Canceled Seahawks season looms as nightmare for ’12th man’

It’s a nightmare scenario for Seattle Seahawks fans – a cancelled football season.

As the NFL owners and players squabble over how to divvy up $9 billion in revenue, the football faithful wonder: what about us?

Some of those faithful gathered Sunday at Qwest Field to stage a protest and vent their feelings over the lockout.

The NFL season doesn’t kick off for another five months, so there’s still time for a new agreement to be worked out. But the vibes from both sides has not been promising.

And fans are becoming more and more aggravated that they are getting lost in the shuffle.

“Boy … I’ll have to start going back to church,” said Lorin “Big Lo” Sandretzky at Sunday’s protest.

Sandretzky said he hates to think about Sundays in the fall without the Seahawks playing. So he corralled a group of season-ticket holders.

“I want to tell all you players and owners out there – you guys are greedy,” said Seahawks season ticket holder Patrick Hirang.

All of these fans are angry that both sides are still battling it out over big money, putting the season in jeopardy.

“To not even take the little guys into account, I think it’s gonna tick a lot of people off,” said Sandretzky. “I mean, it’s becoming the no-fun league. That’s the NFL – no-fun league.”

Fans are just now starting to pay for their 2011 season tickets, wondering what happens if games are scrapped.

“It’s a lot of money for the whole season. And to know that there might not be a season, there’s a lot of stuff I could spend that money on,” said season ticket holder Ashley Adams.

The Seahawk faithful even signed a petition, pledging not to buy anymore NFL licensed products until things get settled.

Joe Bernstein sells hot dogs at the stadiums nearly year-round. He says a lack of long lines and hungry fans on Seahawks Sundays could put him out of business.

“I’m definitely concerned – and the closer it gets to fall, I’m probably going to be really worried if nothing’s solved,” Bernstein said.

Stores that sell everything Seahawk-related are bracing for possible rocky times.

“I think it’ll be disappointing, but we’ll get by,” said store manager Willow Yanarella. “We’ve got a good customer base, so I think we’ll be OK, for the most part.”

The 12th man is a big spender on the hometown team – which is something they’d like the NFL and its players to fully appreciate as talk of a shutdown grows louder.

“The money that we spend on a Sunday is outrageous,” says Adams. “And for us to not even have a kind of vote, or any kind of say, is ridiculous.”

The last time the NFL lost games to a work stoppage was 1987.