Wide receiver Golden Tate #81 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates with fans during ceremonies following the Seahawks' Super Bowl XLVIII Victory Parade at CenturyLink Field on February 5, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
by Curtis Crabtree
SEATTLE - It was significantly colder Wednesday in Seattle than it was Sunday night in East Rutherford, N.J. when the Seattle Seahawks earned their first championship with a 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.
But the chilly temperatures didn't keep Seahawks fans from showing up in droves to see the team that delivered the first major sports title to the city in 35 years.
"This is something I'll value forever and I'll never forget it," WR Golden Tate said.
At least 700,000 people lined the streets of Seattle from the Space Needle to CenturyLink Field for the celebratory parade. Then another group of at least 40,000 filled the stadium and another 20,000-plus were next door at Safeco Field to watch the event on the jumbotron.
The players jumped into vehicles by position group and the parade made the two-mile trek from Seattle Center down 4th Avenue to CenturyLink Field.
Well, almost everyone was split up by position group.
RB Marshawn Lynch took to the hood of the lead vehicle of the caravan that was also carrying the Sea Gals. Lynch proceded to ride from his perch all the way down to the stadium while throwing Skittles into the crowd and beating on a drum he seemed to have acquired over the course of the journey.
The reception made a resounding mark on the players and coaches that earned the first championship for the city of Seattle since the Supersonics won the NBA Championship in 1979.
"It was just an amazing day," head coach Pete Carroll said. "The consistency of the intensity of the fans through the parade route was amazing."
"It was extraordinary. I can't imagine one better than that. That was just over the top."
The Seahawks introduced 73 players one-by-one to the crowd once the team reached the stadium. The only exception was for suspended CB Brandon Browner. Practice squad players and those who had finished the season on injured reserve were all announced individually as Super Bowl champions.
Owner Paul Allen, CEO Peter McLoughlin, Seattle mayor Ed Murray, Carroll, CB Richard Sherman and QB Russell Wilson were among several to address the stadium full of fans.
Carroll and Wilson both spoke to the team looking to repeat next season.
"They have come together to do something very special and it's not just one year. We're just getting warmed up," Carroll said.
Added Wilson: "Our plan is to hopefully win another one for you next year."
News & Notes:
--Carroll said the priority for the team is just to get back to work and go after it again. He said they feel they have what they need already at their disposal.
"There's some very difficult decisions and things that we'll have to make, as you always do at this time of year, but we just need to get better," Carroll said.
"We want this team together. We want to see if we can keep this team together. Every decision is difficult that we have to face. Guys at the end of their contracts, those are big issues for us. We love the guys. We love what they do and what they bring and we'd like to keep it together as best we can."
--Carroll said the team enters the offseason extremely healthy.
WR Percy Harvin feels great after the Super Bowl and is ready to enter the offseason program. Harvin played in just three games but delivered explosive plays in limited duty, including an 87-yard kickoff return touchdown against the Broncos.
CB Richard Sherman has a second-degree high-ankle sprain but is already out of his walking boot after being injured in the Super Bowl. It will take several weeks for him to return to full health but it's nothing that should be an ongoing issue.
S Kam Chancellor will have hip hip evaluated but Carroll said there was "nothing imminent" in the way of surgery. Chancellor told Carroll he felt as strong as he had all season after the Super Bowl.
QB Russell Wilson dealt with a sore left shoulder during the middle portion of the season, but Carroll said it didn't affect his play. Carroll said he anticipates Wilson will take another step forward next season.
Carroll said DT Jesse Williams is doing "really well" after knee surgery ended his season in training camp. CB Tharold Simon will have to have his other toe operated on. Simon dealt with a toe issue all offseason that forced him to spend all season on the physically unable to perform list. This procedure will be for the same issue to a toe on his other foot.
LB Korey Toomer is "on his way back" and DE Greg Scruggs "will be back" from knee injuried.
T Russell Okung may require surgery to his toe that was injured most of the season. No decision has yet been made.
WR Sidney Rice has made "an unbelievable recovery" from a torn ACL suffered midseason. Carroll said Rice is "so far ahead of schedule." Rice still may not be back next season without taking a significant reduction to his salary.
DT Michael Bennett says he wants to be back in Seattle "100-percent." He said the process hasn't started yet, however.
"We can go back and win a Super Bowl again with all these guys," Bennett said. "It's a business but I definitely want to be back."
WR Golden Tate also reiterated his comments that he'd be willing to take a little bit of a discount to remain with the Seahawks into the future. Both Tate and Bennett are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents.