I'm trying to concentrate amidst all the noise and excitement, and I'm irritated that she sticks this glass heart into my shot right as I'm on the air.
When I'm done, I turn to her and she holds it out again. "What is it?" I say.
She looks me straight in the eye and says, "It's my Grandma Lindsay. Those are her ashes in there. She loved the Seahawks. And I promised her before she died that if they ever got to the Super Bowl again I'd make sure she got there."
That's what kind of week it's been.
I was at the Super Bowl in 2006, and the fans were great. It was a first for everybody. But this is something entirely different. There is a new look in the eyes of the Seahawk-faithful who've made the pilgrimage to the Promised Land.
Not the bloodshot bleariness. Not the tired lines. But a kind of love bordering on desperation.
It's that same wild-eyed look that all the warriors had when Mel Gibson got 'em to charge down the hill in Braveheart. Mostly, I think it's just plain old happiness.
I'll never forget what I saw inside Carlow East last night. The bar filled up at 8 a.m., that's 5 a.m. Seattle time.
One guy told me he'd been awake for 36 hours.
I said, "When are you going to get some sleep?" He said, "When we win the Super Bowl." And I believed him.
There was a crazy, edge-of insanity feeling in the bar, and that was before Blue Thunder showed up. When they charged into the joint, drums blazin', I thought the 12th Man was going to tear the place apart, brick-by-brick.
It was throbbing in there. People were bouncing up and down, and screaming and sweating, and the drums were so loud you thought your head would explode.
People had their arms around each other with their fists pumping in the air, with these looks on their faces like it was the last night of their lives. And every time you made eye contact with someone their wild-eyed expression said the same thing: "Can you BELIEVE this?"
And it didn't stop. For the entire night.
I don't want to rub it in for those of you who didn't make the trip. I really don't. But the truth is, what's happening right now in New York will live forever in the lore of Seattle, and the Pacific Northwest.
Those of us who went to Washington State University always used to hear legendary tales about the week-long bash that erupted when Mt. St. Helens blew its top. Kathi Goertzen used to love to talk about it. I used to wish I'd been there for that. I still do.
I believe the stories about this week will slowly evolve from anecdote to fond memory to local legend. And you'll wish you were here too. Because I'm here to tell ya, brother, it is something else.
Out in Times Square this week, I asked a guy named Greg Kelly why he made the trip. "The kids," he said, with his hand on one of their heads. "This is the biggest thing that's ever happened in their life."
And it got me thinking. There's a whole generation of kids in Seattle who will remember Beast Mode, Sherman, and Wilson the same way a different generation remembers The Big Unit and Griffey and Edgar. They'll talk about it for the rest of their time on earth as "the biggest thing that's ever happened in their life."
Seahawk fans are everywhere in New York. Thousands of 12th men and women, wearing their jerseys and their scarves, hugging strangers, high-fiving, hootin' and hollering, storming around like Viking warriors. In their own minds, they're blue-clad conquering heroes. It's as if they are the ones who will pull on plastic pads tomorrow and do battle. Like they're really on the team.
And here's why: Because unlike any other fans anywhere, they are on the team.
That's the genius of what the Seahawks organization has done. 12th Man thing means that they didn't bring 48 players to the Big Apple. They brought thousands.
Tomorrow they'll all file into a big arena and watch a bunch of guys play football. They'll scream their guts out. They'll stomp and cheer and pray for miracles. They'll drink and swear and laugh and cry.
Then when it's all done they'll all go home and sleep for a week. But it won't be over. It'll never be over. This party, this place, this crazy fever that has swept up an entire region will be talked about forever.
Because I'm here to tell you, brother, it's been something else!