One of the league’s largest and loudest fan bases will not be in attendance this NFL season, however, the tradition of raising the 12th man flag will live on at CenturyLink Stadium in Seattle, Washington.
Year after year, the Seahawks fanbase - the “12s” - make it near impossible with each snap for opposing offenses to hear anything. How it all begins is the raising of the flag just before kickoff, letting opponents know the 12s are ready.
Those in the past who have had the pleasure of raising the flag include: musicians Macklemore and Dave Matthews; Sergeant First Class Ryan Hendrickson; members of the NBA World Championship 1978-79 Seattle SuperSonics; and gymnast Katelyn Ohashi.
It is a special and consistent tradition at Seahawks games, but this season will mean something more.
On Friday, the Seahawks announced that the tradition will continue:
The Seahawks and Walmart announced today that they are teaming up to honor a community MVP with the ultimate game day experience - the opportunity to be the only family in attendance during the Seahawks home opener and lead one of the team's most sacred traditions, the raising of the 12 Flag.
[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry].
The first “12” to raise the flag this Sunday against the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football is Dr. Eliot Fagley.
“Eliot Fagley, MD, an anesthesiologist who leads the Critical Care Unit's COVID-19 response at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, was selected to represent physicians, nurses, patient care techs, therapy experts, and pharmacists, and their collaborative effort to lead critical care for COVID-19 patients. Dr. Fagley will raise the 12 Flag prior to kick off on behalf of his entire team of frontline workers, at Sunday's Seahawks vs. Patriots matchup on Sunday Night Football. A 12 Flag also flew proudly at Virginia Mason earlier this week.”
The honor doesn’t stop there, either.
Dr. Fagley and his family will then be allowed to watch the game from the stands and be the only fans in attendance.
Read more about the tradition, Dr. Fagley and Walmart+ here.