Sunday, February 9, 2014
Seahawks' 12th Man Scores First in the Super Bowl
I've been wondering since it happened: what went wrong with that first play for Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos that resulted in a safety?
Astronomical to think such a polished and professional offensive unit would screw up a shotgun snap. The center Manny Ramirez took initial responsibility. Tough for me to decipher all the Manning pre-snap chatter and know how he changed the original call. Who's fault was it?
Now that NFL Films has released the Sound FX for the game, we can listen to Peyton Manning himself as he talks to his center and his coach after the play. Watch and listen. I'll wait. Then let's see what you think.
"I called the snap count," Manning said to Ramirez as they trotted off the field. "You didn't hear me?"
When he reached coach John Fox, he told him: "I couldn't hear anything."
Fox replied, "Hey, a little louder than we though."
He later said to his team he should have started with the silent count. A silent count in the Super Bowl?
Crowd noise absolutely caused that fumbled snap and safety.
Process that for a moment.
The Super Bowl is a neutral site by design. New Jersey is almost 3000 miles from Seattle. The Seahawks' 12th Man still affected the game.
Not only affected the game, but single-handedly put points on the board.
Seattle's fans at CenturyLink Field are credited with causing false starts, making opponents burn time-outs and limiting audible calling. But this time, the 11 Seahawks on the field could have had their backs to the Broncos. The snap would still have sailed past Manning and into the end-zone.
At the moment I can't think of another time when crowd noise so directly led to a score. In the Super Bowl no less. That's truly playing 12-on-11 football.
8% of the tickets were sold to Colorado residents. 17% were sold to Washington residents. That does not directly mean that three-quarters of the fans present were neutral. It does mean that Seahawks pride is contagious.
A good friend was in town for the game. He told me Blue & Green outnumbered Orange on the streets. Seahawks fans were loudly befriending anyone in similar colors. Broncos fans looked bored and would walk silently past each other on the sidewalks. New Yorkers embraced the brash, aggressive, gregarious Seahawks. Did the Richard Sherman rant make more Broncos fans? Not in New York. Sherman #25s were impossible to find.
So the Seattle fans at the Super Bowl created more Seattle fans. People realized it was fun to get behind a team and holler at the opposing offense until it screwed up. This was a loud crowd for a Super Bowl. Loud for the Seahawks.
The 12th Man travels. The 12th Man breeds. The attitude is contagious.
Anyone else's fans ever score in a Super Bowl? Did they ever put a team on tilt on the first play of the game and keep them there?
The more I think about it, the more monumental the accomplishment is for Seahawks fans. The 12th Man actually scored in the Super Bowl. I salute you.
There's a reason #12 is retired in Seattle. The 12th Man continually earns the honor.