It was quiet and foggy when Mike and Roberta Carlson arrived at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday morning, 91/2 hours before the kickoff of Super Bowl 49.
The Burlington couple had been gearing up for this game all season and there was no way they were missing a second of the action. They were decked out in blue and green and Mike Carlson had carved the Seahawks logos into his hair.
They lined up and noticed they had plenty of friends. “It’s probably 20-to-1 Seahawks fans,” Mike Carlson said.
By 8 a.m. the “Sea-” and “-Hawks” cheers started and they only got louder, drowning out cheers from New England Patriots fans. Half an hour before the game when the stadium announcer asked each set of fans to cheer, it sounded like a Seahawks home game.
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Sebastian Enges of Sequim said it felt as if there were more Seahawks fans at the game than Super Bowl 48, when the Seahawks also seemed to have a distinct fan advantage.
“There were a lot of fans last year, too, but I think in New York you can hide it a little bit,” Enges said. “But I was in the end zone last year for the safety and it sounded like a game at CenturyLink.
“Here you see them everywhere. It seems like there are more than last year. It’s epic.”
A Fircrest man going by the name Rick Mirer (a former Seahawks quarterback) because “I’m not supposed to be here” was attending his first Seahawks game outside of Seattle.
“Just listen to that,” he said. “It sounds like it’s 80-to-1 Seahawks fans.
“I think Beast Mode is going to win MVP and he’s not going to accept it.”
One of the loudest cheers before the game came during the national anthem when an image of Patriots coach Bill Belichick flashed across the big screen.
Mark Bergsma is at his second Super Bowl in as many years and says he knows why the Seahawks fans are louder.
“They’d have more fans if this game was in Florida or something,” Bergsma said. “…And they’re a little loopy because their balls are deflated.”
As he spoke, his wife, Annette, let out a long scream for the Seahawks. “We’re bleeding blue and green,” she said.
Mark Bergsma had only one complaint about the game atmosphere. He was a little disappointment in the gifts that were given to the fans who shelled out thousands of dollars to attend the game.
Last year, fans received a pair of gloves and a hand warmer sleeve similar to what quarterbacks wear around their waists during cold-weather games.
This year: nothing.
His friends around him in the upper deck of the stadium harassed him for his lone criticism of the experience.
Of course, the only thing the long-time season ticket-holder was really concerned about going home with was another Seahawks championship.