Seattle Seahawks' Super Bowl victory parade draws some 700,000 fans

Wed Feb 5, 2014 6:38pm EST
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By Jonathan Kaminsky

SEATTLE (Reuters) - An estimated 700,000 Seattle Seahawks fans braved sub-freezing temperatures to celebrate the football team's first Super Bowl title at a parade that wound through the city's downtown on Wednesday.

The Seahawks trounced the usually high-scoring Denver Broncos, 43-8, on Sunday to win their first National Football League championship in franchise history.

It was a particularly sweet triumph for a city whose previous major professional men's sports team championship came a generation ago, when the SuperSonics captured the National Basketball Association's crown in 1979. That team left for Oklahoma City in 2008.

Kicking off before noon and running for about two hours, the parade was slowed by the larger-than-anticipated crowd - with some fans perched in trees and atop pillars - that transformed downtown Seattle into a sea of blue and green, the team's colors. Police estimated the crowd at 700,000 strong.

"I've never seen a community come together like this," said Tyler Olsen, 29, a Seattle-area high school math teacher who took the day off to watch the procession. "It's an overwhelming sense of joy."

Shortly after the parade commenced, the crowd burst into an ear-splitting roar as part of a statewide "moment of LOUDNESS" proclaimed a day earlier by Governor Jay Inslee.

In a nod to the team's fans, collectively known as the "12th Man" for their opponent-rattling rumbling during home games, the organized screaming occurred at 12:12 p.m.

As fans cheered them along the route, players and coaches danced and waved from slow-moving amphibious World War Two-era Duck vehicles normally used by tourists, with star running back Marshawn Lynch throwing his preferred candy, Skittles, into the crowd.   Continued...

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (C) celebrates with fans during the NFL team's Super Bowl victory parade in Seattle, Washington February 5, 2014. REUTERS/Ben Nelms