Seahawks win Super Bowl XVLIII: A Dream Actualized

Kevin C. Cox


I could not have visualized a more perfect game. Being more confident than not in our Hawks, I thought the final score would be in the neighborhood of 37-23. But that? Never.

To follow are some hopefully chronological thoughts on the euphoria I experienced in East Rutherford interspersed with reflections on the game and broadcast, which I am finally getting around to. I'm not one to break down film, so I will leave most of that to those who do it better.

Booking last minute, I chose Philadelphia for the stay so I wouldn't be bankrupt; I will be paying off this debt for a few years. It was more than worth it. The plane in was filled with Seahawks fans! My hotel shuttle from the airport had a group of Seahawks fans! (thanks for the wine guys)

Returning from the game, there were dozens of Seahawks fans on my flight out of Atlanta to Seattle. Some didn't go to the Super Bowl, lived out on the east coast, and were flying to Seattle for the parade. Amazing.

To the game, I took the train and spent the pregame at a StubHub "tailgate" with a couple Packers fans who were rooting for Seattle. I usually hate StubHub because they take 25% in fees from every transaction, but they performed masterfully and far exceeded my expectations. Their pricing was competitive, if not the best, and they provided all the transportation necessary, including a bus to the game, which was important considering the cluster**** that was taking the train to the game. Their pregame tailgate was huge and had a bunch of activities and, most importantly, beer. Way to go, StubHub. If you're going to the Super Bowl in Phoenix next year and forced to the secondary market, I'd recommend them.

I arrived at the game as late as possible and still managed to have 3 hours to kill. It was a horrible few hours and I'm fairly sure I scared the poor woman sitting next to me as I was engulfed by 2 of the most anxiety-inducing hours.

Then the pregame show started and thrusted me back to reality. It was absolutely surreal watching the Black Hawk helicopters AH-64 D Apaches, UH-60M Black Hawks, and CH-47F Chinooks (thanks benbu75) soar directly above me.

(if anyone has a great photo of the flyover, please direct me to it as the internet has failed me and my phone was dead at that moment)

Then it was game-time.

I expected a mostly neutral, quiet, corporate-y type of crowd. It was far from that. The crowd itself was maybe 60:40 in terms of Seahawks fans to Broncos fans, but it was hard to tell because of all that damn hunting gear. The Denver portion of the crowd was surprisingly loud. Not for long though.

I can't put into words how unbelievable the first play was. (Go watch the Sound FX if you haven't already.)

From that very first play until well into the game, the 12th Man made its impact; every single meaningful play for the Seattle defense was aided by significant crowd noise. This is an example -- my phone was resurrected and it was the first play I didn't yell -- from when it was 36-0. Holy shit it was 36-0!!!

The Seahawks would of course march right downfield after Manning was stifled by the 12th man, and then this happened:


The ball would only be extended from there; as is in the photo, that would be a first down. On Sound FX, a ref tells John Fox that he thinks it's a first down. Yet somehow, the challenge failed. Pete then decided to kick a field goal, much to my dismay.

The sequence would obviously be rendered moot, but **** it all.

Here are some less organized thoughts as I watch the game:

- On the kickers: Haushcka killed it. No missed field goals, and a great job on kickoffs. He did spectacular, especially when compared to the Broncos kicker, Prater, who had zero touchbacks. Though, he wasn't getting very many opportunities!

- On the kickoff after the first field goal, Lockette did not see the Broncos player for what that's worth. It's still a penalty. Dude's too fast for his own good.


- This was complete domination except for the Marshawn running game. The HB run game has ample room to improve. I'd put it on the offensive line not being able to deal with some types of defenses.

- The next FG was made after a time-consuming 6 minute and 15 second drive. It featured key catches by Michael Robinson, Dougie Fresh, Percy Harvin, and Golden Tate. It was disappointing that they could not punch in a touchdown after the wheel route by Baldwin for 37 yards. The drive began with this disparity:



- Unger did not have a good start.


- The forward pass that was challenged was a scare (it was only 5-0 at the time). I don't know how they didn't manage to complete such a simple pass. John Fox was 1-8 on challenges this year.

- To end the drive's chances for a TD, Kearse lost the ball going to the ground. I tried hard to be mad at Kearse, but it was a great play by the defender. Nate Irving got his hand in between Kearse's hands.

- Clemons' strip on the next Broncos drive bounced off the ground, then off Clemons' chest to a Bronco. :(

- Ridiculous interception by Kam.


- The Percy fly sweeps are the funnest plays to watch.

- This is a zooming shot after the first touchdown. I'm in this picture. No big deal.


- The Broncos didn't record a first down until 10:30 in the 2nd.

- Huge part of this game that hasn't been talked about much - the performance of the run defense. Being able to shut down the Broncos running game from the start allowed the defense to stay with the original game plan. If they had to make adjustments to focus on the Broncos running game, this game could have been closer.

- Michael Bennett was everywhere. Two tackles on screens on this Broncos drive. The Seahawks are screen killers.

- Broncos had 1st and 10 at the 30. Manning throws incomplete, but what is this, Red Bryant tripped after beating Beadles on an inside pass rush??? Red Bryant! Huge play to make it 1st and 20.

- Moreno being flat-footed while Malcolm Smith goes for the ball is a wonderful sight.


- Malcolm Smith absolutely deserved the MVP honor. At the beginning of the drive, there was 12 minutes left in the 2nd quarter and the Broncos had a chance to make it a one-possession game. They dinked and dunked for over eight and a half minutes only to give Seattle another touchdown. It began to put the game out of reach, and it wasn't the only contribution Smith made.

- The Thomas on Thomas non-call at the end of the 2nd looked like PI in the game and it looks like PI on the broadcast. I don't get that one. Super Bowl karma? Still got a long way to go, NFL gods.

- The Broncos weren't dominated on offense in the 2nd quarter the way they were in the 1st. They had 2 of their best 3 drives of the game during the quarter. Big time stops by Seattle at the end of good drives were the story.

- Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy Percy.

- At this point in the game it was 29-0 and we were on top of the world. I still wasn't sure. Too many times have we seen a magical comeback over the last few seasons. They seem to always involve Tom Brady, but still. John Fox and Jermaine Kearse would fix that.

- Why choose to punt when down 29 with 4th and 11 on the opponent's 39? I will never understand this, even if the NYT bot says it's the right call.

- Lynch finally had a nice run, for 18 yards, with 10:35 left in the 3rd.

- The Maxwell punch! Maxwell is a tremendous improvement over Browner.

- Broncos, meet Dagger. Dagger, meet Broncos. This is when it hit me. Seattle Seahawks, Super Bowl Champions.


The rest of the game featured a couple insignificant touchdowns (although, very nice effort by Baldwin). I'm happy for Tarvaris Jackson; he got snaps! That says it all.

Offensively, defensively, and on special teams, the matchups favored Seattle. Seattle should have been favored. It's easy to say that in hindsight, but both Vegas, who initially had Seattle favored, and the advanced stats people, who almost unanimously picked Seattle to win, thought the same before the game.

This team has been put together so well. It's worth noting how the offseason acquisitions played a central role in the game - Percy's KR, Avril's catalyzing the pick-six, Bennett's omnipresence. Pete Carroll and John Schneider have done the best jobs in the NFL over the past few years. 3 seasons ago, this team was among the very worst in the league. Now look at them.

I'll cherish this for the rest of my life and if it were up to me, I'd still be living the game.

Thank you, Seattle Seahawks. Thank you.


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