Karen Peterson

Karen Peterson: Super Bowl a labor of love — let’s do it again

Our pulse rates have almost returned to normal.

As 12th Men and Women turn to less noisy and nerve-wracking pursuits, so do our newsroom staffers who spent the past several weeks covering the Seahawks’ run to the Super Bowl.

The TNT teams in New York and Tacoma produced a boatload of content. From the Sunday before the game until the Tuesday after, we ran 83 Super Bowl stories, 56 smaller pieces and 130 photographs, filling more than 75 full newspaper pages.

We posted most of those stories live online. We produced 13 photo galleries and 13 videos. We posted 85 times on our Seahawks Insider blog. We sent hundreds of tweets and dozens of Facebook posts.

We even partnered with Tacoma’s Cascade Print Media to print posters of our front pages overnight so we could begin selling them Monday morning. (You can order posters at tacoma.dealsaver.com.)

And we compiled a book filled with our coverage from the season, capped by live stories from the Super Bowl, that arrived in local stores Friday. (You can order books at triumphbooks.com/superhawks or 1-800-888-4741.)

Still, some of the best stories were told around the newsroom after our folks returned.

• Because we were home-team press, the National Football League reserved us a mini-newsroom in the media hotel — a couple of tables with too-few chairs surrounded by a curtain with a cardboard nameplate. Cozy? Yes. Glamorous? No.

• Reporters were surprised that media buses carrying them between New York and New Jersey got police escorts. “Despite New Yorkers’ rough reputation, I saw more people wave at our buses than flip us off,” reporter Don Ruiz said.

• Food provided to the media in New York — chips and cookies — was nothing compared with the full spreads eight years ago in Detroit. However, Ruiz, who traveled to cover the Seahawks’ opponents through the playoffs, was not complaining. He ate his way across the country from “crawfish in New Orleans, barbecue in Carolina, crab cakes in San Francisco, buffalo meatloaf in Colorado, and finally deli food, pizza and cheesecake, cheesecake, cheesecake in New York.”

• On the Friday before the game, our guys wrote a Top 10 list of the week’s events. “We were worn out and tired of trying to be creative,” said reporter Craig Hill. “After dinner we walked to the Ed Sullivan Theater, home of (David) Letterman’s show, and took turns reading the script off my phone” while one of them filmed it. (Check it out in the video section of thenewstribune.com.) The outtakes are even funnier, Hill said, but probably not up to TNT decency standards.

• On Sunday, our photographers were among the 150 allowed to shoot from the sidelines. Tony Overman was one of about 20 permitted onto the field for the coin toss. The photographers’ workroom in MetLife Stadium was down the same tunnel as the players’ locker rooms. Jogging out the tunnel onto the field was a kick for photo editor Joe Barrentine.

• That’s the same Barrentine you may have seen run over in the first quarter by Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. Barrentine tells it this way:

“Wilson runs at the sideline trying to get as many yards as he can, but he can’t slow down and runs into me. With such little space, I couldn’t dodge Wilson but managed to hit one of the video guys in the head with my camera lens as the Seahawks quarterback landed on top of me.

“Wilson gave me a hand and asked if I was all right. I was able to say, “I’m fine. Get off me” — and then we both went back to work.

“I was more embarrassed than anything because as a rule I try to stay out of the news and events that I cover.

“But this memory will stand out for awhile: I was the only guy to tackle Wilson all night.”

Four of our staffers spent an extra night in New York when their flights were canceled due to a snowstorm. By midnight Tuesday, we finally had everyone home.

It appears that readers enjoyed our coverage.

On a normal Sunday, we have about 40,000 unique visitors to our website. On Super Bowl Sunday, we had 75,664 visitors.

On a normal Monday, we sell about 5,100 newsstand copies of the TNT. On Super Bowl Monday, we sold 28,000.

We have only a few papers left. You can get them at our reception desk in the lobby. And you can still order a book or poster.

We enjoyed covering this massive story. We’d be happy to do it again next year.

And we thank our readers. You’re our 12th Man.

Karen Peterson: 253-597-8434