For two Lincolnton women, this year’s Super Bowl XLVIII football game will be at the top of their favorite moments list for 2014, since each considers herself the most faithful Seattle Seahawks fan.
Both Kathy Vinzant, director of United Way of Lincoln County, and Cathy Davis, director of the Lincoln Cultural Center, have been football fans for years.
While Davis said she initially cheered for the Washington Redskins, she switched teams and became a hardcore Seattle fan during the late 1980s.
At the time, she had grown tired of the northern team and was drawn toward the “pretty uniforms” of the Seahawks, she said.
Growing up, Davis was the only one in her family who worshipped the pigskin sport.
While she won’t be attending the game Sunday in New Jersey, she plans to host a large-scale viewing event at home with friends and family.
“I am a loud fan,” she said, noting how her house often gets noisy when the Seahawks play.
Her home Sunday will also include fans of her team’s opponent, the Denver Broncos.
“If they start talking junk,” she joked, “they won’t get any food.”
Whenever she gets the chance, Davis attends matchups between her favorite birds and the Carolina Panthers when they play at Bank of America stadium, purposefully dressing to the hilt in team paraphernalia to stand out in the crowd.
“I show up all decked out in my Seattle gear,” Davis said, “and make sure everyone in the stadium knows I’m a Seahawks fan.
Anxious to see her team take home this year’s top NFL victory, she even put them on the prayer list at church.
Davis laughed while reflecting on her minister’s reaction to her request during a council meeting earlier this month at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church to seek divine help for the northwestern team prior to their final playoff game.
Upon moving to Lincolnton in 2005, Davis learned of Vinzant’s die-hard obsession with the Seahawks and could not have been more thrilled to share her enthusiasm with another local woman.
“It’s hard to find Seattle fans in the area,” she said.
The two had much in common other than football, since Davis headed United Way prior to Vinzant, who maintains a much stronger connection to the team, having grown up in Washington.
For the second time in their lifetime and the Seattle team’s history, Vinzant and her husband Wayne will be heading to the big event.
They previously traveled to Detroit, Mich., in February 2006 to see Seattle fall to the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-10 in Super Bowl XL.
Vinzant and her husband frequented Seahawks games in the years before they married. She even purchased season tickets for him as a wedding gift in 1978.
“It’s just something that we enjoy doing together (going to games),” Vinzant said.
Even though the pair hasn’t lived in Seattle for years, they continue to purchase season tickets with the hope their team will make the playoffs or Super Bowl one year.
“As we moved away,” Wayne Vinzant said, “we were determined to keep the tickets when things like this happened.”
While Vinzant’s current favorite Seattle player is quarterback Russell Wilson, due to his moral behavior and overall “good example” as a role model, she said, she remembered getting former quarterback Matt Hasselbeck’s autograph for her husband.
She stood in line for two hours at the NFL Experience in Houston, Texas, in February 2005 to meet Hasselbeck, one of many beloved players at the event.
The pair headed south that year for the Panthers-Patriots Super Bowl game.
When Vinzant reached the well-known quarterback, she offered him encouragement for the following year.
“I said, ‘Matt, we’re going to the Super Bowl,’” she said, “and the next year we did.”
The following season, Vinzant even wrote Hasselbeck a letter, reminding him of her comments to him the year before, but the letter received no response.
At Sunday’s game, Vinzant is most looking forward to sharing in the experience with both her husband and fellow fans.
“There’s nothing better than the Super Bowl,” she said. “Everything around the Super Bowl is larger than life.”