12th man celebrates Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl XLVIII victory in epic proportions. Traffic around Seattle was gridlocked for hours and ferry travelers were faced with long delays. But the loyal Seahawks fans patiently endured the cold weather as they waited at ferry terminals, bus stops, light rails and highways. Some fans camped out along 4th Street overnight securing their spots along the parade route.
More than 700,000 festive Seahawks fans packed the downtown streets adorned in festive Seahawk finery. Fans wore green and blue wigs, hats, jerseys and colorful tutus, many waving 12th man flags. They swarmed the city streets from every direction to claim their vantage points along the 2 mile parade route. The parade began near the Space Needle at Seattle Center and finished at CenturyLink Field. Fans packed CenturyLink Field and Safeco Field (where the victory celebration was presented on a jumbo screen).
More than 1,000 Seahawks fans were left at the Bremerton Ferry dock, unable to travel to Seattle because the ferries were fully loaded. Bainbridge Island ferry staff reported a one sailing wait for foot passengers, which is very rare.
The parade began with a police escort leading Seahawks buses, as the Washington National Guard escorted some of the players in Humvees and other military vehicles. Other players rode in the Ride the Duck amphibious vehicles that were decorated with banners representing the player positions.
The MVP of the parade was Marshawn Lynch, who was proudly perched on the hood of a Duck vehicle, tossing Skittles to awaiting fans. Many players were clutching cameras, recording videos and images of the cheering crowds.
The Vince Lombardi Trophy, crafted by Tiffany and Company, was proudly shared by many players as they road along the parade route. The trophy was carried from vehicle to vehicle in an effort for all the teammates to display the elite prize. The trophy is made entirely of sterling silver, depicting a full-sized football (in the kicking position) and weighs 7 pounds.
Governor Jay Inslee asked for a “Moment of Loudness” at 12:12 pm, the fans complied and broke out into repeated chants of Sea – Hawks, Sea – Hawks. A small plane pulling the 12th man flag, continually circled the parade route and a Boeing 747-8 airplane painted with Seahawks colors, flew over the ferry dock toward CenturyLink Field during the celebrations.
Coach Pete Carroll recognized the 12th man as he spoke in the stadium. He acknowledged the extraordinary gift the fans share with the Seahawks. Pete Carroll said “Once again, today, the 12th man demonstrated an extraordinary gift that they have; the love, the spirit, that they showed us at this parade today and this celebration is beyond belief and we thank you so much for that.” Carroll continued by thanking the team and added “We’re just warming up, if you know what I’m talking about”. Pete Carroll continued by saying “It’s extraordinary: this relationship that we have with the 12s, there's nothing like it in professional sports, maybe anywhere in the world. We love you, we’ll be back again. We’re going to do something special again.”
Loyal fans stopped what they were doing and many didn’t report for work, students and teachers did not attend classes. The fans were focused on showing their love to the Seahawks. The 12th man displayed their usual well-behaved attitudes. Despite the cold weather they reached out to help one another. Some fans perched on trees, sign posts, step ladders, shoulders of fellow fans and the sides of buildings to get a those priceless pictures and videos. The community has waited many years to show their pride in the Seattle Seahawks. Today, they came to the streets of Seattle to show their pride in this epic achievement by the outstanding Seattle Seahawks. Go-Hawks!
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