Seattle celebrates rare title

GENE JOHNSON Associated Press Published:

SEATTLE (AP) -- For a city accustomed to losing not just games, but teams, the Seattle Seahawks' dominant Super Bowl win provided a long overdue catharsis, buoying the spirits of a fan base that hasn't always had much to cheer about.

Fans poured into the Seahawks team store on Monday at CenturyLink Field to buy championship T-shirts and hats, parents made plans to pull their kids out of school for Wednesday's parade, and staff at The Seattle Times donned aprons to help hawk some of the extra 106,000 copies printed with "Champs!" emblazoned on the front page.

"I spent a little bit of money this morning, but it's priceless," said Julie Keim, who bought 11 shirts at $28 apiece and 11 hats at $35 apiece for the staff at her maritime-training school in the north Seattle suburb of Edmonds. "There's so many players to be proud of on this team."

The Seahawks returned Monday evening to Sea-Tac Airport, with players exiting the plane to cheers.

The Seahawks' 43-8 manhandling of the Denver Broncos on Sunday gave the city its first major men's sports championship since the SuperSonics won the NBA title in 1979 -- and helped erase some of the lingering bitterness over the Sonics' 2008 departure for Oklahoma City, where the team became the Thunder.

In fact, before Sunday, Seattle's two major professional championships were in sports in which the city no longer competes -- hockey and basketball. The Seattle Metropolitans won the 1917 Stanley Cup before folding in 1924.

Unlike fans of some other championship-starved teams -- say, the Chicago Cubs or the pre-2004 Boston Red Sox -- Seahawks faithful haven't had the Bulls, Celtics, Blackhawks or Bruins to cheer for.

Fans launched fireworks, blared horns and partied across the city as the final seconds of the Super Bowl ticked away. The celebration lasted into the night.

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