Young Seahawks make Super Bowl landing after rousing sendoff

Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:50pm EST
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Seattle Seahawks landed at Newark Airport on Sunday with a blue "12th Man" banner stuck out the cockpit window after the NFC champions were given a rousing sendoff by thousands of fans backing their bid for a first Super Bowl crown.

Thousands of raucous green and blue clad fans lined the streets back home as buses headed to the airport carrying the team that will face Denver and quarterback Peyton Manning next Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

"We had an extraordinary sendoff," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said at the team's opening news conference after a ride from the airport to their Jersey City hotel.

"The 12s were out there in full force. The bus could only go about two miles an hour because they had swarmed into the streets. They were pounding on the bus and everything. It was extraordinarily fun for everybody to see. Very cool."

First off the plane that rolled into a private hanger was Seattle's bruising running back Marshawn Lynch, wearing sparkling gold head phones and a "Beast Mode" sweatshirt proclaiming his well-earned nickname.

Seattle brings the National Football League's top-ranked defense into the title tilt, spearheaded by a suffocating secondary that will go against Denver's league-leading offense.

The Seahawks are the second-youngest team to play in the Super Bowl in terms of average age, but they do not lack confidence.

"They have a little more experience in it than we do," said cornerback Richard Sherman, surrounded by reporters and cameramen hanging on his every word following his post-game rant after Seattle's NFC title win over the San Francisco 49ers.   Continued...

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll speaks during a news conference after the team's arrival for Super Bowl XLVIII against the Denver Broncos in Jersey City, New Jersey, January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Adam Hunger