Seattle’s biggest fan, ‘Big Lo,’ now a slimmed-down author, too
Lorin “Big Lo” Sandretzky, among the most recognizable Seahawks fans, is hoping for a lopsided win Saturday.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Just in case you don’t have your own prediction for the score of Saturday’s game, try this one on: Seattle Seahawks 38, Carolina Panthers 12.
That comes from Seahawks fan Lorin “Big Lo” Sandretzky, who hasn’t missed a home game in nearly 30 years, and recently published a book about his experiences.
“I’ve never been much of a score-picker, but these Seahawks are due for a big win,” Sandretzky, 48, said this week. “The only thing I’d be worried about it is if we get overconfident.”
Seahawks fans know Sandretzky best as the 6-foot-8-inch presence who holds up plastic letters “Sea” and a section of white picket fence at each game to read “Sea-(fence),” urging on the Seahawk’s fabled defense.
“We have our defense on the field, our Sea-fence in the stands, and there’s nothing more powerful than the sea,” he said.
Sandretzky, a Burien native, supports just about all local sports teams, and has been labeled in some media accounts as “Seattle’s biggest sports fan,” a claim particularly hard to dispute when he tipped the scales at 658 pounds in 2007.
Diagnosed with diabetes, he was told by his doctor to lose weight or die — and said he feels like he has done some of each.
He dropped about 300 pounds, but has been beset by a variety of illnesses, including flesh-eating bacteria that led to a surgery, after which he says doctors told him he “basically flatlined” before reviving.
Due to a recent foot surgery triggered by an infection, he’ll enter CenturyLink Field on Saturday in a wheelchair and be helped to his seat, a season-ticket spot owned by a friend. His trademark plastic signs will be with him, though he won’t stand to display them as often as he’d like.
He has been filmed in a commercial with Russell Wilson, was profiled on an ESPN video, and has met many Seahawks and other sports celebs, but Sandretzky said he hopes the book will show other aspects of his personality.
“Some people just see me as a big obnoxious guy at the games, but I don’t boo, I don’t cuss, I don’t say bad things to the other team’s fans ... I feel as people we’re all equal. God made us that way.”
His faith has helped him through difficult times with alcohol and drugs and other problems.
Sandretzky has held a variety of jobs, the most recent in marketing for Olympia-based Jacknut Apparel. He is living with, and caring for, his father, and has a girlfriend with two teenage sons.
He also has been active in a variety of charitable causes, including donating items from his sports-memorabilia collection for charity auctions, and is working to set up his own charitable foundation. His book, “Sea-Fence!: The Story of Big Lo, Super Fan,” was published in November.
A foreword by Chris Egan, KING 5 sports anchor, said it’s not Sandretzky’s size or booming voice that sets him apart.
“Big Lo has distinguished himself through the immensity of his heart,” Egan said. “He asks for nothing and yet he always gives so much.”
Jack Broom: 206-464-2222 or firstname.lastname@example.org