Its a game day here in Seattle, but here at 12thMR our thoughts are elsewhere. I’ve been informed this morning that Joe Okabe, the longest tenured writer on this site, has passed away.
Riley Moore, former 12thMR editor and a very close friend of Joe’s, was gracious enough to put pen to paper for his friend:
It is with deep regret and a heavy heart that I inform you that “Super” Joe Okabe passed away Sunday sometime between 12 and 4 pm. He was in Seattle gearing up for the game on Monday. I am not sure of all the details, however, I believe it was of natural causes.
Joe was a very close friend, and I will miss him terribly. I met him some 6 years ago. He sat two rows ahead of me in section 211. Joe was a big guy, and he was hard to miss. After seeing him at a couple of games, my friend and I started talking to him. We were amazed to find out that Joe actually lived in Chicago. He was going to get season tickets to the Bears, but it was actually cheaper to get them in Seattle even with the flights, so he did. I think that he told me that he watched the Bears play the Seahawks and appreciated the up and coming nature of the Hawks, and pulled the trigger on the tickets. I believe Joe started going to the games the year before the NFC Championship season. I remember being at the NFC Championship with Joe. He kept turning around and saying, “I can’t believe this.” To me it felt like he brought that game to us. I remember thinking how cool it must have been for him to have picked up this new team despite the fact that he was from Chicago, and then to watch them win the biggest game in Franchise history.
I went to the game last week with Joe. I am so glad I did. We rolled in early and went to one of the upstairs bars in the club. It was mostly friends from our section, and we had a blast. Joe never drank, but he sure got a kick out of us when we did. We watched the game together. I would have never guessed in my wildest dreams that it would be our last. After the game, we went to dinner and back to the hotel. Joe had to take his car back to the airport, so he dropped myself and another friend, Big Dave off. I ended up waiting up for Joe. I was exhausted and barely had any voice left to talk when he finally got back. We talked about the game for a while and watched the coverage on tv. Joe used to get so mad when the Hawks won a game, and the national media would blame it on the other team. I can hear his voice as clear as day, “We won that game. They didn’t lose. We won.” Eventually we both fell asleep. That would be the last time I would ever see my friend.
I found out that Joe died on Sunday. He was in Seattle a day early for the game. I miss him so much already. I know that he really enjoyed writing for the 12thman. He never really said it, but he was very proud of his recent podcast with the site and looking forward to more opportunities to do the same.
Everyone at the game called him “Super” Joe because he traveled farther than anyone else to get there. He used to drive Big Dave, James, and myself to the games as we would all be staying at the same hotel. Usually the one that Joe got for us on priceline. As I write this story about my friend, I realize that over the last few years, he had really become the glue between all of us.
I feel that I can speak for the entire football family when I say that you will be missed and never forgotten Joe. We all loved you dearly. Two of Joe’s best friends will sit in his seats tonight, James and Big Dave. Thanks for being there fellas. Although this will be the hardest game they have ever had to sit through, I couldn’t think of two better people to do it.
As you enjoy the game tonight, please take a second to remember one of the Greatest Seahawk’s fans of all time: our friend “Super” Joe.
Obviously, our thoughts and prayers go out to Joe’s family and Friends. He will be missed.