That's a pretty surreal thing to type. I've waited for this day for more than 24 years and now that's it here, I don't know how to express how I feel.
I spent the day at home with my amazing wife and our three young boys. My oldest had his No. 3 Wilson jersey on and he was excited to wear it. We exchanged a few "SEAHAWKS" chants all throughout the morning. My middle son was in his Seahawks shirt with the old logo, which bothered both my wife and me for some reason. We need to get him a new shirt. My youngest, who is a tender six weeks old, wore a football onesie. My wife had her Seahawks shirt on and I wore the "We Are Twelve" Nike shirt underneath my wolf grey No. 12. My head was covered by the New Era SB XLVIII edition "On the Field Hat."
I spent a decent chunk of the morning writing my article with some final thoughts and a prediction. As I was researching and writing it, a calm came over me more than once. My prediction for this game was 31-21, but I felt like the game wouldn't even be that close. To me, the Seahawks' defense was just too physical for Denver's offense, and I didn't think they matched up well at all. I didn't think that their defense could contain our offense. A defense that ranked No. 15 in DVOA didn't scare me, and I really had to restrain myself from making that prediction more like 38-17. Next time, I'll just say what I know will happen, and not worrying about people's opinions of me being way too much of a homer. No more hedging predictions with this team.
I finally sat down in front of the television about an hour before game time. I watched Russell Wilson being interviewed by Howie Long and had a hard time staying composed when he talked about his dad. Like Russ, I know all too well how much of a void losing your dad leaves in your life. I found out that the reason he hasn't cut his hair is because he was growing it out to honor his old man. I watched as a half hour before kickoff, the cameras panned the stands and I saw a sea of blue with some orange sprinkled in. The 12's were out in full force for this one. I told my wife that today, the Seahawks were winning the Super Bowl.
If I wasn't teetering on the edge of falling off the adrenaline cliff, I was close. Then, Kurt Russell introduced our Seahawks and it was one of the greatest things I have ever seen. I got up off the couch and I wouldn't sit down for more than three hours.
Everyone has that moment when they know a game is in the bag. For as arrogant as this sounds, I knew this game was over when Kam Chancellor laid the wood on Demaryius Thomas on Denver's second offensive play. I can't describe it, but I just knew. Our defense was too fast and the momentum that that hit provided for our defense and the crowd was immeasurable. That's when I knew that the Seahawks were bringing the Lombardi Trophy to Seattle. That's when I knew that no longer could friends and work buddies relentlessly remind me of our history. My iPhone was burning a hole in my pocket and it took a great deal of restraint to not incite a Facebook war between me and the Seahawks haters.
I predicted a Percy Harvin kickoff return touchdown in the article I wrote, so when he collected the second half kickoff off of the bounce, I yelled "29-0!" and we watched him outrun everyone. In that moment, all of the frustration I had felt over his absence this season was completely erased. I was never mad at Percy, but as I watched our offense and passing game falter some weeks, he was always at the forefront of my thoughts. That was probably the biggest moment of his football career. I felt so happy for him.
We all know how the rest went and no one here needs a game recap.
43-8. That's unbelievable. The Seahawks beat Peyton Manning and the No. 1 offense of all time by 35 points on the biggest stage in football. Later, I learned that the Seahawks were awarded the safety at 14:48 in the first quarter and Harvin crossed the Broncos' goal line with 14:48 remaining in the third quarter. 12 seconds elapsed on both. How fitting is that? I heard Manning talk about the safety and he admitted to it being a direct result of the crowd noise. Never have I been more proud of being a 12 than after I read that, because it showed the world that we will travel with our team, no matter the distance, and when we return home, we're not bringing our voices back with us. 12's help 12's, and for those of you who were at MetLife, thank you for bringing it for the rest of us who couldn't be there.
I thought I would cry at the trophy presentation, but I never did. I was insanely happy, of course, but it didn't seem real. Even now, more than 32 hours later, I still don't know if it has sunk in yet. I know it feels amazing, but it feels different than I thought it would.
I hugged my wife and sons and watched the Lombardi trophy as it made its way to the podium. It went straight through the guys that make up our roster and they were all reaching out to touch it. I wish all of us were there to touch it, too. I watched as our quarterback raised it up high and gave his million dollar smile. I thought of my dad, a Seahawks fan who knew Wilson would be a winner in the NFL before he ever took a snap in an NFL game, who died unexpectedly on March 25 of last year. I caught myself before I thought to call him to have our usual celebratory call after big wins, but I felt that sting of realizing that he's not here. Missing moments like these is the hardest part for me. Missing his last grandson's birth. Missing the Seahawks finally achieve the ultimate prize that has eluded them for so many years. He would have really loved this, and I was again reminded of what has come to pass since his departure. My mother in law asked me today what my family did for the Super Bowl. When I told her that I didn't think any of us watched the game together, it hit me like a ton of bricks. If he were still here, we would have all watched this game together as a family. I take solace in the fact that I have my own children now and yesterday borne a new tradition that will hopefully continue on when I'm gone, too. But on the second thought, I know he's not missing anything.
I had to write a couple of work buddies on Facebook and rub their noises in it a little bit, but in retrospect, I wish I wouldn't have. Whether or not I felt entitled to shouldn't have mattered, but I did feel that way and in so many ways, this was redemption for me and all of us. I realized that there was nothing that I could say that my team hadn't already said much better than I ever could.
It's not easy knowing that this season is over and a long offseason awaits before the start of a season in which we will be defending our title. I am sure Pete Carroll and John Schneider have a few tricks up their sleeves. Come next season, there will be some former Seahawks playing on different teams and that's the part that is hard for me. It's almost as if I wish I could put this team in a time capsule and never have them separate. This team was just that perfect; that dominant. It's not easy reminding yourself that the NFL is a business and this team, while similar, will look different next season. It has to, because that's how this thing works. But that doesn't mean I have to like it.
Looking forward, I fully expect this team to be in the same position next year. Many will tell me that that is an unrealistic thing to expect, but I disagree. This organization has built something here that creates a level of success that will prove to be sustainable for a very long time. This is a team that has changed the landscape of the league and how teams will do business.
I can tell my sons that they watched the Seahawks win their first Super Bowl with their old man. They won't remember this because they are much too young, but never will they grow up and have to hear other people telling them that their team isn't relevant because they have never won anything.
Thank you, Seahawks. You did it. We know we're the best fans in the land and our loyalty and commitment to you will never waver. You deserve every bit of the 12th Man love that you have received in the past, present, and the future. This is just the beginning.