Rob Oxford: The Bluest Wig You’ve Ever Seen Is In Seattle

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Mama Blue in action at a Seahawks game
Photo by JM

Story by Rob Oxford
Photos by Rob Oxford unless otherwise noted

If you’re a Seahawk Fan, you’re most likely familiar with her story. After this weekend, fans in the other 31 NFL Cities should be familiar with it as well.

Patti Hammond, better known as Mama Blue, is truly a living legend in the Pacific Northwest. Elected in 1999 to represent the Seahawks in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, she is a true “Super Fan.” Which is why you’re reading a story about her on the morning of Super Bowl LV.

Unbeknownst to Patti, she was nominated for the NFL’s inaugural ‘Fan of the Year’ program. Honoring those fans who best represent their team and community. one of just three fans nominated, Patti was awarded an all-expenses paid trip to Tampa with all the trimmings and I mean ALL the trimmings. Including tickets to the biggest of games.

Sadly, with the pandemic still a major concern and her recent battle with cancer, which I am delighted to say she is successfully winning, Mama’s Doctors recommended she not do any traveling. Instead, she will be well represented this weekend by her great grandson Deon and her granddaughter Desirae, who will be wearing Mama’s signature blue wig.

Seahawks football legend Jim Zorn presenting Mama Blue with her
Seahawks Fan of the Year shirt, being held by her granddaughter Desirae.

Of course, Mama would love to have gone to the game, but as far as past Super Bowl experiences are concerned, nothing could possibly compare to watching her Hawks destroy the Denver Broncos at snowy Giant Stadium in Super Bowl XLVIII. 

Now if today, Seattle was again representing the NFC, instead of the Patriots, her family might have had a tougher time keeping her home.
 
Although the award was ultimately presented late Saturday Night to a fan from Tennessee, a state that didn’t even have a Pro NFL team until 1998, 20 years after Mama had already begun her cheering, her daughter told me she was thrilled to be honored and delighted her grandchildren could be a part of the celebration. I then reminded her daughter that the fan from Tennessee doesn’t have his own trading card and Oyo Sports figure… so there. As you can tell I’m just slightly bitter.

Mama Blue's 90th birthday was celebrated with a parade of cars past her home.
There were Seahawks, pirates, and Seahawk legend Jim Zorn

A Seahawks Season ticketholder since the very first day, a birthday present for her late husband “Tricky,” Mama has been passionate about sports her entire life. She learned to encourage fans to root for their favorite team as a Roosevelt High School Cheerleader and, before buying a white wig at Goodwill and dying it blue, wore a purple wig at Husky Stadium. She is a Super Fan indeed.

Mama has lived only blocks from Shorecrest H.S. since 1952. Her children and grandchildren were all Scots and she delights in being asked to come to the school in all her regalia for special occasions. A true ambassador for the Seahawks, she has also spent countless hours in Veterans Facilities and Nursing Homes where at 90 years old she jokes; “I’m just visiting, I’m not staying.”

I remember the first time I met my future wife and she told me, “Mama Blue lives right down the street.” I knew right then this had to be a cool neighborhood.

On Mama’s 90th birthday, her daughter Dee, with help from Seahawks V.P. of Community Outreach Mike Flood, arranged a parade of vehicles to roll down the street in front of her home. Dozens of vehicles filled with 12’s, the Seafair Pirates, Seahawk Legend Jim Zorn, it was a total surprise and Mama Blue was overwhelmed.


So how did Patti Hammond aka Mama Blue become such a beloved member of the Seahawk family? 

She weathered the storm. She never missed a game. When opponents would march into the Kingdome and blow out the Seahawks by 50, Mama Blue could be heard cheering. In 1992 when under Coach Tom Flores Seattle ended the season with a record of 2 – 14, their worst to date, Mama Blue and her husband spent every home game in their seats cheering.

Players don’t forget that type of thing. Especially when win or lose, the fan who stays behind to thank the team is wearing giant sunglasses and a crazy wig.

Interviewed dozens and dozens of times, by talent far more experienced than I, I wanted to ask Mama Blue questions she hadn’t been previously asked. That proved to be a difficult task.

As a sports fan myself and collector of memorabilia, I knew Mama had accumulated quite the collection over the years and I was curious as to her favorite item. Regrettably, it was a question I knew she’d been asked time and time again, and one I thought would be difficult to answer.

Not for Mama Blue.

She mentioned lots of autographed photos and footballs. In fact, one very special football was given to her on her 80th Birthday. She was in her seat congratulating the team after another win and Coach Pete walked up and presented her with a signed game ball.

Mama Blue has every media guide from every home game, game-used gloves and game-worn jerseys, but a pair of signed cleats from Walter Jones and a helmet signed by the late Paul Allen and Coach Mike Holmgren are among her most favorite keepsakes.

Webster defines “original” as: being the first instance or source from which to copy, reproduce…”

Look around Lumen Field next Seahawk season and as you revel in the number of 12’s wearing face paint and outrageous, self-made costumes, remember that most of them are mere copies of a true original.

It all started with a blue wig, blue and green eyeshadow, and a feather boa.



1 comments:

Unknown February 7, 2021 at 10:02 AM  

I used to work at the Albertsons on 145th (before it became a Goodwill) and mama blue would come in, everyone was happy to see her! She was just the nicest lady and always had a smile! Congratulations!

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