"We didn't change anything. We play our own style of football. And we put our guys in situations they are comfortable with." -- Pete Carroll, Coach of the Seattle Seahawks during a Super Bowl postgame press conference.
It all started while I was at the gym. Two guys were conversing as one said, "All of their starters are healthy." Somehow, I intuitively knew he was talking about the Denver Broncos. This was just after the Broncos had won the AFC Championship, and of course after the Seattle Seahawks had won the NFC Championship. Since I was nearby at a machine and being a Seahawks fan, that's when I simply included, "And Seattle isn't?"
The gentleman answered, "Well, Percy Harvin (Seattle wide-receiver) is out." And then I quietly responded, "We'll see." And I left it at that. Yes he did have a concussion during a playoff game against the New Orleans Saints. And it's good the NFL is more cognizant now about such an injury. But I also heard from the gentleman, that the San Francisco 49ers should have won against Seattle at Seattle.
Later as the gentleman was about the exit the gym while I was at another machine, he spotted me and had yelled out, "Go Broncos!" And all I did was smile. Finally after two weeks since the championships, Super Bowl Sunday arrived. And as someone famous had always said, "And now you know, the rest of the story."
Seattle dominated, indisputable, on both sides of the ball. They just simply never let up, pure and simple. Everyone knows what happened and I'm not going to get into any game details. But I want to now touch upon something, of just why Seattle never seemed to garner much respect, even well before the Super Bowl. Sportscaster Chris Berman of SportsCenter talked about this, going beyond the rivalry with the 49ers, saying that it's a regional hostility with west coast teams. As someone I know even said, that when storied older established teams such as Pittsburgh, Green Bay and Dallas -- all past multiple Super Bowl winners -- have rough seasons, they still garner hidden respect not only from sportscasters, but also fans of other teams. But Seattle seems to get none, which I also found out from the gentleman I met at the gym.
Anyway with the Super Bowl being over and me being elated, I am now going to list what I call my honorable mentions. These not only are individuals who gave commentary before the game, but also performers and those to be mentioned who've also contributed before, during and after Super Bowl XLVIII.
Peter Schrager - FOX Sports, I have to begin with him. He wrote a well-crafted web article on February 1, 2014 titled, "Super Bowl XLVIII Cheat Sheet: It's time to believe in Seattle." Throughout he lists four reasons why before he never placed much credence in Seattle, examples such as they will miss the playoffs, and not thinking much of Russell Wilson. Now he's recanted.
And I've always heard this said about quarterback Russell Wilson. Immediately after the Super Bowl as he took a question amongst flying blue and green confetti, within his answer, he divulges his height at five-foot-eleven. Okay, everyone, you heard it. Now quit making him shorter by always saying he's five-ten. And who's to say a quarterback shorter than Peyton Manning's towering six-five can't measure up. The late Bruce Lee was listed at height five-six by one account, and five-seven-and-a-half by another. But remember his devastating one-inch punch? And born in San Francisco's Chinatown, he also coincidentally came from Seattle.
Joe Buck - As a sportscaster along with Troy Aikman while both covered the Super Bowl, both talked about the label "game manager" always given to Russell Wilson. It was then Mr. Buck had said that he always found the term derogatory. He then says about the quarterback while on the air, "I mean look at all that he's done." So Joe Buck also gets an honorable mention.
Plaxico Burress - Former New York Giants wide receiver now with the Pittsburgh Steelers, he was a guest on the sports program ESPN First Take on January 27, 2014. He was asked a question by Sportscaster Ms. Cari Champion as she said, "So you actually pick the Seahawks to win the Super Bowl, explain yourself, sir," while Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless awaited a response. And respond he did, as Mr. Burress simply said that the Seahawks is the better football team. He continued that although the Broncos play well offensively, he also said that, "...the Seattle Seahawks can get off the field when they need to in crunch time situations." Then he spoke praise of Seattle's secondary cornerback -- Richard Sherman -- and safety Earl Thomas.
Renee Fleming - The opera soprano who sang the national anthem was spectacular. And I don't know why to this day that there were concerns about her. I own one of her CD's although it's not opera, titled Dark Hope. It's a different genre being pop rock, sounding atmospheric and occasionally ethereal. She sings a Peter Gabriel song, "In Your Eyes," but my favorite is the next song titled, "Stepping Stone." Amazon responders give it a comprehensive 3.6 out of five stars.
Bruno Mars - He did it. Along with the last set while doing the James Brown footwork before the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the man did it. And I don't know why some didn't think he did well.
Peyton Manning - I've always been impressed with him, especially during his postgame press conferences always handling himself with grace and aplomb. The Denver Broncos quarterback said he doesn't lay blame of the loose ball on center Manny Ramirez. He continued that the stadium noise was so incredibly loud, that none of his players at the line of scrimmage could hear the snap count. Also after the game, he visits the injured Seattle player Richard Sherman.
24 - The action thriller that aired in dispersed commercial segments during the Super Bowl is coming back. To be called 24: Live Another Day. And I can't wait. Being filmed in London, this is the second time the thriller will take place at a foreign location. The first time was just outside Cape Town, South Africa. There we saw Jack Bauer, acted by Kiefer Sutherland, helping a buddy at a boy's orphanage in the fictitious African country Sangala. Both were former Special Forces men before Jack ever transitioned to becoming a CTU agent (Counter Terrorist Unit). I also wrote about 24 coming back last year. May 24, 2013, in a HuffPost blog titled, "Jack... Is Back."
Roger Goodell - The NFL commissioner gets praise for granting free Super Bowl tickets to two women, one of whom had her wallet stolen while at San Francisco Int. Airport with both tickets inside. All this is in the February 1, 2014 FOX Sports web article by James Parziale titled, "NFL replaces stolen Super Bowl tickets for two Seattle fans after hearing tale on TV."
Nicole Hill and Sarah Agerup - To the two Seattle women who were given the free tickets, I'm glad it all worked out. Being a Seahawks fan, I wished I was there. You both will remember that moment undoubtedly for the rest of your lives, and my heart goes out to you both. You are both Ladyhawks, and I purposely saved your two honorable mentions for last.
In the film Karate Kid, Medal of Honor WWII veteran Japanese-American Mr. Miyagi tells Daniel-san, "Balance is key. Balance good, karate good. Everything good. Balance bad, better pack up, go home. Understand?" The Seattle Seahawks, were electrifyingly explosive by being balanced on both sides of the ball on February 2, 2014 -- Super Bowl Sunday. It is incontestable.