A History of the Sea Hawkers Booster Club
by Tracy Miller and Sue Bates
When the Seattle Seahawks formed a team in 1976, it sparked an interest with fans to start a booster club. A handful of individuals went to the general manager, John Thompson, and presented him with a format for a booster club that was based on the Baltimore Colts (now known as the Indianapolis Colts) boosters. After much consideration, the Seahawks organization agreed to allow a booster club to be formed.
The first step was to establish the name — “Sea Hawkers Booster Club.” Five chapters were formed in the local area: East, North, Southend, Metropolitan, and South Sound. After the chapters were created, a central council was formed to govern the rules and by-laws for chapters, making sure that there was conformity throughout the entire club. An announcement was sent out with season ticket information to spark the fan’s interest. Then, depending on where one resided, they would be placed in the appropriate chapter.
A year or so after the Sea Hawkers Booster Club was established, members were invited to greet players at the airport after away games. Sea Hawkers gathered at the terminal throughout the season to support the team through wins, losses, and any type of weather. Many times they helped fix flat tires, assist with dead car batteries, and keep players spouses and children company. During the Christmas season, one couple even dressed as Mr. and Mrs. Clause and handed out candy canes.
In the 80s, two player strikes occurred which caused attendance and membership to dwindle. The Sea Hawkers decided that since their focus was to support the Seahawks, no comment, good or bad was to be made to media regarding the strike. Then the Behring years hit, and the club’s membership still struggled. These years made it clear who the true, hardcore fans were.
Throughout the years, Sea Hawkers were involved with many charities. One popular event was a luncheon and fashion show which was an all club function sponsored by an individual chapter. Wives of players and Seahawks coaches were a few of the guests in attendance. This was a great way to welcome new wives to the area and thank the others for the support they showed to their husbands and the Booster Club.
The Sandpoint Naval Air Station would provide a hangar for a Christmas party that Sea Hawkers put on for children at the oncology department in the Children’s Hospital. The kids were served food and given gifts, while Sea gals and/or players entertained and kept them company.
The Special Olympics held four dance marathons to raise money for their event to be held at Fort Lewis. Pledges were collected from the dancers with proceeds going to the cause. Each Sea Hawkers chapter usually had a representative available to dance the night away, and at least one Sea Hawkers member always ended up in the top ten.
Draft Day was another exciting event, and a good reason to get together with friends and fans. KIRO held Draft Day parties, and Sea Hawkers always had a section that KIRO held for them. Decorations would be a must, and the Sea Hawkers always made and wore buttons with a very clever saying. After the 1st-round pick was chosen, the Sea Hawkers would actually fly the player in to the party, and everyone would get a chance to mingle with the new star.
The Sea Hawkers were invited to be one of the first to view the prior years NFL Highlight Film. This is a tradition that is carried on today, and is now combined with the Annual Sea Hawkers Banquet. Each year, the Sea Hawkers vote on whomever was the Seahawks Rookie of the Year for the previous season. At the Annual Sea Hawkers Banquet, the award is then presented to the player if they’re able to be present. This is something that the Sea Hawkers really enjoy.
Sea Hawkers were able to volunteer their time for players charities, as well as passing out posters and sponsored items at the games. Anything that has to do with the Seahawks, we were there.
The Annual Sea Hawkers BBQ/Picnic is always a great time, and has been a tradition since 1977. In the past it has been held at Seahawks headquarters, which gave the members a chance to feel a little closer to the team they love.
Training camp has always been a favorite time for many of the Sea Hawkers. The setting is much more intimate for the fans, as they can get up close to players, coaches, and staff. The Seahawks would generously provide some sort of brunch, lunch, or dinner for V.I.P. guests.
The Sea Hawkers have supported the Seahawks through thick and thin, good and bad, and will continue to do so in the future. After all, what could be more fun than throwing your heart and support into cheering and rooting for one thing that you really love — The Seahawks!