EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – For years, it was a nightmare being a Seattle Seahawks fan.
For the first 29 years of the franchise, they won three playoff games. From 1985-2004, they didn't win any playoff games at all. When they finally did get to a Super Bowl at the end of the 2005 season, Pittsburgh beat them and they felt robbed by some bad officiating.
They kept hoping when there wasn't much reason to. It's easy to root for the Packers or Steelers or Cowboys. The Seahawks fans have always been among the NFL's best and loudest, and they had relatively nothing to cheer for.
That's over now. It took until the Seahawks' 38th season, but they're finally on top of the NFL. And they left no doubt.
Seattle destroyed the Broncos 43-8 in one of the biggest Super Bowl routs of all time. The Seahawks scored on the first play from scrimmage, a safety on a fluky play in which Broncos center Manny Ramirez snapped the ball before Peyton Manning was ready, and that was just the start of the avalanche.
Seattle led 22-0 by halftime. Linebacker Malcolm Smith's 69-yard interception return for a touchdown made it 22-0 and made it clear that the Broncos were in trouble. And if there was any doubt, Percy Harvin took the opening kickoff of the second half back 87 yards for a touchdown.
The only remaining question was if Denver, which had the highest scoring offense in NFL history, would even score on the Seahawks' defense. And the Broncos did, but not until the last play of the third quarter. Just in case there was even the slightest bit of panic among the long-suffering Seahawks fans that the Broncos weren't completely finished, Seattle scored on a 10-yard pass from Russell Wilson to Doug Baldwin on its next drive to take a 43-8 lead.
The Seahawks were no fluke this season. They finished last season strong and improved the roster. Harvin was a key addition who was injured and played in just 39 snaps this season before Sunday, but paid off nicely in the Super Bowl. Defensive end Cliff Avril was a big free-agent addition, and he forced the interception Smith returned for a touchdown by hitting Manning's arm. Coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider put together the deepest and best team in football, the Seahawks were the best team in the regular season and destroyed a very good Broncos team on the sport's biggest stage.
With every big Seahawks play, it was easy to pick out the Seattle fans at MetLife Stadium. There they were, in the neon green gear jumping up and down and looking for fellow Seahawks fans to high five or hug. Seahawks fans were a constant presence in Manhattan all week, with their "Sea! Hawks!" chants at just about every establishment near Times Square. For those who made the trip, seeing their team produce one of the all-time dominant Super Bowl performances and finally win a championship had to be worth every penny.
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