The Seattle Seahawks are Super Bowl champions. Even after a whole season of suffocating defense and an offensive performance that may not have ranked among the league’s best, but was evidently underrated, the vast majority of the United States expected Peyton Manning and the Broncos to lift the Lombardi on February 2. Not only was the majority of the country wrong, they were wrong by a plus four turnover ratio for the Seahawks, and a 35 point scoring differential. Watching the game, it was apparent that Seattle was far more prepared than Denver, and was the faster team on the field in all three phases of the game (offense, defense, and special teams).
The tone for that fateful night was set on the first play when an errant snap from Broncos center Manny Ramirez sailed over Manning’s head and resulted in a Seahawks safety and an empty possession for Denver only twelve seconds into the game. On the ensuing Broncos possession, following a Seattle field goal, safety Kam Chancellor delivered a punishing hit to Demaryius Thomasafter a reception on a crossing route, driving him nearly seven yards back, and separating his shoulder. The Seahawks rumbled to a 22-0 halftime lead and, after the fatally elusive Percy Harvin returned the second half kickoff for a touchdown to boost the Hawks to a 29-0 lead, it was clear who would win the game.
However, there’s a lot more to Seattle’s victory than simply the label of World Champions. In fact, it’s much deeper than that. The Seahawks represent what it means to be doubted by the world, but still come out on top through all the adversity life can possibly deliver. Before the big game, a map of the U.S. could be seen in a pregame broadcast, and online, showing Seattle’s lack of support beyond the Pacific Northwest. But the Seahawks came out on top, and they did it with a bunch of so-called outcasts who were passed up by other teams, left undrafted, and told they weren’t good enough to play in the NFL, let alone win a Super Bowl.
Two years ago, Bleacher Report’s Donald Wood dissected the Seahawks’ 2012 draft picks that helped lead them to a championship earlier this year. He commented, “After one of the worst picks in the first round I can ever remember, the Seattle Seahawks didn’t draft any positions of need or draft for the future.” This turned out to be quite the opposite actually, as Bruce Irvin has become a highly productive pass rusher, and Seattle discovered their franchise quarterback in Russell Wilson. Wood also stated, “Pete Carroll is proving why he didn’t make it in the NFL the first time.” Carroll is now one of the most revered coaches in the NFL. In fact, in a recent poll, he was voted most wanted to play for by players around the NFL. Wood called Wilson a “QB that doesn’t fit their offense at all.” Two years later, Wilson has changed the landscape of the NFL and opened up future possibilities for diminutive quarterbacks. Wood reminds everyone, “Seattle is the only team that received an F on draft day.” However, the only team that received an F grade on draft day in 2012, was also the only team to bring home a championship the following season.
It almost seems as if the world is, or was, against the Seahawks. It’s fitting that the team calls the Pacific Northwest home, because it seems as though the nation struggles to remember the existence of this region as well. Although Mr. Grenz is an avid Broncos fan and claims to “bleed orange,” he still can acknowledge what the Super Bowl has done for Seattle. He feels that with the victory, came an overwhelming sense of community, and unification for the people of the northwest. He says the Pacific Northwest is sort of “tucked away in the corner” of our country, and people seem to forget about it. It’s definitely on the map now. He believes anything is possible through hard work and anything can be achieved if one truly has the will to do it. For Grenz, the term underdog brings to mind the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team. The legendary squad made up of only amateur and collegiate players, no professionals, and a fantastic coach, defeated a Russian team who had won six of the previous seven gold medals. Many similarities can be drawn between them and the Seahawks. Grenz says Seattle is home to many unique quirky people, and may just be the best kept secret in our country.
Many people think of a rainy, dreary, gloomy, depressing place when thinking of Seattle. Some believe it simply pales in comparison to the glamour prominence and stature of East Coast cities. But the Seahawks have opened the eyes of our nation, and now everyone can see that not only does Seattle have a great football team, but it is also an immensely magnificent locale.
Seattle’s football team, its’ people, and the city itself can all associate with being overlooked and being the underdog. The Pacific Northwest seems to have a rather large chip on its shoulder. With the Super Bowl victory, Seattle has come together. There is a unique spirit in this place that students of Auburn High, and all residents of the Pacific Northwest call home. This spirit is truly unlike anything else that can be found in the U.S. Seattle stands together, and Seattle believes. The Seahawks have demonstrated what belief and will power can do and by defeating the Denver Broncos, the spirit of Seattle has evolved and come full circle. The city now emulates camaraderie and unity, and Super Bowl 48 has left an impact on Seattle that will be felt forever.