First of all, props to commenter Zem for jogging my memory on this game... To paraphrase the narrator from (500) Days of Summer (great movie, by the way), this is not a love story... this is a story about love (for the Seahawks, and yes, for a girl). It's also a story about how John Elway made one of the worst days of my life even worse.... strap in...
Really, you should start here... but for those of you who don't want to go over to that link, here's the most important bits:
1993 was also my first year at Western, and yes, you'll have to slog through this... I was in love. She was a girl I had known for two years in high school, and we worked closely together on the school paper (NERRRRRRDS!). We became good friends, and a big chunk of the reason I went to WWU was to follow her there. I was already crazy about her before we left for Bellingham, but once we got there, as two dorks from the Tri-Cities, we hung onto each other for dear life. We ate at her dorm's dining hall every night. I would watch TV in her dorm room with her all the time (including Star Trek TNG every Saturday night... NERRRRDS!).... We spent 3-4 hours a day together.
Alas, I was Toby Flenderson to her Pam Beesly... We were "best friends," but of course that wasn't what I wanted... and being an 18-year-old dipshit, I had some weird ways of trying to woo her.
Like taking her to a Seahawks game.
Over a month after that stirring victory over the Patriots, it was Thanksgiving Break, and we were both back home in Kennewick. Things were going well between us, in a completely platonic way (grrrrr). We shared a ride from Bellingham to Kennewick together at the start of the break, and had agreed to drive back early on Sunday morning, and go to the Seahawks/Broncos game together before getting up to WWU for our Monday classes.
Even though I had already taken her to a Seahawks game, this was a BRONCOS game. On top of that, it was one of those Death Match kind of games... The Hawks were 5-5, and the Broncos were 6-4. Seattle had beaten up on the Browns two weeks earlier, and had the bye week to prepare for the 3rd highest-scoring offense in the NFL. I for one was confident that this was where the Hawks would put it all together and start a postseason run. I was also confident it would be a great day with my (I wish she was more than) best friend, nudging us that much closer to dating, marriage, babies, all that jazz.
Then I got the phone call. 7 am. She not only wasn't going to go to the game with me, she was going to get a ride back to Bellingham with someone else. Another guy. Who I would later find out was her new boyfriend. Ouch.
I wish I could tell you that I took the news with grim stoicism and class. BZZZZZZZ! Nope. Wrong answer. I took it more like a crying, whiny little bitch. By the time I got my shit together, it was 9 am and I had to hustle to make it to the game by kickoff. For the first time, I'd be going to a game solo.
I hit Seattle about 12:30, and drove right into the gaping maw of pre-game traffic, which I usually miss by being ridiculously early. So I found myself sitting on the ramp off I-90, within sight of the Dome, gridlocked. I didn't get into the stadium until a few minutes into the first quarter, but there was no score yet. Yay!
I got to my seat in the 300 level, just in time to see the pivotal play of the game, and of Seattle's season. I hadn't even sat down yet... It was 3rd and long for Denver from midfield. 65,000 twelves combined to make a deafening roar, and it looked like Antonio Edwards was going to force a 3-and-out or a turnover with a vicious blindside hit on Mr. Ed...
Somehow, Elway pulled a Ben Kenobi, sensed his impending doom, ducked under Edwards and fired a perfect 50-yard TD strike to Shannon Sharpe. 7-0 Denver, but it felt like 70-0.
The Hawks would get it together, sacking Elway 4 times (including once for a safety) and picking him once, but once Rod Bernstine punched it in late in the 4th to make it 17-9 the game and Seattle's season was over (nope, no two-point conversions in the NFL until 1994, boys and girls).
The Seahawks would finish with a 1-4 Death March towards a disappointing 6-10 finish (yes, much better than 2-14 in 1992, but still a gut punch after a 5-5 start), while Denver once again made the playoffs. This game is still one of my most unpleasant memories of being a Seahawks fan.
Me and the girl? A few months later, spurred by Valentines Day, I spilled my guts, told her I loved her, blah blah blah.
She sidestepped me and fired another TD strike of affection to her new boyfriend, unfortunately. Things ended BADLY between us.
So thanks, Elway, for making a terrible day in my life even worse. Horse faced fucker.