A 52,500-card salute

The fans who call CenturyLink Field home 10 times each season, and turn the venue into the most challenging environment in the NFL for visiting teams, don’t just think they have an impact on Seahawks games. They know it.

All they have to do is point to the graphic on the scoreboard every time it ups the count on the number of false-start penalties they have helped induce – which is currently at a league-high 107 since the start of the 2005 season.

Sunday, that same rabid 12th MAN crowd got to assist the club in its Military Appreciate salute just before kickoff of the game against the Baltimore Ravens. In a big, big way.

The fans used 52,500 red, white and blue cards to turn the stadium into a gigantic “Thank You” greeting for veterans and members of the military. The club got an assist from the United Services Automobile Association, which partnered with the Seahawks to provide the cards.

With the border areas decked out in blue with white stars, the center sections spelled out “Thank You Veterans” in white letters against a red background.

The cards already were in place when the fans arrived, thanks to the efforts of 80 volunteers from area schools, ROTC members and representatives from Jacob Davis Productions.

“What a nice day to celebrate Veterans’ Day here at the stadium,” coach Pete Carroll said after his team had chipped in a 22-17 upset victory to the festivities. “Really a rousing day, fan-wise. And to get a win against such a terrific football team, it’s really a great day.”

It was a day and an effort, you might say, that was in the cards.

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