I’m already thinking about the upcoming Seahawks/49ers game, but before I get too far removed, I just want to share a couple observations on the Seahawks/Patriots game… a view from the stands so to speak.
1. The pregame- There was so much media hype about this being the meeting of the statistical best offense and the statistical best defense, that the energy level of the stadium was super powerful. The tone was somewhat friendly though. We saw very few Patriot fans compared to how many Green Bay fans or Cowboy fans had shown up for their games. Surprisingly, ran into a number of Canadian fans (It was Canada Day at the Clink) who were Patriot supporters. But the overwhelming vibe was dialed into the 12th man being loud. And we were loud, even as we found our seats…
2. The game- Seeing Big Walt raise the 12th man flag was inspiring and really set the tone for the game starting off. Having one of our greatest players rousing us for the competition just clarified that we had a part to play in this game as well; support our team and bring the noise.
There was some tension around the coin flip. Enough tension that my husband turned to me and reminded me of the fisticuffs that broke out with the Redskins last year during the coin toss. Still, I had no expectations as the first quarter started, although I desperately wanted our Hawks to measure up against this offense. I didn’t want to believe that our D was any less than “as advertised.” I think our D faced their greatest challenge this season with the Patriot’s offense. And while they did their job, it was clear our Hawk offense would have to rise to the occasion.
Without going into every offensive play or formation, my observation was that the crowd rose and swelled with each successful run and pass. Seeing every person in front of you half rise in their seats as Wilson launched the ball down the field… hearing the swell of noise, like a wave rolling through the stadium and hitting a crescendo as the hands of the receiver held on tight. It was like the best Disney ride ever! And yes, the same thing happened when Brandon Browner hit Wes Welker and when Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman caught their interceptions from Brady.
3. Post game- First of all, I hope some fans have learned not to leave early anymore. We usually leave our seats to get down to the walkway and watch the end of the game from there. When we got to the walkway with 2:37 left, we stopped to watch and got booted by the usher… right into the seats below, right at the rail. Which was an excellent place to watch the last drive! It also gave me a fabulous view, as the clock ticked down to :00, to watch Sherman make a beeline into the middle of the field and disappear into the crowd. It was chaos at that point, and I couldn’t see where he’d gone, although I know now!
4. Afterglow- In some ways, this was a better experience than beating Green Bay or Dallas. There was no “replacement ref controversy”, no “simultaneous catch dispute”, and no “the opposing team had an off day” rationalization. The opposing team had a good game, and we still beat ‘em. Hopefully that gets us some respect, but I don’t care either way. The Seahawks are realizing their potential and creating their identity. I think tomorrow’s game against the 49ers is going to be yet another step in that process!
I’m wearing my lucky Hawks Socks, just in case!