Buhner revels in Seahawks' Super Bowl win
Former Mariners star beyond excited following Seattle's first NFL title
Jay Buhner is a Mariners legend and a resident of of Issaquah, Wash., a suburban town about 20 minutes east of Seattle where the mayor legally changed the name to "12saquah" for Sunday in honor of the Seahawks' appearance in Super Bowl XLVIII and their famous "12th Man" fans.
Buhner went to a friend's house to watch the game in a plush home theater, and he wore the personalized No. 12 Seahawks jersey the team gave him after inviting him to fly the 12th Man flag prior to the team's regular-season game against the Rams.
Buhner had a good feeling his favorite football team would handle the Denver Broncos and bring back the first Vince Lombardi Trophy in franchise history. He had no idea it would turn out the way it did -- a 43-8 dismantling of Denver and a powerful display by the NFL's top defense in the 2013 season against the premier statistical offense and quarterback (Peyton Manning) in a single season in league history.
"It's like we watched the whole first half on one breath," Buhner said.
"Things were going great right from the get-go, and then you're thinking, 'I don't want to jinx it, I don't want to say anything too soon.' But then [kick returner] Percy [Harvin] runs back that kickoff to open the second half and it's 29-0 and you're reading the body language of the Broncos, and you could tell it was done. Just unreal."
Buhner was on the 1995 Mariners team that came back from an 2-0 deficit to win the best-of-five American League Division Series against the Yankees, a monumental sports moment that effectively saved baseball in Seattle and led to the construction of Safeco Field, which sits next to the Seahawks' home, CenturyLink Field.
Buhner said the Seahawks' magical run this year brought back memories of that time, when an entire city lived with every pitch, and now every snap.
"I'm so thankful that this happened," Buhner said. "We needed a winner so bad. So many people stepped forward. To bring a championship back to this city is incredible. And they did it right. It's a first-class organization, Pete Carroll is a great coach, John Schneider is a great general manager, and what can you say? There's a parade in Seattle on Wednesday. Incredible."
It's a good thing Buhner doesn't play baseball anymore, because he might have accrued some disabled list time after his in-game celebration Sunday.
"I jammed my thumb because I missed a high-five," Buhner said. "Everyone was running all over the room, screaming their heads off. It was nuts. The game never seemed to be in doubt at all. I went and got another plate of food and a glass of wine because I wasn't worried about missing something.
"They had the game totally in hand from the kickoff, basically."
Buhner said he hopes the Mariners feed off the energy of the Seahawks and build a winner again soon. He also said he's never seen anything quite like the 12th Man fans.
"People all around the country and all around the world know how crazy the 12th man is now," Buhner said. "And this team sets the bar for a lot of years to come. What they've been able to do with their athletes and drafting and what we saw tonight … it could be very exciting in this city for a lot of years.
"We were the deal for a lot of years up here, and now it's the Seahawks. Hopefully the Mariners will get back there soon, too."