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Focus on: Dr. Hawk
Ann Brown could not have known what she was unleashing.
It was 2002 and Brown was Jared Gamble’s physics teacher at Edmonds-Woodway High School. Brown always wore a tie-dyed lab coat, but had made a new one so she gave Gamble the old one as a graduation present.
“She wore it so she would standout, because she’s only like chest high,” Gamble said Sunday while standing along the fence that separates the practice fields at Virginia Mason Athletic Center from the berm where fans have watched – no, devoured – the action at the Seahawks’ Training Camp presented by Bing.
“After a couple of years, I was tired of just wearing regular street Seahawks gear to the game, so I started wearing this,” Gamble explained. “Then I added the goggles, because my friend actually had a pair.”
One thing led to another, which led to another.
“For a while, people were calling me like ‘Professor’ and ‘Mad Scientist,’ stuff like that,” he said. “Then one of my buddies started singing ‘They Call Me Dr. Love,’ but it was Dr. Hawk and it was about me.”
From his friend’s lips to the back of Gamble’s customized No. 12 jersey: Dr. Hawk.
“It just kind of stuck from there and I got my own jersey with the name on the back,” he said.
Twelve years later, the tie-dyed lab coat has been a regular at the training camp practices open to fans – as has the now 30-year-old guy wearing it and the Dr. Hawk jersey. Wednesday, when the 12th and final open practice is held, Gamble will be attending his ninth session as part of a sold-out crowd of 2,500-plus that will push the total attendance to more than 31,000.
And how does that happen, when so many were clamoring to claim their place on the berm to watch the Super Bowl champions prepare for the 2014 NFL season?
“Season-ticket holders got first dibs, so right at 10 a.m. on the June 23rd – two days before everybody else gets to get them – I just went online and got them for me and buddies Kevin (Johnson) and Chris (Jones) here,” said Gamble, who attended seven practices last year.
And Johnson is the reason Gamble has been front and center along the fence so often – with his lab coat, goggles and Dr. Hawk jersey; and next to his buddies and members of the CHFC (Cooper Helfet Fan Club).
“It’s awesome being posted up right here,” Gamble said. “Thanks to Kevin, we’ve been on the first bus every day.”
That’s because Kevin arrives at The Landing in Renton as early as 4 a.m. to insure being on that first bus when it leaves for VMAC at 8:45-ish for the 10 a.m. practices.
“We get off that first bus and just sprint to our spot,” Gamble said.
So, is the hand-me-down lab coat Gamble’s prize possession?
Impressive, but there’s only one tie-dye lab coat. And it belongs to a doctor of Hawkology who is not only in, but also makes house calls.
Look who’s coming to training camp – again, and again
(originally ran July 27)
Dr. Hawk (a.k.a. Jared Gamble)
Accompanied by: friends and fellow season-ticket holders Chris Jones and Brody Jones
Favorite all-time Seahawk: Walter Jones. “He was just dominant, unstoppable,” he said of the nine-time Pro Bowler who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 2. “Just the best left tackle I’ve ever seen play.”
Favorite current Seahawk: Earl Thomas. “Definitely Earl Thomas,” he stressed. “Just dominates the field. Can’t stop him. He can stop anything. Stops the run. Stops the pass. Covers from sideline to sideline. He’s just amazing.”
Favorite moment in franchise history, other than winning Super Bowl XLVIII in February: “It’s either the NFC Championship from this year or the ‘Beast Quake’ run,” he said, the second option a reference to Marshawn Lynch’s electrifying 67-yard touchdown run in the 2010 wild-card playoff win over the New Orleans Saints at CenturyLink Field. “Either/or, because they were both just amazing. The ‘Beast Quake’ was just such a great, great run. We were already standing because it was a playoff game. But I literally grabbed my buddy and just started shaking him mid-play. By the end of the play, everybody was just jumping up and down, screaming.”