After the Seattle Seahawks trounced the Denver Broncos 43-8 to win the first world championship in franchise history, Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said “Everyone knows we are taking this trophy back to the 12th Man.” On Wednesday, about 700,000 12s got a good look at “their trophy” in one of the most raucous celebrations in the history of the Emerald City.
The 2-mile parade route from Seattle Center to the Seahawks’ CenturyLink Field was jam packed with revelers celebrating the city’s first major sports championship since 1979. Most players rode in the parade grouped by position, but fan favorite Marshawn Lynch rode on the front of a duck boat filled with cheerleaders. In addition to throwing out Skittles for his adoring fans, Beast Mode was also photographed being handed a bottle of Fireball whiskey from the crowd.
It was that type of day for the Seahawks and their fans. Befitting a team known for playing hip-hop music during their practices, the parade route was filled with boisterous jams from Rick Ross and Lil’ Jon, and the scene looked as much like a street party as anything else.
“This was a long-awaited win. It's well worth the wait," Seahawks fan Shawn Cooper told the Associated Press. "They're years ahead of their time, which makes me believe there's another one coming."
Seahawks players and coaches believe as well. At the culmination of the event -- a rally inside CenturyLink Field in which players were introduced in descending order by number, ending with No. 3, quarterback Russell Wilson -- both Carroll and Wilson made references to winning the Super Bowl again next season.
"We're just getting warmed up, if you know what I'm talking about," Carroll told the crowd, to ecstatic cheers.
Countless children were among the hundreds of thousands of spectators packing the parade route. Seattle Public Schools said that “more than 25% of the district's 51,000 students” had missed morning attendance. The support from the youngest 12s did not go unnoticed.
“The thing that struck me so was the little kids,” Carroll told Seahawks.com. “We’d see them in the front row, and knowing that we’re touching them. They’re screaming and hollering, and some of them were kind of intimidated by it.”
Intimidation is an understandable emotion when it comes to these Seahawks. Just ask the Denver Broncos.