Although the crab fishermen featured on Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch” — returning for a 10th season this spring — ply their trade on Alaska’s Bering Sea, many of them have their home port in Seattle, Wash. So it’s no surprise to hear that, far out in the ocean, the crews still managed to follow the fortunes of their home NFL team, the Seahawks.
And when second-year quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seahawks routed veteran QB Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos to win Super Bowl XLVIII by a score of 43-8 on Sunday, Feb. 2, full pots weren’t the only thing making the crabbers happy.
At St. Paul Island a couple of days after the triumph, Edgar Hansen, deck boss of the F/V Northwestern, captained by older brother Sig Hansen, calls in on a satellite phone and tells Zap2it, “We’re offloading our crab, getting a chance to nap and take a shower.”
Asked if the Northwestern crew followed the Seahawks’ winning effort, Hansen says, “Go Hawks! You better believe it. I don’t know how much information I can divulge about how it went down on the boat, but obviously we were out fishing when our home team won.
“We did get a chance to listen to it, but we didn’t stop fishing. It’s funny, because there were a lot of boats that had surprise breakdowns, ran out of water — so a lot of boats were in town, for different excuses, just to be there to watch the game.”
Asked how he reacted to the Seahawks’ ability to neutralize top NFL QB Manning, Hansen says, “It was a surprise. I’m not a big sports fan. I don’t watch it much; we don’t have that much time for it, but it was exciting. It even got me pumped. It was a good win.”
Hansen has a theory of why the Seahawks finally got the franchise’s first Vince Lombardi Trophy, saying, “They were tired of losing. It’s like fishing crab. If you have a couple of bad trips and get tired of coming in empty, you put your nose to the grindstone and figure out why you’re not catching crab and why you’re not winning games.”
It’s hard to party while you’re in the middle of pulling crab pots. but Hansen says the Northwestern crew did its best.
“We had celebrations,” he says. “We couldn’t take too much time, because obviously we were out there to fill the boat. We were under the gun at the moment. We had to run speaker wires outside and get speakers going, ran it through our Wi-Fi off our internet. We were able to listen to the game in real time. So, we were pretty excited — to fish and listen to your own team win a Super Bowl for the first time, it was pretty cool.
“We celebrated all we could on the boat. Obviously there’s no drinking, so it was the first sober celebration on the Northwestern.”
Hansen thinks that the Seahawks’ outspoken cornerback Richard Sherman of the team’s defense Legion of Boom might like to get a taste of life on the Bering Sea.
“We’ll switch jobs for a day,” he says. “I can go play for the Seahawks, and he can come here and be a deck boss.”