Seattle Seahawks legend Lofa Tatupu and actor Brett Davern have found the perfect way to flip Russell Wilson’s “Let’s Ride” – until their site is mysteriously shut down.
It all started out fun, according to Take 12 podcast co-host Brett Davern.
“It’s like a parody novelty shirt, reminiscent of the old Bronco Busters shirt,” Davern told FanSided. “We came up with the idea weeks ago, because we thought it would be fun to make shirts for games, and especially home games, maybe go down and give some out and like, try to attract listeners and all that. ”
“So we just had the idea based on the line that Russ said,” Davern continued. “After we recorded a day or something, we were just throwing ideas around. And we were like, ‘Hey, well, what if we said almost exactly the same thing, but reversed it?’ And just kind of teasing it, having a parody of it, really.
That parody turned into a t-shirt emblazoned with a Seahawk riding a Bronco, spelling out Wilson’s “Let’s Ride” slogan with a trailing “Let’s Riiide” — three i’s for Seattle’s longtime No. 3, Davern laughed. Davern and his Take 12 podcast co-host, legendary Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu, had fun spreading their sarcastic t-shirt to the Seattle faithful.
That is, until someone stops their fun – literally. Davern contacted FanSided after the website selling their “Let’s Riiide” t-shirts was mysteriously shut down on August 31. All listings of their “Let’s Riiide” shirts have been removed and deleted from their website without any notification or explanation. according to Daven.
The Teespring site is up and running again after Davern manually reposted each shirt – now it’s the “NOT Let’s R***de” shirts as a tongue-in-cheek way to avoid being flagged.
Here’s what the Take 12 podcast had to say about their site shutting down and the real motivation behind their now infamous t-shirts:
“Unfortunately our store was closed last night. We have no idea why. We had sold out so many shirts so quickly that we thought the site had crashed. But this morning we think it might be because that we scratched a nerve somewhere or with someone…? Anyway, these shirts were sold so little that our profit per shirt was only 2 dollars! to make money it was all about having fun on our silly little show at the very least we hoped with our little profit to buy more local marketing and advertising to get listeners and if we did more , we’d be happy to donate to charity, which Lofa is always up for. To date, our show has raised thousands of dollars for several Seattle-area charities.
Davern went on to explain what happened with the website:
“At first we were hoping to sell so many that we crashed the site. We were all just high five, and like, ‘Oh man, we broke the internet.’
But then, I don’t know, all of our ads were taken down. And we tried to contact them, we still haven’t had an answer. So I just re-uploaded everything with, like, asterisks and trying to be funny with it, and hope to appease whoever is making decisions or whatever. And it has remained in place until now.
Lofa Tatupu and Brett Davern anger bad people with ‘Let’s Riiide’ t-shirt
Understandably, proud Seahawks fans were suspicious that a shirt playing with Russell Wilson’s slogan had been virtually pulled from internet shelves. Feeling slighted, the 12 rallied to support Davern and Tatupu.
“A lot of people hit us, like, ‘Hey, what happened to the store?’ and ‘Who’s after you?’ and ‘We are with you!’
And that kind of just kind of created this groundswell of an army of Seahawks fans. I’m from Seattle, I was born and raised, and we’re a warm bunch here. The Northwest is ours. We stay together here, so it was really nice to see everyone having their backs in line.
Davern joked that the likely culprit was Jeff Bezos, as there seem to be fakes on Amazon already. It’s no surprise that the shirts are both popular among Seattle fans while striking a nerve with the Russell Wilson loyalists in Denver: there’s been a lot of thought put into the design of the t-shirts that has allowed to 12 to connect on several levels.
“In the 1980s, when the Seahawks and Broncos were in the same division, there might have been a fan-made t-shirt – I don’t even really know its origins – but it was the Broncos Busters t-shirt. If you try to find one on eBay, they’re $400 or something for vintage, so that’s just kind of a thing.
And then when the Seahawks moved to NFC West, that kind of old rivalry died. Or not dead, but dormant, I guess. Now that Russ has gone straight to them, and it’s Week 1, like, hello, the Broncos Busters thing is back.
So this shirt has this kind of circular design, it has this kind of old school feel because it’s old. We were just trying to get a take off from that. And then the ‘Let’s Riiide’ came to me Lofa. At first, we were going to put everything on the t-shirts. It was going to say ‘Seahawks Country: Let’s Riiide.’ But we were like, ‘Okay, well, we weren’t going to put Seahawks in there. So we went with the ‘Let’s Riiide’ because I feel like everyone fills it in, and once you see the Seahawk is on the Bronco – and I think it nailed the eyes of the Broncos. A picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s what’s beautiful about a picture. And that kind of thing creates a feeling. And I think we did, which is great, it’s so fun to watch.
Seahawks podcasters give back to Seattle community while mocking Russell Wilson
For Seattle fans, there’s already a lot to love about the jerseys, but knowing the intent with which Tatupu and Davern operate only makes them more appealing. The podcasting duo didn’t design the shirts to maximize profits — each only makes about $2 per sale, according to Davern — but to unite their community with a little humor while giving back. Tatupu has a t-shirt through Simply Seattle that benefits Treehouse, and Tatupu is also working with the Renton Seahawkers on a project to feed the homeless.
Tatupu is revered by Seahawks Country because he has given so much to the Pacific Northwest community and beyond, as a player and as a philanthropist. In 2009, the linebacker offered to match the first $10,000 raised in disaster relief efforts following a tsunami in the Pacific Rim.
And these shirts were also meant to give back, with proceeds going to local charities. Davern points out that the shirts were all made in a fun way, even if they touched a nerve with some disgruntled Broncos fans.
“Some people on the internet, however, take it as if we want to shoot him or something. We don’t shoot personally, especially one person. Russ, he’s so charitable, he’s done so much good work in the area. He’s a great guy. That’s not it at all. It’s just making fun of how corny it all is, or how, you know, he puts this stuff all over the place. And we just thought it was funny to say more, like, ‘No, we’ll show you how we stroll.’
Podcast hosts will hand out their shirts to fans for free before the game outside the Lumen fieldand they will stop selling the shirts after tonight’s game, so the 12 must act quickly before the shirts are gone for good.
Even though the Seahawks community is relatively gracious after a sour breakup between Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll, no one feels so sympathetic that they’re okay with a Broncos win in Week 1. Wilson just revived a AFC’s old rivalry, and the 12s are ready for it.
If Wilson is going to take Broncos fans on a ride for the next decade, Davern and Tatupu will be determined to return right away with their own version of “Let’s Riiide” — even if their site is down.