The energy at the game yesterday was unbelievable, and I can't believe that anyone there truly thought the Panthers stood a shot. Especially after the first quarter, it seemed like an ever forward Seahawks push to victory.
My ears are still ringing from all the noise. Seattle is known as a loud sports city (which is surprising, actually), but this was beyond what I usually hear. The stadium was absolutely filled to capacity plus by the time the game started. The Seahawks put up bleacher seats and sold standing room only tickets, which allotted fans to small, yellow squares on the floor with a taped in number.
In Seattle, a tradition at every game is to thank the fans by raising the 12th man flag. At least for the past year -- and probably more -- the team has referred to the fans as the "12th man" and saluted them with a special flag. Different figures get to raise the flag at each game. When we played the Redskins, Ken Hammond (a player injured in a bar brawl near the stadium) raised the flag to support his team. This time, it was Paul Allen. The 12th man intro said started, "His father took him to Huskies Games." It detailed his investment in the team, and the fact that he was the one who kept football in Seattle. Definitely a tear jerker speech before Allen raised the flag.
It was so loud and boisterous that I couldn't sell for the first 15 minutes of the game (5 minutes of play time). In fact, I mostly sold during about half the game in between bouts of squatting on the stairs trying to peek at the field between standing fans. Many people spent the whole game on their feet; Seattle would have made tons of money by removing the seats to pack more people in (side note: it was so crowded that they showed emergency exit plans on the big screen TVs before the game. Did anyone listen? No. They were too busy screaming for the entire hour before the game, plus for the whole game).
I cut out before the end and enjoyed the empty streets of Seattle before I got on my bus just as the Seahawks sealed their ticket to the Superbowl.
Still, it was an amazing game, and I'm proud to say that I was one of the elite few who not only didn't pay to attend but earned money while going to the game. I'm excited to see how we fare in the Superbowl.