Seahawks fandom alive in Tri-Cities

Geoff Folsom, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 17, 2014 

seahawks fan tattoo salon

McKenzie Jane Brown, a stylist at Mane FX Salon in Kennewick, got a tattoo of the Seahawks logo on her head in hopes of winning tickets to last week's playoff game against the New Orleans Saints, but placed second in the radio contest. Brown doesn't regret the move, though, and plans on growing her hair out in the offseason, but shaving it when fall football starts again.

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As Seattle Seahawks fans go crazy with their blue and green fanaticism, a Kennewick hairstylist decided to make a permanent statement of support.

McKenzie Jane Brown has no regrets about her decision to get a tattoo of the Seahawks logo on the side of her head.

The hawk silhouette over the number "12," symbolizing the team's fan base, known as the 12th Man for being like an extra player in the game, will be forever on the left side of Brown's scalp.

And that's how long Brown, 28, and other Tri-City Seahawks fans said they will be supporting their team.

Mid-Columbians are showing their support for the Seahawks while the team prepares to face the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday for the right to play in Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2 in East Rutherford, N.J.

Brown decided to get her 10th tattoo after hearing a local radio station was giving away two tickets to last week's divisional playoff game in Seattle to the fan with the best Seahawks-related photo.

She shaved off the left side of her long black hair and her husband, Matt Brown, an artist at Parkway Tattoo in Richland, got to work.

"I always wanted to have a Seahawks tattoo, but I didn't want a logo to interrupt the other tattoos," she said. "That's why I felt the head would be perfect."

McKenzie Brown has been a Seahawks fan since she was young, learning a love of the team from family members from Coupeville on Whidbey Island. But she's never been to a game in person.

"I was really hoping the first one would be the playoffs," she said.

She ended up losing the radio contest, sponsored by 98.3 The Key, to a man dressed in a Seahawks-themed Batman costume.

"I came in second, but nothing else changed," she said. "I may have a little bit of an itchy head, but I'm still loud and proud."

It hurt for McKenzie Brown to get the tattoo on her cranium, though not as bad as the lily tattooed on her neck, she said.

So far, her customers have enjoyed the new addition.

"I thought I was going to freak them out, but they're really supportive," she said.

McKenzie Brown plans to keep the tattoo exposed until the Super Bowl, assuming the Seahawks are in it, then grow her hair back. She will shave it again in the fall for the 2014 season.

Brown isn't the only Tri-Citian getting into the Seahawks spirit.

A group plans to hike to the top of Badger Mountain today and form a human "12" at the top, with a large crowd circled around. The event had more than 450 Facebook users say they were going to take part as of Friday.

"I wanted to see how many people we can get out," said hike organizer James Gojenola, 29, of Pasco. "So I sent out this massive post. It kind of blew up."

Gojenola, a Seahawks fan since he was 10, isn't worried about wind atop the Richland hill.

"We were playing Drew Brees, so we can stand any kind of breeze they can send us," he said, referring to the Saints quarterback.

The group plans to meet at 2 p.m. at the trailhead off Queensgate Drive, Gojenola said. They will take a group photo at 2:25 p.m. and begin hiking at 2:30 p.m.

The Seahawks have had just one Super Bowl appearance, a loss, since entering the National Football League in 1976. Fans hope this is their year.

"It's the most exciting thing I have to look forward to every week," Gojenola said of the team's games.

The Seahawks are the one thing that brings the Tri-Cities together, Brown said.

"You have a lot of Seahawks attire popping up at Albertsons and places you wouldn't normally see," she said. "If you go anywhere on game day, it's hard to see anybody not in a jersey. I know it brings me and my family and friends closer together."

-- Geoff Folsom: 509-582-1543; gfolsom@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @GeoffFolsom

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