This is your day, Seahawks fans.
Savor the snacks. Adore the absurd. Bask in the bombast.
And at least once today, stop for a moment and take it all in.
Because win or lose, this Super Bowl journey has reminded us of the unifying force a Northwest sports team can be.
We saw it when the 1995 Seattle Mariners created highlights that still bring chills.
We saw it in 2005-06, when the Seahawks snapped a 22-year playoff drought en route to Super Bowl XL.
And we see it now.
Amid the pretension and posturing in pro sports, that passion is genuine and organic. As much as today is about the players on the field, it’s about you.
No slick ad campaign today will bring people together by the dozens in living rooms or hundreds in sports bars for this common cause.
No multi-million-dollar sponsor brought fans by the thousands out to send off the Seahawks last week. The crowd was so thick on the streets of Renton, the team busses were slowed leaving the headquarters.
Not even a slimy sports agent can make Washington Huskies and Oregon Ducks unite behind a common team.
Perhaps Seattle’s most high-profile fan is Macklemore. The musician rapped about Dave Niehaus and Seattle sports long before he became a Grammy winner and national superstar.
During Seattle’s NFC Championship victory, Macklemore was just another fan, albeit with a sideline and locker room pass.
After the game, I asked what the victory meant to him as a lifelong fan of Seattle sports.
The gleam in his eyes expressed a joy that even a skilled lyricist had trouble putting into words.
“It was the most exciting game that I have ever watched,” he said. “This team is the best.”
So today, forget about the past. The 2006 Super Bowl loss to Pittsburgh still stings a region that hasn’t had a major pro sports champion since the 1979 Supersonics.
Today, forget about the future. Success is fleeting in the NFL, where salary-cap rules are designed to impose parity. Fourteen Seahawks will be free agents after this game. Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson will be due huge paydays in the next few years, so the roster will look vastly different by 2015.
Today, your team is at the center of the sports universe. It will play before what Forbes predicts will be the largest TV audience ever to watch a football game, surpassing the record of 111.3 million in 2012.
So, when you pour a beer, toast this moment. Days like today don’t come along often.
Hopefully, the memories will be as hard to remove as a well-fitting ring.