January 22, 2009

3 Years Ago Today

On January 22, 2006, we escaped the pathetic fraternity of NFL teams to never reach the Super Bowl. Yeah, what happened two weeks later in Bettisburgh (also known as Detroit) was fucking bullshit, but for one glorious winter day, our Seahawks ruled the football universe. It not only was the greatest day in team history, and the greatest team performance in franchise history... It was also by far the best day of my life as a sports fan, and after my wedding day and my son being born, probably the best day of my life.

I was lucky enough to be at Qwest that day.. Here's the pics. What are your memories of that day?

Here's a few excerpts of what I wrote back then:

When I was 8 years old, I started refusing to go to church to watch the Seattle Seahawks. That was the beginning of my march down the path of damnation, in both the spiritual and sports-fandom senses. My eternal soul may still be doomed depending on which thousands-years-old book you’ve taken to heart, but the Seattle Super Seahawks have freed my sporting spirit from the purgatory of mediocrity and broken dreams.

In a real sense, my experience at Qwest Field was as close as I’ll ever get to that sense of joy, bliss and peace that true believers enjoy. If my personal faith is the Seattle Seahawks, salvation arrived on Sunday night… Thirty years of dashed hopes, first-round busts, fourth-quarter collapses, phantom touchdowns and 8-8-ness were shattered in the deafening noise generated by 67,837 disciples and buried in a flurry of blue and green confetti.

It was clear that everyone milling around was convinced that there was no way that the crowd would ALLOW the Seahawks to lose.. There was only a tiny smattering of Panthers fans around, and they were mercilessly abused with boos and taunts.

After a long wait in line followed by a pat-down search we strolled through Touchdown City… I was a tad keyed up, because I ran through a little tackling dummy/blocking sled course like I was Lofa Tatupu chasing down Jake Delhomme.. When I leaped at and sacked the faux qb, I flipped all the way over and landed on my back… At least I got a free “Go Seahawks!” shirt for my troubles…

We finally settled into our seats about an hour before kickoff, and I got wayyyy too much enjoyment from telling everyone that I came out from Ohio for the game. In this environment, that was like kicking someone’s ass the first day you’re in prison…

With all due respect to fans of other teams, the Seahawks boast the loudest, most rabid home crowd in the NFL. This has been made evident many times this season (ask the NY Giants), but Carolina coaches and players were still saying things like this:

“We went into places like New Orleans and Indianapolis and St. Louis and won,” said Henning. “So we’ve done fairly well with it. Plus, I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anything louder than the Kingdome.”

-Panthers Assistant Coach Dan Henning


From the moment owner Paul Allen raised the 12th Man Flag, the crowd became a roaring, towel swirling mass of noise which only rested when Seattle had the ball. When did the crowd go particularly insane?

-Hass to Seneca (huh? We were ALL stunned), followed immediately by a lazer-beam snagged by Stevens.. 7-0 Seahawks.

-Lofa picks off Delhomme (I spontaneously hugged my little brother for the first of many times at that moment)..

-D-Jack scores to ice it.. 27-7 Seahawks..

Once the score got to 34-7, the party began.. Chants of MVP for SA, roaring choruses of “Super Bowl! Super Bowl!”, old-school types singing “na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na, hey hey hey.. gooooodbye!”

You know all about the action that went down on the field, but I was so gratified to see my team blossom before my eyes as a juggernaut on both sides of the ball.

Steve Smith? Erased. Those road-warrior Panthers? Reduced to quivering piss-stained wrecks by our smothering D and the assault of the 12th Man. Jake Delhomme? Don’t EVER claim he’s half the QB Hass is after that display of inept chucking and diving… The “soft” Seahawks? Ask Nick Going’s concussed brainpan about that one.

Every week, legions of reporters and opposing fans sound our death knell.. Every week, our opponents have been the ones feeling the bony hand of the football reaper on their shoulders… Pretty nice pattern, huh?

After the final kneel-down, grown men cried, including a little bit of misting up on my end.. Complete strangers hugged each other, and our howls of triumph cut through the damp Seattle night sky.

For 22 years I’ve waited for this, and it’s even better than all those scenarios I’ve imagined for years. Though I love the Sawx, this easily trumps the gleeful 2004 playoff run for me, and I’d say it’s the best moment of my life as a sports fan…