Rejoice, Hawks fans

February 5, 2014 

Raise your hand if you saw that one coming. Now put it down, liar.

The Seattle Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday in one of the most lopsided contests in Super Bowl history.

The matchup should have been competitive, with Peyton Manning’s record-breaking offense going up against the No. 1 defense in the NFL. Yet, for some reason, I think all of us in the Pacific Northwest knew the Seahawks would win this. This was our year.

The majority of the national media picked the Broncos, but we knew better. We had watched this team from start to finish, from every preseason snap to Richard Sherman’s tip in the NFC Championship Game.

I asked some of my Twitter followers last week to make predictions for the Super Bowl (by the way, no one picked Malcolm Smith as the MVP). Every single person who offered a prediction picked the Seahawks.

This wasn’t blind optimism or wishful thinking, though. Like Richard Sherman, we were supremely confident in this team. Deep down, we knew it was a more complete team than Denver. Tougher, more intimidating, louder, more skilled — flat out better.

While I don’t think any of us saw the total thrashing coming, or holding the No. 1 offense in NFL history to eight points, we were confident.

Personally, I felt better about the matchup than the NFC title game against the San Francisco 49ers. Obviously, it’s easy to say that in hindsight, but it’s something I said before the game.

The 49ers don’t back down from anybody. They go toe-to-toe with the Seahawks in terms of toughness, and they have an electric, physical defense. While Denver’s defense played a little better during the playoffs, I knew they were nowhere near the 49ers’ defense.

I expected Denver to put up some points against the Seahawks, and I was wrong. Yet I thought Seattle’s defense would contain Manning enough, and quarterback Russell Wilson and Co. could exploit a weak Broncos defense.

Seattle had its way with Denver. A historic season for the Seahawks’ defense culminated in their best effort yet. Sherman backed up his trash talk with his usual lockdown coverage, the defensive line made life uncomfortable for Manning all night, the linebackers played fast, Earl Thomas was all over the field, and Kam Chancellor struck fear into Denver’s receivers, early.

Now, the Lombardi Trophy has made its way to Seattle for the first time in franchise history. A victory parade will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

While the game might have been underwhelming in terms of competitiveness, the significance of the trophy is not. After a long, long draught, Seattle fans are celebrating a major sports championship. The last team to do it was the 1978-79 Seattle SuperSonics.

While the Sonics reappeared in the NBA Finals and the Seahawks went to the Super Bowl in 2005, neither could bring a championship back to the city.

With the Sonics’ messy departure leaving fans bitter and downright angry, and the Seattle Mariners’ apparent desire to never put a winning product on the field, the timing couldn’t be better for a Super Bowl title.

Seattle fans needed this. I don’t blame you if you got choked up after this one. Like I said last week, sports have a special meaning in our lives.

So celebrate like a kid. This one is for the fans. The ones who have stuck with our teams through decades of futility. The ones who have had their hopes stirred up only to see them struck down.

This is for the fans who tune into the Mariners year after year, despite how awful they are. This is for the fans who fought for the Sonics to stay, who feel nauseous every time Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder are on TV, and who continue to fight for the Sonics’ return.

This is for the Seattle Sounders FC fans, who have quickly turned the city into the best Major League Soccer atmosphere in the United States.

This is for you, Seahawks fans, the loudest, craziest, most loyal fans in the NFL.

You’ve earned this.

Sports reporter Jon Manley can be reached at 253-358-4151 or by email at jon.manley@gateline.com. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_jon.

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