Seattle native Couples raises 12th MAN flag at Seahawks game on MNFDecember 03, 2013
By Mark Williams, Champions Tour
Champions Tour fan favorite and Seattle native Fred Couples was honored at the Monday Night Football game between the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints on Dec. 2 when he was selected to raise the 12th MAN Flag before the start of the game.
At every home game just before kickoff, the flag is raised in honor of the Seattle Seahawks fans, known as the loudest and proudest in the NFL, so much so that the league instituted a noise rule in 1985. Despite the rule, the Seahawks still retain a significant advantage at CenturyLink Field to this day.
The tradition of the 12th MAN Flag began Oct. 12, 2003, when 12 original season ticket-holders hoisted the flag prior to kick off. Current and former Seahawks greats, coaches, local celebrities, prominent fans and Seattle-area athletes are called upon to raise the flag.
In Monday night’s game, where the Seahawks comfortably defeated the Saints 34-7, the Seattle fans set a Guinness World Record for noise when 137.6 decibels were reached by the cheering crowd. According to the Seattle Times, the fans also created a minor earthquake by jumping up and down during Michael Bennett’s 22-yard fumble return for a touchdown. The University of Washington has a seismometer in a warehouse near the stadium that recorded the seismic activity.
Couples, a World Golf Hall of Fame inductee earlier this year, has always been a Seahawks fan, holding season tickets even though he lives in Los Angeles. At this year’s Boeing Classic, a Champions Tour event at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge near Seattle, Couples wore a Seahawks hat for the last couple of holes.
“I tried to change the mojo by wearing the hat on 17, but I still bogeyed the hole,” said Couples, who eventually finished third, four strokes behind rookie winner John Riegger, in his hometown event.
Last August, the Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate and kicker Steven Hauschka took to TPC Snoqualmie to tackle the Boeing Classic’s Monday pro-am. Later that week, Jim Gallagher, Jr. and Bart Bryant, who had just won the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open a week earlier, visited the Seahawks training camp and tossed a few passes with the team.
In recent years, those to raise the 12th MAN Flag have included actor Tom Skerritt, MLB pitcher Tim Lincecum, soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo and a group of Olympic athletes from the state of Washington.
The Boeing Classic will return to TPC Snoqualmie Ridge in 2014 and celebrate the 10th playing of the tournament. Past champions include World Golf Hall of Fame members Bernhard Langer and Tom Kite.