2010 Seahawks Cruise
Day 2, March 21
We are still at sea on our way to Mazatlan, and today we had our Meet and Greet with the players where the fans get to learn a little more about our players. We started off the session talking to Will Herring and found out that his nickname is Bill “Bootstrap” Herring. He got the nickname “Bill” from his Auburn team mate who just also happens to be on the cruise, Ben Obomanu. He said that one day Ben came up to him and just called him Bill. Will asked him why he called him Bill, so Ben said that since his name was William and he had the same first name as the president William Clinton and no one called the president William, so Ben would start calling him Bill too and it just stuck.
Then I asked Will how he got the name Bootstrap and he said that Lofa Tatupu gave it to him. Will thought it was because he was a country boy from Alabama, wore camouflage clothing, camouflage caps and boots and kind of dressed like Larry the “Cable Guy”. I said no bro, Lofa named you after the character Bootstrap Bill in the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean” which he has not seen.
I also asked Will what he wanted to do when he retired from football. He said that when he first went to Auburn he told his college advisor that he wanted to take some pre-med courses since his dad is a chiropractor and that is what he wanted to do. After a few classes he changed his mind, but still he thinks he might want to be a chiropractor when he retires.
Next up was Josh Wilson. Josh has a reputation of being, how do you say…..cheap or as he says thrifty. Josh told the story of when he was little he would do different types of little jobs to earn a little money and he would never spend any of it. When his family would go out to eat he would always say he didn’t have any money to pay. So when he was about 9 or 10 years old, his mother was cleaning his room and found a wad of money rolled up with a rubber band around it. It was $600 that he had saved up from all of the jobs he had done. The next day she took him to a bank and opened a savings account for him. He said that he still has the first check he got from the Seahawks. Then he talked about how he quit football when he was a senior in high school because a good friend of his convinced him that the two of them were going to be track stars. So his mother pulled an intervention and brought in all of his uncles, sat him down and then made him go back to football and play his senior year… the rest is history.
Finally, Ben Obomanu talked about first wanting to play football when he was about 9 and his mother tried to scare him out of it by taking him to a hospital and showing him how doctors apply casts on broken bones and pointed to all of the boys that had casts on and said that they got those casts from playing football. Ben decided he wanted to play anyway until the 9th grade. It was then he got the idea he wanted to be a drum major in the school band. Band practiced in shorts and football required all of those hot pads, plus the band had girl members! He said he had a little snare drum and was ready to go until the football coaches found out, kidnapped him and took him back to football practice. That ended his dreams of being a drum major but began his dreams of being a football star!
Just a few of the fun stories these guys shared from growing up. They had us laughing for the whole 90 minutes.
It’s time for me to sign off now, so until next time…..Later, gator.
Paul Johns is the Seattle Seahawks’ assistant director of community outreach.