A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship

Through the eyes of a 12: Seahawks bring home the Lombardi

2/11/14 in NFL   |   Jess   |   34876 respect

Prologue:

I won't go into my many years as a Seahawks fan prior to the summer of 2012, as that would require a traditional publisher, I'm sure.

That summer, my family and I took a cross-country trip on transfer from Florida back home to Washington State. On this trip, we made a stop off at the Pro Football Hall Of Fame. This wasn't a negotiable detour; Cortez Kennedy had just been inducted, and although our trip was too late to enjoy the enshrinement ceremony, as someone who was able to cheer him on in person and had the good fortune to meet him on the sideline in the Seahawks last game in the Kingdome, I wanted at least to be some small part of welcoming him to Canton...and I really wanted to see his bust up close and personal.
 
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship  
(I don't know if we're supposed to touch these.)
 
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship
(Even the kiddo couldn't contain her excitement.)
 
While we were there, we had fun checking out the entire museum, and even took part in designing our own Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl ring. After the second 7-9 season in a row, it was a bit of a stretch, I'll admit. But as fans who were given the option to dream and had just purchased season tickets, how could we resist?
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship
(Okay so this one actually went to the Ravens, but it gets the point across.)

Fast-forward through a somewhat surprisingly successful season that ended on a heartbreaker in Atlanta, and there was a very large, very real feeling of hope. For the first time in my life as a Seahawks fan, I thought, "wow! This team could win a Super Bowl!" (Even the 2005 team felt like more of a 'wishful thinking' experience than anything from beginning to end.)
 
Go to the next page for this season's craziness!


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.
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship
(I'm at the far left of the pic, standing by the guy in all white)

Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship
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 1, 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. 
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship
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):
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship


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. 
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship
 
 
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.
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship
 
 
We met former Seahawks Offensive Guard John Moffitt outside of CenturyLink right before the NFC Championship Game. 
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship
 
 
We got to sign the 12th Man Flag!
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship
 
 
I met Walter Jones and had him sign my jersey...(now I have to get another one, because I'll be framing that.) 
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship

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:
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship

Go to the next page for my Super Bowl experience!


Epilogue? Not Quite:

We flew in to the Philadelphia airport, so of course the first order of business was to enjoy an authentic Philly Cheesesteak at the corner of Pat's & Geno's (Not the official name, I know.) We were driven around by a friend of ours who grew up in the area and he said he prefered Tony Luke's to either of these, but that the first Cheesesteak experience should always be one of these. We eenie-meenie-miney-moed it and ended up here.
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship
(If you look closely, you can see the Geno's guy photobombing. He's not happy with our 12ing.)
 
From Philadelphia, we drove southeast to Cape May, NJ where we stayed. Saturday, we spent the day in Atlantic City, checking out the boardwalk

"Sugar" was the ridiculously large candy store there - it was love at first sight.
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship 

Walking out through the Pier at Caesar's, I couldn't help but notice this little treat, the likes of which I've never seen on the west coast (up here in the north where we "goosebumped beach bums" live, it would be extremely useful!) Between the little fence and the window overlooking the beach and ocean, there is a strip of sand, with lounge chairs and tropical flora, where you can kick off your shoes and enjoy the warmth of the sand. I want one!
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship 

Also at the Pier was a fountain - right behind the photo posted above, actually. I heard water doing its thing and I looked down to see what was going on. Whaddaya know? Even the fountain was cheering for the Seahawks!
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship
 

I know this is just any ol' statue in any ol' Caeser's casino, but this one was special. Why? Because right before we left, I decided to throw a penny in and make a wish...only, I didn't have a penny. So a quarter it was - I flipped it in, closed my eyes, and wished for something I never wish for: A Seahawks win. Thanks for delivering, statue dude!
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship 
 
From Caesar's, we went to a place called White House Subs - apparently it's kind of a big deal, though I'd never heard of it. There were photos on the wall of various patrons such as Joe Pesci, James Avery, Al Pacino, and so many more I can't remember. the subs were amazing, of course. (What is it with sammiches on the east coast? What is it that they do to the bread out there? Must figure out a way to duplicate.)
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship
 
When we left for Atlantic City on Saturday morning, I completely spaced grabbing our Seahawks flag in order to carry out plans of "12ing" all over the city. So, it actually turned in to a new way to 12 - one that's a little off the beaten path from what everyone else is doing with their Seahawks gear and flags...
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship  Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship

Sunday morning, bright and early (even though the game didn't start until 6pm) we were geared up and ready to get on the road, for the 2.5 - 3 hour trek up to East Rutherford!
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship 

I'd never been to a train station before; certainly not one the likes of Secaucus Junction in New Jersey. This place was out of control! I don't think there was anybody there who wasn't going to the Super Bowl, and it was about half-half Broncos/Seahawks fans. Broncos fans chanting "M. V. P!" and "ZE-RO RINGS!" while the 12's chanted, "L. O. B!" and "SEA!! HAWKS!!" it was all good-natured and fun. And LOUD! Really, really loud.
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship 

This just made me giddy. Thought I'd share...
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship

Coming up on MetLife after leaving the train, everything just seemed larger than life. As many games as I've been to, and even the Pro Football HOF, I've never seen anything like it...
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship 

See Deion's bald head in there by the Pizza Hut logo? Yea, that happened.
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship

This also made me giddy...I was there!
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship
 
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship 

When we found our way to our seats, these were sitting on them - puffy cushions with pockets. The pockets held a "Warm Weather Kit", with all sorts of stuff - hand warmer, earmuffs, radio, travel mug sleeve, radio, chapstick, kleenex, hand warmer packets, a hair wrap thing that makes me look like a pirate (I love it), and of course the Pepsi Halftime Show LED lightup hat that we all wore during Bruno's show. (I didn't take this pic - I stole it from the interwebs.)
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship 
 
The view from our seats. As usual, it always looks smaller in pics - we had a great view and could see everything that was going on, on the field - from end zone to end zone, sideline to sideline. Fantastic.
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship
 
The celebration! Ever wonder what the confetti looks like from above while showering the players?
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship

Pretty awesome to see this IRL rather than on Madden...
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship
 
There were souvenir stands all over, of course, and the biggest NFL Pro Shop I've ever seen in my life. Outside the exit of the shop was a FedEx desk set up for shipping - of which of course we took full advantage. (And then we still ended up having to check an extra suitcase.) Here are all the goodies we shipped home for friends and family! I figured they had a place in this blog as well...
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship

Last, and certainly most importantly, this thing of absolute beauty. The point of my entire trip that I would have enjoyed even if this went home with Denver. But I'm so very glad it didn't! What a ride. (I didn't take this pic either.)
Blog Photo - A Seahawks fan's account of the journey to Super Bowl Championship
(Notice CLink in the gleam! Gorgeous.)

Well folks, that's it and that's that! I hope you enjoyed this crazy journey through my eyes. Hopefully I can do it again sometime soon!

 
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2/12/14   |   ms_hippie_queen   |   30236 respect

LOVE!

2/12/14   |   Jess   |   34876 respect

heart Thanks guys!

2/12/14   |   kobe_lova   |   61956 respect

Awww, fantastic!

2/11/14   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

All too often when I read a person's travel story, I get kind of bored and jump to the end.  Not so.  I read every single word, looked at every picture (again, as I had seen many of them) and I still almost choked up.  So very glad you got to experience this, and that you shared it with us!! Wonderful, awesome, INCREDIBLE!!!!

2/11/14   |   Jess   |   34876 respect

kteacher wrote:
So awesome!

I hope you make one of those photo books. Takes FOREVER, but totally worth it.

Oh, I hadn't even thought of doing one of those! What a great idea, thanks! I have a coupon for one, I think...I need to get on that.

2/11/14   |   kteacher   |   34390 respect

So awesome!

I hope you make one of those photo books. Takes FOREVER, but totally worth it.

2/11/14   |   Sharp Square   |   11945 respect


well done Jess ...... 

2/11/14   |   JenX63   |   32777 respect

Awesome!