There’s been a lot of regrets in my life. Somewhere on the high end of the severity scale, not being able to go to the NFC Championship game in 2006, when the Seahawks beat the Carolina Panthers 34-14, sits one of my biggest. Magical is really the only way to describe that game that evening. I’m pretty sure I teared up, watching the game on TV…and I’m pretty sure I’m going to man-cry yet again if we were to win on Sunday.
Let’s go back to 2006: I had just moved back from California to Seattle after a couple of years, and I was still in the process of moving my stuff and getting settled. Needless to say, I didn’t have $400+ to spend on getting a ticket to the big game. I spent that whole week huddled by the radio, watching ESPN, soaking in everything that every expert had to say. They basically called it a toss-up game.
I knew better.
I knew that place was going to be an insane asylum. This was the biggest game in franchise history…and not only that, but all the years of heartache, and desperation for a championship this city wants and needs so bad. San Francisco 49er fans may mock us for statements like that, but you know what? I’m not ashamed to say that we are a city desperate for a championship. We are hungry for it, and it comes through in the top of our lungs every game at Century Link Field. Isn’t that something to be proud of? What’s the alternative? To be a spoiled franchise like the 49ers, who, while passionate, do not have the same hostile, electric environment at their home field?
I watched the Panthers game at a cousins house with loved ones, and the moment was about as glorious following the blowout victory was about as sweet as it comes for sports fans. True, it wasn’t the Superbowl, but the fact that we Seattle Seahawks fans have waited so long for a moment like this, made it almost as sweet as a Superbowl victory for one of the more “storied” franchises. As I mentioned earlier, I probably teared up…but I can only imagine if I was there in the stadium…it probably would have resulted in many high-fives, dry-humping complete strangers, and sharing tears with people that reek of cheap beer.
Damn-why didn’t I sell my car to get some tickets?
Fast forward to today…one thing I’ve been hearing from Seahawks fans is: Is the price of admission for the game on Sunday vs. the 49ers, worth it? Tickets are going for about $300 and over for upper level seats. My answer? If you’re a die-hard fan, absolutely. If you are a fan, without the die-hard label, and you can afford it, absolutely. I’m lucky enough to say, I have my ticket, since I’m a season ticket holder…but even if I wasn’t, you would have to drive a stake through my heart to not get me to that game.
A home game against your hated rival with the chance to go to the Superbowl is something we may never experience again. Let me reiterate, this MAY NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.
Some people may think the Seahawks will be in the mix for the Superbowl for a very long time…and I believe they will. However, I also know the reality that is NFL football. With salary-cap restrictions, injuries, and any given sunday, the road to the Superbowl is treacherous, and full of obstacles. You really need to be more than just good to make it to the big game, you need a lot of luck as well. The Seahawks have been quite lucky this season (as have all the remaining teams in the NFL). If the Rams convert on 4th and goal on Monday Night Football, we might be playing in Candlestick on Sunday. If Russell Wilson were to go down with a fluke injury, we’d probably be talking about the Mariners and Husky Basketball right now.
Just ask Dan Marino, arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, how difficult it is to make it to the Superbowl. He went to the Superbowl his second year in the league, and NEVER MADE IT AGAIN. It just so happens, this is Russell Wilson’s second year.
Or perhaps Matt Hasselbeck and the 2005 Seahawks referenced earlier, that made it, but lost to the Steelers in Superbowl XL. Everyone, including me, was convinced that the Seahawks would be back in the Superbowl the following year…as they still had one of the best teams in the league. That team never even got back to the NFC Championship.
But alas-the stars have aligned, and we are in the best position in all of football. This is the opportunity of a lifetime, and the Seahawks need to seize the moment.
I would go on more, and talk about what a Super Bowl would mean to this city, but I think I’ll save that. After all, we are only on the cusp, not yet on the big stage. But still-this Sunday we will witness one of the greatest moments in Seattle sports history. And this time, we will have a team that is both good enough, and lucky enough, to win it all.
Categories: NFL and Seahawks