Sunday, February 05, 2006

Seattle "12th Man" Meets Karma in Detroit

There has been a brewing controversy over the past several weeks between Texas A&M University and the Seattle Seahawks. It's not about football recruits, but rather about the use of the term "12th Man" to describe their fans.

A&M has used the term since 1922 when former player E. King Gill suited up to play in the Dixie Classic when the Aggie team's injuries were mounting. Gill never had to play, but he was standing on the sidelines at the ready. From then on, the Aggie student section began the tradition of standing during all games at the ready in case they were called on to play. Thus was born the true 12th Man.

Seattle began calling it's fans the "12th Man" in the 1980's. Enough said. Plus A&M has a trademark on the name and has defended it successfully against the Chicago Bears and the Buffalo Bills. Seattle fans can bitch and complain all they want, but the fact remains that we have laws governing trademarks and if this was an unrealistic trademark, it would have never been granted to Texas A&M. But it was and so it is only right that corporations respect one another's trademarks. I'm sure Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen would have his laywers jump in to sue Texas A&M if we started using Microsoft trademarks.

While watching the Superbowl tonight, I do have to give Seahawks fans credit for making a lot of noise in the first quarter, but they didn't sustain like the 12th Man does. They are pretenders. They crapped out when their team was having trouble and they lost.

Here I am (on the far right, above the "N" in 12th Man) at Kyle Field at Texas A&M on November 26, 1999. Despite being behind at half time, the 12th Man helped the unranked and struggling Aggies defeat the No. 5 ranked Texas Longhorns that clear day. That's what a real 12th Man does!

1 comment:

katielady said...

Tim Smith is the real 12th Man.