EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J — “This is unbelievable,” a hoarse Jim Weber of Kirkland said as he made his way through a packed MetLife Stadium concourse. “You couldn’t have even dreamt it would go like this. I was hugging people I don’t even know.”
“It was fantastic,” said his wife, Carrie. “Everybody contributed.”
The Webers spoke for thousands of blue-clad Seahawks fans who made a virtually seamless transition from hopeful to confident to ecstatic Sunday evening as their team crushed the favored Denver Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII.
“We’re walking on clouds,” said Cynthia Collins of West Seattle, with husband Bruce McBride. “This just blew our socks off.”
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Gov. Jay Inslee had this assessment: “The Broncos came to play, but the Seahawks came to win.”
Inslee said crowd noise rattled the Broncos.
“We knew the 12th Man is powerful in Seattle, but we didn’t know how powerful it could be in Jersey.”
Deepak Anand, 32, of Seattle, said “the NFL gods made right what they did to us back in 2006.” He was referring to the Seahawks’ loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XL — a game in which even the officials later acknowledged that bad calls had hurt Seattle.
Anand said national media coverage leading up to the game completely missed the real story.
“All we’ve been hearing all week was Peyton Manning against the Seattle defense,” he said. “Peyton Manning. Peyton Manning. What about him being upstaged and embarrassed by a young quarterback, Russell Wilson?”
Anand said this could be the start of a “Seahawks dynasty” and predicted the Seahawks will be back in the Super Bowl next year.
Ron Delismon of Midway, a season-ticket holder since the Seahawks’ first year in 1976, said, “This is a once-in-a-lifetime moment. It feels great.”
The result was a relief, he said, partly because a friend of his in California predicted a Denver triumph. “He told me, ‘Peyton Manning will eat you alive.’ I can’t wait to email him later tonight.”
Was this a manifestation of the 12th Man’s power? The Seahawks scored 12 seconds into the game (a safety) and again 12 seconds into the second half, a kickoff return by Percy Harvin.
Denver seemed unable to do anything to undermine the confidence of Seahawks fans.
For much of the game, it looked like the Hawks might pull off the first shutout in Super Bowl history.
In postgame interviews, some Seahawks players acknowledged the role their fans have played all year.
“I can’t wait for the parade,” said linebacker Malcom Smith, the game’s Most Valuable Player. “Twelves, come out and make noise louder … Fans … do it how we always do it, man.”
Jack Broom: firstname.lastname@example.org