Can The Seahawks Win It All Again Next Year?
"What an intense experience that was," says KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel.
He could've been talking about the Seahawks 43-8 blowout win over the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday. Or he could've been talking about the 700,000+ fans who packed downtown Seattle and CenturyLink Field for a victory parade and rally on Wednesday.
Those two events combined to create the most exciting week ever in Seattle sports history.
Super Bowl Sensory Overload
Art was inside MetLife Stadium for the Super Bowl, and says the game was "crazy."
"The dominance [of the Seahawks] was amazing," he said. "Then of course, there's such spectacle, such noise, such energy in the building for something like that, it just sort of vibrates."
They Came From All Over
Then came the victory parade. Art says he was amazed to encounter so many people from outside of Seattle.
"That's one of the things I discovered walking early in the parade near Pioneer Square. I met a guy from Idaho and I talked to somebody from Alaska. I knew from doing a little Vancouver radio that there were dozens of fans from Canada coming down, maybe hundreds. The Seahawks are extremely popular in British Columbia," he said.
"All of these people sold out every hotel room in downtown Seattle. That whole experience was extraordinary," Art said. "Unprecedented in the civic history of Seattle to have that many people that packed in a very tight downtown and all with the same passion, all with the same emotions, sharing this community touchstone that will forever be part of their lives."
Art says this was one for the history books.
"It really was a special day in terms of sports history and civic history, as well as the emotions that each fan felt in trying to connect as they could with the players and the coaches who were part of the parade. It was really a day to be proud of," he said.
Can They Keep It Together?
Art thinks the team has "a very good chance" of staying mostly intact for next season and having another Super Bowl run.
"But they are going to have to make some tough decisions on free agents as Golden Tate, Michael Bennett, Breno Giacomini. Some of these guys are going to have to be cut just because they make too much money, and others will take pay cuts to stay here," Art said.
NFL Wants Parity
Art says the NFL makes it difficult to repeat Super Bowl titles because the league emphasizes parity.
"They want to give every team a reasonable chance at success. That works against the Seahawks a little bit but they have done such a good job at finding players who are overlooked and coaching them up to their strengths and limiting their weaknesses," Art said.
"I give the benefit of the doubt to [coach] Pete Carroll and [general manager] John Schneider. They know how to assemble a team. And if they can't keep everybody they're going to find replacements for people who are key to the enterprise. And I think sustainability is entirely possible with this management, this owner and this team."