Sports

SIDELINES: Seahawks' victory parade one for the history, memory books

Andy (left) and Isaac Olson sit at the Seattle Seahawks victory parade Wednesday afternoon in downtown Seattle. They were two of an estimated 700,000 people at the parade, which ended at CenturyLink Field.  - Casey Olson/The Mirror
Andy (left) and Isaac Olson sit at the Seattle Seahawks victory parade Wednesday afternoon in downtown Seattle. They were two of an estimated 700,000 people at the parade, which ended at CenturyLink Field.
— image credit: Casey Olson/The Mirror

It was literally a sea of Seahawk blue and green Wednesday afternoon throughout the streets of downtown Seattle.

Truly a spectacle to witness. Something I will remember for the rest of my life. The parade celebrated the Seattle Seahawks’ historic victory at Super Bowl XLVIII Sunday.

It was Seattle at its best. The city is so passionate about everything it does and the connection between this year’s Seahawks and their fans is unprecedented. There’s no other NFL team that has the amount of passion as the much-talked about 12th Man. None.

Humvees and “Ducks” drove around the entire Seattle Seahawks’ staff and players, including owner Paul Allen and Federal Way chiropractor Dr. Jim Kurtz, who just finished his third season with the team.

According to numbers thrown out by whoever were throwing them out, there was more than 700,000 people on the streets of Seattle Wednesday. I truly have no idea how many people were there. I just know there were a lot of Seahawks fans throughout the parade route.

I was lucky enough to be able to experience the parade with my kids. And, like kids do, there were some things that happened Wednesday that they complained about. It had to be pretty overwhelming for them with all the people and the cold temperatures. We also couldn’t see over the crowd gathered on the parade route.

But, like I told them, this isn’t going to be what they remember. They aren’t going to remember every little thing from Wednesday when they are reminiscing in five years. They aren’t going to remember how much traffic there was, how cold it was outside or how much their dad spent on a Seahawks sweatshirt for them.

What they are going to remember is that they were there. They will be able to tell their kids that they were there the first time the Seattle Seahawks won a Super Bowl. They are the trailblazers.

I can still remember when the Sonics won the 1979 NBA Championship. I was 6 years old at the time. It was then that more than 300,000 basketball fans crowded the streets of Seattle to celebrate with Lenny Wilkens, “Downtown” Fred Brown and Gus Williams.

Memories of that parade flooded back for a lot of people this week after the Seahawks’ victory. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the words, “I was there.” And now, my kids will be able to say that same thing about Wednesday.

That’s something very special to think about and something that Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll thought about when he was rolling down the Seattle streets in front of the 700,000 fans.

“The thing that struck me so, was the little kids in the front row, and knowing we’re touching them,” Carroll said. “They’re screaming and hollering. To know they have this moment and hope they’ll remember their connection with their parents and families. From young to old, this was a very unique opportunity we shared and it’s a great gift.”

There might be another parade next year and maybe the year after that. Theoretically, the Seahawks very well could be the next great dynasty in the NFL. Two, three, maybe even four Super Bowls in the next five seasons.

But there is never going to be anything like what we experienced this year and what we experienced Wednesday afternoon. Like anything in life, you never forget your first time.

Those 35 years that have separated those two championship parades made it seem like Seattle would never experience that same feeling again.

Our sports teams losing is just something we have come to expect in Seattle.

We are a city whose best professional sports memory in the last three decades was a double to win an American League Division Playoff Series.

Not a World Series. Not even a double to win the American League Championship. But the 1995 RBI-double by Edgar Martinez to beat the New York Yankees only qualified the Mariners to play the Cleveland Indians for a berth into the World Series. The Indians subsequently beat the Mariners in just six games.

But that all changed last week when the Seahawks demolished the Broncos. Thank you, Seahawks. You have given me and my family memories that will last a lifetime.

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