Seahawks fans pump up themselves, team at Renton City Hall rally
By ADAM MCFADDEN
Renton Reporter Staff Writer
January 7, 2011 · Updated 3:35 PM
Around 200 Seahawks fans braved the downpour to attend a rally at Renton City Hall on the eve of Seattle's playoff game against the New Orleans Saints.
Fans huddled under tents in the City Hall parking lot and took advantage of free hot dogs and chips while they waited for the event to kick off.
The Seahawks' Tony Ventrella emceed the event and got it started by correcting the team's record.
"When teams are in the playoffs your record is zero and zero," Ventrella said to cheers. "That is all that counts. At 4:30 tomorrow afternoon, we will be one and zero."
The Seahawks finished 7-9 this season and won the NFC West to earn a playoff berth. They are the first NFL team to enter the playoffs with a losing record and in Saturday's playoff game against New Orleans, Seattle is the biggest home underdog in NFL history.
Renton Mayor Denis Law spoke for a moment and introduced the team as the Renton Seahawks to a large reaction from the crowd.
Former Seahawks Paul Johns and Nesby Glasgow were also on hand to provide some encouraging words.
"We definitely have a chance," Johns said. "We're playing at home, we're playing in the rain. We gave them a pretty good game down there, but now they have to come in here."
Seattle lost 34-19 at New Orleans in Week 11 of the regular season.
The Seahawks' mascot Blitz made an appearance along with two Sea Gals. Blitz played catch and took photos with fans and even playfully tried to throw a rogue Saints fan out of the rally.
Fans were undaunted by the rainy and windy weather. Josh Anson, his wife Amber and children Kaleb and Jordan, won the fan spirit contest.
"It feels awesome," Anson said. "Since there are a lot of skeptics out there, we wanted to make sure to show our support for the team."
Anson and his family, who live in Tacoma, won gift cards and a 12th Man flag.
Superfan Chris Johnson was on hand along with WeeHawk, a Seahawk doll that has gained fame at games and online.
"The people who are saying we can't beat New Orleans need to check out of the commentating business because they've got guys hurt and they have to come here and face our fans," Johnson said.
The Saints will be without their two leading rushers, Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas. Safety Malcom Jenkins and tight end Jimmy Graham are also expected to miss the game.
The nationally televised game starts Saturday at 1:30 p.m. on NBC.Contact Renton Reporter Staff Writer Adam McFadden at email@example.com or 425-255-3484.