Shay Niewiadomski wants people to know she is not crazy.
She just understands that there are certain things she can do to help the Seattle Seahawks win, like sit at the same spot by the corner of a fireplace during every game, or drink Miller Lite out of a can, or put on a 12th Man arm sleeve when the team is losing. It’s simply her duty as a fan.
“I’m not crazy, but I’m consistent. I’m constant,” she said. “I love them when they lose, I love them when they’re in the playoffs and I love them when they’re in the Super Bowl.”
But if you ask Shay or the select group of friends she lets into her living room during games, nobody has to worry about the Seahawks losing as long as her routine doesn’t change.
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At her Bellingham home shared with her husband, Thadeus Niewiadomski, the scene is always the same on Sundays: Shay sits on the fireplace hearth, uncomfortable as it may be, while Thadeus sits on the corner of the couch next to three other friends also on the couch, with Seahawks memorabilia adorning the living room walls.
Shay has sat at that same spot since the beginning of the 2013 season, and after the team won the Super Bowl, she sees no reason to move.
It’s hard to argue with the results.
“I think it’s been working excellent,” said Brent Lundstrom, one of the friends who sits on the couch. “I have to say, (the team’s success) is partly to do with our superstition.”
Of course, some superstitions had to be tweaked. When the team was 3-3 earlier this season, Shay had her friends shift their spots on the couch to what their current arrangement. If the Seahawks are struggling through a game, Shay tells Lundstrom to stand behind the couch until they play better.
Yet Shay’s love for the Seahawks runs deeper than her superstitious habits. The 33-year-old said she grew up a fan of the team through the 1980s and 1990s. In the last 10 years, she said she has not missed watching one game.
In 2011, her streak was tested. While making dip, Shay’s finger got stuck in the blade of an immersion blender just before the game started.
As paramedics tried to get her finger unstuck over the kitchen sink, all Shay was worried about was missing the game. She said when the blade was lodged in her finger, she told paramedics, “Look, if we can pull and I’m not going to lose my finger, let’s just yank in a different direction because I don’t want to miss the game.”
Once her finger was safely removed from the blender and stitched up, she was able to watch the last quarter.
Thadeus said anything that does not have to do with the Seahawks is less of a priority to Shay on game days, including him.
“I drop down to second after that, I’m not as important,” he said.
Shay is so confident her superstitions work that she has already bought her plane ticket to Arizona to, hopefully, see the Seahawks play in the Super Bowl with some other family members. But she will make sure the rest of the crew will be sitting at their same spots on the couch for the big game.
If they don’t win, that just means Shay might have to find a new spot to sit.
“I’m not crazy. I wouldn’t make (Marshawn Lynch) talk to me if he didn’t want to,” she said. “I feel I am a die-hard fan, there’s just nothing that’s going to change that, even if they lost every single game.”