Attending a night game at CenturyLink Field is always special. There is just something about the game under the lights, knowing it is on national television, and knowing every football fan in America and beyond will hear our voice on that evening. The atmosphere in CenturyLink is simply electric.
The game against the San Francisco 49ers was “flexed” into prime time as it was a showdown of the top 2 teams in the NFC West. It could have been for the division championship, but alas, things didn’t quite work out that way for the Seahawks.
Even without the division championship on the line, the game was a barometer for the Seahawks. They were coming off easy blowout victories against two struggling NFL teams, and the 49ers were the perfect opponent to see how much of those blowouts were the result of the improvement of the Seahawks or due to their inferior opponents. The Seahawks sent an emphatic message that those blowouts were more about their improvement rather than inferior opponents by thrashing the 49ers and their supposedly staunch defense, 42-13.
Heading to the game, I encountered this young lady, Carissa, on the ferry. She was holding this sign, and it harkened me back some 29 years earlier, almost to the day. This game was Carissa’s very first Seahawk game, as was that game I attended on Christmas Eve, 1983. You see, at that game 29 years earlier, I made this exact sign, and hung it from the upper deck in the Kingdome (back before placing signs on the facade of the upper deck was prohibited).
NBC was the broadcaster for the Seahawks’ first playoff game in history, a 31-10 drubbing of the Denver Broncos. The Kingdome was electric. “The Wave” was being promulgated in both directions at one time by Bill the Beer Man. At one point, “The Wave” in upper deck was going one direction and the lower deck was going the opposite. It was just an unbelievable atmosphere, and I was immediately hooked.
While “The Wave” has now passed, the thunderous roar of the 12th Man faithful has not dimmed, and was fully evident Sunday December 23, 2012. I would be hard-pressed to recall a game where the 12th Man was as vocal as this game. We were on top of our game, and so were the Seahawks.
I hope Carissa had as great a time at her first game as I did at my first. And at my most recent. While it wasn’t a playoff game, it certainly had the feel of one. And as the 49ers held on and won the division, this game will likely serve as our home “playoff” game this season. Disappointing for the 12th Man, to be certain. But if this was our home playoff game, the Seahawks did not disappoint.