These were the words of Pete Carroll at Wednesday’s Year-End Press Conference following the Super Bowl XLVIII celebration. When asked if it was his plan to “do it again,” Carroll replied: “We wanna see how far we can go.”
The turnout for the city-wide celebration rendered reports of over a million fans lining the streets and filing into the sold out stadiums of both CenturyLink and Safeco to applaud their team of its recent victory. More than 13,000 students and 500 teachers in the Seattle School District alone called in sick to watch the parade and fans traveled from as far as Portland and Spokane just to get a glimpse of their beloved champions.
Smiles were more popular than lattes on this momentous occasion as the players we have all come to know and love rode past our very eyes, just out of arms reach, changing from larger-than-life figures into personable, almost normal people.
It was refreshing to see Russell Wilson turn off robot mode momentarily and take part in the festivities. He may not have enjoyed them in the same way as Marshawn Lynch did (no one did), but nonetheless he had achieved his goal — to be the best. On this one day, he was not looking to analyze film or get in the weight room, he was simply rejoicing in the fact that his team had been named World Champions.
As Steve Raible, Paul Allen, Ed Murray, Pete Carroll, Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson all gave speeches, one thing was very evident, this was all for the 12th man, that the players and organization would not be where they were today if not for Seattle’s great fans. And amidst continual cheers, each speaker could not help but acknowledge the effect the 12th man has had on this team.
In Golden Tate’s interview at the Year End Press Conference he said, “I feel like we would not be Super Bowl champs without those guys,” referring to the 12’s. Tate is now officially a free agent and has expressed his interest to return to the team. He went on to advocate for the Seattle area noting that the fan base is one of the central reasons why he has grown to love the Pacific Northwest.
Seattle has recently been regarded as the “it” team for attracting fresh talent, and that is in large part due to the city’s support of its football team. The key to this organization is humility, Russell gives credit to the O-Line, Sherman gives credit to the rest of the Legion of Boom and everyone gives credit to the 12’s for their endless support.
Amid the full-fledged celebration, not only throughout Seattle, but across the state, the 12th man stands proud, finally clenching that long awaited championship. Something that has not come about in 38 years; this city has been desperately waiting for a sports team to bring the Northwestern most region of the US into glory. The late Sonics of the 90’s almost did it, the Mariners of the late 90’s and early 2000’s almost did it, but not until 2014 could we again call ourselves World Champions.
And boy was it worth the wait.