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Seattle Seahawks advance to Super Bowl, Pacific Northwest celebrates big playoff win

For only the second time in franchise history, the Seattle Seahawks have found their way to the Super Bowl, the most watched sporting event in the world and the annual championship game of the National Football League.

Seattle punched its ticket by beating its division rival, the San Francisco 49ers, for the second time this season in a fiercely contested game at CenturyLink Field in SoDo. The Seahawks got off to an inauspicious start when star quarterback Russell Wilson fumbled the ball, which set up San Francisco’s first field goal. The 49ers later tacked on a touchdown to take a ten to nothing lead.

But Seattle rallied, eventually tying the game in the third quarter with a big touchdown run by Marshawn Lynch that electrified the stadium.

Russell Wilson later found Husky alum Jermaine Kearse on a fourth down play to retake the lead after San Francisco answered with its own touchdown. After allowing Colin Kaepernick to rack up yards in the first half by running the ball himself, the Seahawks’ defense finally got to the 49ers quarterback, first forcing a fumble and then picking off a pass after failing to capitalize on the fumble.

The game ended with yet another interception, as Kaepernick tried to mount an eleventh hour comeback by connecting with Michael Crabtree in the endzone. Unfortunately for Kaepernick, Richard Sherman was there to tip the ball into the hands of Malcom Smith, giving the Seahawks the ball and the NFC title.

Fireworks exploded over Puget Sound and ticker tape flooded CenturyLink Field as the Seahawks began celebrating only their second-ever conference title. Raucous fans in Pioneer Square spilled out into the streets to party.

And the region’s elected leaders and institutions took to Twitter to remind their counterparts in California to make good on their friendly wagers.

Here’s a rundown of some of the wagers:

  • Ed Murray vs. Edwin Lee: The mayors of Seattle and San Francisco wagered sweets and community service on the outcome of the game. Had the 49ers won, Ed Murray would have owed Lee some ice cream from Molly Moon’s and Theo Chocolate. Since the Seahawks won, Lee will have to send Mitchell’s Ice Cream and Poco Dolce Chocolates to Murray. In addition, Lee must now help Murray raise $10,000 for a Seattle food bank.
  • Jay Inslee vs. Jerry Brown: The governors of Washington and California wagered a case of their state’s finest wine on the outcome of the game. Since the Seahawks won, Governor Jerry Brown will need to settle the bet by sending a shipment north to Olympia.
  • The San Francisco Giants vs. the Seattle Mariners: The Seahawks and 49ers’ MLB counterparts wagered a photo of their mascots paying tribute to the other city’s team. In the event of a 49ers victory, the Mariner Moose was to have posed for a photo doing a Kaepernick. But, since the Seahawks won, Lou the Seal had to pose for a photo feasting on Skittles.
  • Caltrain vs. Sound Transit: The two agencies that operate commuter rail services for the Bay Area and Puget Sound, Caltrain and Sound Transit, wagered a photo of their chief executives wearing the other team’s colors, to be posted on Facebook. Since the Seahawks won, Caltrain has conceded they going to have to find some Seahawks team apparel for their CEO to wear.
  • The Evergreen Point Floating Bridge vs. the Bay Bridge: The people behind the unofficial Twitter accounts for the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge wagered some of their favorite local coffee on the game. Since the Seahawks won, the person behind the Bay Bridge account has to pay up. And he or she is being a good sport about it.
  • GeekWire vs. Re/Code: Seattle area technology blog GeekWire and Bay Area technology blog Re/Code wagered a guest post and treats on the outcome of the game. Since the Seahawks won, Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg’s crew owe Team GeekWire a column.
  • Nancy Pelosi vs. the Washington Democratic House delegation: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi wagered delicacies and bragging rights on the outcome of the game with Rick Larsen, Jim McDermott, Adam Smith, Suzan DelBene, Denny Heck, and Derek Kilmer. Had the 49ers won, 49ers win, Pelosi would have received Theo’s chocolate from Congressman Jim McDermott, Brown & Haley Almond Roca toffees from Congressman Adam Smith, Fischer fair scones from Congressman Denny Heck, craft gin from Everett’s Bluewater Distilling in Congressman Rick Larsen’s district, Woodinville wine and smoked salmon from Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, and apples from Amy’s Decadent Chocolates courtesy of Congressman Derek Kilmer. Since the Seahawks won, our delegation will get San Francisco sourdough bread from Boudin’s Bakery and chocolate from Ghirardelli and TCHO.

We will be keeping our special NPI Advocate Seahawks nameplate up for a couple more weeks, as Seattle is headed to MetLife Stadium for Super Bowl XXXIII. The Seahawks will be playing the AFC champion Denver Broncos, who happen to be the NFL’s other number one seed. It should be a good game. We’ll be rooting for the Hawks to win their very first Super Bowl title!