The unofficial loudest Seahawks fan at the Silver Reef Event Center for the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 1, summed it up before the final ticks went off the clock in Glendale, Ariz.
“This is brutal,” said Katrel Trott, moments after the would-be game-winning pass for the Seahawks was intercepted, taking what looked like victory and turning it suddenly, incomprehensibly, into defeat.
Wearing Seahawks-logo eyeblack stickers and an old-school Shaun Alexander jersey, Trott collapsed into his chair near one of the 20-foot screens. He was asked if the heart-shattering 28-24 Seahawks loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX could be explained by the team’s final play on offense.
“Yeah,” he said, still staring at the jumbo screen in disbelief. “It was all about the call.”
In the moments after the game ended, fans exiting the casino could be heard criticizing the pass play called when Seattle was only feet from the goal line, and when the Seahawks had probably the toughest short-yardage running back in the world in Marshawn Lynch.
If the last time the Seahawks lost the Super Bowl, almost 10 years ago, was about the referees stealing the game, then Seahawks fans will have something different to chew on after this game, Gary Johnson said.
Johnson, who sat at one of the two $250 VIP tables occupied by employees at Mills Electric, has been a Seahawks fan since shortly after the team started in 1976. He was wearing what he called his “Chuck Knox” cap, referring to the team’s head coach from 1983-91.
“The only question Seahawks fans will ask over the next 10 years is, ‘How come they didn’t hand it to Marshawn Lynch?’” Johnson said.
Still, fans had a lot of opportunities to cheer during the game.
After a leaping touchdown grab by Seahawks’ wide receiver Chris Matthews tied the game with 2 seconds left in the first half, the crowd of 500 or so went for decibel levels to rival those at CenturyLink Field.
The touchdown came 29 seconds after New England had taken the lead.
“I was not counting on that,” Trott said of the quick score before halftime. “That was beautiful.”
“I called it on the Internet,” Johnson said at halftime: “Matthews would make an impact.” The rookie also recovered the onside kick late in the NFC Championship game that contributed to the Seahawks’ come-from-behind win to get them into the Super Bowl.
By halftime, the game had already looked very different from last year’s Super Bowl, which was never in doubt as the ’Hawks won 43-8.
“It’s a boxing match,” Johnson said, “and I hope Marshawn delivers the knockout blow.”
The stage was set for Johnson’s ending, but coach Pete Carroll called a pass instead.
Just about everybody at the Silver Reef’s Big Sunday Football Party would have much preferred Johnson’s script.