980 bussell wilson FB
Bussell Wilson, a Seahawks tailgating vehicle that's been catching eyes for some time, ups its cred with first number 3 Seahawks license plate. (Image courtesy Facebook - Bussell Wilson)

'Bussell Wilson' snags first number 3 Seahawks license plate

'Bussell Wilson,' a tailgating bus named for quarterback Russell Wilson, will sport the first 00003 Seahawks license plate won in an auction for $15,533.

The new Washington state license plates, 00002-00025, were auctioned off last week with proceeds in excess of state licensing fees going to InvestED, a statewide organization that provides immediate help to individual students in need with things like athletic fees, choir robes, eyeglasses or graduation expenses, to help them stay engaged and in school.

Brian Valentine, who is part owner of the bus, said the first number 3 plate had to go to Bussell.

"Bussell Wilson saw we had the number 3 plate coming up for bid. He had to have it. So he hacked into my computer account and actually bid on my behalf to get number 3," jokes Valentine

Bussell is a 1996 short bus converted into a 12th Man tailgating-mobile that Valentine said he and his crew have really beefed up since the Seahawks have been on the winning side. The name Bussell was fitting for the little bus in more ways than one, said Valentine.

"Our quarterback, as great as he is, has always been accused of being too short and we wanted to have something that could at least represent our quarterback in the appropriate way."

Bussell now appears at every home game, but his owners are nervous about taking him on the road.

"I'm always afraid to take him to away games because you know the way some of those fans can be, I might come out and he'll be tipped over and he'll be all beat up. I wouldn't want him to have to go through all that," said Valentine, who also happened to lock up the coveted 00012 plate.

The number 12 plate went for a bid of $42,299. Valentine plans to give that plate to his son, serving in the Army and stationed in Georgia, when he comes home.

All told, the auction raised $109,483 for InvestED.

"It's a great cause, takes care of the kids in school," said Valentine. "I'm more than honored to be part of it and lucky to win the bids."

The remaining Seahawks license plates will be available through the Department of Licensing beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

MyNorthwest.com's Jamie Skorheim and Josh Kerns contributed to this report.

MyNorthwest.com, Staff report
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