The great fake snake prank

Nothing like a little prank to spook the Seahawks and provide the players and coaches with endless laughs this week.

Snakes on a plane?

That’s nothing compared to snakes in the locker room.

Spearheaded by the team’s equipment staff, players were pranked this week by a contraption that featured a stuffed snake that would pop out of a Gatorade cooler in frightening fashion. To set up the practical joke, the most common question around Virginia Mason Athletic Center the past few days was, “have you tried the new Gatorade?” — which invariably led to players, coaches and staffers getting spooked by the real-looking snake.

“It scared the heck out of me,” quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said.

The prank contraption was given as a gift of sorts to the Seahawks equipment staffers from the Green Bay Packers equipment guys, who had used it to trick their players last week before handing it off after last weekend’s game at Qwest Field.

The practical joke became the talk of the Seahawks headquarters this week as players couldn’t wait to watch teammates get scared by the awfully genuine-appearing fake snake, which even bobbed back and forth after the lid of the cooler was opened.

“I kind of knew something was up but it was still so freaky because his head was moving back and forth,” defensive tackle Craig Terrill said while reenacting the snake’s movement.

For the most part, the black cooler was kept in director of player development Mo Kelly’s office, where a hidden camera recorded all the action. Players watched — and heartily laughed to — a highlight reel of spooked teammates during this morning’s meeting, with safety Earl Thomas, quarterback J.P. Losman and kicker Olindo Mare earning the top prizes for most scared by the prank.

“We have a defibrillator nearby,” head athletic trainer Sam Ramsden joked after hearing about all the players getting scared by the snake.

Even Coach Pete Carroll got pranked — and then joined in on the fun by passing around the “new Gatorade” to his assistants.

And even as word spread about this “new Gatorade” and players became more and more aware of some shenanigans going on, just about every Seahawk still got pranked.

“Hook, line and sinker,” punter Jon Ryan said with a smile.

VIDEO: See the highlight video of spooked players that the Seahawks watched in this morning’s team meeting

A Gatorade cooler containing a real-looking stuffed snake, which was given to the Seahawks equipment staff by the Green Bay Packers last weekend, has been used to prank players and coaches all week at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.

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