Paul Allen Book Giveaway Winners

It’s Monday, which means it’s time to reveal the five winners of the Paul Allen Idea Man book giveaway!  It was incredibly difficult whittling the entries down to just five names; you guys sent in some fantastic memories, enough that I could’ve easily given away another dozen books.

The first winning memory comes from John M., and it pretty much encapsulates the entire Ken Behring era experience:

My worst Behring memory is from 1992, one of the darkest times in Hawk history.  It was a home game against the Bengals. Maybe 40,000 people were there, almost a record low attendance at that time.  My dad and I are in our seats and stand for the National Anthem.  I look all around to see who is singing the anthem when I realize that I recognize this version.  Then it comes to me: they are playing a tape of the Whitney Houston anthem from the Bills/Giants 1991 Super Bowl!!!  Behring was so cheap he couldn’t even find someone to sing the Anthem!!!  I looked at my dad, he looked at me, and we both agreed that this was the lowest point in Hawk history!

A lot of you sent in your memories of the 2005 season, especially the championship game against the Panthers. (The second-biggest group? Marshawn Lynch steamrolling the entire Saints defense.  Good times.)  But out of all them, the one I felt deserved to win the most was this entry from Garry C.  Read it and you’ll see what I mean:

My son Davis and I were invited to the game against Indy on Dec 24th, 2005.  We were given access to a suite provided by Tod Leiweke because Davis was dying of cancer and had limited
time.  Tod, Grant Wistrom, and Seahawk Management — but especially Tod and Grant — saw to it that Davis had a great time.  Sitting in that suite made Davis‘ day; the crowd was electric, and Davis had on his Hasselbeck jersey. Davis was very tired, but he enjoyed the game and we managed to stick it out and enjoy the Seahawk Victory.

The Seahawks made calls to us and Tod checked in often.  Tod Leiweke is a wonderful man. You could tell he was genuine. I wish Tod well in his new adventure.

Davis passed away the next day, Christmas Day 2005. Davis was 11.

In case some of you are interested, the foundation Gary set up in memory of his son Davis can be found here.

Next up is Billy B.  His entry is a long one, but I liked the way it reminded me that even a down season like 2008 had some bright spots in it:

Being a college student at UW from 05-09, I witnessed (from my couch) the BEST and WORST of hawk football. In 2008, a good friend of mine got season tickets. Given the horrible season, he was kind enough to offer me tickets to a few games, and I ended up attending the final four home games.

You probably remember the week 16 matchup versus the Brett Favre NY Jets. Well, this memory starts before the game even started.  My friend called me about 2 hours before game time with an extra ticket.  It had snowed that week and most of Seattle was at a crawl, especially the Greenlake area off Aurora where I lived. I didn’t want to try driving down in my little Mazda Protégé, so I tried to catch the bus. I stood at my bus stop outside my house, but no bus came for 10 minutes. I walked to the next stop and waited, then walked to the next and waited some more. After half an hour outside I finally realized that because of the snow the busses weren’t driving up my street, so I thought “okay, easy fix, I’ll catch one on Aurora instead.” Well, 3 full busses and an hour later, I was still standing on Aurora with a half an hour to go until game time.

Bummed out, I was telling my friend on the phone that I probably wouldn’t make it when I came up with the plan of walking north to try and catch a bus before it was full. Enter my savior. Three blocks into my walk, this little red truck with chains on and a bed full of snow flies up onto the sidewalk near the bus stop, then the driver jumps out and says “ten bucks and I’ll take whoever needs to go to the game.” But damn it, I didn’t have any cash!  One guy had already jumped into the front seat of the truck (which was the only extra seat) so it was now or never. I asked the driver if I could stop at an ATM downtown to get cash for him and he said that was fine and told me I would have to ride in the bed.

I thought, “alright, so this is how it’s gotta be,” and sat down in a spot in the snow hollowed out by other people he had given rides to. He stopped at another bus stop and two people jumped into the bed with me. We rode in the freezing bed of this tiny truck down 99, across the bridge, through the tunnel, onto the viaduct, and down onto the streets near the stadium. I reminded the driver I needed an ATM and he said he would drive me to one, but.just then one of the guys in the back with me stopped both of us, grabbed some extra cash from his pocket, and said “Merry Christmas.” It was still four days before Christmas, but that was the best present I’ve ever gotten from a stranger.

After being able to make it down to the game, actually seeing the game was just the icing on the cake of my freezing adventure. And we were treated with a pretty entertaining victory where both amazing Brett Favre amazing and horrible Brett Favre showed up. He made plays for his team with his legs in the snow, but also threw a pick six to Josh Wilson where afterwards Wilson jumped into the snow bank in the back of the endzone and threw snow like a little kid. Seeing the fans in each endzone throwing snowballs at the Jets had to be one of the funniest things I have seen at a football game, at least until i saw Shaun Ellis (I think it was) toss a snow boulder into the stands. Comical man, just ridiculous, but so was the rest of my day prior to that so all seemed right.

This next one from Sammy T. won almost on style points alone.  Two words: trashcan barricade.

I don’t have a single favorite memory of my longtime Seahawks fandom (I’ve been a fan since the inaugural season), but I will share the despair I felt during the Behring almost-move to Anaheim (or L.A., or wherever). I was living in San Diego at the time and every year held my “Annual Seahawks Party.” Because the ‘Hawks and Chargers were AFC West rivals, it meant Seattle visited Jack Murphy Stadium once per year. I invited several friends who were all Charger fans, one buddy who had moved down to SD from Bellingham (I was from north of Spokane), and my brother who followed me a down a few years later. It was a friendly rivalry (no stabbings like at Raider games) and my friends were always ready to rib me and vice versa as we gathered at the A-4 light pole in the parking lot. My brother and I would get there when the gates opened at 8:00 AM and steal trashcans to make a barricade, then set up the BBQs. Later our Charger fan friends would show up for beers, brats, burgers and Nerf football until the cops would make us tear down the barricade.  Come to think of it, I guess these are also my fondest memories of being a fan.

But when Behring almost Irsayed the Seahawks to Southern California, it was a dark time for Seahawks fans. My brother and buddy and I wondered who the hell we’d root for if they moved, because it sure as hell wouldn’t be a team up in hated L.A. I’d lived in San Diego a while and had become a Padres fan (I never was a fan of the M’s) and still am today, so we actually contemplated a switch to being – GASP! – fans of the rival Chargers. Cool uniforms, we lived there, etc. Luckily that never happened, because Allen saved the day. But imagine if we’d lost our beloved Seahawks and became Chargers fans only to have them stripped away to L.A. too? We’d be scarred for life!

Last but not least, our final winner comes from Gregory B., who definitely needs to share his copy of Idea Man with his friend Denis:

During the start of this last season, which was also first year of being a season ticket holder, my wife lost her job. We were good because we had saved, but we still had to change our lifestyle. She was unable to find work for the entire season, so come playoff time you can imagine our savings had took a hit and buying playoff tickets wasn’t reasonable.

The day before the Saints game I had to pick up my best friend Denis from SeaTac. He happens to be a Charger fan, but lives in Seattle and loves football. Denis started talking about the game and could tell I wasn’t as pumped as much as normally would be because I was sad about not being able to go. Being the best friend imaginable, he said “F*** that, you don’t miss games — were going, I’m buying us the best seats possible, and were going to watch your favorite team win.”  And that’s exactly what happened: my best friend bought us 200 level seats and we watched the Seahawks smack the Saints in the mouth. This experience was amazing, but even more important, and amazing, is what my best friend did for me. 

Some say 7-9, but I say magic. We weren’t supposed to win and I wasn’t supposed to go to the game, but where there is a will there is a way, and the Seahawks and my best friend made me cry that day.  The bond that Seahawks football creates is unreal.

Thank you to everyone who participated — you guys rock.  Feel free to share any other memories you have in the comments below, and if you’re one of the lucky few who won I’ll be sending you a congratulatory email shortly.  Just reply with a mailing address and I’ll send your new book on its way.  Enjoy!