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Seahawks greeted like heroes at Seattle parade

They call it the first professional sports title for the city of Seattle in 35 years. This is not technically accurate.

The Seattle Storm captured WNBA championships in both 2004 and 2010. Do you want to tell WNBA Finals MVP Betty Lennox that Seattle's drought ended at Super Bowl XLVIII? We didn't think so.

That said, Betty and the Storm never captured the imagination of a region like the 2013 Seahawks, who turned an entire city into a party on Wednesday. The Seattle Police Department announced that 700,000 people crammed downtown for the Seahawks' victory parade. That's 700,000 people in a city with a population of 660,000 people.

This was a team that struck a big grungy power chord with the city it called home.

Seattle leaders didn't shut down the public school system, but they probably should have. KIRO-TV reported that 565 teachers and 13,523 students were reported absent on Wednesday. One of those truant teachers told KIRO that the parade itself was "an education moment." Whatever gets you through the night, lady.

The local news coverage (aired concurrently on NFL Network) was a treat. Local jargon is king. Fans were casually referenced as "the 12s." One reporter announced in a proud tone that "they set sound records over at the Clink this year." The Clink! This all came during endless segments in which reporters had their live TV capabilities stretched to the limit while waiting for the Seahawks to rumble by on amphibious assault vehicles.

The parade route was not stifled by temperatures in the 30s. Marshawn Lynch (who's just the best) fired packs of Skittles into the crowd from the front of a duck boat and reached desperately for Fireball being passed around the crowd. Russell Wilson waved to the audience like a sitting president. Richard Sherman fashioned a pair of sunglasses straight from the '92 Canseco collection.

The route ended at the CenturyLink Field, where tens of thousands of fans packed the building to greet their conquering heroes. Another 27,000 fans were watching the welcome party from across the street at Safeco Field. Think about that: Fans were willing to cheer for their team from a different stadium. That's dedication.

Pete Carroll took the podium and led the CenturyLink crowd in a loud "Sea-HAWKS" chant. He then offered a promise that had the players jumping and the crowd losing it.

"They have come together to do something very special and it's just not one year," Carroll said of his players. "We're just getting warmed up. You know what I'm talking about."

Carroll didn't have to spell it out. This was a big moment for the 12s. Now the team -- and the city -- wanted more.

*"The Around The League Podcast" recapped Super Bowl XLVIII live from MetLife Stadium right after the game. *

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