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Tuesday in Hawkville: One first in franchise history leads to another

Posted Feb 4, 2014

In between winning their first Super Bowl on Sunday night and being honored in a parade on Wednesday, the Seahawks players had their exit physicals and cleaned out their lockers on Tuesday.

A recap of the activities for Feb. 4, when Hawkville was back where it belongs – Virginia Mason Athletic Center – after the team’s nine-day adventure that was relocating to New Jersey and winning Super Bowl XLVIII:

WORD OF THE DAY: LULL

And not just the lull before the storm, but the lull between storms.

Tuesday was pretty much like every other exit day that follows the final game of the season. The players took their physicals, cleaned out their lockers, got teammates to autograph items and attended a team meeting.

STAT DU JOUR: THIRD-AND-STRONG

After struggling to convert third-down situations down the stretch, the Seahawks got it done against the Broncos in the Super Bowl:

Opponent Con.-Att. Pct.
Giants 3-13 .230
Cardinals 2-13 .154
Rams 4-13 .308
Saints 5-14 .357
49ers 5-14 .357
Broncos 7-12 .583

The twist this season, of course, is what happened on Sunday and will happen on Wednesday. This exit day was the latest in franchise history, because the Seahawks played in and won Super Bowl XLVIII in the most-impressive fashion – 43-8 over the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium on Sunday night. That was followed by what turned into an all-day journey back to Seattle on Monday.

Wednesday? Hang on to your 12-ness, as the Seahawks’ first Super Bowl championship team will be saluted, celebrated and all that stuff, as coach Pete Carroll would say, during a 2.3-mile parade – or mobile celebration – along Fourth Avenue from Seattle Center to CenturyLink Field that starts at 11 a.m. That will be followed by a Championship Celebration at the stadium that was open to season-ticket holders but has reached capacity.

So even Tuesday’s usual exit-day routine was far from the norm.

“And then you still have those same type of emotional feels, whether you lose in a playoff game or win a Super Bowl,” All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas said in the locker room. “At the end of the day, the game is over, the season is over. That’s the sad part about it.

YOU DON'T SAY

“It hasn’t sunk in yet. I think probably Wednesday, when we have the parade; I’ll finally realize what we’ve done.”

Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, who grew up in Lakewood, played at the University of Washington and had a remarkable touchdown reception in the Super Bowl

“But you also feel lucky over everything that happened throughout the season, so you’re filled with a bunch of gratitude. And you can see how you’ve grown as a player and as a person, and what it takes to be a champion. That’s the bigger picture of the whole thing.”

Thomas definitely grew as a player this season, even for a player who already had been an All-Pro and two-time Pro Bowl selection. This season, he added a second All-Pro berth and was voted to third Pro Bowl, and also finished third in the balloting for NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

But his team also grew with him, another “bigger picture thing, as a football player,” as Thomas put it.

“Definitely, and that’s what it’s all about – from your weakest player on the team to see if they can elevate to the strongest person on the team,” Thomas said. “And when you get that kind cooperation and dedication from everybody as far as elevation, that’s what turns everybody in champions.

“And that’s what we did this season. It’s a connection that just grew through the roof when we were in New York.”

PRESIDENT OBAMA ON THE LINE

Coach Pete Carroll got a congratulatory phone call from President Obama on Tuesday morning.

The White House press secretary issued this readout: “Today, the President called head coach Pete Carroll to congratulate the Seattle Seahawks on their decisive victory in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday night. On the call, the President commended Coach Carroll and his team for a great game, and expressed that he looks forward to congratulating him and the team at the White House in the coming months.”

UP NEXT: ANOTHER FIRST FOR THE SEAHAWKS

After posting a 13-3 record in the regular season and a victory in the NFC Championship game to advance to the Super Bowl – matching the accomplishments of the 2005 team – the 2013 team will experience something no other team in franchise history has: A parade and stadium celebration on Wednesday to honor their Super Bowl victory.

Seahawks.com producer and writer Tony Drovetto provides the details.

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