- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 12, 2006

Blue and green will be rare colors in the region tomorrow. Seattle Seahawks fans are not necessarily flocking around the nation’s capital, talons poised.

But they’re out there.

“Oh yes. We’re here. We may be few in number, but we’re here,” said Catherine Manning, a Seahawks aficionado who will be serving up the glories of football cuisine in her Virginia home with a smile — and some diplomacy as well.

Her husband, Bill, is a Redskins man.

“We’re going to be very, very nice to each other, watching on a big-screen TV in the family room,” Mrs. Manning said. “But of course, I’ve got my Steve Largent poster up in the living room.”

The couple will keep a symbol of their gridiron rivalry handy — a handmade wooden sign featuring a beribboned, grinning couple, bearing the twin mottos “Cathy loves Seahawks” and “Bill loves Redskins.” The wee sign is bordered in hearts, of course.

“Can’t get that sign anywhere. I had a lady make it for me at a crafts fair down in Fredericksburg,” Mrs. Manning said. “That’s what you do when you fall in love with a Redskins fan.”

The Mannings are both from Washington state — she from Oak Harbor, he from Tacoma.

“He was born in Tacoma so he always rooted for the Seahawks. But once he got here, well, he just went with the Redskins,” Mrs. Manning explained. “And I have to hand it to him. When the Skins won over the Hawks last year, he just kind of smiled, didn’t rub it in. Hopefully I’ll be the one smiling Saturday.”

It’s slim pickings, though, for other Seahawkers — the official fan moniker — around town.

“To my knowledge, we have nothing planned for them here,” said a spokeswoman for Hooters in Fairfax, still listed as a “Hawks-friendly” spot by the Seahawks’ official Web site.

Ditto the ESPN Zone and Buffalo Billiards, both in the District. Respective spokeswomen reported that no private parties were in the offing, no seating areas cordoned off. That is not the case many thousands of miles away.

“We have some very active fan clubs among active duty military in the Mideast, and in Alaska, Australia and Britain,” Seahawks spokesman Kevin Griffin said yesterday.

Indeed, British fans have been known to don blue jerseys and repair to spots such as Bodean BBQ Restaurant in London to holler at the TV just like their American counterparts. Far-flung Seahawkers also are throwing down the playoff gauntlet online at such Web logs as “Seattle Seahawks Fans Anonymous” and the message boards of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

“Yesterday I strung a green rope light around the front window and the door, a blue rope light around the landscaping,” wrote MDSeahawk, who plans to add an 8-foot Seahawks banner to the display today.

“My neighbors and people that drive by are having a cow because I live not 45 miles from Washington, in Baltimore. There are plenty of Redskins fans around here,” the fan observed.

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