Friday, February 7, 2014

Seahawks Celebration Parade

In case you've been hanging out under a rock, you may have missed the fact that the Seattle Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII!!! Needless to say, we Seattlites (and many beyond our city limits) are pretty darned excited about this fact.

On Wednesday, the city held a victory parade for the team and it was one heck of a celebration! An estimated 750,000 people attended the festivities ... and the city's population basically doubled for the day. People came from far and wide to attend the parade; I heard of one many from Los Angeles who flew up the morning of the parade and was going to fly back to L.A. that night because he could only get 1 day off from work. Now that is dedicated!! To be honest, I wouldn't have gone out of my way to go to the parade, but my office is across the street from the north end of the stadium, so how could I not go???

I headed out into the mayhem to get some crowd shots a few hours before the parade began, and then happily returned to my office to warm up and get some work done. A few hours later, some of my co-workers and I staked out a fantastic spot on top of the parking garage near of office. I recommended the spot knowing it was a great vantage point from other days I was up there to take random sunrise and cityscape photos. It was perfect. We could see all of the activities, but not get crushed in the crowds.

It was perfect, but COLD!!! When I say it was freezing, I'm not kidding. The temperature hovered in the upper 20s to just about 31 degrees. After standing on a parking garage for the better part of 2 1/2 hours, I couldn't control my shaking, not to mention my fingtertips and toes were completely numb. (I shook so hard for so long that my neck and back muscles were sore the next day!)

All of that aside, it was so much fun to see the sea of fans; our area really came together to share its excitement. It took 38 years for the team to win the Super Bowl and every one of us was brimming with the excitement that went along with it.

Getting home that night, was a bit of an eye opener, though. I went down to the bus tunnel (like usual) and was met with a MUCH larger crowd that I'm used to. My first hint that my commute wasn't going to be "normal" was the line for the south bound train that ran the length of the bus tunnel, up the stairs from the bus tunnel, and then past my office building's main doors. The northbound entrance wasn't that backed up (fortunately) but it was still packed. As I waited for my bus (which was about 10 minutes late), I spoke with a man who told me that he and his wife waited at the Pioneer Square station (just 1 stop north) for an hour and a half waiting for a us. They eventually gave up and came to the International District station in hopes that would improve their chances on getting on a bus. I was lucky and got on the first 41 bus that arrived. There were so many people trying to get on buses that police officers were stationed at the front door of each bus to keep people from crushing each other. Fortunately, people weren't aggressive and acted intelligently. It was a slow commute through the bus tunnel, but I eventually made it home! (Some people eventually gave up and got hotel rooms, I later heard on the radio. Yikes!)

A few highlights/moments to remember:

  • The moment of loudness at 12:12
  • Seeing the 12th Man Boeing plane
  • Seeing Russell Wilson
  • Seeing the Lombardi Trophy
  • Surviving the sub-freezing temperatures
  • Watching the sea of people flood 4th Ave S... like ants on a hill
  • Watching a Pabst Beer party truck sideswipe a town car (whoops!)
  • Sharing in the celebration with 750k of my fellow Hawks fans
  • The insanely busy metro system after the festivities

The fans spilling onto the street ... about 2 1/2 hours before the parade began

The 12th Man

People were everywhere!

The SeaGals and Marshawn Lynch (on the hood)

Coach Pete Carroll

The offensive line

The wide receivers

The running backs

The 12th Man Boeing plane

Russell Wilson

The Lombardi Trophy

This post and this year's football season wouldn't be complete without one more "GO HAWKS!"

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