Sometimes I do rash and impulsive things, like deciding with my groomsman to go to the NFC Championship game between "our" San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks... over 800 miles away. Thank goodness for 3 day holiday weekends! Here are the photos of our ultimately fruitless adventure.
When you're deep in enemy territory, you tend to notice things like this (seen at a McDonald's somewhere in Washington).
Three Seahawks fans who happen to be related to me (my godmother / great-aunt and great-uncle and their daughter) were kind enough to put my buddy and me up for the night.
Adrian left his Idaho jersey at home, but remembered to bring his Montana jersey. Ba dum tss....
Yours truly, on the light rail, about 12 times cheaper than parking downtown (honestly, we saw $60 signs).
Joe Cool apparently doesn't think much of Russell Wilson.
Downtown Seattle as seen from light rail, with Safeco Field (Mariners) and CenturyLink Field (Seahawks).
Why yes, that's the 12 banner on the Columbia Center (aka Bank of America Tower).
Good amount of Niners red outside the park.
Her sign says, "One ticket needed; Flew in from Denver to see Hawks win!" For the record, we secured our tickets BEFORE making travel plans.
Worst guy, ever. Will his offer still stand after Feb. 2?
Approaching the stadium.
Adrian vs. the world.
"Bring it, 12s!"
I'm much more subdued (I did all of the driving thus far, and didn't sleep any after arriving). I'm still pumped, however.
Drum corp flair.
Notice the 12 on the Jenga-like building.
That would be a lot of people amassed in the lower concourse.
"Welcome to Seattle; just know that if we lose, I know where you live and where your kids go to school." Ok then...
I was wondering how prominent these guys would be.
These banners remind me that the last Big 4 champions in Seattle were the 1978-79 Seattle Supersonics. Before that, it was the 1917 Seattle Metropolitans, the first American team to win the Stanley Cup. Both teams are currently defunct. But hey, the WNBA Seattle Storm won in 2004 and 2010, so there's that.
Two wild and crazy guys...
Small world = we get to our seats, and Adrian (who teaches political science at a local college) gets spotted by one of his old students a few seats over.
Our boys in the pregame warm-ups. Note Colin Kaepernick with the ball.
Seattle's squad has a little more swagger.
Notice NaVorro Bowman on the 30 yard line, obviously pre-injury.
Jim Harbaugh examines his team from the goal line.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll can be seen in the center of this photo.
And in this photo, Carroll can be seen talking with 49er Aldon Smith.
Move soldiers, move...
I wonder if they took out their earplugs for this part.
The Denver Broncos did indeed win earlier in the day (actually, probably right around the time this photo was taken).
Wide angle view from our seats. Nosebleeds, but sideline nosebleeds. We actually liked our vantage point.
And SPEAKING of nosebleeds = this guy right next to Adrian got an actual nosebleed, in the nosebleeds!
Something tells me this guy isn't pointing out the direction the Niners are running.
All hail Richard Sherman, d-bag.
Stars and stripes...
Ann Wilson of Heart sang the anthem.
Russell Wilson and crew square off against the Niners' D.
I guess that talk with Pete Carroll paid off, as Aldon Smith forces a fumble, and the Niners recover.
Kaepernick passes to Michael Crabtree, as Brandon Mebane tries to block it.
Kaepernick rushes up the middle.
Niners are forced to settle for a field goal (kicked by Phil Dawson).
Notice the hand reaching up at the ball.
Troll hair in the stands.
The field goal was the only scoring play of the first quarter.
LaMichael James exits the game after getting creamed by Ricardo Lockette (though he later returns).
Anthony Dixon leaps into the end zone to send the Niners up 10-0 (after being 4th and 1).
Unfortunately, Mike Iupati rolled his ankle, sending him out of the game permanently.
Niners are doing well at this point, though at a significant price.
Harbaugh and team watch from the sidelines.
Seattle has a ferris wheel now? (The Seattle Great Wheel, on Elliott Bay)
Port of Seattle, in the other direction.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis were the halftime entertainment.
Adrian and his young friend get a little cocky going into the third quarter up 10-3.
Well, poop. Marshawn Lynch makes a 40-yard touchdown to tie the game.
In perhaps his finest moment of the night, Colin Kaepernick gets ready to pass to Anquan Boldin.
Who catches it in the endzone. Little did we know that these would be the final points of the game (minus the PAT).
Nice nice... so we thought.
The 49ers were up by four going into the 4th quarter.
Russell Wilson gets ready to pass to Jermaine Kearse.
And just like that, 76 seconds into the 4th quarter, Seattle gets its first lead of the game.
At this point my blood pressure wasn't doing so well.
The Niners defense forces Russell Wilson into fumbling the ball on 4th and 1, and though Michael Robinson recovers it, Seattle can't go up 27-17.
On that play, however, NaVorro Bowman was horrifically injured. We didn't realize the extent until looking at our phones.
This was extremely bad for the Niners, and not just in this game.
The Seahawks' Legion of Boom is cocksure, that's for sure (note Richard Sherman at left).
After throwing an interception, Kaepernick is back with the ball with roughly 90 seconds remaining.
Vernon Davis catches Kaepernick's pass for a first down with 55 seconds remaining.
Adrian's reaction to the final interception, which I mercifully didn't get on camera, in which Richard Sherman blocks Michael Crabtree, popping the ball up for Malcolm Smith.
The Seattle Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl.
And that's a wrap. At least the light rail going back to my godmother's was pretty mellow... sigh.
And at least Adrian got to meet attractive Niners fans.
One look back...
And then we march forward, into the gloom of the offseason.
We drove that night down to Eugene, Oregon, where we had breakfast with my Orthodox godparents (yes, I have godparents from different points of my life).
Mount Shasta, which decided to show itself unlike Mount Rainier.
If I believed in pagan sports gods, I would say they were mocking us at Carl's Jr. in Redding.
In closing, go Broncos.