In 2013, Peyton Manning posted the best quarterback statistics the NFL has ever seen. He set records for passing yards and passing touchdowns, his Denver Broncos set a new record for most point scored, and Payton earned both the Offensive Player of the Year award as well as his fifth League MVP. We all know he’s getting older, and he’s had repeated neck surgeries. The perfect Hallmark scenario would have been for him to win a super Bowl, probably picking up Super Bowl MVP honors in the process, and then ride off into the sunset, following in the footsteps of former Broncos quarterback and current GM, John Elway. Instead, Peyton got his overhyped ass kicked all over the field. He threw for 280 yards and a touchdown, which isn’t bad; but he also threw two interceptions, one of which was returned for a score. Hell, the game was over as soon as the first snap went over Manning’s head, resulting in a safety. We just didn’t know it, and most of us probably sat there and watched every minute instead of doing something sensible like going to bed early or taking the family out to the movies. The game sucked. The commercials sucked. For fans of any team other than the Seattle Seahawks, it was a perfectly miserable ending to a totally crappy season.
Hey, but we need to give the Seahawks their due. They have a fantastic runningback and one of the best young quarterbacks in the game today. Of course their defense gets most of the attention, and they’re only too happy to give a lot of the credit to the so called 12th Man. You’ve surely heard of that unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few weeks, and it would have to be a pretty big rock too; otherwise you still would have heard because Seahawks fans make so much damn noise. They’re worse than the Hoos on Christmas morning. They cause an earthquake and pat themselves on the back. I’m not kidding. So this 12th Man refers to the huge home field advantage the Seahawks enjoy when any opponent is unfortunate enough to have to play a game in what used to be called the King Dome and is now some totally impersonal sounding corporate sponsored thing that I can never remember the name of.
In 2012, the Seahawks were undefeated at home but lost five of their eight road games. They only lost two road games in 2013 but clearly were not the same team when away from the Emerald City. As stifling as that defense can be, many wondered if they could travel across the country, leaving most of their full-throated fan base behind, and pose any real threat to the best offense in NFL history. But on Super Bowl Sunday, Seattle’s 12th Man was elevated from the merely intangible to the mythical. The Seahawks scored a safety twelve seconds into the game. It was the quickest score to start a Super Bowl ever. Coincidence, right? I’m not so sure. Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin returned the second half kickoff for a touchdown. That happened at the twelve second mark as well.
In Super Bowl XXIV (Isn’t it time to do away with the Roman numerals?), the San Francisco 49ers defeated John Elway’s Broncos 55 – 10. That remains the most lopsided game in Super Bowl history. Denver’s 43 – 8 loss in super Bowl XLVIII is now number two in that category. In fact, Peyton Manning’s league best offense was beaten by more points than the last six Super Bowl losers COMBINED! In the previous 47 Super Bowls, only seven times has the loser failed to at least score into the double digits. Incidentally, the Vikings did it three times. And here’s one more tidbit to end our season. Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice, Tarvaris Jackson and Darrell Bevell, all former Vikings players or coaches, now have Super Bowl rings… as members of the Seahawks. As glam metal band Cinderella lamented in the late 80’s, “You don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.”
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