The last time I sat in my seats at Seahawks Stadium was on December 23, 2012, for a Sunday night primetime match up against the so-called number one team in the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers. It was a dark wet night with torrential rain coming down. It was also coach Jim Harbaugh’s birthday. The Hawks punk’d the 49ers on national television with a score of 42-13. 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick was frazzled by the defense and the roar of the 12th Man. 49er running back Frank Gore was the invisible man. 49er tight end Vernon Davis left the game after he suffered an injury from an encounter with a member of the Legion of Boom. Cornerback Richard Sherman (#25) played lights out and even returned a blocked field goal 90 yards for a touchdown, which was a birthday present for his former college coach (Harbaugh). Running back Marshawn Lynch (#24) scored two touchdowns and physically dominated the 49er defenders. 49er fans left Seahawks Stadium with their tails between their legs. The next time I would sit in my seats would be on September 15, 2014, for another Sunday night primetime match up against the so-called number one team in the NFL, the 49ers.
The home opener was everything a 12 could want. It was coach Pete Carroll’s birthday. The weather was apocalyptic with thunder showers and lightening. Once again, Kaepernick wilted under the pressure of the Sea-Fense and the roar of the 12th Man. Gore was still invisible inside Seahawks Stadium. Davis would leave the game after suffering an injury while going up against the Legion of Boom. Lynch would score 3 touchdowns. He once again embarrassed the 49er defense by literally walking into the end-zone for a touchdown. Sherman played lights out by dominating 49er wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who was coming off a 200 yard and 13 catch game the previous week. Sherman also gave a birthday present to his current coach (Carroll) by intercepting Kaepernick on a throw to Davis. 49er fans would leave the game early in shame.
We drove to Seattle that afternoon and checked into our hotel the W. I should have known not to book a room at a hip and luxurious hotel; the place was crawling with the Faithful. I don’t know what it is about seeing red and gold that makes my skin crawl.
The tailgates, bars, and restaurants in downtown were popping. We strolled on over to the Hawks Nest Bar & Grill to rub elbows with some die-hard 12s. The place was jam-packed at 2:00 pm! After one Manny’s Pale Ale and one Widmer Hefewiezen we decided to go over to the Pyramid Brewery’s beer garden for some fresh air and enjoy the day.
About one hour before kick-off the thunder, lightening, and rain came down. The crowd went wild. The 12th Man was ready to create some thunder of their own.
Everybody knew we were going to attempt to break the Guinness World record for loudest stadium in sports history. The 12th Man was focussed on the task . After a few more pre-game beers to warm-up the vocal chords, we entered the stadium.
Former running back and NFL MVP Shaun Alexander (#37) had the honor of hoisting the 12th Man flag. The crowd was in a fervor and couldn’t wait for the game to start. The game started off slow for both teams.
The play of the game came in the 1st quarter. The Hawks offense could not move the ball and had to punt. The punt was blocked because of some 49er fan in the stands who blew a whistle and the Hawks special teams thought the play was called dead prior to the ball being snapped. This was not a “ghost” whistle. It was real and there were three distinct whistle blasts prior the ball being snapped. It came from the west side of the stadium and I believe the south side of field.
The 49ers would take possession of the blocked punt and drive the ball down the field to the Hawks 6 yard line. Kaepernick threw a laser to the Davis in the end zone. Cornerback Walter Thurmond (#28) would tip the ball and it was intercepted by free safety Earl Thomas (#29). The Legion of Boom strikes again! After that play, everybody in that stadium knew it was going to be a long day for Kaepernick. This play shifted the momentum and confidence of the 49ers.
A short time later, another boom strikes. The game was delayed over an hour due to thunder and lightening. The audio of the NBC broadcast was played on the stadiums speakers. Chris Collinsworth made a comment that it was going to be hard for the crowd to return with the same fervor as prior to the game delay. The 12s would prove Collinsworth wrong.
After a one hour delay, the players would take to the field. As the Seahawks exited their tunnel, they ran down the wall of the south end zone high-fiving the 12s. The crowd was fired up, and probably a little buzzed due to the delay.
The Hawks defense would end up dominating the 49ers the rest of the game with interceptions. The Hawk offense would run the ball down their throats. The 49ers were frustrated, they wanted no more of the Hawks or the 12th Man that night. Kaepernick would throw 3 interceptions and was frazzled by the crowd noise.
There were several false starts and delay of game penalties against the 49ers. The Faithful left early to beat the traffic. The 49ers will to win was broken with a Hawks victory of 29-3, but that would not be the only thing broken that night.
The Seahawks would break the all-time attendance record with 68,338 fans. The 12th Man would also set a new Guinness World Record for the loudest stadium in sports by reaching a decibel level of 136.6 in the quarter. That comes as no surprise to me.