March 3, 2014


Directed by David Platt, Kevin Bushman, John Marsh. (2014, 115 min).
NFL Films / Cinedigm Home Entertainment

It’s probably pertinent to point out that I’m from the Pacific Northwest, a region with relatively few pro sports franchises compared to the rest of the country. In fact, there are only three that really matter…the Portland Trailblazers, Seattle Mariners and Seattle Seahawks (sure, there are a couple of pro soccer teams, but only because some folks are still hell-bent on trying to convince Americans to care about soccer). For those of us who live in the blustery, sparsely-populated states of Oregon, Washington and Idaho, the Blazers, Mariners and Hawks are the closest things we have to home teams.

So it’s understandable if one suspects a bit of bias in my praise of this disc, which lovingly recaps the Seahawks’ 2013 championship season, climaxing in the shocking 42-8 route of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. It’s also understandable if anyone living elsewhere doesn’t give a damn about a DVD like this, either because they have their own home teams or resent the overt brashness of the Seahawks (mostly Richard Sherman) during the 2013 season. Then there are the loud, boisterous fans (“The 12th Man“), whose behavior admittedly borders on obnoxious at times (especially when the 49ers visit). Heads and bodies painted green and blue, they fill CenturyLink Field every Sunday with a deafening roar that intimidates all opponents who enter (except the Arizona Cardinals, the only team to leave the Hawks’ Nest with a victory in nearly two years).

Besides, NFL Films produces a disc like this for every championship team. What makes this one so special? My own personal bias notwithstanding, it’s a triumph-of-the-underdog story as dramatic and rousing as any fictional sports film ever made…especially when you take history into account:

  • Since becoming a franchise in 1976, the Seahawks have had more losing seasons than winning ones. Until 2013, they’ve always been underdogs.
  • Prior to 2013, the Seahawks have only made it to the Super Bowl once, predictably losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2005.
  • The Pacific Northwest has always been one of the smaller markets in any professional league. Unless a team is having a stellar year, the amount of media attention has always been pretty small.
  • As a young team on the rise, their 2012 playoff-ending loss to the Atlanta Falcons was heartbreaking. They really had something to prove this year.
  • Prior to 2013, the last time any professional sports team from the Pacific Northwest won a championship was the Seattle Supersonics in 1979, a drought of 35 years. If you take into account the Sonics have-since relocated to Oklahoma City, the only remaining team with a championship under its belt is the 1976 Portland Trailblazers.
  • The weather in the Pacific Northwest is shitty year-round. You may scoff at the Seahawks’ zealous fans, but you can’t deny their dedication when they show up at CenturyLink Field braving sideways rain wearing nothing but body paint.
  • No one expected quarterback Russell Wilson, the 75th pick in the 2012 NFL draft, to amount to anything.
  • Ditto Richard Sherman, the 154th pick in the 2011 draft, who also managed to escape Compton and graduate from Stanford University. You may think he’s a blowhard, but you gotta admit he overcame unbelievable odds to get where he is right now.
  • They played their arch rivals, the San Francisco 49ers three times in 2013. But the Niners aren’t simply rivals because they’re in the same division. Coaches Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh have a somewhat-bitter history dating back to when they coached college teams. And even in 2013, the 49ers were generally still considered the team to beat in the NFC.
  • Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the Hawks are never as boring as they used to be (in the days of 'Ground Chuck').

"Dude...we SO spanked you."
The disc itself is a well-edited summary of every game during the 2013 season, featuring highlights presented as only NFL Films can…dramatic music, sparse-but-authoritative narration, on-field & sideline soundbites and dozens of outstanding defensive & offensive plays lovingly rendered in slow motion. The capper, of course, is Super Bowl XLVIII, where the Hawks played about as flawlessly as any team in NFL history (as a bonus for Hawks fans, there are a lot of shots of a dumbfounded Peyton Manning). It was one of the more lopsided Super Bowl games in recent memory (the outcome was pretty-much decided by halftime), and unless you live up here in the Northwest, will probably go down in history as one of the worst.

Even if you can’t stand the Seahawks, their fans or the bravado of both, if you love the game itself, this disc recaps a phenomenally impressive season, depicting a team where anything less than the Lombardi trophy would have been considered a failure. It’s the perfect souvenir for a nearly-perfect season.

I’ll bet it doesn’t sell many copies in Denver, though.

Super Bowl Media Day
Super Bowl Post-Game Ceremonies
The Richard Sherman Story (which might change how you feel about him)
NFL Game Day Morning: Russell Wilson
The Journey of Pete Carroll (their gum-chomping head coach)
Ken Norton: Back to the Super Bowl
The Derrick Coleman Story

for Broncos or 49ers fans:

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