Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” wasn’t just the music that was playing after Sunday’s NFC Championship Game in Seattle. It should also be the new mantra for any Seahawks fans who left CenturyLink Field prematurely or gave up watching it on TV in despair following 56 minutes of mostly mediocre play by the home team.
With the exception of a fake field goal, a Richard Sherman interception and impressive defensive stands that denied two touchdowns to the visiting Green Bay Packers, little had gone well for the Seahawks. They were plagued by interceptions, penalties and missed opportunities.
Even hardcore fans have to admit that the Hawks’ comeback in the final four minutes of regulation was, as The News Tribune’s front-page headline Monday proclaimed, “Unreal.” Also improbable, against the odds, mind-boggling and heart-stopping. Somewhere a fan with blue face paint and lime-green hair is still screaming.
No NFC championship had ever been won by digging out of such a deep hole (16 points). Somehow coach Pete Carroll’s Seahawks summoned the heart and character to put a few minutes together that stunned their opponents, newscasters, fans and even themselves in some cases.
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When the game went into overtime, a fortuitous coin toss gave the home team first possession. That was all quarterback Russell Wilson and receiver Jermaine Kearse, the pride of Lakewood, needed to end the game and send the team to the Super Bowl for the second time in a row.
After Sunday, it’s probably a safe bet that no one will ever stop believing that this team is out of a game until it’s over.
The Seahawks’ home stand during the playoffs has been a bonanza for the hospitality industry and any business that sells team paraphernalia. More importantly, what a sense of community this team has created.
Everywhere, Twelves were decked out in their team colors, sharing an excitement that’s only going to build over the next two weeks in anticipation of the Feb. 1 game against the annoying New England Patriots.
We’ll be watching – and believin’. Go Hawks!