The deafening decibel levels of the “12th man” are bound to be high with a playoff appearance on the line for the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, January 8.
Wagner, who had his first Super Bowl parade in front of those fans and built his Pro Bowl resume in front of the “12th man,” sent his message on how he’ll take in being back at Lumen Field — the place he called home for his first 10 seasons.
“It will be fun to go back there, be back in front of those fans that I spend so much time (around) and it should be a fun game,” Wagner told the L.A. media on Wednesday.
‘Master of Emotions’
While the crowd volume is known to crank up inside Lumen Field, plus while Wagner will again have a crack at his old team, Wagner got asked about the emotional aspect of being back at his former home.
“It’s a lot of emotions, but like I said last time I played them, I’m a master of my emotions,” Wagner said.
However, while he got used to playing in the postseason in front of that crowd, he’s embracing the new position he’s in with the Rams: Trying to play the role of playoff spoiler for a team that is deadlocked at the No. 7 seed with the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers.
“But it’s going into a stadium I’ve been to thousands of times, played hundreds of times, and to be in a position to spoil their playoff hopes is always a good position, something worth playing for,” Wagner said.
Wagner additionally is thankful to know that he gets another opportunity to return to the Pacific Northwest.
“The energy, the crowd, the moments that I had there,” said Wagner, of what he’ll feel. “For me, my last time I played there wasn’t a great one, so I’m just blessed to be able to have an opportunity to not have that be my last play at that field.”
Wagner is ‘Forever Grateful’
While Wagner has drifted south from the State of Washington’s largest city, he recalls a time the city took in a 21-year-old Southern Californian who grew up in the Inland Empire and had to adjust to his new surroundings.
“I just think of the love. That really became my second home, and it’s a place where I grew up,” Wagner said. “I grew up in California, but really, (at the age of) 21, I was on my own, making my own decisions, doing my own thing. I didn’t have the parents controlling everything. That’s really where I grew up, and they accepted me. They showed a lot of love, and so I’m forever grateful.”
And if there’s trash talk from his former teammates? Wagner dove into the difference there: Describing it as a family affair.
“I’m pretty sure you played your family before in basketball, golf or whatever and like, when you play your friend or like that person you met over there — you know y’all playing and y’all might talk a little trash, it is what it is,” Wagner explained. “But when you’re playing your family member that knows your deepest, darkest secrets and knows exactly what to say to you to make you feel some type of way — and you’re also playing the organization that you felt gave up on you. It was warranted, to be honest. And then again, I’m playing against people I know how to push their buttons too. So I know exactly what to say to them to make them mad.”