Celebrations start around Seattle, Northwest as Seahawks finish Super season
by Bill Lucia
Fireworks go off at MetLife Stadium as the Seahawks win the Super Bowl. Credit: Doug Dixon
With the Seahawks building an insurmountable lead over the Denver Broncos, celebrations began in Seattle and around the region even before Super Bowl XLVIII ended in New Jersey. In Aberdeen, on the Coast, fans were setting off fireworks midway through the second half of the blowout contest.
After the game, crowds poured into the streets in Belltown, Capitol Hill and Pioneer Square.
As the celebrations geared up, Mayor Ed Murray announced a parade for Wednesday. In a statement from New York, where he traveled to attend the game, which was played in nearby East Rutherford, New Jersey, Murray called Sunday "a great day for the Seahawks and a great day for Seattle."
In Pioneer Square around 8 p.m., fans filled the blocks of First Avenue South between South Main Street and Yesler Way. They hugged, high fived and chanted "Seahawks" against a constant low roar of cheering. Blue and green smoke filled the air. At least eight people hung on walk signs or lampposts or in trees. Many of the gatherers wore Seahawks jerseys and some waved "12th Man" flags. Others toted blue and green balloons or plastic glow-in-the-dark light sabres. There was open drinking of beer and occasional whiffs of pot.
At intersections along First Avenue South, at least a couple of dozen bike police and five officers on horses were posted but simply observed the scene. There were also two patrol cars blocking off the avenue north and south of where the crowd had congergated. Officers in unmarked black SUVs patrolled the surrounding streets.
Shortly before 9 p.m., the Pioneer Square celebration had largely shifted to First and Yesler where over 1,000 people were gathering, flowing into the area from all directions. The chants and cheers continued to go strong despite a cold, damp breeze.
Uphill from the celebration, near Fourth Avenue South, the interior lights in the windows of one downtown office building could be seen turned on in the formation of the number 12.
The "12th Man" refers to the Seahawk's staunchly loyal fans. In the days leading up to the game, flags bearing the number could be seen around Seattle towed behind airplanes, tacked to the side of moving passenger trains, hanging off building sides and flapping on countless cars.
Some post-game trouble did arise on Sunday. Police were dispersing crowds in the University District, according to reports on Twitter around 9 p.m., after eight couch cushions were set on fire near Northeast 47th Street and 19th Avenue Northeast.
The mayor's office said the parade is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. The parade will start on Fourth Avenue south of Denny Way and will end at CenturyLink Field. Details will be announced on Seahawks.com.