Our Northwest

Wilson the 12th Pony steals Norm's thunder

Saturday, January 17, 2015by  Jon Osterberg

Another Seahawks celebrity raised our 12 flag on our roof Friday: Norm Johnson.
   Some of my younger colleagues, unaware of Norm's stardom as an All-Pro placekicker for the 1982-1990 Seahawks, got more excited to greet Wilson the 12th Pony, who accompanied Norm to PEMCO.
   To give you an idea of how impactful Norm was in the NFL, he's the league's No. 10 all-time scorer with 1,736 points. Most of those came with the Seahawks before he left to play for the Falcons, Steelers, and Eagles.
   When Norm arrived at PEMCO I handed him two photos from his previous visit in March 1989, when he and the late great Pete Gross, the original "Voice of the Seahawks," came to show the team's 1988 highlights video at a PEMCO community meeting.
   Norm made so many local appearances in the 1980s that I think he'd forgotten his previous PEMCO visit. He was impressed with my photos, but not for their composition or contours.
   "Wow, look how dark my hair was then," Norm said wistfully.
   Wilson was very calm and well-behaved. Adorned in Seahawks colors – as was Sarah Kessler, Wilson's owner – I assumed the miniature therapy pony was named after QB Russell Wilson.
   Not so. Sarah told me he's named after Wilson in the movie "Castaway," the volleyball that served as Tom Hanks' sole friend.
   Wilson weighs less than 150 pounds and, since he's trained as a therapy pony and has appropriate credentials, we brought him up to PEMCO's roof to watch Norm raise our 12th Man flag.
   Wilson rode the elevator, calmly walked through work areas, and even climbed a flight of stairs to our rooftop. Then he watched Norm crank up the huge flag.
   Employees lined up to get their picture taken with Wilson. Oh, and Norm, too. (That's okay, Norm – a few of us older fans know you are the true star.)
   Afterward, Sarah went to park Wilson's trailer and asked me to stay with the pony on the sidewalk. Wilson soon drew a large crowd. A few times the little guy softly nibbled my knuckles, perhaps searching for a treat he thought might be hidden in my palm. No harm done.
   Norm, Sarah, and Wilson then left to walk downtown to the Seahawks rally at Westlake Center.
   These Seahawks flag-raisings are a blast. Let's pound the Packers and do one more before the Super Bowl.
   Go Hawks!

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Comments on this post

personLaShaunda01/20/2015 10:15 AM
This is actually a question about the 12,000 sq. ft. banner that will be flying over the superbowl. I have submitted a picture, however even though I know I am on the banner, I do not know how I can pull it up to look at everyone who is on it. Do you have a website or way that I can admire all of my Seahawk brothers and sisters and see my 12th man face?

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