Seahawks v. Packers, NFC Championship game

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (15) is surrounded by fans and teammates following his NFC Championship game winning touchdown catch against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (15) is surrounded by fans and teammates following his NFC Championship game-winning touchdown catch against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

So after quite an odyssey of a season for the Seahawks, their home schedule concluded with the team it began against, the Green Bay Packers. When they were 3-3 in October, myself and virtually every other NFL-sentient being thought it was nearly impossible they would host the NFC championship game at the end of the season.

As you may have heard by now, the Seahawks ended up having one of the most improbable comebacks in NFL playoffs history on Sunday. It was a remarkable experience to be in the stadium. For about 3/4ths of the game, the stadium had the energy of a funeral parlor. It was as bleak as I can ever remember, and things were bad not really all that long ago. But after the fake field goal touchdown at the end of the third, things started getting rolling, especially the last four minutes, which were unlike any sports event I’ve ever attended or covered. Perhaps the 1993 deciding game five between the Sonics and Jazz that I saw with my Dad which had a striking reversal of fortune (look at the scoring by quarter), but that was an early playoffs series and doesn’t carry nearly the weight of the Seahawks-Packers NFC championship bout.
Ok, less Seattle sports history and more photos, right?

Richard Sherman, looking dapper:

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) walks to the locker room before the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) walks to the locker room before the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) walks on to the field before the NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) walks on to the field before the NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas (29) is introduced before the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas (29) is introduced before the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin (89) stands on the field before  the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin (89) stands on the field before the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

I was part of a team of four other shooters for USATSI, and we divided the field up into quarters. I was assigned end zone safety duty, which can be really good, or really bad if the play is at the other end of the field, since you have to stay put just in case of long interception return. For me, it was pretty bad, the action seemed to be on the other end of the field for nearly the entire first half:

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) turns to the crowd to celebrate his interception during the first quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) turns to the crowd to celebrate his interception during the first quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) celebrates his interception during the first quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) celebrates his interception during the first quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) celebrates his interception during the first quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) celebrates his interception during the first quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The crowd reaction salvages this sequence to make it semi-usable. I wish I was a little closer than 120 yards away and you could see the players’ faces a little better, however.

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson (87) drops a touchdown pass while under coverage from Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane (20) during the first quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson (87) drops a touchdown pass while under coverage from Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane (20) during the first quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) rushes against the Green Bay Packers during the first quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) rushes against the Green Bay Packers during the first quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seahawks briefly moved the ball in the first quarter while the sun was out, and I had some nice backlit rain and rim light on the players to stand out from the shaded stands.

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor (31) tackles Green Bay Packers tight end Richard Rodgers (89) after Rodgers made a reception during the first quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor (31) tackles Green Bay Packers tight end Richard Rodgers (89) after Rodgers made a reception during the first quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor (31) tackles Green Bay Packers tight end Richard Rodgers (89) after Rodgers made a reception during the first quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor (31) tackles Green Bay Packers tight end Richard Rodgers (89) after Rodgers made a reception during the first quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Kam Chancellor had a classic bone-rattling hit, too! If I was greedy, I’d wish the players had been a little more wet so there would have been more backlit spray coming off, but I’m not, so I’ll just say I’m cool with what I have.

Occasionally the ball would be closer to my end of the field, but never for very long.

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) passes against the Seattle Seahawks during the first quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) passes against the Seattle Seahawks during the first quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) passes against the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) passes against the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Are your eyes glazing over, too? How about a photo of genius of strategy, Packers coach Mike McCarthy, in action?

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy calls a play against the Seattle Seahawks during the second quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy calls a play against the Seattle Seahawks during the second quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Ok, that above photo is too much. How about Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin, attempting to make a catch:

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin (89) jumps for a pass against Green Bay Packers cornerback Casey Hayward (29) during the second quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin (89) jumps for a pass against Green Bay Packers cornerback Casey Hayward (29) during the second quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Or some reactions to an interception thrown by Aaron Rodgers, King Discount Double Check?

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell (41) celebrates his interception against the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell (41) celebrates his interception against the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) walks off the field following a second quarter interception against the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) walks off the field following a second quarter interception against the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Or Beast Mode, running back Marshawn Lynch:

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) rushes against the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) rushes against the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Halftime!

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Alice In Chains guitarist Mike Inez, left, and singer William DuVall perform during halftime of the NFC Championship game between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Alice In Chains guitarist Mike Inez, left, and singer William DuVall perform during halftime of the NFC Championship game between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

More Beast Mode in the second half:

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) rushes against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) rushes against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) rushes against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) rushes against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) rushes against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) rushes against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) passes against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) passes against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seahawks defense was a bit more stiff in the second half, yielding only two field goals and harassed a gimpy Aaron Rodgers.

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril (56) sacks Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during the third quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril (56) sacks Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during the third quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) holds his leg following a play against the Seattle Seahawks during the third quarter  in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) holds his leg following a play against the Seattle Seahawks during the third quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril (56) celebrates after a third quarter sack against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril (56) celebrates after a third quarter sack against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril (56) celebrates with Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (54) after a third quarter sack by Avril against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril (56) celebrates with Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (54) after a third quarter sack by Avril against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor (31) tackles Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy (27) during the third quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor (31) tackles Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy (27) during the third quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Green Bay Packers running back James Shields (44) drops a pass while under coverage from Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker K.J. Wright (50) during the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Green Bay Packers running back James Shields (44) drops a pass while under coverage from Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker K.J. Wright (50) during the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Cornerback Richard Sherman gets injured by some friendly fire from Kam Chancellor:

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor (31) and cornerback Richard Sherman (25) tackle Green Bay Packers running back James Shields (44) during the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Sherman sprained his elbow on the play. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor (31) and cornerback Richard Sherman (25) tackle Green Bay Packers running back James Shields (44) during the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Sherman sprained his elbow on the play. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The tide turned after a fake field goal touchdown, which I got blocked on by another shooter’s assistant (who I won’t name, but will be pushing pins into a voodoo doll for). Here’s reaction by Seahawks coach Pete Carroll:

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll reacts to a play against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll reacts to a play against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, things really started to come together for the Seahawks late in the fourth:

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) waits for a timeout to end before walking to the huddle during the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) waits for a timeout to end before walking to the huddle during the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) scrambles out of the pocket to elude a sack by Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Mike Daniels (76) during the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) scrambles out of the pocket to elude a sack by Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Mike Daniels (76) during the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Including a miracle on-side kick recovery, which might be the first one I’ve ever seen in person, after hundreds of college and pro games covered:

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Chris Matthews (13) recovers an on-side kick against the Green Bay Packers during the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Chris Matthews (13) recovers an on-side kick against the Green Bay Packers during the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

And an absolutely absurd two-point conversion play, in which Russell Wilson pulled a rabbit out of a hat to throw a rainbow prayer of a pass to tight end Luke Willson. This gave the Seahawks a three-point cushion, which turned out to be quite useful when the Packers scored a field goal a minute later to tie the game and force overtime:

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks tight end Luke Willson (82) catches a pass for a two-point conversion against the Green Bay Packers during in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks tight end Luke Willson (82) catches a pass for a two-point conversion against the Green Bay Packers during in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks tight end Luke Willson (82) catches a pass for a two-point conversion against the Green Bay Packers during in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks tight end Luke Willson (82) catches a pass for a two-point conversion against the Green Bay Packers during in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks tight end Luke Willson (82) celebrates with wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (15) after catching a pass for a two-point conversion against the Green Bay Packers during in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Green Bay Packers cornerback Ha-ha Clinton-Dix is at right. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks tight end Luke Willson (82) celebrates with wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (15) after catching a pass for a two-point conversion against the Green Bay Packers during in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Green Bay Packers cornerback Ha-ha Clinton-Dix is at right. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) celebrates with Seattle Seahawks running back Robert Turbin (22) following a  successful two-point conversion play against the Green Bay Packers during the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) celebrates with Seattle Seahawks running back Robert Turbin (22) following a successful two-point conversion play against the Green Bay Packers during the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) looks to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) looks to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

And finally, the Seahawks ended up winning in overtime on a touchdown pass to UW alum Jermaine Kearse. It was a little nuts.

Because our agency had multiple shooters in the end zone, I decided to use my wide angle glass on the deciding play. I rationalized it this way so if it came directly towards me, I wanted to be ready for it. (I will neither confirm nor deny that the Golden Tate Fail-Mary and Sherman-tip pick plays from the two previous seasons happened immediately in front of me, where even zoomed out at 70mm on my mid-range lens I was hopelessly too close to get a usable picture and that these events may or may not have influenced my decision to go with the wide angle 16-35mm zoom when I saw Russell Wilson release a deep pass towards the end zone). I wasn’t sure exactly where the pass was going when it left his hand, so I decided to go with my wide angle zoom since I knew my USATSI comrade 12 feet away from me would have the mid range glass up and have us covered if it went further in the middle of the field.

The pass ended up going a bit further away from me than I had hoped/been ready for, so I won’t waste time or bandwidth with the catch, but since I had my wide angle glass in hand, I was able to get out to the celebration before virtually anyone else, including the mascot, Blitz:

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (15) celebrates his NFC Championship game-winning touchdown catch against the Green Bay Packers with tight end Luke Willson (82) at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (15) celebrates his NFC Championship game-winning touchdown catch against the Green Bay Packers with tight end Luke Willson (82) at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

One advantage of being 6’4″ is that I could (barely) hold my own when football players collide together in a celebratory mosh pit.

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (15) is surrounded by fans and teammates following his NFC Championship game winning touchdown catch against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (15) is surrounded by fans and teammates following his NFC Championship game winning touchdown catch against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

A few other jubilation pictures from the postgame. It was a little chaotic and there were pictures being made absolutely everywhere.

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll gets a hug from Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Brock Coyle (52) following a 28-22 overtime victory against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll gets a hug from Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Brock Coyle (52) following a 28-22 overtime victory against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll gets a hug from Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett (72) following a 28-22 overtime victory against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll gets a hug from Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett (72) following a 28-22 overtime victory against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Including Michael Bennet’s now-infamous celebratory tour-de-CenturyLink-Field:

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett (72) rides a police bike around the field following a 28-22 overtime victory against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett (72) rides a police bike around the field following a 28-22 overtime victory against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Who knows, maybe there will be a parade for me to cover in a couple of weeks?

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