That was a heartbreaker of an ending to the Seahawks playoff run.
After scoring a big fat bagel the first half of the game against the Falcons, the Seahawks scored three touchdowns in the second half, just edging out the Falcons at 28-27. The Falcons then won it on a field goal.
I watched the game at Georgia Dome, thanks to a girlfriend who scored us a pair of tickets. As the Falcons racked up 20 points in the first half, I kept sinking down in my seat. After the Falcons scored its second touchdown, the man in front turned around and put his hand out for a high five. I stuck a finger in my own chest and said, “Seahawks.”
As I stood up to stretch at halftime, my friend asked whether I was going to go cry in the bathroom.
The second half gave us back our dignity. A small, loud contingent of Seahawks fans in the third tier chanted “defense” as the Seahawks began a fourth quarter drive. Earl Thomas struck fear in the stands at Georgia Dome when he intercepted a Falcons’ pass. I let out a shriek of relief when the Seahawks scored its third touchdown.
While I’m sad that the Seahawks didn’t get to continue their playoff quest, the team that deserved to win won Sunday night’s game.
The Seahawks played half a game. The Falcons played a whole one.
The Seahawks lit a flame of inspiration in the city. This team gave us a season to believe in, as I wrote in my column Wednesday. Russell Wilson, the league’s shortest quarterback, went from a third-round draft pick to a breakout star. A group of young defensive players beat back seasoned teams. I even found myself muttering coach Pete Carroll’s mantra, “Be early, it’s a sign of respect,” while waiting 90 minutes for relatives to show up for dinner in December.
I don’t know if Carroll has a winning formula. If the Seahawks go to the playoffs next year again, we’ll know he does.
I can’t wait for August.
Photo of Georgia Dome: Sharon Pian Chan / The Seattle Times
Update 1/15/13 1:27 p.m.
Here are the highlights of the trip and the game, via social media updates.