Mariners' fans emerge slowy from hibernation
When Seattle thinks of game day, it’s often linked to a Sunday morning at the bar, fueling up for a Seahawks contest. The Mariners 2014 home opener, however, falls on a somewhat soggy spring Tuesday evening, and the enthusiasm seemed to build slowly during the pre-game hours.
Hoopla? There should be plenty — inside. But early in the afternoon, the streets remain rather vacant, with the exception of a few diehards waiting at Safeco Field gate. A TV crew, probably expecting more fans, swoops in to interview somebody.
Over the noon hour, the street running north from Safeco by CenturyLink Field was lined with food trucks and tailgate tents, but not a belligerent fan to be found. The three-syllable Mariners name perhaps doesn’t offer the easy chanting phonetics of "Seahawks."
The previous Mariner catchphrase "SoDo Mojo" has not been seen nor heard in the streets since the early 2000s. The F.X. McRory's Steak Chop and Oyster House folks dressed their awning with a "My Oh My...Go Mariners" banner. Well, give them credit for trying to stir things up.
A few families were shopping with their starry-eyed kids in the Mariner team store. Despite the lull, one employee mentioned they had already been busy and it has picked up more since last year.
As game time got a little closer, a popular photo op — and best-dressed attendee — was George King, aka "Moose Man," waited outside with other fans. His collective outfit of 248 moose toys weighs up 32 pounds. He wears the mooses, because he knows the Mariners will never abandon their mascot. "I couldn't wear a suit made out of Ibanez, because they're always trading Ibanez," King joked.
Outside the west entrance ticket sales, scalpers staked themselves out early, looking to buy and sell. Those who don’t have tickets yet, rest assured. They have what you want…in your budget. At least that’s what they will be saying every game from now through the rest of the summer.