Russia has been blamed for a lot recently here in the United States, and now we know that a group of people from Russia are also responsible for whatever that was that Earl Thomas could be seen wearing on the Seattle Seahawks sideline this past weekend.
In case you missed it, Thomas was spotted on the bench rocking some stylish gear, minus an interesting hat on his head. One that was adorned with his number 29 and looked like a crazy Russian fur hat.
Now we know why, as a group of Russian (and from apparently all parts of the former Soviet Union) die-hard Seattle Seahawks fans actually presented Thomas with the hat and a gift for his daughter earlier this year.
So, naturally, Thomas sported the hat on the sidelines and didn’t just put it away as a polite gift from adoring fans. Instead, he honored them and also likely kept warm.
But, why a Russian pilot hat? According to the accompanying letter that was handed to Thomas, it has to do with a Russian fighter jet that happens to also has the number 29 in it:
The action team of our fan club “Russian Sea Hawkers” which is currently in the process of official registration could not miss the opportunity to make you a present. It is a uniform winter hat of naval pilots based on the only Russian aircraft cruiser – Admiral Kuznetsov. These guys fly multirole fighter aircrafts MiG-29K (Mikoyan MiG-29K, NATO reporting name: Fulcrum-D). We think that the coincidence of your numbers and tasks on the football and battle fields is highly symbolic.
Apparently there are some members of this group who have friends in Seattle that work closely with Thomas, thus the ability to hand-deliver these gifts and not just drop them in the mail to the Seahawks.
“Pavel (a group member) decided to deliver the precious cargo directly by himself,” Khodok said. “Pavel took a day off, got on a bus and got to Vladimir just in time to meet Alexander (another member). Alexander confirmed the hat and a cat in Earl’s jersey should be delivered to Seattle.”
We may think of the NFL as a truly American game and America’s No. 1 sport, but it is increasingly becoming a popular spectator sport across the globe. In fact, as American viewing numbers decline on television, the opposite is largely true in the expanding markets the NFL has become available in.
Take a trip to Paris and you’ll easily find a Packers bar. You’ll find Steelers and Cowboys gear all over the world too.
As for these fans? Apparently a 4a.m. wake up call in Russia to watch the Seahawks play is nothing for them. They are “sure that the Seahawks is the best team in the world,” according to their letter to Thomas.
Sometimes it is refreshing to remember the cool lengths some fans will go to to show their favorite team and favorite players love. This is one such time to say the least, and at least Thomas got some use out of the hand-made gift from folks in Russia.