Super Bowl 48 Thoughts: I can now die a happy man

Tom Pennington

I can now die a happy man.

I honestly never believed I'd see happen what I did last Sunday. I want this feeling to never leave me. Even next season, when Seattle does lose at some stage, I'll want to remember just how this feels. And I will.

You know me by now, and what I contribute to Field Gulls. It isn't much in the grand scheme of things, but I couldn't let this week pass by without putting finger to keyboard. I'm not sure where to start really, if I'm honest, as this promises to be just a few thoughts and ramblings, in no order whatsoever, on exactly what just happened to all of us...or should that be me as opposed to ‘all of us'? I really don't care at the moment, such is the delirium. I should start with the spread, but that can wait ‘til later. Let's start with...orange.

I made a bit of a deal last week of the Broncos opting to don their orange ‘home' jerseys for the Super Bowl. I didn't know whether anybody may come back to me telling me to quit being ridiculous. You didn't. I put it out there as I kinda like how sport does its utmost to kick superstition out of bed...yet when the worst happens, well, that's when the arguments begin. Up you go to your room, you two. Sort this one out between yourselves. However, I do think that last Sunday's outcome raises the possibility of the question being asked when next Denver play in an even numbered Super Bowl (as the designated home team).

Once the game had finished, I was barely sober up until the Tuesday afterwards so I have no idea who the guy was, but it was somebody, a Denver somebody, talking to an NFL Network somebody, lamenting the fact that the Broncos had worn orange. Now, he may have been speaking with tongue firmly in cheek, but such was his apparent annoyance, that it didn't sound like it. Denver's now 0-4 in Super Bowls wearing orange. What do they do if they reach Super Bowl L, or LII, or LIV, or LVI...you get the picture. You may not give a monkey's, but I'm a little fascinated.

On the topic of jerseys (as opposed to the Topic of Capricorn or the Topic of Cancer...ah, sorry), the Seahawks ensured that 9 of the last 10 Super Bowls have been won by the team wearing their white ‘road' jerseys. Now, say we go back next year...what will we do? Should it happen, our beloved get to pick and there's a quirky trend being set here. In addition, Seattle's 1-0 in Super Bowls where they wear white and 0-1 in Super Bowls where they wear blue. Chuck in the 9 of the last 10 stat and therein lies a possible dilemma. Now, I know what you're thinking and you're right...this team is laden with talent, talent we haven't seen before in Seattle...not all at the same time anyway. That talent and athleticism and sheer will to win makes a mockery of jersey colour, which is correct and proper. However, when you're looking for a psychological edge, I wonder what would happen...yeah, feel free to fill in the blanks...tell me I'm a clown...

The number 12 was something else I touched upon last week, part of some numerology bunkum I'd dredged up from somewhere. The recesses of my brain, as it turned out. You're all more than aware of what happened by now, the Seahawks scoring twelve seconds in to each half, but I'll see you those two and raise you a couple of other tidbits that may not have been given the light of day yet. If they have, I apologise in advance.

Before I'm let loose here, just consider those scoring patterns...you couldn't have made that up. Twelve seconds in to each half. Really? It's almost beyond comprehension. Where to start...

...at the start. Broncos center Manny Ramirez, he of the errant first snap, wears 66...6 + 6 = 12.

Russell Wilson threw for 206 yards. Not only is that Seattle's area code (really, really bizarre), but 2 x 6 = 12.

Russ was drafted 75th overall by Seattle...7 + 5 = 12.

Percy Harvin scored on an 87 yard kickoff return to start the second half. Did he? Watch it again and slow it down, slow it down, slow it down...at the moment his hands touched the ball (before the ball had finished falling naturally...Percy reached and collected it a microsecond early), he was stood at the 12 yard line. The bloody 12 yard line. If it wasn't the 12 yard line, it was the 12 and one eighth yard line. What it most definitely was not was the 13 yard line. Still, we can't have everything. Only, I think we do right now.

Oh yeah, and as I mentioned last week, it was the 48th Super Bowl...4 + 8 =...y'know.

Sunday was a long day as kickoff was 23:30 GMT here in the UK. I went out in the afternoon to the pub with my fiancée, just to get away from thinking about football for a second. Like that was ever going to work. On the way home, I bought two bottles of *Cava, in case there was cause for celebration a few hours later. As soon as I'd bought them, I cursed myself for tempting fate. What an idiot, eh?

*Yes, it's hardly champagne, but I'm getting married this year so need all the cash I can get my grubby little mitts on and a £7 bottle of Cava does the trick. It feels like champers on the tongue because it's fizzy. That'll do me.

I watched the game with Sarah (said fiancée) and Rich (hello, my friend), one of my co-best men for the big day. The latter and I always watch the Super Bowl together and often end up rooting for the same team...last year especially, as he's a Raider; the lights nearly went out on the Ravens though.

As kickoff approached, I realised I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be. It was hard to define, but I'd had such a fantastic two weeks since the San Fran game, replaying it, watching the team arrive in New York, the interviews and the like, that I'd learned to just enjoy this for what it was. Plus, we had a chance.

I've just thought of something else orangey (horrible looking word)...look, I didn't promise you this was going to be anything approaching linear. On the Saturday before the game, I ran Denver's Super Bowl history wearing orange past my stepfather. His response? "Why the hell would they choose to wear their bok (unlucky) jerseys in the Super Bowl?"

Channel 4, who were broadcasting the game over here, had none other than Terrell Davis in the studio; a great guest and a great man. So, where's the ex-Seahawk for a bit of balance? You gotta be joking. He was obviously, and quite rightly, siding with the Broncos, but proved gracious in defeat. He got a little greater a little quicker.

Can a team score too early? In soccer, yes. In football? I want to say no, but that (loose) idiom can be applied to games settled in the fourth quarter. Anyhow, that matters not here. Seattle had scored early and then you realise that Denver are now free kicking from their own 20. We had deferred yet were ultimately going to get the ball first anyway.

This would never last.

I won't take you through each of my thoughts as the game was progressing as I do have designs on being invited back next year; 45,000 words here aren't needed.

What one single moment from the game was your most memorable? It's a ridiculous question, I know, but I'm asking it anyway. I will say this...I'm seeing Malcolm Smith's pick six a little too often and it's fast losing its impact. I can't believe I'm even writing such crap. This will not do. I do have one moment, but it's fought its way up there only after the game: Kam's first quarter hit on Demaryius Thomas...hark at me and my use of ‘first quarter', like you didn't know. It's forever (at least around these parts) THAT hit on Demaryius Thomas. There is extra reasoning behind my adoration for the play and some of you may already have seen the footage. The imagery just struck the biggest chord and not least because of its poignancy. I'll get to it.

There's an angle of Kam's hit from behind the play and you're able to freeze it just after Earl Thomas runs across to congratulate him. Accompanying them both in the shot is Richard Sherman. It's a hell of an image of three feared (drafted) Seahawks on the biggest stage there is frozen in time, each of them already assured of their place in the Ring of Honor. Aren't they? Do I speak to soon? Maybe I do. Still, the thought of them joining Dave Brown, Kenny Easley (my first Seahawk hero, even above Largent), Jacob Green and Cortez Kennedy is giving me goosebumps...not the first time that's happened this week.

Mention of Kam's hit is not a bad time to introduce Sarah's contribution to proceedings. We've been together almost four years now and this was going to be her first year sitting up watching the Super Bowl, regardless of who made it. We'd already booked the Monday off work so, win or lose, we were heading straight to the pub the day after the game. It was going to be in celebration. Wasn't it?

Even at 29-0, I didn't believe this thing was in the bag. Only when Jermaine Kearse had pinballed his way into the end zone did I dare believe it was time to relax. Now to shut Denver out. Oh, bugger.

At some point during the third quarter, and with me simply assuming that she wasn't paying much real attention to proceedings, Sarah, unprompted, piped up, "Any time that any Bronco gets the ball, you know they're going down."

This was pre-Kearse with me still the firm disbeliever. I looked at her; didn't speak. I thought, ‘I know you're right. You mean to tell me you're actually taking all of this in?' She's now a little bit hooked.

In hindsight, I could've broken open the Cava at any time during the final quarter, but waited until the two minute warning. It's been commented on here more than once this week that the real elation came at the end of the NFC Championship Game and that because the Super Bowl ended up being so one sided, that it possibly lacked the emotional impact we'd hoped it would provide. That may have been true as the clock wound down, but it's an entirely different story since. As good as it felt dispatching the 49ers three weeks ago, when reality bit, we all knew there was one game to go and that NFC bragging rights ultimately count for nothing. Yes, even over San Francisco. We'd been NFC Champions before, which felt great for two weeks.

Nothing that followed in the days after clinching the NFC Championship comes anywhere close to now. Be still my beating heart. As soon as the mundanity of everyday life kicked in, one flicker of thought that brought to mind that the Seattle Seahawks are the Super Bowl champions dispersed any feeling of hating the job, a work colleague...oh, I don't know, one of your neighbours.

I was sat in my flat chatting to Rich, sipping Cava at 5:30 a.m. approximately two hours after the presentation of the Lombardi trophy. It's about the most liberating feeling you can imagine, drinking alcohol at the same time as your alarm normally goes off to get you up for work. And all of this on a Monday. Four hours sleep later, I was awake, too wired to simply lay there. I was asked whether or not it had sunk in. It had, sooner than I'd anticipated. That afternoon, Sarah and I sat in the pub, whereupon I had one blissful beer after another. I couldn't stop smiling. I must've been so bloody annoying.

Before Wednesday's parade, I crammed in all of the analysis I could, in between watching re-runs of highlights. Sure, what a terrible Super Bowl for the neutral. Boo hoo for them. That colour red you see isn't my heart bleeding.

On to Wednesday. I don't need to feed you anything. Heck, most of you reading this were probably there. I sincerely hope you were.

Not that any inner joy had yet dissipated, but I knew the parade (even just watching it on TV) was the last chance to properly revel in what this team had achieved. By ‘team', I include the entire coaching/scouting staff.

I feared the few hours the parade would take might go within the blink of an eye and before you knew it, we were two hours in. Like all of us, I was bursting with pride and this is a city I've spent a total of six days in, having been a Seahawks fan for 30 years. Russell Wilson wasn't even drafted a whole two years ago and I'd bet you that a whole two years ago to this day, that he didn't even feature on at least sixteen teams' draft boards due to his height. Jacksonville...no wonder the NFL is happy to ship you over here at least once a season for the next three years. Over to you Gus and see you at Wembley.

I thought the job that the Seattle organisation did once the team had reached the stadium was pitch perfect. The introduction of the players in reverse numerical order. Nice touch. Steven Hauschka, last man out and no sign yet of the Lombardi.

All of us will take away our own personal memories from this past week and I was looking for one final, spine-tingling moment. Russ walking out last, to the CLink going bananas, holding aloft the Lombardi trophy? There it was. Oh...my...

It's a trophy so sleek, so elegant, that it almost has no place in a sport that, to the untrained eye, is neither. However, therein lies the beauty, of both the trophy and the sport. We know better (jeez, particularly in the UK where the ignorance makes my blood boil) and perhaps this is best personified when analysing pass protection on the outside; footwork beauty can thwart the stampeding beast. Then again, if you want sleek and elegant, we already possess him at wide receiver.

Look at the Stanley Cup. Then look at a Lombardi. If ever less was more...

Before I go, a very quick and very obvious note. The Seahawks are 1-0 both SU and ATS in the Super Bowl in the RWE.

Thank you for taking the time to get to the end of this. It's been a little all over the place, but it's been an odd week and as odd weeks go, I'd love to experience a few more.

To those of you inclined to have a flutter on other sports between now and September, you know the drill.

Please gamble responsibly.

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