Richard Sherman sent me to SB48. Seriously.
There are only a few phone calls in my life that are unforgettable. Getting the call that Richard Sherman was sending me to Super Bowl XLVIII is at the top of the list.
First, you should know I’ve been a Seahawks fan since birth – I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I was born a few weeks after they played their first game in 1976, I guess I just didn’t want to miss anything. Loving the Seahawks hasn’t always been easy, but as true fans know, that’s what makes you a 12. And while it was Sherman’s love of the 12s that first made me a fan of him, it’s his tenacity and perseverance in the game that makes me wear his jersey with pride every game day. Who can forget his sideline dance-off with the Sea Gals? I’d dance too if I’d just intercepted Kaepernick, but the man has charisma.
And then I got the call. I had entered Sherman’s contests before, but this was the big one. A trip for two to Super Bowl XLVIII, including airfare, hotel, tickets to the game, and a chance to see the Seahawks win their first world championship – the trip of a lifetime. The details of the call are still a bit fuzzy. I remember hearing someone say they were calling on behalf of Richard Sherman and then losing all ability to breathe. From what I’ve been told, I said, “Noooooo! Seriously? Noooooo!” a lot. Things became very clear when they asked if I wanted to accept the trip. Wait … what? Who would say no? And with a very exuberant “YES!” I was on my way to the Super Bowl.
But how do you pick just one friend to take? Luckily, my friend Ken and I made a pact to take each other if either of us won. Don’t get me wrong, there was a moment where I questioned if I should honor the pact (sorry, Ken) but it was only for a second. Ken and I were headed to NYC!
I’d been to New York before, but this was not the city I knew. It didn’t matter where we were, all we saw was blue and green and all we heard was the SEA! HAWK! chant. Ken definitely started it a time or two (I knew I brought him for a reason). The Seahawk energy was everywhere. And the Broncos should have known they were in trouble with all the 12s on Super Bowl BLVD. As we walked through Times Square, you could see the 12s had taken over. We spent the weekend with KJR and rowdy 12s at designated Hawks locations, met the Sea Pope, tried to convert Wladimir Klitschko to the Seahawks (I bet he regrets it now), and even met Mama Lynch! I think we scared her a bit with our excitement.
Finally, Sunday came. It was game day. We spent the morning at the LOB Tailgate in Times Square, where we watched the pregame commentaries – oh how they were wrong. I didn’t have any doubts that we would win, but when I got to the stadium and I heard the 12s, I knew it was over for Denver. There were plenty of Broncos fans, but you just can’t compete with the 12s. The only way to describe that stadium was “electric,” and the first snap of the game set it on fire – a botched snap (due to noise) that resulted in a safety. I doubt Denver will ever underestimate Seahawks fans again. And it just built from there. The Seahawks never let up on the Broncos and neither did the 12s.
We all know the results of the game – Seattle brought home the Lombardi. They outplayed the Broncos in every aspect of the game. I’ve watched and re-watched the game and highlights, and it’s still surreal that I was there to experience it all. I will always be a huge fan of Richard Sherman as a player, but I am indebted to Richard Sherman the person, who gave this 12 the gift of a lifetime.
And to the Super Bowl XLIX winner – BRING THE NOISE!
Here are some pictures from this awesome experience!