And the great NFL year continues with a Super Bowl coin and a letter from the Commissioner.
Despite freezing temperatures two weeks leading up to the big game, Super Bowl Sunday was a gorgeous mid 40s and slightly overcast. The stadium was completely decked out with huge security tents and corporate sponsor logos, to be expected.
The entire racetrack pavilion was converted into the biggest Tailgate party you have ever seen. Drink sponsors and live entertainment provided by the likes of The Band Perry, Philip Phillips, and the casts of Jersey Boys and Rock of Ages made the time go faster, but the anticipation was high, let's get this game started.
Game time came and the Seahawks could not ask for a better start to the first half or the second half. The experience itself, it was unlike any other I could even compare it too. The pageantry, the fireworks, fly-overs and the national anthem from world renowned opera star Renee Fleming. And of course the thousands of Seattle and Denver fans descending on what was supposed to be a neutral field, here's a little tidbit, it wasn't. When I looked around the stands there seemed to be a lot more orange that stood out, but maybe that was because the color just popped against all the blue. Because when the Seahawk defense took the field and the first snap flew by Peyton Manning I knew the 12th Man had come to New Jersey to support their team. It was LOUD and from the beginning of the game, whenever the Broncos offense was on the field the presence of the 12th Man was felt and heard.
Quick mention about half time. The half time show was quite the spectacle as well and Bruno Mars proved to be an entertainer that could hold his own on any stage.
Well by now all of you know the outcome of the game. It came as a surprise to me too, I didn't think the Broncos would get absolutely demolished. Part of me was happy with the thrashing, the other half of me wishes it was a closer game. I guess it goes to show that the real Super Bowl was played two weeks prior in Seattle against the second best team in the league, the San Francisco 49ers. I love being part of this collective of fans that is unlike any other fans for any other team. How can you describe being a 12th man? You can't. I have been a fan of other teams, my college hockey team, the Seattle Supersonics, the US Soccer teams, but there is nothing like being one of the 12s of the Seattle Seahawks. This championship has been a long time coming after years of mediocre teams and getting so close and feeling like you were robbed the last time around by poor officiating. This is for Zorn, Largent, Green, Nash, Easley, Blades, Kennedy, Krieg, Norm Johnson, Jacksonthe entire 2005/6 Super Bowl team and most importantly the 12s all over the world who never stopped believing or giving up on the greatest NFL franchise ever.
The culmination of years of fandom for the Seattle Seahawks was the chance to go to the field and celebrate with the team and ownership. This was unbelievable, an incredible experience that could have only happened once in a lifetime. My favorite team, winning the Super Bowl in the city I live in and me on the field surrounded by the 12th Man going crazy, priceless.
Once all the madness was over and I was back in the city I of course had to go to Carlow East, the best Seahawk bar ever and celebrate with the guys (and girls) I had watched the Seahawks with all season. I have been coming here for some 5 years or so now and every year the crowds have been growing and growing. It's beautiful to see the fandom spread. The one downside of going was that I couldn't see it in real time with all those guys that I have shared ups and downs with over the years at Carlow. The Zachs, Byron, Chris, Tyler, Pat , Kevin, Nate, Elise, Gary, Carter, Jonathan, Liz and everyone else that has come to be my Seahawk family.
Saturday February 1st, the Third Annual NFL Honors Ceremony was held at Radio City Music Hall. Completed with red carpet, live entertainment, hors d' oeuvres and drinks.
The lobby of Radio City was packed with owners, players, celebrities and VIPs networking and enjoying the scene.
It was a lot of fun going to an awards show on this scale, even with the live television commercial breaks. Alec Baldwin was a fantastic emcee, very personable, great jokes and timing. Unfortunately Earl Thomas didn't get the deserved Defesive Player of the Year, but Seahawk great Walter Jones was announced with the test of the 2014 Hall of Fame Class. He joins Steve Largent and Cortez Kennedy as Seahawks in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Friday, Blue Friday before the Super Bowl to be exact. As we inch closer to the big game things are fast and furious.
Took the next few days off work, but I am still working in a sense from my phone doing concierge work. First up, a walk through of Radio City for tomorrow's NFL Honors ceremony. The inside of Radio city looked like the backstage of a rock concert with electrical wires and lights all over the place. waiting to be hung or hidden. Same went for the red carpet tent that looked only half done. It'll be cool to see the finished, ready for prime-time product after seeing the first stages of it today.
Next, I took the PATH train over to Jersey City to do some business at the official team hotel. Getting off the train on the other side of the Hudson River was a little discombobulating at first, but as I came to street level it felt like a little Seattle with 12s everywhere in Seahawk regalia. The hotel had security right up front and a couple large yellow signs reading "NO AUTOGRAPHS OR PICTURES." And of course guests of the hotel were the only ones allowed in.
When going back to the PATH train, I noticed an older couple doing the "not sure where to go" look and spin. The hospitality side of me kicked in and I asked "where are you trying to get too?" "Super Bowl Boulevard" they responded. "Great!" I said "I am going to the same station, follow me." They said people here are so nice and asked if I am from Seattle since I was wearing Seahawk gear (of course). I replied I had lived there but grew up in Fairbanks, AK and have been a fan for almost 30 years. After more small talk I came to find out they were none other than Seahawk Tight End Zach Miller's parents. I told them they should definitely stop by Carlow East at some point during their stay here. It is THE Seahawks bar here in NYC.
Party Time at the American Museum of Natural History. The Super Bowl Party was held here and I was there to assist with escorting, meeting and greeting NFL owners and other VIPs. The NFL knows how to throw a great soiree. The venue was beautifully done up with each team having it's own alcove decked out in team colors. Around the main room was NFL memorabilia and media. The food was fantastic and John Mayer played an acoustic set to a captivated crowd. The highlight of the night for me was being able to meet Seahawk General Manager John Schneider and Coach Pete Carroll, both very nice and genuine guys.
The night ended with a stop at Carlow East to have a drink with all the other fans. It's great to see so many passionate 12s there having a great time. Seahawk chants went back and forth all night and it was absolute mayhem, but in a good way. There were even a couple of brave Bronco fans that made their way in.