Rant: The 12th Man? B.F.D.
For some time now, the sports media has drooled all over itself about the Seattle Seahawks' fans, AKA, the 12th Man. The team itself is so enamored of its supporters it long ago retired the number 12, and a Seattle celebrity—everyone from Ken Griffey, Jr. to Tom Skerritt—raises a "12" banner before every home game.
The noise at Seattle's CenturyLink Stadium makes it a notoriously difficult place for visitors to play; the Seahawks home record since 2012 is 17-1, and last December 2, the 12th Man landed in the Guinness Book of World Records for "loudest crowd roar at a sports stadium" after they hit 137.6 decibels. (That's pretty loud.)
All of which makes us here in Denver say: meh.
You know who else screams really loud? Teenage girls. Chimpanzees in the wild. Townspeople fleeing from zombies.
Sure, Seattle's fans can be intimidating, even if their navy blue and neon green color scheme makes them look like a casting call for the Seussian version of Cats.
But we in Denver should let them have their fun. After all, Seattle only has two professional teams, and one of them is the Mariners.
Here in Denver, of course, we have four major pro squads, each with its own uniquely passionate fan base. But the addition of the Avalanche, Nuggets, and Rockies to our athletic landscape hasn't shaken the Broncos' half-century stranglehold on number one. If anything, the orange-and-blue mania gets stronger by the year.
So let all those cute little 12th Men shriek as loud as they want. Their magic number may be 137.6, but the Broncos' is 44-and-counting. That's how many consecutive seasons the team has played in front of sellout crowds in Denver—meaning we were bringing it, loud and proud, for seven years before the Seahawks were even born.
Seattleites should be congratulated for their recent enthusiasm. But we in Denver will only be impressed if they can keep it going for another three or four decades.
Rave: Super Bowl Prediction Time
- Noise is a non-factor.
- The weather holds, and the playing surface stays true.
- The Broncos mix up their sets and routes enough to neutralize Seattle's physical D-backs and free up one or more receivers on most plays.
- And they continue to make sure Peyton Manning's uniform stays clean.
- Knowshon Moreno and Monte Ball protect the football and keep Seattle's defense off balance.
- The Broncos' defense has a tough time with Marshawn Lynch but doesn't let him run wild.
- Russell Wilson makes some plays, but the Seattle coaches never turn him loose and instead try to execute a deliberate, conservative game plan.
- Final score: Broncos 27 - Seahawks 23
- MVP: Demaryius Thomas
—Image courtesy of Shutterstock
Follow 5280 articles editor Luc Hatlestad on Twitter at @LucHatlestad.
Tags: Tom Skerritt, the 12th Man, Russell Wilson, Peyton Manning, NFL Super Bowl XLVIII, Monte Ball, Marshawn Lynch, Knowshon Moreno, Ken Griffey Jr., Guinness Book of World Records, Demaryius Thomas, CenturyLink Stadium
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