I couldn’t help but think of my late brother when the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos 43-8 to win the Super Bowl on Sunday night.
Mike and I got season tickets in the south end zone back in 2002 when Seahawks Stadium (which is what it was called back then) first opened up.
Back then, there wasn’t a season-ticket waiting list, as the Seahawks weren’t as popular.
For those next three seasons, I would work on Saturday nights, get up at 7:30 a.m., and drive across the state.
Never miss a local story.
I would pull into the Kirkland park-and-ride, meet Mike there (he lived in Kirkland) and we would take the bus into Seattle.
It was fun to be in the midst of all the crazy fans and spending time with him. It gave us an excuse to spend some time together.
After the game, we’d take the bus back to the park-and-ride lot, then drive to a restaurant on the east side of Seattle for dinner before I’d drive back to the Tri-Cities.
As you get older, it gets harder to bounce back on Mondays when you spend Sundays like that.
The topper came in that last season, in a game in which kicker Josh Brown kicked a field goal with less than 2 minutes remaining to give the Seahawks a 10-point lead.
Foolish me. I turned to my brother and said, “That’s it. We’ve got this now.”
Of course, the Rams rallied to score 10 points to tie the game in regulation.
They won the toss and got the ball in overtime, and promptly scored to win.
I turned to Mike and said ‘That’s it. I’m done. I’m tired of driving over here and having my heart broken.’”
He agreed, and we didn’t renew our tickets for the next season.
Of course, the Seahawks would go on to the Super Bowl that season. So we thought it was fitting that they gave an up yours to us for our lack of loyalty.
Mike’s been gone three years now. At his funeral, we played the Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony because he was always so excited when the Seahawks played that song just before the team came out of the tunnel.
So he was actually the first person I thought of when Seattle won Sunday night.He would have loved this team. A lot.
A look at Sunday’s game
I understand why linebacker Malcom Smith was the game’s MVP.
He returned an interception for a touchdown, recovered a fumble and was in on numerous tackles. And when a team holds the Broncos to just 8 points, someone on defense should get the truck and a trip to Disney World.
But I wish that Russell Wilson could have gotten something for his almost flawless performance.
He was so cool under pressure, ran the football when he needed to, was accurate with almost all of his passes, and was way better prepared for this game than Peyton Manning was.
Here are eight other guys who deserve mention:
w Left tackle Russell Okung. I know he was flagged for at least one penalty, but he had Wilson’s backside protected all night. The Broncos failed to sack Wilson once, and Okung deserved a lot of the credit.
w Safety Kam Chancellor. His hit on Demaryius Thomas early in the game — and then later on Wes Welker — set the tone for the night. The Broncos receivers seemed tentative much of the rest of the game.
w Steven Hauschka. Kickers never get much credit. But Hauschka has been so consistent all season that we all tend to take him for granted. He had two early field goals, and his kickoffs helped the Broncos start deep in their territory for much of the game.
w Percy Harvin. I can’t wait to see if he can play a full season next year. His first touch of the game resulted in a 30-yard run. You can’t simulate speed in practice, and with virtually no film of him this season, the Broncos had no way to prepare for him. His mere presence on the field opened things up for his offensive teammates.
w Chris Clemons and Cliff Avril. These two defensive ends put pressure on Manning all night. Maybe they didn’t always get to him, but they forced the QB into some bad passes. It was Avril who forced the ball up in the air that Smith returned for a TD.
w KJ Wright. The Hawks linebacker had seven tackles — many of them on key third down situations that the Broncos didn’t convert.
w Marshawn Lynch. Yes, he only rushed for 39 yards and looked tentative at times when he got the handoff. But he scored the team’s first touchdown, and the Broncos defense concentrated on stopping him all night. Between him and Harvin, that opened up things for everyone else.