Seahawks find MetLife Stadium a warm and fuzzy place
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Instead of snow, the Seahawks experienced only showers -- of encouraging chants. Some of their fans made it across the country and sang "Sea-HAWKS!" at the end of a 23-0 victory over the Giants.
That was the final word Sunday at MetLife Stadium, where the climate proved just fine for a team that has a heck of a chance to be back here in the heart of winter, Feb. 2.
You could say it was a dress rehearsal for the Super Bowl, although the Seahawks (12-2) pointedly did not say that. They don't want to take anything for granted. Still, they are on track to have home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. They made themselves right at home Sunday at the site of this season's championship game.
"I do think that's advantageous to us, because any time you get comfortable with a stadium, get a chance to play there, see the locker room, get the chance to see the city and feel the time- zone change and the weather, it's advantageous to your team," said Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman, who made two of his team's five interceptions and assisted on another one, tipping the ball to Earl Thomas ("I owed him one," Sherman said, noting that he cut Thomas off to pick off Eli Manning's pass at the end of the first half).
Quarterback Russell Wilson had gone so far as to say during the week that he hoped to play in the snow, something he never has done, although he did practice in the stuff at the University of Wisconsin.
"It would have been cool," he said. "[On Saturday], it was just coming down. We probably had eight inches of snow. But it was a beautiful day [Sunday], the sun came out."
Who knows what the conditions will be like during the first outdoor cold-weather Super Bowl? But Wilson and his teammates took pains not to get ahead of themselves after throttling the Giants.
"Yeah, it crosses your mind. Obviously, the Super Bowl is here and everything. But the biggest thing is, as a competitor, you want to block those things out. Ignore the noise and not pay attention to the outside things," said the quarterback and sometime second baseman who last week was flattered but unflustered by the "great opportunity" of being taken by the Texas Rangers in Major League Baseball's Rule 5 draft.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll knows how cold it can get around here, in more ways than one, having coached the Jets during a rocky time. "You might want to forget that," he said with a twinkle in his eye as he looked toward a New York reporter.
"New York is an extraordinary place. In the world of sports, there's nothing more fun than to come here and battle here and compete here," the coach said, reflecting on watching Giants games on a black-and-white TV as a youngster.
Of the Super Bowl, he said, "Just being human about it, of course we know it's here. It's something we're not talking about right now."
Sherman, among the more well-spoken and outspoken players in the NFL, said "there's zero correlation" between Sunday's game and the game on the same field seven weeks later. Then again . . .
"I did like the stadium," he said. "It's a beautiful place and we'd love to be back."