Courtesy of the Seahawks Club
Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014 | 2 a.m.
If you are a Seattle Seahawks fan in Las Vegas wanting to watch Sunday’s Super Bowl with other supporters, cross Scooter’s Pub on South Rainbow Boulevard off your list of possibilities.
There won’t be an empty seat. And there won’t be any Broncos fans.
Scooter’s feels like downtown Seattle on game days, packed with members of the Las Vegas Sea Hawkers fan club wearing navy and green Seahawks gear and passionately cheering for a team they desperately want to win their first championship.
Seattle has one of the best fan bases in the NFL, becoming virtually unbeatable at home because of the raucous game-day environment created by the 12th Man — what fans are affectionately called because of how they impact the game.
The dedication of local supporters mirrors the craziness.
From fans chanting “Sea-Fense, Sea-Fense” when the Seahawks are on defense to exchanging high-fives, hugs and uncontrollable yelling when Seattle scores a touchdown, the scene inside Scooter’s resembles CenturyLink Field on game days.
“They say it’s the closest thing to being in Seattle,” said J.M. Pohorsky, the owner of Scooter’s. When Seattle beat the San Francisco 49ers two weeks ago in the NFC Championship game, Pohorsky’s staff immediately began taking reservations for Super Bowl Sunday. Quickly, they sold out more than 300 seats and had to turn away about 50 fans.
“It’s a tight-knit group. We have been through the good, the bad and the ugly with the team,” said Ron Pendergrass, president of the Las Vegas Sea Hawkers. “It’s a passionate group. We’re always loud.”
They are Southern Nevada’s official Seahawks fan club, paying a $100 fee annually to seahawkers.org for their charter. There’s about 400 members in the local group, each of whom pays $15 in annual dues.
Being part of the group is more than showing up on Sundays to watch a game.
A majority of the members are originally from the Pacific Northwest, finding comfort in being part of the group because it connects them with home. They share stories about attending games in the old Kingdome and rehash legendary games from past seasons.
They also take an interest in each others’ background, finding which city they are from and likely having friends in common. They get together for birthdays, anniversaries and during the holidays.
“It’s a camaraderie that’s indescribable,” Pendergrass said. “We’ve learned it’s a pretty small world.”
The cheering Sunday will begin one hour before kickoff, when supporters raise the 12th Man flag outside the bar. It rarely ends for these diehards, a group that includes some with Seahawks tattoos and others with shrines to the team in their homes.
It might seem overboard for some, but for these fans, it’s a way of life.
They have become so popular that Seahawks fans vacationing in Las Vegas often come into Scooter’s to watch the game with someone. Other fans have come to Las Vegas strictly to be part of game days with the club.
“I’ve become a Seahawks fan,” Pohorsky said. “I’ve seen these guys every single Sunday for the past three years. It’s great for them to (get to experience the Super Bowl).”
But what if you are a Denver Broncos fan?
The Road Runner on Flamingo Road and Grand Canyon Drive is one of Southern Nevada’s most popular Denver Broncos bars. For the past two playoff games, it also was at capacity, having to turn away about 40 fans each week.
Road Runner's management plans to add 60 seats for Super Bowl Sunday and hopes to seat 300 people for the game. They urge fans to arrive early and will offer $2 beer prior to kickoff. They also have a Bronco burger.