The meat and potatoes:
I'll be honest. Football season is never really over for me. I actually watch much of the NFL Combine, the draft, and basically just enjoy it from February through February.
I realize the term "magical season" is thrown around way too often, especially this time of year, but I assure you; it has been nothing short of magical. There's just no other way to describe it.
The excitement started in early August for me, when, through my job, I was presented with the opportunity to attend training camp with a gentleman who is great friends with Coach Pete Carroll. I've been to training camp before, and it's always a good time. However, this time I was not only in the "VIP" section (where I got to enjoy free Starbucks coffee, snacks, soda, water, and even hot dogs and burgers, as well as taking home loads of free souvenirs) but I also got to wander out onto the practice field and "analyze" a bit. There's something pretty amazing about the head coach of your favorite NFL team asking you, "What did you think? How do they look?" It was incredibly difficult to remain professional and not fall into fangirl mode, but I managed.
(I'm at the far left of the pic, standing by the guy in all white)
The first home game was a big one in so many ways. We got our Seahawks back. We were facing the hated rival 49ers. We were tasked with breaking the noise record. From this game through the entire season, it just felt different. That didn't stop me from being nervous/panicked about each and every game though, no matter the opponent.
(My crazy kiddo, feeling silly because we forced her to wear the free earplugs they were giving to the fans on the streets outside of the stadium.)
The Seahawks had a lot shakier start than it seemed, looking back. They struggled against Carolina in the first game (who we later found out had a hell of a D-Line.) They had an awful game against Tennessee that they were barely able to pull off. They barely beat the Texans. Tampa Bay almost beat them, shutting them out through most of the first half, by double digits.
As you can tell by my "From the Armchair" articles,
, Week 2
, Week 3
, Week 4
, Week 5
, Week 6
, Week 8
, Week 10
, Week 13
, Week 17
I was frustrated with Breno Giacomini and Paul McQuistan all year (the whole offensive line, really, injured or not.) Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch had troubles holding on to the ball at the beginning of the season; something that actually started toward the end of last year. I found myself often chanting, "hold on to it, hold on to it, hold on to it" every time one of them would get hit. They got better about that, but the first play against the 49ers in the NFC Championship game gave me flashbacks.
The "Bigger, Faster, Stronger, Louder" thing came out at the beginning of the 2012 season, but it seems like not only the Seahawks, but we 12's really grabbed ahold of the philosophy this season and ran with it.
Earl Thomas is fast. I mean, so fast that it sometimes work to a disadvantage. The entire Legion of Boom is called the "Legion of Boom" for a reason. I wish I could collect all of the different .gifs of them taking each other out, because it can be quite comical. I'm sure you'll see them for years to come on various Football Follies type shows and videos. Here's ET taking out the Enforcer of the group, Bam Bam Kam, in celebration of a great open-field tackle.
"Crazier" should also be in there somewhere. There was no shortage of "wtf" plays like this in 2013 (so far in 2014, for that matter):
Probably my favorite moment on special teams this season - maybe ever (minus the Josh Brown WWE tackle a few years ago):
(And for real- how did Veltung hold on to the ball?)
We were able to convert (well, partially) one of our best friends - an East Coast native Eagles fan.
Talk about 12 Royalty! I don't remember the guy's name to my left (your right) but Mr. and Mrs. Seahawk in the house! These are the folks you see down at the end zone opposite the Hawks Nest every game. They got married on the 50yd line back in the Kingdome many years ago and actually changed their last name to Seahawk! Seriously.
We met former Seahawks Offensive Guard John Moffitt outside of CenturyLink right before the NFC Championship Game.
We got to sign the 12th Man Flag!
I met Walter Jones and had him sign my jersey...(now I have to get another one, because I'll be framing that.)
I got an email from the Seahawks after the NFC Conference Championship game letting me know that my name was picked in the season ticket holder lottery for FV Super Bowl tickets...so then this happened:
Go to the next page for my Super Bowl experience!