SEATTLE -- Gee Scott thought he’d be washing cars for the rest of his life.
“Truth be told,” he said, “I always thought that I just would be a car detailer and that I would try to maybe steer my sons towards a better path and I’d be able to instill in them not to clean cars.”
But in the end, it was an opportunity to clean cars that helped Scott put his car washing days behind him.
In 2003, Scott gave up a gig working as a door-to-door salesman – hocking everything from children’s toys to electronics – to try out a mobile car-washing business. It was an idea he got while sitting in a barbershop in Seattle’s Central District.
“A gentleman came in with a bucket and asked if anyone wanted their cars cleaned for $5,” he said. “I thought, what a great idea to take a business out on the road where you come to people to clean their vehicles.”
After a few months washing cars outside a restaurant near White Center, Scott had a chance encounter with Seahawks Equipment Manager Erik Kennedy – a meeting that would change the course of Scott’s life.
“We hit it off,” Kennedy said. “He was a great guy, a great communicator. Probably a little overqualified for what he was doing at the time.”
Kennedy, whose job is to mentor players just as much as it is to manage equipment, decided to take a chance on Scott, letting him wash head coach Mike Holmgren’s Mercedes.
“When Gee first started doing Mike’s car, he was meticulous. He was organized, he was thorough,” Kennedy said.
Over the next decade, Scott washed cars for everyone from Matt Hasselbeck, to Russell Wilson, to Pete Carroll.
“I’ve cleaned some Rolls-Royces in my time, and some Bentleys, and Ferraris, and Lamborghinis,” Scott recalled.
“It wasn’t just always about cleaning cars,” he said. “It was just life lessons that were happening inside of there and some of the wisdom they would lay down on me.”
As the years went by, Scott formed close friendships with players, many of whom he met long before they became household names.
“Close enough that he knows I eat Honey Smacks on Saturday and I watch Golden Girls on Saturday morning,” Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin said with a laugh. “Too close, maybe.”
“Gee Scott was one of those people who I could easily tell was genuine. He was honest. He was real. He didn’t like to sugarcoat things and I respected that about him,” Baldwin said.
“He’s not asking you for a handout. He’s asking for you to help him out. To put him in a position where he can be successful, and that’s all he’s ever asked.”
It was his close friendships with players that Gee Scott turned to when he had an opportunity to put his car washing days behind him.
Scott and two friends, Terry Holliman and former Seahawk Marcus Trufant, were given an opportunity to host a sports talk show on 710 ESPN Seattle.
The three had already started a successful podcast, “The Barbershop,” but were hoping to land an on-air gig. They turned to what would seem like the most unlikely person for help – the notoriously silent Marshawn Lynch.
“One morning I was cleaning cars like I do all the time over at the Seahawks facility,” Scott recalled, “and Marshawn comes riding through and I said, ‘Hey Marshawn, would you do an interview with us?’ He said, ‘Maaannn, I don’t know.’”
While hesitant, Lynch agreed.
The rare interview sealed the deal. Scott now hosts a daily show from 10 a.m. to Noon on 710 ESPN, alongside co-host Justin Myers.
His newfound success allowed him to start the I Can Foundation. He now spends time speaking to kids about his story and how they can make their dreams a reality.
“Sometimes, I don’t even know if the Seahawks realize that they really gave me the chance that they did,” he said. “I mean, who knows that the car wash guy was going to end up doing something based on the opportunity that you gave him? So my message to them is, ‘Thank you.’”