The Seahawks face-off against the Green Bay Packers for pre-season game #3 on Friday night. It appears that some Packer fans are still butt-hurt over the Hail Mary touchdown catch by Golden Tate (#81) to win the game against Green Bay last season in Week #3.
Tate has a special celebration planned for the Packer faithful if he scores a TD. I wonder what it could be? Perhaps a Lambeau “Leap”?
Tate’s comments has been a good reason for the sports media in Seattle to relive the moment, which is great, because I love listening to the play-by-play call by Steve Raible. This blog post is not about whether or not Tate’s catch should have been ruled a TD or an interception. That will be the subject of a future post. Instead the purpose of this post is to relive that Game Day, catch, and moment from my perspective.
My wife and I had travelled to Seattle and checked into our room at the Inn above El Gaucho. The weather was perfect for a Monday Night Football game. We were still riding on the high of bitch-slappin’ the Cowboys the previous week in Seattle. We popped a couple of micro-brews and poured them into our tailgate approved cups and began the 2 mile pilgrimage to Seahawks Stadium. We strolled through Pike Place market, which was littered with yellow and green jerseys. Just as in the week prior with the Cowboys; the Packers showed up in droves.
An outdoor area of a bar just north of the Stadium was packed with CheeseHeads. 12’s walking by started chanting “SEA-HAWKS!” and the Cheeseheads responded with “Go Pack Go!” in full throat. I estimated Packer fans made up at least 1/3 of the crowd, if not more. The bars were packed and I couldn’t even get into the Hawks Nest Bar and Grill because the line to get inside looked like a scene from Night At the Roxbury. No worries, the Pyramid Brewing Company has a great open air beer garden right across the street. The ThunderHead IPA’s were tasting good.
I ended up talking to 3 different sets of Packer fans, and they all travelled from either Wisconsin or Minnesota. They were impressed with the micro-brew selections that were offered in the Stadium, but not so much for the bratwurst and cheese options.
But don’t worry, us 12′ are used to the band wagoners and front runner fans of visiting teams (i.e., Patriots, Cowboys, Steelers), and we have our own CheeseHeads.
The first half of the game was awesome! The Seahawks had 8 sacks. Chris Clemons (#91) tied Derrick Thomas’ NFL record for most sacks in a half by tackling Mr. Discount DoubleCheck a/k/a Pizza-Hut, 4 times behind the line of scrimmage. The Hawks had the lead 7-0 going into the locker room at the half.
The sackfest disappeared in the 2nd half. The Packers were able to score 2 field goals in the 3rd quarter making it Hawks 7, Packers 6 heading into the final quarter. The Packers scored a touchdown off a 1 yard run by Cedric Benson. Mike McCarthy decided to go for the 2 point conversion. The conversion failed and the Packers were in the lead 12 to 7.
The Hawks ended up getting one last chance to win the game when Green Bay failed to convert on a 3rd down. There was just enough time to try the Ol’ Hail Mary. We all know how that ended.
The play was at the northwest corner of the end-zone. My seats are oriented towards the southeast corner of the field, so I could not get a good look at what happened. I knew somebody had indeed caught the ball and it was not batted down or knocked away. There was a delayed reaction and replacement referee Lance Easely signaled Touch Down! The Stadium went wild. It was reminiscent of the BeastQuake.
I jumped into the row behind me (which was mostly empty because the people sitting there had already headed home) and I ran up and down it; screaming like a stark raving lunatic. It was chaos, bedlam, and ecstasy all at once. But it wasn’t over yet.
Everybody in the Stadium knew the replay officials were going to review the game’s final play. The video boards sat idol. The Stadium was not showing any replays. This was a troubling sign. The Packers had headed into their locker room. It took several minutes, and the officials finally announced that the call would stand; Touchdown Seattle! The Packers and Hawks had to come back out onto the field to kick the extra point. The final score was Hawks 14, Packers 12. It was quite surreal.
I was able to video (sorry for the poor quality, I am hoping to improve on it this season) fans leaving the Stadium. Packer were shaking their heads and 12’s were jumping for joy.
We headed to the Hawks Nest for a celebratory beer. The 12’s were jacked up in the bar. ESPN kept showing a replay of Tate’s TD catch on the flat screens in the bar, but the volume was turned down so I couldn’t hear the national commentary. After seeing the replay, I remember thinking it was a close call that finally went Seattle’s way. No big deal, right?
The next morning I woke up and flipped on the television in our room, checked the twitterverse, only to discover the hailstorm of outright hatred towards the Hawks because they “robbed” the anointed Green Bay of a victory.
Even Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan (who hails from Wisconsin and is anti-union) gave a stump speech that day and I quote,“Unlike the Seattle Seahawks last night, we want to deserve this victory. We want to earn this victory, we want a real victory . . . ” No wonder Romney lost the election!
This was just business as usual for us 12’s; the national media hating on the Hawks. I wouldn’t have it any other way.