Ginger Symington of Olympia was on a mission on Sunday afternoon: She was buying items for a Super Bowl care package for her son, a sophomore at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.
The blue and white 12th Man flags and Seattle Seahawks banners hanging on a clothesline at a stand in Hawks Prairie caught her eye.
“They want to fly the 12th flag over their frat for the game,” Symington said.
Then, she saw a T-shirt featuring a grim reaper and the words “Seattle: Crushing teams and their under inflated balls since 1976.” She couldn’t resist it.
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“That’s hilarious,” said Symington told sales representative Lee White.
The temporary booth, located in a gas station parking lot at Marvin Road Northeast and Quinault Drive Northeast, has been doing a brisk business since it opened about two weeks ago, White said. It’s one of 22 mobile sports kiosks in the Puget Sound area operated by L& G Concessions of Tampa, Florida, White said. Three are in Thurston County.
White travels around the country selling T-shirts, banners, towels, hats, decals and other sports merchandise.
“NBA, NHL, basketball, everything,” White said, who hails from New Orleans. “We don’t work until they win.”
Before he came to Lacey to sell Hawks gear, White’s last major gig was hawking Royals’ gear during Kansas City’s run to the World Series.
He doesn’t know where he’ll land after the Super Bowl.
“It just depends,” he said. “We’re looking at basketball after this.”
White said his company only sends vendors to places where “fans have the fever.” And, by the way, they’re not in New England right now.
“The Patriots have won too much,” White said. “Everyone’s got everything already.”
Hawks fans are a little different than any others he’s seen around the country.
“They’re passionate,” White said.
Komachin Middle School math teacher Katherine Davis of Lacey agrees.
Even thought she’s a lifelong Denver Broncos fan, Davis is embracing all things green, blue and 12 — at least, for now. Last year’s game was difficult to watch, but the excitement of a potential back-to-back national championship for Seattle is contagious, she said.
“I think the productivity around the state this week is going to be pretty low,” said Davis, who bought a Seahawks flag at White’s stand for her brother. “I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t give homework on Friday.”