Ryan Callier represents his favorite team simply by driving to work.
When making a trip to the grocery store or picking up an order for the restaurant he owns, people can tell Callier bleeds Seattle Seahawks blue and green.
That’s because Callier doesn’t drive just an ordinary van, he drives the Hawk Bus.
Callier, 34, was born and raised in Bellingham. He has owned a restaurant downtown called Arlis’s for the last 10 years, and anyone who knows him knows he’s a die-hard Seahawks fan. But other Bellingham residents may simply know him as the guy who drives the Hawk Bus, whether they share his affinity for the team or not.
“It’s really funny to see the reaction of some people,” Callier said. “I never know what finger I’m going to get.”
Callier got the van five years ago. Then, he only used it to drive to Seahawks’ home games, where he has season tickets. But when his Jeep broke down, he decided to use the Hawk Bus as his daily vehicle throughout the year.
The Dodge van is painted Seahawks blue. A Seahawks logo is plastered on the outside, along with a green “12” decal and another that says “Seahawk fans only.” The headrests inside have the Seahawks logo stitched on them, and the license plates leave no doubt about what it is: “HAWKBUS.”
Dan Mellott, Callier’s friend, said the fact that Callier drives the van around every day shows how committed he is to the team. When the two are driving to Seattle for a game, people honk and scream at them the entire way down, and Mellott said he couldn’t imagine dealing with that all day.
“He’s just all in. He’s dialed in and he’s committed,” Mellott said.
The people who sit next to Callier during games refer to him as something else: “Two towels.” Mellott said Callier is always running up and down the aisles pumping up the crowd while waving the towels.
“It sounds ridiculous when I actually tell people this, but I do certain things with them. Like I put them over my head,” Callier said.
Sometimes he sports a green beard during games. “Whatever feels right” to help his team win, he said.
His two pugs are usually wearing Seahawks jerseys to match the rest of the family’s attire. Callier’s wife, sister and mother all work at Arlis’s with him, and a Seahawks flag can be seen hanging from the restaurant window. The Hawk Bus is often parked right out front.
“Certain things are really important to people, and the feeling I get from being a Seahawks fan makes me truly happy,” Callier said.