For Seattle-area natives Colin Dickinson, David Axelrod, and Josh Havekost (pictured left to right in the photo above), the journey to Brazil for World Cup 2014 started four years ago.
"It has been a lifelong dream for all of us to go to the World Cup," Dickinson said via Facebook message from Recife, Brazil - the site of today's group stage-ending clash between the United States and Germany. "Watching the 2010 World Cup in South Africa [on T.V.], we vowed to go to Brazil."
Dickinson and his friends - who in addition to their affinity for the world's game are also avid appreciators of the Seahawks' efforts on the gridiron - made it a point to bring a piece of home with them on their once-in-a-lifetime travels. In fact, you may have seen that very piece of paraphernalia on June 16, when the U.S. opened World Cup play with a 2-1 victory over Ghana in Natal.
"It's really important to us to represent Seattle, hard, all the time," Dickinson emphasized. "We're proud of our city and we're proud to be Super Bowl champs. We brought the 12 flag because it's part of our identity. The three of us celebrated the Super Bowl together in Pioneer Square, with that same flag."
Dickinson, Axelrod & Havekost celebrate U.S. forward Clint Dempsey’s first-minute goal in the nation’s World Cup opening match vs Ghana
The trio scored tickets to our country's opening match and to their surprise they were randomly assigned seats in the front row. Flag in hand and in prime position, they decided to drape the Seahawks' signature flag over the railing for all eyes in the stadium to see.
"To us, it's a symbol of victory," said Dickinson. "We like to think it helped us beat Ghana."
But those in the stadium weren't the only ones who took notice of the Seahawks' symbol at the World Cup. Several eyes watching on television around the globe caught a glimpse of that familiar flag in the match's 59th minute, when U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard was positioning his defense for an oncoming corner kick from the Ghana side. Shortly thereafter, social media exploded at the site of Seahawks fans in Brazil.
"The atmosphere and energy in Brazil is fantastic," Dickinson said. "The Ghana game was absolutely insane. Celebrating the [United States'] second goal, we all got tangled up in the 12th Man flag.
"It felt like we won the Super Bowl all over again."
As of this writing, Dickinson, Axelrod, and Havekost were scrambling for tickets to today's decisive match against Germany. Should the U.S. earn a win or draw, they'll advance to the round of 16. They can also clinch a spot in the knockout round with a loss to Germany and a Portugal-Ghana draw, or a loss to Germany and a tiebreaker-win against the Portugal-Ghana victor.
"If we do [get tickets]," Dickinson said. "The flag is obviously coming with us. Look for it!"
Don't worry, Colin. We'll be watching.
For more photos of the trio's travels in Brazil, check out Axelrod's Instagram page