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You see her at every Hawk game, with her blue peacock wig and crazy glasses. An iconic figure who watches over the Seahawks week after week. Year after year. Her real name is Patti Hammond but she is really known as Mama Blue. Everyone on this site is a big Seahawk fan but there is only one Mama Blue.
Raised in Portland, Patti met her future husband Dick in high school. It was the classic story of the star football player and the cheerleader. After school they were married and moved to Seattle where they would reside together for over a half century. In 1976 when the brand new Seattle Seahawks first started accepting season ticket orders, Patti and Dick (affectionately known also as Tricky) were among the first in line. Drawing from her own cheerleading experience, Mama Blue utilized her own unique pep spirit to get the crowd going from her 100 level seat. NFL Films cameramen soon were enchanted with Mama Blue’s style and were shooting her at nearly every game. (You can see footage of Mama Blue on many of the Seahawks NFL Films yearly highlights.)
When the Hawks were in serious danger of becoming the Los Angeles Seahawks, Patti became a pivotal member of the “Save Our Seahawks” campaign that helped stop the evil Ken Behring from moving the team. She has only missed two home games in the Hawks’ history. This means she has seen in person 268 out of 270 games (including playoffs) through October 2009.
In 1999, the NFL chose one fan from each of the 32 franchises to be inducted into a special section of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Mama Blue was the choice of the Seahawks. When the team moved into Qwest Field in 2002, Mama was given her pick of where she wanted to sit. She choose the front row of the southwest corner of the south end zone section, right next to the tunnel where the Seahawks come out. Five years later, before the opening day game against Tampa Bay, Mama Blue was honored by raising the 12th Man flag.
Hanging out with Mama Blue before the Jaguar game a few weeks ago, I understand why she sits in that corner. Before the game, a number of Hawks came over and high fived Mama. One guy in street clothes came up and gave her a big hug. It was Walter Jones.
But Mama Blue at Qwest (and before that at the Kingdome) is only part of the story. Going to her house in the Seattle area is literally visiting a Seahawk museum. Entire walls are covered in Hawk memorabilia. Trophy cases are filled with footballs signed by various Seahawk teams over the years. Football gloves? Mama estimates she has collected 2000 pairs over the years from players. Most of these she has given away but she still a fair amount signed by Hawks. She is also in possession of a few pairs of Walter Jones’ shoes. In fact, Jones gave her the first pair (unused) of his set from last year.
The souvenirs around her house are impressive. However, what makes Mama Blue different from other rabid fans are her relationships with the players and coaches, past and present. When Kenny Easley was inducted into the Ring of Honor, he wanted Mama Blue standing next to him. In one hallway of her house hangs a large collage of photos. The pictures feature Mama (and often Dick) with a who’s who in Seahawk history. Every head coach, every member of the Ring of Honor, various other players and people associated with Seahawk history such as Bill the Beerman Scott. She even has a picture of herself with that toad Behring, who as they were taking the picture, promised he “would never move her team.”
She and Dick used to go bass fishing every summer with Chuck Knox and other Seahawks in Central Washington. Tricky and Chuck would stay up late telling football stories while knocking back cocktails next the campfire. Mama is so much part of the Seahawk family that she even stays in touch with Dave Krieg’s mom.
Dick passed away nearly two years ago. A devastating loss for certain. However, Mama Blue’s zest for life keeps her going. She has a large extended family of children and grandchildren. A hairdresser by trade (she had her own shop for 40 years), she still styles hair twice a week out of her own home salon (decorated in Seahawks and Marilyn Monroe artwork). Although she is in her late 70s, she is sharp as a tack with a great (and salty) sense of humor. Plus she makes the best garlic pickles you will ever eat.
If you ever run into Mama Blue at Qwest, be sure to say hello. If you want a picture with her, she’s always gracious enough to oblige. She is the embodiment of the 12th Man. A part of Seahawk history. A part of our history.[Comments taken in SeahawkBlue Forums]