The Seahawks will return to their roots on Saturday, when original season-ticket holder Lloyd Fields will announce the team’s fourth-round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Hall in New York City.
“I didn’t know anything about it, until I got a call asking if I would do it,” Fields said before making the trip from his Bellevue home to the Big Apple. “Then I called my son and he said, ‘You’re going to New York.’ ”
Why Fields? “We were looking for an active-duty military person or a veteran,” said Mike Flood, Seahawks vice president of community relations. “And Lloyd is a very special veteran, in commitment to both the service and to the football team.”
But having this honor bestowed on him is only the latest chapter in Fields’ remarkable story.
He is 92-years young. He is blind. He doesn’t hear as well as he used to. He is a veteran of both the Army Air Corps and United States Air Force, with a military resume that includes flying missions over Germany and occupied Europe during World War II; being one of the first pilots to fly over Russia during the Cold War; and completing 156 missions over Russia as a squadron commander “that were kept classified secrets for some 40-odd years,” as he put it. In between military stints, Fields was a pilot for American Airlines.
“I’ve had a pretty good life,” he said. “And it was interesting.”
But above all, especially on this special day, Lloyd Fields is a Seahawks fan. Always has been since that inaugural season in 1976. Plans to always be.
“I still go to games even though I’m blind now,” said Fields, who lost his sight in 2002. “I listen to Steve Raible (on the radio). I’m also hard of hearing, too. But the other physical aspects of my life are pretty good.”
Aaron Fields, his grandson, went to New York City with his grandfather and will assist him on stage in announcing the Seahawks’ pick. Fields also is accompanied by what he calls “the most wonderful wife you could have,” Setsuko, and his son, Steve.
“It’s crazy,” Aaron Fields said. “This is a pretty cool experience, for him and for all of us.”
As a fan since Day 1, here are Fields’ favorites when it comes to the Seahawks:
Favorite all-time player: “Steve Largent. For obvious reasons.”
Favorite current player: “The No. 1 quarterback,
Favorite moment: “There are a lot of them, I guess, over the period of time. But the favorite Seahawk moment is when we win a game.”
Favorite game he has attended: “There really isn’t just one. I like to see us win.”