In recent weeks, the 12th Man has represented all over the city, immersing itself into people’s homes and workplaces, restaurants and stores, on the sides of buildings and almost anywhere else you look in the city. However, Seahawks die-hards Troy and Kelly Mann have brought mania to new levels by quite literally making the 12th Man part of the family.
“Troy, my husband, came up with it a few weeks ago as kind of a joke,” says Kelly, an ER Nurse. “We thought, ‘Oh, our last name is Mann, we should give her 12 as a middle name,’ then kind of laughed it off.”
Then something crazy happened. Fate took over.
“The whole second half of the NFC Championship game, the baby kicked,” she explains of the half when Pete Carroll’s squad erased a 10-3 deficit to win, 23-17, over the San Francisco 49ers to advance to Super Bowl XLVIII.
“We thought it was a sign.”
On Monday morning, January 27, at 9:41 a.m. Cyndee Leigh 12th Mann was born at Swedish First Hill Hospital. Troy and Kelly decided to give their new child a second middle name, 12th.
Cyndee Leigh 12th is the Mann’s third child, joining Elise (10) and Dylan (6), already Seahawks fanatics in their own right. For a few years now the Mann children have been sporting Hawks gear to school on Blue Fridays and routinely watch Sunday morning games in Seahawks pajamas.
Having already announced the name on Facebook without much ado, Kelly didn’t think much when one of her nurse friends said she was going to post Cyndee’s picture and name to King 5.
Within hours the photo went viral. Local and national media outlets picked it up. All of a sudden Cyndee’s face and name were everywhere, and thus became a subject of criticism to the anonymous masses. The reactions were polarizing—supporters voiced their congratulations, while others weren’t so nice.
“People called us mean, asked ‘How we could do this to our kid?’ Some even called it child abuse,” Kelly reveals of the short time following the birth. “I thought it was amazing how some people have been so negative about a second middle name.”
“It’s been a roller coaster of emotions,” says Troy, a former collegiate and semi-pro football player who now runs the family-owned fitness center in their hometown of Port Angeles. “For us, it’s just about being centered and being confident. We’ve taken some negative hits, but I think it’s really helped to be centered around who we are and not really focused on the rest of the world.”
And if Cyndee doesn’t like football?
“I just don’t foresee that happening,” says Mom. “We all love football.”
This Sunday, while Troy and some friends watch the Super Bowl from his Seahawks-themed man cave, dubbed his own “Hawks Nest,” Kelly will watch in another room, a quieter room, with the new baby,
“Or as quiet as we can be,” she adds.
A Seahawks victory on Sunday would cap off quite a week for the Manns, a prospect Troy gets a little overwhelmed thinking about it.
“Oh my goodness, it would be amazing,” he says. “This whole year, what this team and the 12th Man represent, the camaraderie of the team and the community. It’s a symbol of what my family is about and I want to share that with my daughter.”