JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Six podiums scattered around a third-floor convention room Sunday waited for the arrival of the Seahawks.
And the number of cameras that began to gather around one in the back corner an hour or so before the players showed up made clear who was the star attraction — cornerback Richard Sherman, who became a household name throughout the country last week after his controversial TV interview with Erin Andrews of FOX Sports following the NFC Championship Game victory over the 49ers.
“Yeah, I’m a little surprised by it,’’ Sherman said of all the attention. “But they told me to expect it a little bit after last week.’’
Anyone hoping for Sherman to express any regret about it all, though, left disappointed. Instead, Sherman said “it’s been a fun week. … it’s been fun learning new things about people. To hear the bad, to hear the good. To just see people grow and to see the world go back to having an open dialogue about race and see how far we have grown and to see our team succeed.’’
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Asked if his life has changed, Sherman said: “Not too much. I’ve made it to the Super Bowl, so it’s changed in that regard. I’ve gotten a few more phone calls, congratulatory phone calls, but it hasn’t changed much. We have one more game to play, and we’ve been preparing like it’s another game, and that’s status quo.”
Fans send off team in style
After arriving in New Jersey, Seahawks players and coach Pete Carroll were still marveling about the send-off the team received in Seattle.
Fans gathered at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton as the team departed in buses, and cars and fans lined the route from there to SeaTac airport.
“When we got down to the last stretch, there were thousands of people lining the streets,’’ Carroll said. “As a matter of fact, the bus couldn’t go two miles an hour, they had swarmed into the streets, so there was just enough room for the bus. And it was really fun to see. They weren’t just waving. They were jumping up and down and cheering and going crazy. … it was very collegiate-like in a sense.’’
Hawks to practice at Giants facility
The Seahawks will work out this week at the New York Giants’ practice facility in East Rutherford, N.J., which features both indoor and outdoor fields.
Carroll said the Seahawks will try to practice outdoors as often as possible to prepare for the conditions, but might also go indoors at times to make sure they get the necessary work completed.
“I understand there’s snow on the field and they’re somewhat frozen,’’ Carroll said. “So we could likely be indoors for most of the week. As we always do, we’ll figure that out on a day-to-day basis. We like to get out when we can. We’ll have to see if it’s available to us.”
Seattle players mostly downplayed the possible impact of the conditions in what is the first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold weather locale.
“I wasn’t worried about the cold,’’ said safety Earl Thomas. “I’m just happy to be here.’’
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @bcondotta.