Win elates Seahawks fans from Vancouver to New York

By Micah Rice, Columbian sports editor

Published:

 
photoSeahawks fan Mike Gutierrez enjoys the win after watching Super Bowl XLVIII at Big Al's on Sunday. Seattle beat the Denver Broncos 43-8.

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photoThe haircut of Vancouver resident Roger Binns leaves no doubt as to which team he rooted for Sunday at the Super Bowl in East Rutherford, N.J.

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photoAaron Kraft and his wife, Peggy Kraft, try to get along while watching Super Bowl XLVIII at Big Al's, Sunday.

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When Mike and Brittney Gutierrez found their chairs, they figured to be settling in for a football game.

It turns out those seats were for a four-hour thrill ride.

The couple and other Seahawks fans bounced up from those seats often during Seattle's 43-8 Super Bowl domination of Denver on Sunday.

They were among hundreds of rowdy fans at Big Al's in east Vancouver. Aside from two tables of Broncos fans near the front, the crowd was decidedly pro-Seahawks.

Fans jumped and high-fived when Seattle scored a safety on the game's first play.

Fans threw Skittles around the restaurant when Marshawn Lynch's touchdown put Seattle ahead 15-0 in the second quarter.

And when the game ended, long-suffering Northwest sports fans rejoiced in the region's first major pro sports championship since the SuperSonics won the NBA title in 1979.

Sunday's Super Bowl was extra special for Mike Gutierrez. A Navy veteran, he was stationed in the Persian Gulf during Seattle's only other Super Bowl appearance in 2006.

He watched Seattle lose that game during the wee hours. After Sunday's game, he's headed for another late night.

"We ain't sleeping tonight," he said.

Roger Binns was also full of adrenaline after watching the Super Bowl in person. The Vancouver resident flew to New York on Wednesday and nearly screamed his voice out during Sunday's game.

How big of a fan is Binns? He had a Seahawks logo shaved into the back of his head.

"I'm pretty much on Cloud Nine right now," said Binns, who bought his tickets on StubHub. "There are season-ticket holders here that are just ecstatic. A few are crying."

Binns' unique hairstyle attracted lots of attention in New York. It led to photos, television interviews and some timely insight from an inside source.

Binns and his girlfriend saw "Rock of Ages" Friday night on Broadway. Seattle line coach Tom Cable was also at the show with his wife, who took a picture of Binns' hair.

"He told me, 'Denver has no idea what they're up against,'" Binns said.

That domination elated most of the crowd back at Big Al's. But it caused a bit of tension between Peggy and Aaron Kraft.

Aaron, wearing a Seahawks jersey, yelled cheers that must have sounded like bird talons on a chalkboard to Peggy, clad in an orange Broncos jersey.

"I was raised in Colorado so I've always been a huge Broncos fan," she said. "My husband is actually a big Jacksonville Jaguars fan."

Having his Seahawks fandom questioned didn't bother Aaron.

"She's turned the kids into Broncos fans," he said. "I've been taking punches in the kidneys all week."

In New York, Binns said Seahawks fans far outnumbered Denver fans. He said the stadium became quite loud when Seattle was on defense.

After the game, he stayed in the stadium for nearly an hour soaking up the victory with other Seahawks fans.

"We just care about our city and our state," said Binns, 32. "I've been a Seahawks fan since I was little. The fact we were here to witness it live, I can't even describe it. I just wish I could share it with all the other Seahawks fans."