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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 30, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 05
OUTBOUND: Seattle Seahawks get super-sized send off to Arizona
Arts & Entertainment
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OUTBOUND: Seattle Seahawks get super-sized send off to Arizona

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Thousands of enthusiastic Seattle Seahawks fans lined both sides of South 188th Street, and crammed the intersection of International Boulevard and South 188th Street on the morning of January 25 to catch a glimpse of the Super Bowl-bound team as they arrived at Sea-Tac Airport en route to Arizona.

The 12th Man, as supporters of the football franchise are called, began flocking to the airport bright and early last Sunday, clogging fast food parking lots, sidewalks, and pathways leading into the airport's main terminal. The scene was quite festive; blue and green-clad fans threw footballs to one another, blasted Motley Crue songs from their car stereos, waved colorful banners, and lit fireworks in anticipation of the Seahawks' arrival at the Delta Air Lines hangar at the south end of the airport.

A four-bus caravan carrying players, coaches, and other team personnel left the Seahawks headquarters in Renton at 9:40 a.m., where they had completed a TSA security screening allowing them to board their plane directly after disembarking their buses, although several players, including cornerback Richard Sherman, chose to greet a privileged group of about 200 fans, most of them Delta employees, that were awaiting them inside the hangar. Select media, including Seattle Gay News, were also invited to give the NFC Champions a proper send-off.

Delta is the official airline of the Seattle Seahawks and they transported the team on Sunday aboard a 767-400ER (used mainly for long-haul international flights) to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Although it was a charter flight, the aircraft itself is part of the airline's current fleet and went back into rotation after unloading the team in Arizona. The football squad's staff coordinated the seating arrangement during the flight, and with only 40 Business Elite lie-flat seats up for grabs, it's anyone's guess as to where star players like Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch sat for the short 2 hour and 20-minute trip.

Many of the players wore suits and ties with dress slacks, but a few opted for sweatpants and hoodies, notably Sherman, who approached supporters in workout gear and a pair of headphones covering his ears. Wide Receiver Doug Baldwin, wearing a casual all-black ensemble with headphones wrapped around his neck, kindly posed for photos with various energetic fans and airport workers.

Before closing the airplane door, Delta flight attendants waved a light blue-colored 12th Man flag out to the crowd, which was met with a thunderous cheer.

If the Seahawks prevail this weekend in their quest for back-to-back Super Bowl championships, an event similar to Sunday morning is planned for Monday. Get there early.

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