Seahawks-crazed Whatcom County woman paints house blue and green

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJuly 6, 2014 

Seahawks fan Debbie Gwaltney has turned her Ferndale house into a 12th Man haven.

DEBBIE GWALTNEY — Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Whatcom County residents now have a new landmark to give directions with - go down that road about 3 miles. If you reach the blue and lime-green house, you've gone too far.

The blue-and-green house is home to Debbie Gwaltney and her children. Gwaltney, 50, is a super Seattle Seahawks fan and has been since she was a young girl.

When she needed new siding and would have to repaint the house, she thought "Why not paint it my favorite color scheme?"

The house is all blue with a lime green door, a lime green garage door with a 12 in the center and the bench on the porch is green. Inside, the theme continues. Lime green and blue everywhere. Seahawks helmets, posters and banners don the walls. Even the bathroom is decked out with Seahawks gear. Her car is wrapped in Seahawks colors. There's even a lime green Crockpot. Everywhere Gwaltney goes, she sees green and blue.

Well, except her bedroom. That's University of Washington purple. You have to have a break sometime, right?

"I'm having so much fun," Gwaltney said in a phone interview. "I was going to leave the garage door white. I thought it might be too green. I didn't want to offend anyone. But everybody kept saying, 'You got to go all the way.'"

Gwaltney's love for the Seahawks goes back to her childhood. Her grandparents had season tickets and her grandfather was a "huge sports nut." Gwaltney, naturally, picked up the passion.

She had season tickets for 10 years leading up to the 2013-14 season when she could no longer afford them since her oldest son started attending Washington State University. So it's no wonder that the year she couldn't attend any contests, the Seahawks won the Super Bowl.

"It was so hard and painful for me not having my Seahawks season tickets," Gwaltney said. "I'm obviously beyond thrilled for the way the season went. It's just so hard not being able to be there."

No season tickets didn't mean Gwaltney didn't go and spend time with her favorite players - Golden Tate and Russell Wilson. She went to training camps and talked with the team. She has gotten to know John Schneider and Pete Carroll over the years and when her son was at Seattle Children's Hospital, the team signed a game-used ball for him.

The entire journey she has taken with the Seahawks has been spectacular. She has been with the team through its ups and downs. One of her favorite memories of the team is when the Seahawks defeated the Carolina Panthers in the 2006 NFC Championship game on the way to the first Super Bowl appearance for the franchise.

"I didn't sit down for a moment. The whole time I was cheering and screaming," Gwaltney said. "It was surreal to think the Seahawks were going to a Super Bowl. It's a moment I'll never forget."

This season rivals the 2005-06 season - a Super Bowl ring, no doubt, helps - and there have been plenty of great memories made for Gwaltney. One of her best was finding a spot in the front row of the Super Bowl parade in Seattle. The players even spotted her and had conversations with her.

"It was so exciting to be down there in the thick of it," Gwaltney said. "Words can't even describe the feeling. We had waited so long for it."

While it's great to see the community standing behind the team, Gwaltney has words for anyone who came back on the Seahawks bandwagon after deserting the franchise when it was struggling.

"When you're a true fan you're with them through thick and thin," Gwaltney said. "I've always been there and I'll always be there."

Certainly with a house decked out in Seahawks garb, she can't ever forget about her club. Neither will her neighbors.

Despite the house and car standing out on the block, it's been only positives she's heard. In fact, it's become a bit of a tourist attraction. People are often seen taking photos of the house and car.

Gwaltney doesn't mind. She laughs with joy when she talks of her gear, of her team, of her players. Certainly, there aren't many who rival Gwaltney's love of the Seahawks.

Reach Joshua Hart by email at joshua.hart@bellinghamherald.com or by phone at 360-715-2851.

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