Tag Archives: Red Robin

#10for10 Game #10: Earl’s Coming Out Party (Chargers vs. Seahawks, 2010 Season)

11 Aug

*To commemorate my 10th season as a Seahawks season ticket holder, I am telling the stories of the top 10 home games I have attended in the past 10 years*

After getting back from a scorching hot weekend and disappointing loss in Denver the previous week, I returned home for the second home game of the year and the Seahawks looked to jump out to their first 2-1 start since 2007. I met my friend Jake before the game and we had lunch at Red Robin in downtown Seattle. Unfortunately we were both 20 years old at the time so we were not able to get into the bars around the stadium and pregame like we have in recent years. After finishing our burgers we walked up the waterfront and made our way into the stadium.

At the time the San Diego Chargers were the 4-time defending AFC West champions so this was one of the more attractive games on paper at the start of the season. There was however a thought that the Chargers window of opportunity was starting to close. This was a great chance for the Seahawks to show that they could compete in the NFC West in Pete Carroll’s first season as head coach. In the first half the Seahawks proved they could compete, jumping out to a 10-0 lead at halftime which included the first career interception for rookie safety Earl Thomas. The second half however, is what gives this game a spot on this list.

Photo Credit: Seahawks.com

Photo Credit: Seahawks.com

The second half started with a bang. Leon Washington returned the opening kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown, giving the Seahawks a 17-0 lead. San Diego never gave up, as they took their next drive 80 yards in just over two minutes to cut the Seattle lead to 10. After sacking Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck in the endzone for a safety, the Chargers drove into field goal range and connected on a field goal which cut our lead to 5 heading to the 4th quarter.

The Seahawks kicked a field goal giving them a 20-12 lead but the Chargers drove right back to make things interesting. Philip Rivers connected with Antonio Gates for a 12-yard touchdown, Rivers then completed the 2-point conversion to receiver Legedu Naanee to tie the game at 20-20. After dominating the first part of the game the Seahawks had given the game up and it looks as though San Diego had all the momentum. That momentum was taken right back on the next kickoff. Leon Washington returned the kickoff 99 yards for his second touchdown of the day, giving the Seahawks a 27-20 lead with 6:39 left in regulation. I remember my voice cracking as Leon broke away and when he started to high-step into the endzone Jake and I went absolutely nuts in the stands. With 1:38 left in the game the Chargers had one more chance to tie the game. San Diego drove the ball into the red zone but the game rested on a 4th and 15 with under a minute left to play. Rivers took the snap out of the shotgun, fired across the middle, and the pass was once again picked off by Earl Thomas at the goal line.

10for10 earl

As soon as Thomas jumped the receiver to intercept the pass I could see Pete Carroll throwing his headset off and jumping into the air to celebrate. We did the same at my seats. The Seahawks won what was arguably the most exciting home game of the season on this overcast yet muggy Sunday afternoon.

FINAL: Seahawks 27, Chargers 20

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Making Memories: An NFC Championship Commentary

15 Jan

*On Sunday the Seahawks will host the NFC Championship Game for the second time in franchise history as a part of what I have dubbed “Hate Week Part III” with the San Francisco 49ers. I was in attendance at the first NFC Championship Game in 2006 and I am hoping that this week’s game against the 49ers will be just as, if not more special than the first*

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This was the scene on January 22nd, 2006 as the Seahawks ran out of the tunnel before the 2005 NFC Championship Game.

Pictures sure do say a thousand words, don’t they? 67,000 fans screaming at ear-damaging decibel levels while waving their white rally towels; one of the most amazing sights these eyes have ever seen and been a part of.

This Sunday the Seahawks host the San Francisco 49ers in the 2013 NFC Championship Game in what I believe is the biggest home game in Seahawks history; even bigger than the 2005 NFC Championship Game against the Carolina Panthers.

Pick any Seahawks home game over the past 8 years and I could tell you some detail or memory about it. Every Seahawks game I attend becomes a collection of memories. Some of them are good, some of them are bad, yet every single game I have ever attended is its own unique story.

I can still distinctly remember that cloudy January day in 2006. Sports Radio 950 KJR had done a live broadcast from a pioneer square bar overnight leading all the way up to game time. I had turned the radio on in my room and at a very soft volume and I subconsciously listened to the entire overnight portion of the pregame show while I attempted to sleep. When I woke up in the morning I immediately got dressed into my gameday attire, my 2005 NFC West Champions hat, and my blue Matt Hasselbeck jersey over my white Seahawks sweatshirt. My friend Alan and I headed into downtown where after waiting for at a table at the waterfront Red Robin, we decided to instead walk down to Ivar’s for a fish n’ chips pregame meal. Following lunch we decided to head straight into the stadium and we hung out at our seats in section 302 for two hours as we watched the entire stadium fill up before the Seahawks even concluded on-field warm-ups about 25 minutes before kickoff. I was amazed how full and crazed the stadium was that early. Everybody was at their seats with plenty of time to spare and the mood was utter excitement and confidence, as if there was no doubt that we were going to walk off the field as the 2005 NFC Champions. Following the most beautiful rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner” I had ever heard (performed by the beautiful and talented Carrie Underwood) Alan and I briefly sat down just before kickoff. We knew we had to charge up our lower bodies as we did not sit down for the duration of the game; a feat that has not been repeated in the 82 preseason, regular season, and postseason games I have attended since. Just before kickoff Seahawks owner Paul Allen raised the 12th Man flag; the most epic sports moment I have ever been a part of.

The game went just as everyone in attendance hoped it would. Jerramy Stevens caught a touchdown pass to make the score 7-0 Seahawks and following a Lofa Tatupu interception later in the first quarter, the Seahawks had taken control of the game for good. Starting at this point the 12th Man started several “Super Bowl” chants following every score and timeout. 2 Josh Brown field goals, a Darrell Jackson touchdown catch and two touchdown runs by league MVP Shaun Alexander cemented a 34-14 win as the Seahawks punched their ticket to Super Bowl XL.

An extended postgame fireworks celebration and large quantities of blue and green confetti bathed the entire stadium as the Seahawks and the 12th Man entered full party mode. By the time the clock hit :00 no one had left the stadium and quite frankly no one wanted to. The 12th Man wanted to soak in the greatest moment in the history of Seahawks football for as long as they could. A stage was wheeled to mid-field as Terry Bradshaw of FOX presented Paul Allen, coach Mike Holmgren, Matt Hasselbeck, and Shaun Alexander with the George Halas memorial trophy, emblematic of the champions of the National Football Conference. At the end of ceremony Alexander took the trophy on a victory lap around the stadium to “show everybody” as Terry Bradshaw advised him to do. After the Seahawks left the field and headed back into the locker room Alan and I headed for the gates to head home. My friends are amazed at the selective memory I have for every Seahawks game I have ever attended but I can say with full confidence that there is no game I can remember more clearly than the 2005 NFC Championship Game.

I will be taking my Dad to this year’s NFC Championship game; an event that I am sure will be made a memory for him and me to bond over for years to come. Needless to say this will be a very special moment between the two of us, made even more special since he will not be going to New York with me to attend Super Bowl XLVIII should the Seahawks win this week. I am very excited for him to experience everything an event like the NFC Championship Game has to offer.

When we beat Carolina to get to Super Bowl XL no Seahawks fan went out of their way to make fun of or insult any Panthers fan in attendance, or to make them feel any worse that their team did not make it to the Super Bowl. I realize that our ticket to Super Bowl XLVIII will come at the expense of the one team Seahawks fans hate the most but my ultimate hope is that the same celebratory actions from 2005 repeat themselves this week. I know it would be the sweetest feeling in the world to beat the 49ers to get to the Super Bowl but that should not mean that the 12th Man should go out of their way to emotionally pummel any 49ers fans in attendance. Simply put, this is OUR moment to shine. Do not make it about them. This game and this potential victory should be made all about US by US. If we win, celebrate the win as a Seahawks victory, not a Seahawks victory AND a 49ers loss. make sure to also revel in the amazing scene that will take place following the game. This is an experience that every sports fan dreams of. To everyone lucky enough to attend the 2013 NFC Championship Game, savor every moment and even the smallest little details of your gameday experience because I promise you this will be an event that you will never forget

Review: Seahawks 28, Jets 7

12 Nov

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At the beginning of the season, I took a look at our schedule and I predicted we would be 5-5 going into the bye week. Instead, thanks to the Seahawks win on Sunday over the New York Jets, the Seahawks head into the bye with a 6-4 record. With the exception of one mistake by quarterback Russell Wilson, the Seahawks played a nearly perfect game and dominated the Jets. Here is what I saw out of the Seahawks this week.

Lynch Breaks 1,000: The Jets came into Sunday’s game with one of the worst run defenses in the league. With Marshawn Lynch only needing 119 yards to get to 1,000 total on the season, it seemed reasonable that Lynch could get there this week. Lynch finished the game with 124 rushing yards and a touchdown, putting him at 1,005 yards on the season. Lynch’s 4.6 yards per carry was a good average to have this week. The Jets had a focus on stopping Lynch after contact because a great majority of his rushing yards have come after contact. There were not many big plays from Lynch this week but his 27 carries are a solid number to have to evenly spread the total play distribution. I think the bye comes at a great time for Lynch to relax and rest up so he can be fresh heading into the last six games of the season.

Wilson Makes History: Russell Wilson had another solid game this week, going 12/19 for 188 yards and 2 touchdowns. His only mistake of the game was fumbling the ball in the first quarter which was recovered and returned by Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson for a touchdown. Other than this one play, Wilson played another great game and he made NFL history in the process. Wilson is the first rookie quarterback since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger to win his first 5 home games. “There’s no place like home” Wilson stated before he started his postgame press conference and he is right. With Arizona, San Francisco, and St. Louis the only home games left this season, I would not be surprised if Wilson leads the Seahawks to an 8-0 record at home.

Trick-Or-Treat: The Seahawks opened up the playbook a little bit this week and ran two trick plays. The first was a halfback toss flea flicker. Wilson pitched the ball to Robert Turbin, who then tossed the ball back to Wilson. Wilson then threw a deep ball intended for Sidney Rice which was a little bit underthrown. Rice unfortunately could not make the play. The Seahawks were able to make up for it later on the drive, as Marshawn Lynch scored from one yard out 8 plays later. The second trick play was a beauty. 1st and goal from the Jets 23 yard line; Wilson faked a handoff to Lynch, and then pitched the ball to Golden Tate. Tate then ran to the left and tossed an incredibly slippery football which was caught in the endzone by Sidney Rice for a touchdown. The Seahawks have ran trick plays at all the right times this season it has seemed. I like throwing new wrinkles into the game plan and the coach Carroll and coach Bevell have done a great job deciding when to run these plays. I hope we keep the trick plays and run more of them but I hope we do not abuse the package. Having one or two trick plays per game would be incredibly effective moving forward in my opinion.

We Read Sanchez Like A Book: Like I predicted, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez has a terrible game. Sanchez finished the game 9/22 for 124 yards and one interception. He made a lot of ill-advised throws and his biggest mistake was a triple-clutched pass that was picked off at the goal line by Richard Sherman in the second quarter. Like I predicted in my preview, if we could cover New York’s receivers well and put pressure on Sanchez, he would make unfortunate decisions. This is exactly what happened. Sanchez and the Jets as a whole played a terrible game on offense and they did not score an offensive touchdown. Shonn Greene only ran for 58 yards and Tim Tebow went 3/3 passing for 8 yards and also had 14 yards rushing on 4 carries. The Jets are going to have a difficult time the rest of the season if they perform on offense the way they did against the Seahawks. At the beginning of the season I thought the Jets would only win 5 games. They have won 3 with 7 games remaining on their schedule. I do not think the Jets are serious playoff contenders like head coach Rex Ryan says they are, and after the season they may have to reconsider Mark Sanchez’s place on their team.

Random Thoughts: I went to the Hawks Nest before the game with my dad to drink and watch football. This was the first time all season I prefunked there. Their buffalo wings were the meatiest wings I’ve had in a long time and they were delicious… I got to rock my season ticket holder knit hat this week. It did its purpose keeping my head warm… The military card stunt during the national anthem was really cool. I think there were more people in the stands at the time of the national anthem this year then there were last year… Ed Hochuli was our referee this week and he did a great job explaining all the calls like he always does… It was actually pretty cold up in the upper deck this week, although I was sporting a beer blanket through the entire game… I didn’t see one person wearing a Tim Tebow Jets jersey. I saw someone wearing a Tebow Florida Gators jersey though in my section… We had another Skittles shower after Beast Mode’s touchdown. It never gets old… The starting defense was introduced this week but only 10 players were introduced by my count. K.J. Wright’s spot which was filled this week by Mike Morgan was not announced. Therefore, only two linebackers were introduced… After the game, I had dinner with my dad at Red Robin on the waterfront. I got the whiskey river barbeque burger. It was delicious… During dinner we were tracking the Rams/49ers game which ended in a 24-24 tie. Too funny and I’ll take that over a San Francisco victory, but the Rams had ample opportunities to win. If they had, we would only be ½ game behind San Francisco for the NFC West lead. Instead, I have no idea what the standings look like now.

The Seahawks bye week is this upcoming week. I have not decided whether or not to do a post next weekend because I have two huge papers to write for my classes. If so look for it most likely Saturday. If not, look for my preview of our week 12 game against the Miami Dolphins a week from Saturday. Thanks everyone. Go Seahawks!