Cheers resounded throughout downtown Bellingham as Seahawks fans watched their team score again and again against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Feb. 2, clinching their spot as Super Bowl XLVIII champs - the first Super Bowl win in franchise history.
Early in the day, with the smell of Skittles in the air, 40 or so Hawks fans young and old gathered to watch the big game at the "12th Mann," the ultimate personal hangout created by north Bellingham couple Denise and Brad Mann.
The blue walls in the large home addition, which the couple built in 2011, are filled with neon Seahawks beer signs, photos and other game memorabilia. On the off chance someone might forget which team reigns supreme in the Mann home, every nook and cranny, light switch and shower curtain - even the blades of the ceiling fans - are covered in Hawks logos. The bathroom in the Mann cave is complete with a flat screen television mounted above the urinal (yes, a urinal), just so fellow fans don't have to miss a second of the action when they rush to recycle the beverages they've been gulping down while enjoying the game.
"We call it the best sports bar in Bellingham," Denise said.
Within moments of the start of the first quarter, the announcers' voices echoed around the room via the built-in surround sound while fans threw their fists in the air. Later, after a false start for the Seahawks, hands flew to faces in concern; hats came off as a few men wiped sweat from their foreheads. The mood quickly lifted again as Seattle continued to score and hold Denver at 0 points.
Meanwhile, fans decked out in their Seattle-best gathered at New York Pizza and Bar on North State Street to watch the game unfold.
After the Hawks returned an incredible 69-yard interception to score a touchdown in the final moments of the second quarter, Clement Stevens and other fans ran between the tables, slapping high fives with other devotees up and down the bar.
"It was crazy," Stevens said. "I thought Peyton Manning was going to be more of a force."
The lone soul in the bar wearing an orange shirt, Lenny Marandino, said he usually winds up rooting for whichever team is not the most popular where he lives. Marandino said he hated the Patriots when he lived in New England, and got grief for it there. Sunday night Marandino said he was enjoying the playful jabs back and forth with a Seahawks fan at a nearby table.
"We wanted a lively crowd, and I've been having fun with these guys," Marandino said. "(The Broncos) as a team just did not show up tonight."
The sound of fireworks, car horns and expletive-laden phrases shouted by ecstatic fans continued well into the evening after the Hawks finished out the game with a final score of 43-8. Enthusiastic and drunk adults spilled into the streets to express their joy over the outcome, with repeated calls back and forth of "Sea" - "Hawks."
Reach Samantha Wohlfeil at Samantha.Wohlfeil@bellinghamherald.com.