The VMAC Beckons the Twelve Army to Mass at its Gates

It's that time of year again, my fellow Twelves... We start poring over fantasy football magazines, we try to figure out what new Seahawks jersey (if any) to buy for this season, and if we are really lucky, we are waiting to get our season tickets in the mail. For folks in the northwest, we also are trying to figure out if we can make it to a Training Camp session in Renton.

Here's a link to the Seahawks training camp schedule, with info on how to sign up to attend a practice. I'm going to be in Seattle for my best friend from WWU's wedding in mid-August, and thankfully I'll be able to go to practice at the VMAC on August 12. If you have the chance to go, it is worth way more than the $5-per-person "transportation fee." (eyes roll, wanking motion)

Why?

I haven't had the good fortune to attend a VMAC practice yet, but I did get to go to Camp in Cheney twice (1998 and 2006). Both trips were a total blast, particularly because you can get up close to these guys in a way you rarely experience in any other context.

In 1998, when I saw Joey Galloway running towards me onto the field I brandished my Galloway jersey and word-barfed something like "Wooo! Joey! Yeah! Woooooo!" He actually saw me, noticed I was wearing his jersey and gave me the the "reverse nod + sup" move. THAT made my day.

I wrote the following about my trip to Camp in 2006 (all the pics from that day are here on Flickr). Some of it is a bit embarrassing in retrospect...

This is one of the only instances where there can be actual (albeit limited) interaction between players and fans, and thankfully no players acted like prima donna dickholes on Saturday.

As players passed by, I shouted to Walter Jones that he was the best player in the NFL and was headed to the Hall of Fame… I told Matt that this was HIS year to be NFL MVP, and I told Lofa Tatupu that he got robbed of the defensive rookie of the year award. I yelped at Jerramy Stevens that this was his year to be all-pro, and he gave me a big grin and said "that’s right."

While I was jabbering away, my little brother James was getting autographs from players like Mack Strong, Lofa, Marcus Trufant and Julian Peterson. James had a blast… It was well worth the 4-hour round trip from the Tri-Cities and back.

Some cool moments:

-We got to hear Holmgren get pissed and yell at the team a couple of times.

-We saw up close that Ryan Plackemeier could be a dominant punter once he gains some consistency

-Cool plays: Kelly Herndon jumped a route to make a spectaclar interception, and D.J. Hackett made a Tecmo Bowl-esque leaping TD catch over two defenders. The best moment was during the 1st team scrimmage.. Without anyone to throw to, Hass ran for a TD. Of course, no one was going to touch him and risk injuring our most indispensable asset. The crowd let out a cheer, and Hass gave a wave and a couple of quick bows. It was a cute little moment from our bald spaz of a QB…

All in all it was a great time. If you are a Seahawks fan and have the means, you should get out to Cheney to enjoy the spectacle this month.

For those of you that went to practices at the VMAC last year, what were the highlights and disappointments of the experience? What should us noobs expect when we go this August? Consider this an open thread for Training Camp memories as well... and don't forget to check out my home blog: Dave Krieg's Strike Beard.

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