Wearing a Russell Wilson jersey and a big smile, Jen Lee danced like a kid at Christmas after she was chosen to raise the 12th Man flag at Olympia City Hall.
Olympia hosted a Seahawks Super Bowl rally Wednesday for city employees. Those who donated food to the Thurston County Food Bank were eligible for a drawing to raise the blue flag that represents the team’s fans.
After a countdown from 12, Lee sent the blue flag upward at 12:12 p.m. while city employees cheered and motorists honked. Employees showed their Seahawks spirit with jerseys, handheld 12th Man flags of their own, and even Richard Sherman’s shouting head on a stick.
“I’ve been wanting it all week,” said Lee, a customer service and programming assistant who works at the front desk.
Participants filled three barrels with food. A donation of three items earned one entry in the flag-raising drawing, and a donation of five items was good for five entries. The public is welcome to donate food at City Hall through Friday.
“In true Olympia tradition, we had fun and we did something good for the community,” City Manager Steve Hall said at the rally before leading a “Go Seahawks” cheer. Hall purchased the flag with his own money and said the city can “leave it up for a long time, depending on how big their victory is.”
The city employs about 500 people; about 200 work at City Hall.
With all the excitement building up to the Super Bowl, what about the morning after? According to AOL Jobs, an extra 1.5 million people are expected to call in sick Monday, the day after the Super Bowl. The nation’s employers also lose up to $850 million in productivity due to chit-chat about the big game.
Perhaps the extra absences are linked to chicken wing sales, which spike in the week leading up to the Super Bowl. The National Chicken Council reports that Americans will devour 1.25 billion wings Sunday. That’s enough to stretch 30 times from CenturyLink Field to MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
The council also reports that Seattle fans are 44 percent less likely to eat chicken wings than the average U.S. resident, while in Denver, only 5 percent are less likely to eat wings.
“With a team from Washington state and Colorado playing in the Super Bowl, the Council has high hopes that chicken munchie consumption will increase as a result,” according to the chicken council’s website.
Andy Hobbs: 360-704-6869