Seattle Seahawks legend Lofa Tatupu and actor Brett Davern found the perfect way to turn Russell Wilson’s “Let’s Ride” on its head — until their site was mysteriously shut down.
It all started in good fun, according to Brett Davern, the co-host of the Take 12 podcast.
“It’s like a parody novelty shirt, that kind of harkens back to the Bronco Busters old shirt,” Davern told FanSided. “We came up with the idea of weeks ago, because we thought it’d be fun to make shirts for the games, and especially the home games, maybe go down and pass some out and like, try to drum up listeners and stuff.”
“So we just came up with the idea just based off of the line that Russ said,” Davern continued. “After recording one day or something, we were just throwing around ideas. And we were just like, ‘Hey, well, what if we just almost say the exact same thing, but flip it on its head?’ And just kind of tease it, have a parody of it, really.”
That parody turned into t-shirt emblazoned with a Seahawk riding a bucking Bronco, spelling out Wilson’s “Let’s Ride” catchphrase with a drawling “Let’s Riiide” — three i’s for Seattle’s longtime No. 3, laughed Davern. Davern and his Take 12 podcast co-host, legendary Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu, were having a blast broadcasting their snarky t-shirt to Seattle faithful.
That is, until, someone shut down their fun — literally. Davern reached out to FanSided after the website selling their “Let’s Riiide” t-shirts was mysteriously shut down on Aug. 31. All of the listings of their “Let’s Riiide” shirts were deleted and erased from their website without any notification or explanation, according to Davern.
The Teespring site is up and running again after Davern manually reposted each shirt — now they’re the “NOT Let’s R***de” shirts as a tongue-in-cheek way of avoiding being flagged.
Here is what the Take 12 podcast had to say about their site shutdown and the real motivation behind their now-infamous t-shirts:
“Unfortunately our store was actually shut down last night. We have no idea why. We had sold so many shirts so quickly that we figured the site crashed. But this morning we think it might be because we scratched a nerve somewhere or with someone…? Whatever the case, these shirts were being sold for so little that our profit per shirt was only 2 bucks! It’s not about making money; it was about having fun on our silly little show. At the very least, we hoped with our small profit to buy more local marketing and advertising to bring in listeners and if we made extra we’d happily donate to charity, which is something Lofa is always up for. To date, our show has raised thousands for multiple Seattle area charities.”
Davern further explained what happened with the website:
“At first, we hoped that we just sold so many we crashed the site. We were all just high fiving, and like, ‘Oh, man, we broke the internet.’
But then, I don’t know, all of our listings were deleted. And we’ve been trying to get in touch with them, we still just haven’t even gotten an answer. So I just re-uploaded everything with, like, asterisks and trying to be funny with it, and hope to appease whoever it is out there making decisions or whatever. And it’s stayed up so far.”
Lofa Tatupu and Brett Davern anger the wrong people with “Let’s Riiide” t-shirt
Understandably, proud Seahawks fans were suspicious about the fact that a shirt playing with Russell Wilson’s catchphrase was virtually stripped from internet shelves. Feeling slighted, 12s rallied together to support Davern and Tatupu.
“A lot of people was hitting us up, like, ‘Hey, what happened to the store?’ and ‘Who’s after you?’ and ‘We’re with you!’
And it kind of just created this groundswell of a Seahawks fan army. I’m from Seattle, born and raised, and we’re a hearty group up here. The Northwest is ours. We stick together up here, and so it was really nice to see everybody have our backs online.”
Davern joked that the likely culprit was Jeff Bezos, because there appear to already be knockoff designs on Amazon. It’s not surprising that the shirts are both popular among Seattle fans while also striking a nerve with Russell Wilson faithful in Denver: there was a considerable amount of thought in the design of the t-shirts that allowed 12s to connect on several levels.
“In the 1980s, back when the Seahawks and Broncos were in the same division, there was a t-shirt made by fans maybe —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 ones, so they’re just kind of a thing.
And then when the Seahawks moved to NFC West, that sort of old rivalry died. Or not died, but laid dormant, I guess. Now that Russ went right to them, and it’s Week 1, like, hello, the Broncos Busters thing is back.
So that shirt kind of has that circular design, it has that kind of old school feel because it is old. We were we were trying to just do an a take off of that. And then the ‘Let’s Riiide’ just came to me Lofa. At first, we were gonna put the whole thing on the t-shirts. It was gonna say ‘Seahawks Country: Let’s Riiide.’ But we were like, ‘Okay, well, we were not going to put Seahawks on there.’ So we just went with the ‘Let’s Riiide’ because I feel like everybody else fills it in, and once you see that the Seahawk is on the Bronco — and I think he nailed the Broncos eyes. A picture says a thousand words, and that’s what’s beautiful about an image. And that kind of thing creates a feeling. And I think we did that, which is awesome, it’s so fun to see.”
Seahawks podcasters give back to Seattle community while poking fun at Russell Wilson
For Seattle fans, there’s already plenty to like about the shirts, but knowing the intention with which Tatupu and Davern operate only makes them more appealing. The podcast duo did not 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 all while giving back. Tatupu has a t-shirt through Simply Seattle that benefits Treehouse, and Tatupu also works with the Seahawkers of Renton on a project to feed homeless individuals.
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. Back in 2009, the linebacker offered to match the first $10,000 raised in disaster relief efforts following a tsunami in the Pacific Rim region.
And these shirts were also meant to give back, with proceeds being donated to local charities. Davern stresses that the shirts were all made in good fun, even though they struck a nerve with some disgruntled Broncos fans.
“Some people on the internet though, they’re taking it as if we’re like taking a shot at him or something like that. We’re not taking shots personally, especially a person. Russ, he’s so charitable, he’s done so much great work in the area. He’s a great dude. It’s not that at all. It’s just poking fun at sort of the cheesiness of it, or the way that, you know, he puts that stuff everywhere. And we just thought it was funny to more say, like, ‘No, we’ll show you how we ride.’
The podcast hosts will be passing out their shirts to fans for free before the game outside of Lumen Field, and they will stop selling the shirts after tonight’s game, so 12s need to act fast before the shirts are gone permanently.
Even if the Seahawks community is relatively gracious after a sour Russell Wilson/Pete Carroll breakup, no one is feeling so sympathetic that they’re okay with a Broncos win in Week 1. Wilson just brought an old AFC rivalry back to life, and the 12s are ready for it.
If Wilson wants to take Broncos fans on a ride for the next decade, Davern and Tatupu will be determined to buck right back emblazoned with their own take on “Let’s Riiide” — even if their site gets shut down.