 11, 2011), a hydroplane driver (Chip Hanauer, Aug. 20, 2011) and a soccer player (Hope Solo, Nov. 23, 2008).

NBA legend Bill Russell raised the 12th Man Flag Dec. 1, 2011 before a game against Philadelphia. Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants, an ex-Husky, did it Dec. 19, 2010 before the Seahawks battled Atlanta. Jim Whittaker, the first American to conquer Everest, performed the honors Sept. 27, 2009 before Seattle took on the Chicago Bears.

Fred Brown, Gus Williams and John Johnson, three integral members of Seattle’s only major championship team (1979 Sonics) raised the flag Dec. 7, 2009, local TV icon J.P. Patches did it Aug. 29, 2008, and Pike Place Fish Mongers got juices flowing Sept. 24, 2006 before a game against the Giants.

Under our no second-chance rule, the following would also be ineligible Sunday: Shaun Alexander, Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez, Felix Hernandez, Ichiro, Jay Buhner, Gary Payton, Kasey Keller and Lorenzo Romar.

So who does that leave? We have five candidates, listed alphabetically, and all are ideal representatives of Seattle’s championship moment.

A “12th Man”: The Seahawks invited 12 original season-ticket holders to raise the 12th Man Flag Oct. 12, 2003 before a game with San Francisco. Since then, flag raisers have almost exclusively been athletic celebrities or, in the case of Joe Moser, a World War II fighter pilot who had the honor Nov. 11, 2012, a real hero. Besides, without the 12th Man, the Seahawks have no edge at all over the 49ers.

Mike Holmgren: The former head coach guided the Seahawks to their only Super Bowl appearance following the 2005 season and is the most notable representative of that team never to have hoisted the 12th Man Flag.

Macklemore: Seahawks (and Mariners) fan Ben Haggerty is a Seattle native whose single, “Thrift Shop,” reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2013. He’s scheduled to perform at halftime Sunday at the Clink.

John Schneider: Without Paul Allen, Seattle wouldn’t have an NFL team. But without Schneider, the club’s general manager, it wouldn’t have this team. He’s mostly responsible for assembling it.

Lenny Wilkens: A Basketball Hall of Fame inductee as both a player and a coach, Wilkens is the only man to direct a major professional sports champion in Seattle, the 1979 SuperSonics.

You may have other candidates in mind. If so, let us know.



  • Someone Somewhere

    Chris Hansen

  • notaboomer

    percy harvin (rendered 12th man by illegal concussion hits from saints).

    • art thiel

      Crowd might get hurt . . .

    • Johnne in Seattle

      yeah I thought this also…It may not carry the same clout as Holgren, but it would be cool, as I think our future is with Percy!

    • dakineinthemuk

      …heck no, he’ll probably dislocate his pinky finger making him doubtful for next game…….is there a protocol for pinky fingers…there is…!…I knew it…!!…go hawks

  • joe dittmore

    mariners MOOSE should raise the 12 man flag

  • blakesmith11

    Lenny Wilkens has aready raised the flag.

  • DJ Yasui

    No question, Efren Herrera!!!

    • art thiel

      No Bootin’ Tuten?

    • jafabian

      Over Boz?

  • RadioGuy

    Hard to argue with Holmy. I have my own issues with his tenure in Seattle, but you can’t ignore that the man coached the Seahawks to their only Super Bowl. An appropriate choice.

  • Fairness

    Hassselbeck! Come on man! How’d you leave him out?

    • jafabian

      Matt not Elizabeth I assume? I agree…seeing Matt do it would be cool.

  • jafabian

    I’ve been predicting Holmgren. Seeing him would fire up the crowd. Jerry Rice would be cool but he’d decline. Junior Griffey would also get the crowd going but he did it not too long ago. If they were still with us I’d nominate Don James or JP Patches.

    Getting the former 49er coach and Bay Area resident to do it would be best. And since he coached the club to a Super Bowl it would be like a passing of the torch.

  • oldfan

    How about Carol James standing in for Don? Be nice to give the great man one more standing ovation.

  • Jacob Sidney

    Dr. Dan Doornink

  • Ed Lazar

    Shaun Alexander “Finish what we started!”

  • ronolds442

    Efren herrera..And you would have to show the play….

  • Ronolds442

    What about a tribute. Dave Niehaus (family Member) and a little My
    OH MY

  • Long-Time Fan

    How about a champion… a Seattle champion? How about a two-time NCAA champion, three-time Olympic gold medalist, and two-time world champion on a Seattle team?

    Sue Bird. Period.

  • terrance mccann

    It should be a 12 th man. Pick at random as there coming into the game.

  • RadioGuy

    Maybe they could ask Eddie Vedder, as long as he didn’t take the occasion to trash Anaheim for almost getting the Seahawks during the Behring Era. He was onstage at a concert not long ago hating on Sacramento and saying Pearl Jam would never play there because they actually KEPT their NBA team instead of letting Hansen & Co. take it away from them.

  • Bryan Anderson

    Paul Allen. It should be a tradition for home NFC Championship games. They disqualified him too early in the discussion without thinking it through.

  • RussellBeast

    Randy Johnson

  • Shane Lantz

    I think our defensive captain from our 2005 Super Bowl team should raise the flag. Lofa Tatupu is my choice

  • cdbtx

    Pete Carroll and Team should raise it

  • Audrey Bennett

    How about Big Lo??

  • August

    Matt Hass

  • gram mccloud


  • tedsfrozenhead


  • oldcrimson

    My guesses, in order: Holmgren, George Karl, the sick girl that made Wilson the wallet (could be cool, given the hospital fundraising competition this week).
    I had thought Macklemore, but now that he’s performing, I highly doubt it’ll be him.

  • igotuwired

    Lofa Tatupu!

  • 12th Man

    Timmy Lincecum – Seattle native + it would royally annoy SF fans

  • Donrob

    The 1917 Seattle Mets were the first American team to win the Stanley Cup. Just a bit of obscure trivia, which we learned in 1979 when the Sonics became what we all thought was the first national championship pro sports team in Seattle.