Touchdown! Seattle Seahawks mascot sinks its talons into stunned fan’s head
- The Seattle Seahawks live mascot, an actual hawk, soar into the stands and swoop down onto one man’s head during Thursday’s game
- The hawk clawed at the unsuspecting fan’s scalp and it flapped it wings and tried to gain its footing
- The fan had an expression of shock on his face, but did not appear to be in agony by the hawk’s talons
The Seattle Seahawks mascot has flown the coop … and landed right on a fan’s head.
Just as Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams was about to cut to a commercial, the broadcast caught the Seahawks live mascot, an actual hawk, soar into the stands and swoop down onto one man’s head.
The hawk clawed at the unsuspecting fan’s scalp and it flapped it wings as it tried to gain its footing. The fan, who sported a Seahawks jersey, had an expression of shock on his face, but did not appear to be in agony from the hawk’s talons.
Around him, fans reactions ranged from amused to horrified and several took out their phones to film the scene. Social media was rife with commentary from those who didn’t expect to see a botched bird landing during a professional football game.
The Seattle Seahawks live mascot, an actual hawk, soar into the stands and swoop down onto one man’s head during Thursday’s game
Twitter user Phil T commended the man in the video for his stoicism and wrote, ‘This guy has more chill in his left pinky then I can ever hope to have lol.’
User Benjamin Umbras joked, ‘He was chosen, that’s an honor.’
Roger Sherman, a writer for The Ringer, wanted to know what happened once the broadcast cut to commercial. He tweeted, ‘wow the game is really interesting CAN WE GET AN UPDATE ON THE GUY WHO HAD A SEAHAWK LAND ON HIS SKULL’
Twitter user Nate Taggart likened the scene to another shocking bird landing to happened to a Seattle athlete, tweeting ‘Staying calm in a raptor attack is a Seattle thing. Like that time a bald eagle attacked Mariners Canadian starting pitcher James Paxton during the STAR SPANGLED BANNER.’
Taima has a Twitter account and is a fan favorite at every game – when he’s not clawing a fans’ scalps
He referenced the April 2018 incident in which a bald eagle apparently mistook Seattle pitcher James Paxton – nicknamed ‘The Big Maple’ – for an actual maple tree, landing on Paxton’s shoulder after flying across the stadium during the national anthem.
This isn’t the first time an incident like this has happened in Seattle either. The same hawk flew through the crowd and landed on a fans shoulder in 2014.
According to the Seahawks’s website, the mascot, named Taima the Hawk, is actually an Augur hawk because it’s the closest in appearance to the fictional seahawk.
Taima was hatched in April 2005 before going through intensive training with falconer David Knutson to become part of the Seahawks family. He has a 4-foot, 5-inch wingspan and is often seen flying around the team’s Lumen Field.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Rams bested the Seahawks on Thursday night at Lumen Field with a final score of 26 to 17
Knutson, a Spokane, Washington, native, has more than three decades of training and experience handling birds like Taima and has been ‘performing with a live hawk at Seahawks games since the opening season of our current stadium.’
Knutson told the Associated Press in 2013 that he exposed Taima to stressful situations and intense challenges so the bird could assimilate in an NFL environment and fly through the stadium safely.
‘I needed the bird to not leave the stadium,’ he told the AP at the time. ‘I didn’t want to be that guy yelling, “Come back.”‘
Now, Taima has a Twitter account and is a fan favorite at every game – when he’s not clawing a fan’s scalp. One Twitter photo from last April shows the hawk in a selfie with cartoon sunglasses edited on its face and the caption, ‘This weather has me like.’
The bird’s antics were the highlight of the night for Seahawks fans after their team laid an egg in a 26-17 loss to the division rival Los Angeles Rams.