Everybody loves Chris Hansen!
To just about everyone it seems (aside from Mariners bigwigs, a few stubborn Port of Seattle officials, and some schmucks from Bellevue), Chris Hansen has become something of a local hero. The original Seattleite and uber-wealthy hedge fund manager has won fans far and wide around the Emerald City for his efforts to build an arena in SoDo, and more importantly bring NBA basketball and the Sonics back to town.
Everybody loves Chris Hansen!
With the Seattle City Council set to formally approve a revised Memorandum of Understanding this coming Monday - a vote that seemingly paves the way for the arena Hansen and his supporters have worked and clamored so tirelessly for - sports fans in Seattle are in a congratulatory mood.
And, in a sign of the times, some of that backslapping and congratulating is coming via Facebook.
In the time since the tentative agreement on Hansen's arena deal was announced, some fans have started to lobby the Seahawks to invite Hansen to raise the 12th Man flag at a Century Link Field home game - resulting in the creation of at least two Chris Hansen/12th Man flag-related Facebook pages.
Last Friday 35-year-old John Merganz of Edmonds, who works at downtown Seattle museum and considers himself a major local sports fan, created a Facebook page aiming to rally support for Hansen raising the 12th Man flag - a page that garnered close to 400 "Likes" in five days of existence.
And there's another such page to hit the Interwebs - a group page under the name "Hansen 12 man flag raising at seahawks home game." It has racked up almost 500 members so far.
These are admittedly small endeavors, but they speak to the current adoration Seattle sports fans feel toward Hansen.
"The page has been crazy," says Merganz of his effort. "I really want to see it happen. I think it would be awesome. If [Hansen] does it, I can see the Clink being loud. It'll be exciting. The reaction would be thunderous."
While an invitation to raise the 12th Man flag might seem trivial to some, many local sports fans consider it quite an honor - and one of the more fitting ways the sports-loving masses can thank someone for their contributions to sports in Seattle. Previous 12th Man flag raisers include recent Hall of Fame inductee Cortez Kennedy, Sonics legend Gary Payton and M's icon Ken Griffey Jr.
Now, thanks to his efforts to bring the Sonics back to town, Merganz says the time has come to honor Hansen in similar fashion.
"The whole arena deal, brining basketball back to Seattle, it's been special, I think," says Merganz of Hansen's efforts.
While Merganz originally created his Facebook page with the title Chris Hansen Should Raise the 12th Man Flag Sept. 24" - a title which was apparently locked in after the page received 200 "Likes" - he says the actual date that it happens isn't what's important.
What's important, Merganz says, is that it eventually happens.
"I'm really pushing it. I'm actually posting more on my Chris Hansen Facebook than I am on my personal Facebook page," says Merganz. "Hopefully the Seahawks will see a lot of people want to see this happen. Right now he's kind of a hero to the city, especially the sports fans, the Sonics fans, for actually getting this to happen. He's brought hope back to the city, I guess you could say."
A representative for the Seahawks tells Seattle Weekly the team has received "several suggestions for Chris Hansen to raise the 12th Man Flag, and Seahawks will consider him for a future flag raising."