My Cause My Cleats Representatives Attend Pregame Huddle Via Microsoft Teams Before Seahawks-49ers Game

Guests from the 2021 My Cause My Cleats organizations got to chat with players in the tunnel on Microsoft Teams before Sunday’s game against the 49ers.

Seahawks players chat with guests of various My Cause My Cleats organizations during a Microsoft Pregame Huddle on December 5, 2021 at Lumen Field.

The third Pregame Huddle of the 2021 Seahawks season was held on Sunday thanks to a Microsoft Surface Hub stationed inside the tunnel at Lumen Field.

Using Microsoft Teams technology for a video call, representatives from the My Cause My Cleats organizations were treated to a behind-the-scenes look at players entering the field from the Seahawks' locker room. Users from Washington to the Dominican Republic and everywhere in between got to experience the atmosphere just before the game.

Week 13 marked the annual My Cause My Cleats campaign across the NFL, where players are able to "wear their hearts on their feet" with custom-designed cleats representing an organization that is significant to them.

There were 35 Seahawks who participated in the event, including 30 current players, head coach Pete Carroll, general manager John Schneider, Seahawks Legend Walter Jones, Blitz and the Seahawks Dancers. Thirty-four organizations were highlighted on cleats, and each had a representative attend Sunday's Pregame Huddle.

Seahawks players, dancers, and staff will wear custom designed cleats and shoes supporting causes they feel passionate about during Week 13 vs. the San Francisco 49ers on December 5.

Throughout the pregame event, people on the call were able to see each position group enter and exit the field for warm-ups. reporter Jackie Montgomery was just outside the locker room facilitating conversation between the players and the representatives… but that wasn't all.

Seahawks Legend Luke Willson surprised everyone on the call when he joined from his home in Washington. Willson answered any and all questions before explaining the pregame routine that each position group goes through.

Sean Goode, the Executive Director for Choose 180, had the special honor of appearing on Carroll's Nike shoes during the game. No, literally -- Goode's face adorned the side of the shoes.

"I was embarrassed (when I first saw the cleats)," Goode said with a laugh. "I was embarrassed, that was my first response. Because this work isn't about me, and our organization is so much bigger than me. And our organization is so much bigger than our staff. It's comprised of thousands of young people who we've had the privilege of serving support into, because they've done the hard work, which is committing to a new direction.

"We've created space and facilitated conversations with the young people and families. Those are the champions of our cause. So, yeah, it was embarrassing to have my face on the cleats, but it's also an honor because of who's wearing the shoes."

Choose 180 is an organization that seeks to transform systems of injustice and supports the young people who are too often impacted by these unfair systems. In his role as Executive Director, Goode explains to people the injustices that exist and aims to build a community around Choose 180's cause.

"We exist to stop harm where it's happening, and to support young people who have been impacted and change those systems that have caused that harm to occur in the first place," Goode said. "What that looks like in real time is partnering with prosecutors, superintendents and law enforcement officers to change their practices and to build programming to serve as an alternative for young people getting involved in the criminal legal system."

Goode was specifically honored to have Carroll representing Choose 180. The two first worked together years ago on a project for gang violence reduction. Now, they have come full circle with Carroll, Goode and Choose 180.

"Coach is a leadership icon," Goode said. "The way that he stewards the Hawks is the blueprint for how you lead an organization to be competitive and successful in whatever space that they're operating in. For a long time, I've done my best to pattern my leadership style after what I've been able to pull from the way that he leads the Seahawks."

One of the best looking cleats sadly didn't get to see the field on Sunday. Chris Carson, who is currently on IR, represented Seattle Children's Foundation. The cleats featured the iconic Seattle skyline on the right shoe and two whales -- a mother and child -- on the left shoe.

"(The cleats) are amazing," said Jake Gustafson, Sr. Director of Portfolio Development & Foundation Operations with Seattle Children's. "It's kind of mind-blowing when you look at a pair of shoes like that, 'Oh my goodness, someone was able to (design) this.' They're really next-level. It caught the essence of who we are as an organization and who we are as a city."

Seattle Children's has a long history with the Seahawks, including the annual tradition of players visiting patients at the hospital around the holiday season. Seattle Children's is "dedicated to providing hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible" -- which is something it accomplishes by way of "uncompensated care."

"One thing that makes Seattle Children's unique is our dedication, our core mission, what we call 'uncompensated care,'" Gustafson explained. "It's this idea and practice that, regardless of a family's ability to pay, we will take care of these patients. That's something that's very unique to us, that's our core mission of our institution because we're here to help these kids live their most fulfilling life possible."

A patient joined the Pregame Huddle on Sunday from the hospital, and was able to speak with Montgomery and players entering the field. It was almost a reverse of the usual tradition where the Seahawks visit the patients, as this time it was the patient visiting the Seahawks.

Even though he wasn't able to wear the cleats during a game, Carson choosing the organization was still special for Gustafson and Seattle Children's.

"We haven't worked with Chris in the past, but what I do know is that he's compelled to do things to take care of kids," Gustafson said. "Kids are important to him, and wanting to team up and help an organization like ours that is helping kids speaks volume to his character. We couldn't be more excited and flattered that Chris chose us."

The fourth and final Pregame Huddle will take place later this season after holding previous events for the Crucial Catch and Salute to Service games.

Thanks to a technology assist from Microsoft, organizations from various non-profits being recognized during the Seahawks' My Cause My Cleats game were able to chat with players in the tunnel before warming up at Lumen Field on December 5, 2021.

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