The Seahawks are finally getting some serious national exposure-- and all they had to do was win a Super Bowl! Below are two videos from Richard Sherman and Malcolm Smith's appearance last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Kimmel, one of my favorite talk show host, defends Sherman's postgame rant from the NFC Championship game before goofing on his casual attire.
I'm hearing that damn-near one million passionate Seahawks fans braved the biting cold to cheer on their champions. I was at EMP Museum on 5th Avenue and Harrison Street, a main staging area for the parade, before the parade began and was able to see throngs of 12s lining up in preparation for the event.
My Seahawks windbreaker and beanie were insufficient at subduing the cold. It was almost 20 degrees colder in Seattle this morning than it was at kickoff of the Super Bowl, but that didn't seem to hinder fans from making it out. Chants of "SEA! HAWKS!" echoed throughout the streets while Seattle police herded fans off the parade route.
Photo Credit: SeahawksFTW.com
I never could have imagined what this day would be like. I've waited 31 years for my beloved Seahawks to bring a championship back to my city. The day has finally come-- and it did not disappoint.
Normally, I avoid events like this like the plague, but this was different. This felt like being at the largest family gathering in the world. 700,000 of my distant relatives were gathered in celebration. I was privileged to be among them and sharing their collective joy.
Is this the beginnings of a Seahawks dynasty? What will become of Sidney Rice? Will Seattle be able to afford paying big contracts to both Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas? Will Golden Tate be playing elsewhere next season?
We'll have plenty of time to over analyze those questions in the coming months. None of that matters now. Today is about this team, this city and the Lombardi Trophy. Celebrate, Seattle. We deserve it.
The Seattle Seahawks are World Champions. Man, it doesn't get any sweeter than that.
Even sweeter-- we weren't supposed to win. We're just a scrappy young team that stood in the way of an NFL monarch's quest for immortality. Peyton Manning was supposed to have had his way with the mouthy Richard Sherman and his arrogant Legion of Boom. Wes Welker was supposed to redeem himself by slicing his way through the heart of our defense all night long. Denver was supposed to expose the inexperience of Russell Wilson and shutdown Marshawn Lynch. Pete Carroll was supposed to be made a fool.
Instead, the only thing that was exposed last night was who the better team was.
En route to their first Super Bowl title, Seattle left no doubt on the field. Even if we were to have seen a repeat of Super Bowl XL officiating, the Seahawks didn't allow for it. They did just as Coach Carroll said, just like they do in every game, they focused solely on their own execution.
I've never been more proud of my team and my city.
When I saw the scoreboard illuminate a picture of the the Seahawks logo along side the Lombardi trophy with the word 'CHAMPIONS'-- I was reduced to tears. Seeing Paul Allen, the man that kept the Seahawks from fleeing to LA in my childhood, Pete Carroll, the man whose vision led us here and Russell Wilson, the improbable savior of Seattle sharing the podium and hoisting that trophy-- it was like everything was right in the universe.
I will never forget the 2013-14 Seattle Seahawks as long as I live. There may never be another team like this one. In all of the years I've followed the game of football, I've never seen anything like this team. This season is one that I will treasure for ever.
It all starts at the very top with our owner Paul Allen. Like I said, when I was a young fan in the 1990s, Seattle had just ended its first golden era and was descending into its darkest period. The team was packed up and threatening to leave for Los Angeles but was saved when Allen purchased the franchise. Since then, Seattle has transformed into a franchise to be reckoned with but didn't reach their true pinnacle until Allen made the controversial hiring of Coach Pete Carroll.
Pete Carroll turned the Seahawks, and the whole NFL for that matter, upside down. Everything he has done since the day he was hired has been excessively critiqued and harshly criticized. Most importantly, it has worked. Together with General Manager John Schneider they have built a program that has since become the envy of the league. Perhaps none of their moves more controversial than their decision to draft Russell Wilson.
The Seahawks needed a franchise quarterback. No one in their right mind assumed that Matt Flynn or Tarvaris Jackson was the long term answer-- but no one outside of the VMAC had the thought, at least initially, that Russell Wilson was the man for the job. As it turned out, Wilson had the talent and ability that fit the mold of the new-school quarterbacks with the heart and preparation of old-school quarterbacks who came before him. Last night, Wilson cemented his legacy.
For as great as Wilson is, he would not be a fraction of who he's become if not for the stellar performance of his supporting cast. Marshawn Lynch, who replaced Barry Sanders as my all-time favorite running back, is perhaps the quietest player off the field but his actions on field are the loudest you'll find. Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate and Jermaine Kearse did last night what they've done since joining the Seahawks: WORK. Those guys could start for any team in the NFL. Meanwhile, Percy Harvin proved in 12 seconds exactly why we gave up a first round pick to get him.
By the way, have you noticed how few teams use fullbacks anymore? In a time where the fullback position has become somewhat of an afterthought, we're privileged to have two of the most inspirational players at that position in Michael Robinson and Derrick Coleman. Both were integral in this year's Super Bowl run and both have become inspiring leaders in their own right.
The big guys upfront get a lot of the blame when things go wrong and almost no credit when things go right. Max Unger, Russell Okung, Paul McQuistan, James Carpenter, JR Sweezy and Breno Giacomini got it done all year. I'll even loop Zach Miller and Luke Willson in on this group because their both often asked to do the dirty work. These guys made the success of Wilson and Lynch possible.
But you know what they always say: Defense wins Championships.
From the bottom of my heart, I mean it when I say this-- This is the greatest defensive unit I've ever had the privilege of watching. For this group, it all starts with the guys up front.
Red Bryant, Tony McDaniel, Clinton McDonald and Brandon Mebane were the guys who brought their lunch pails to work all year. Seldom were there names called and I don't think I saw a single interview from them during Super Bowl Media Week. All season they quietly performed their responsibilities with championship caliber excellence.
Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett proved to be the biggest free agent pickups in recent history. I suppose not since Peyton left Indianapolis for Denver has free agent acquisitions had such tremendous impact. Bruce Irvin and Chris Clemons continued their dominance from last season while sharing the spotlight with several new additions.
Everyone was concerned with the state of our linebacker group at the beginning of this season. It had seemed as if Pete and John had simply forgotten to address the void left by LeRoy Hill's departure from the team. Little did we know, we were more than fine with what we had.
Malcom Smith, the MVP of Super Bowl XLVIII, has become a magnificent playmaking linebacker. I thought that Bobby Wagner should've been the defensive MVP considering how well he played on a defense full of greatness. KJ Wright has become a Pro Bowl-caliber linebacker, too. As terrific as those three have proven to be, Seattle's defense is predicated on its outstanding depth of talent. Mike Morgan, Heath Farwell and O'Brien Schofield were good enough to start elsewhere, but their contributions here guided us to greatness.
We all know that the identity of this team lies within its secondary. We know them only as The Legion of Boom.
The greatest defensive backfield the NFL has ever known is lead by a young all-pro safety named Earl Thomas. The thunder to Earl's lightening is Kam Chancellor. Never has their been a better pairing of elite talent at safety.
The biggest mouth in the game just so happens to reside on the face of the best corner in football today. I'm of course talking about Richard Sherman. He's at his best when you don't hear from him at all-- an indicator that the opposing quarterback is doing his best to avoid throwing anywhere near him.
Trust me, it doesn't get any easier as you work your way down Seattle's cornerback depth chart. Byron Maxwell and Walter Thurmond emerged as top-tier corners when they were forced into the starting lineup opposite Sherman. They got picked on-- and they picked it off.
Even the special teams squad is elite. You couldn't ask for better kicking specialists than Steven Haushka and Jon Ryan. Guys like Ricardo Lockette, Jeremy Lane, DeShawn Shead, Chris Maragos and Jeron Johnson shined with every opportunity they were given.
Even guys like Sidney Rice and Brandon Browner who were vitally important to getting this team to where they are today might have since played their last downs in a Seahawks uniform but will not be forgotten for their crucial contributions.
We are World Champions, Seattle. What once seemed so far away is now in our grasp. We are Super Bowl XLVIII Champions. Embrace it and cherish it. I believe strongly that we have witnessed the beginnings of a new dynasty last night, but the fact remains that this particular team will never exist again. Championship teams get raided in the offseason and even bit players are paid like Super Stars to play for a new team. We will likely lose players and coaches that were instrumental in our success to teams hoping desperately to emulate what has been built in Seattle. We saw it happen to Baltimore last year and I assure you Seattle will be no different.
I have faith that Pete and John will manage brilliantly, as they have to this point, to make sure that we have the best roster we can put out next season. They will retain the centerpieces and will surely draw in talent from other teams that want to be a part of what's happening in Renton.
But this 2013-14 team is now in the books and will never look the same again. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of them, from the players to staff, for an unforgettable season. Getting to watch them hoist the Lombardi Trophy as Champions of the World as I looked on with my 5 year old daughter and the people I love most was truly one of the greatest moments of my life.
Last night before bed, I decided to watch some videos on NFL.com to get me fired up for Sunday. Media day was full of memorable moments with various Seahawks. Marshawn's interview with Deion Sanders was spectacular, Sherman was entertaining as always and Russell continues to make us proud to call him the face of our franchise. The video stream trickled on, interrupted only by the occasional commercial, until I came across this video of NFL analysts debating who might be the MVP of Super Bowl XLVIII.
Right away you'll notice that no Seahawks are proposed as potential MVP candidates. Translation: none of them think that we stand a chance at winning this game. Not only do they feel like its virtually impossible for Seattle to come out on top in this game-- they take it a step further at the end of the video to mock Sherman's post-conference championship antics.
Normally, I shrug off this type of nonsense, knowing that we'll have the last laugh. For some reason, this video pissed me off. They're acting as if there's no chance Seattle can slay the mighty Peyton Manning. The mere suggestion that Wes Welker is going to dominate on slant routes is comically off base.
What about the rest of you 12s? Does this anger you or are you brushing it off? Perhaps I'm just hypersensitive because of the totality of this match up. Or, maybe, I have a right to be angered by someone thinking that the #1 defense doesn't have a prayer going up against the #1 offense.
8 years ago the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Carolina Panthers en route to the first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.
I was working that day but I managed to make it to the bar upstairs in time to watch the game in its entirety with some of my best friends. I don't remember much from 8 years ago, but I can distinctly recall that drive home from Seattle to Renton and the vibe that resonated throughout downtown Seattle.
Everyone was celebrating together. Car horns blared though the air, strangers embraced and there was blue and green everywhere you looked.
Up until this week, there hadn't been much difference between then and now. I think that clinching the Super Bowl birth was a bigger deal in 2005 than it was this time around, but only because we'd never gotten that far before.
Seahawks Fever '13 didn't reach it's climax until the NFC Championship game-- partly because it was Seattle versus San Francisco and partly because the fan base was still reeling from the gut punch of last years loss in Atlanta.
But this week feels totally different from 2005.
In Super Bowl XL, Seattle was a better team than the Pittsburgh Steelers. There wasn't much debate on that. The Steelers were a Wild Card team that somehow found themselves representing the AFC in the Super Bowl while Seattle had the best record in the NFC.
However, when Super Bowl week arrived, the talk wasn't about the Seahawks at all. It was about a scrappy young team that battled its way into the Super Bowl, a 2nd year quarterback already reaching the pinnacle of his profession and a veteran running back playing in his final game before his hometown crowd.
The media coverage was decidedly in favor of Pittsburgh before Super Bowl XL. They had the kind of storylines that even those unfamiliar with the sport could latch onto. That's no excuse for the outcome, believe me, it would have been even sweeter to win with no one in our corner.
What the Seahawks were missing in 2005 can be summed up in one word: Swagger.
As great as that team was, they failed to convince anyone outside of the Pacific Northwest that they deserved to be there. Coach Holmgren was quiet and reserved. Matt Hasselbeck was humble and lighthearted. Even the league MVP, Shaun Alexander, was extremely modest and soft spoken. The closest thing to swagger that this team had was the mouth of hit-or-miss tight end, Jerramy Stevens.
Now, don't get me wrong. I don't want to give you the impression that I didn't have confidence in our Seahawks. I thought we were in it until the very end. The heartbreak didn't hit me until the confetti dropped.
It shouldn't surprise you to learn that I feel Seattle has had the
better overall roster in both Super Bowl appearances, but this year is
definitely more evenly matched. The major difference between the Seahawks of '05 and the Seahawks of '13 is the swagger they bring.
Even with, in my personal opinion, the greatest football player who ever lived quarterbacking the opposition-- Seattle has made this week and this game all about them. It's about Richard Sherman, Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and Kam Chancellor. It's about us.
As the world gets ready for the final football game of the 2013 season, we're left with nothing but speculation and anticipation. I figured I could compile some stats that show the Seahawks in a favorable light or continue the debate on Richard Sherman but instead I've chosen to take a more optimistic approach.
Rather than argue numbers and hypotheticals, lets just be grateful that our team is in the big game. Lets instead get fired up for this game! Here's some of my favorite videos to watch in preparation for the Super Bowl.
This one has every touchdown the Seahawks scored this season.
This is the track my daughter and I made last season-- still holds up!
This video shows the passion of the 12s with a happy ending.
Had to put this up for Seattle's sons, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis-- congrats on 4 Grammys!
The following is in response to a blog post (http://bit.ly/1hnWZRu) by KUOW's Morning Edition host Bill Radke. I'm trying to figure out your angle, Bill. I read the transcription of your rant a few times, assuming that I must have missed something, but no matter how many times I go over it-- I still can't catch your drift.
The blog post begins by briefly explaining how the greater-Seattle community has been brought together by the excitement of the Seahawks making it to the Super Bowl and quickly shifts to how you, Bill Radke, have "grown tired of the hooplah". I don't know you, Mr. Radke. I've never listened to your show. I'm not attempting to discredit you or anything-- I'm 100% certain you've never heard of me. It's because of my unfamiliarity with your personality that automatically lead me to assume that the reason you were fed up with this communal joy was perhaps because it took attention away from more important issues.
I assumed that you were one of those types of people who are angered by the fact that our service men and women aren't as beloved (or paid as handsomely) as professional athletes tend to be. Maybe you were the type who is infuriated by the media attention that is swallowed by everything Super Bowl-related when there are far more serious and pressing global issues that are more deserving of the nation's eyes. None of those somewhat rational opinions came up in your rant. Instead, the best I can surmise from your rant is this: You were a Seattle sports fan in your youth, but now you're just a grouchy, middle-aged bummer. In your defense of being tired of the 'hooplah'-- or what I describe as 'a community coming together to celebrate a shared joy' -- you say that you were somewhat of a die hard Seattle sports fan. Eventually, you stopped being a fan or at least curtailed your enthusiasm over the last 20 years. I'm not sure why your passion subsided. All I can deduce from your rant is that things changed and it turned you off. Perhaps it was when your heroes were exposed as regular people with regular problems. Maybe it was the lean years and the lack of championships. You never really went into much detail on what caused this change. Sure, Alex Rodriguez is an asshole. I can't deny that. However, that didn't really come to light until he was long separated from the Mariners. Still, I'll give you that one. But when you insisted that Seattle was the NFL's most annoying team-- that's where I have to stop you. I won't even get into the the brash stupidity of how you defended that statement as 'fact', but I will break down the 3 reasons you listed to support your claim.
1.) "Their defensive strategy is to commit so many holding and pass
interference penalties that the referees can’t possibly call all of
For someone who longs for the 'Golden Days' of football, this was an odd place to begin your case against Seattle. The rules for how a receiver can be covered have changed dramatically since the 1970s. Back then, you could literally clothesline a receiver coming across the middle as long as the ball wasn't there. Seattle's secondary plays within the current rules. Sure, there are times when they cross that line, but I would argue that they are also unfairly targeted because of their outstanding play. It's not like they're getting away with anything-- Seattle was the most penalized team this season.
2.) "The Seahawks also lead the league in suspensions for performance-enhancing drugs."
You're correct, Bill. Seahawks have more PED suspensions than any other team since 2010. The league's policies on substance abuse and PEDs are handled about as responsibly as Major League Baseball and the US Government's handling of these kinds of issues-- but that's another discussion altogether. By the way, guess who's right behind us in this unpleasant statistic? That's right, the AFC Champion Denver Broncos. 3.) "And if being an insulting loud-mouth braggart were illegal, cornerback Richard Sherman would be in Walla Walla." Yeah, I suppose you're correct there. We also wouldn't have wonderful talk-radio hosts such as yourself or political campaigning-- why would you even attempt to fathom a miserable world like that? Those are some pretty feeble arguments to start your rant with and it increasingly loses relevance as the word count rises. Your counter argument for the incredible presence Russell Wilson has in our city is that he's not from around here? Largent and Griffey, who continue to support our communities long after their retirement from Seattle sports are somehow fraudulent because their primary residence is in their respective home states?
What does that have to do with anything? Who gives a shit?
You're totally discounting the fact that men, women and children from all races, religions and backgrounds are overlooking their personal differences and coming together to support this team. Some are just now discovering the game of football while others, unlike yourself, stayed on the bandwagon through the lean years.
I can't tell if it's the 'city supremacy' issue that is the underlying cause for your curmudgeonry, but if it is, I can assure you that you're way off base here. The Seahawks are geographically unique in NFL terms. We are the closest rooting interest for Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and many other areas that do not have their own franchise. I've seen 12 Man flags flown everywhere from London, China, Afghanistan and everywhere in between. No one is going to ask to see your long-form birth certificate when you tell them you're a Seahawks fan. I'll agree with your assessment that we all have better things to do. There are bigger issues like poverty, health care, genocides and all sorts of serious issues that don't get the attention that the Super Bowl gets. I totally agree with that. Still, football is an incredible source of entertainment, inspiration and unity that some people can't find anywhere else. Basically, there's far worse things to be a grump about than the happiness of a large group of people.
Very rarely is anyone killed because of their NFL allegiance and most fanbases will accept every fan regardless of their religious beliefs, political opinions, sexual preference, birthplace or residency. That's more than most organizations can say.
I'm not trying to pick a fight with you, Bill. I just think you're being unnecessarily harsh on us for coming together for something that doesn't hurt anyone. I'd like to take this opportunity to extend the olive branch and cordially invite you back on to the 12th man bandwagon. We've missed you, Bill.
And I'll leave you with a quote by Lili Von Shtupp from another great Mel Brooks movie: "Willkommen. Bienvenue. Welcome. C'mon in."