SEATTLE – After waiting decades for a major sports championship, thousands of Seattleites took to the streets as fireworks popped, horns blared and flags waved following the decisive Super Bowl win by the Seahawks.
"I was born here, I was raised here! This is my ultimate dream!" shouted John Caro, who, with his wife Corina, both 59, whooped their way down Lake City Way in North Seattle, high-fiving passersby. "We have waited so freakin' long for this!"
The Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos 43-8 Sunday. The last time a major Seattle sports franchise won a championship was in 1979 when the Supersonics took the NBA title. The WNBA's Seattle Storm have won two championships, in 2004 and 2010.
Seattle police were out in large numbers in many neighborhoods.
In the University District, near the University of Washington, fire crews extinguished at least one bonfire after rowdy fans set a couch and other items ablaze. In Occidental Park in Pioneer Square, near CenturyLink Field where the Seahawks play, people waving "12th Man" flags took to the street, and others climbed trees and sculptures. Some fans got on top of a pergola, breaking glass.
People in some neighborhoods blocked traffic, and in downtown a line of cars stretched for blocks as people cheered.
Seattle police spokesman Mark Jamieson said Sunday night the biggest concentrations of people were downtown and in the University District. He said no major disturbances had been reported.
By contrast, the mood in Denver was subdued, as expected, with fans downcast and police reporting few problems.
Mayor Ed Murray said in a statement that a Seahawks victory parade would happen Wednesday, with the route going through downtown and ending at CenturyLink.
Shrieking and waving her Seahawks flags at passing cars on a North Seattle street, Senayet Woldemarian, a 29-year-old physical therapist from suburban Shoreline, said: "We got our first Super Bowl!"
Her friend, wedding photographer Taylor Olcott, 28, said it reminded her a little of being in Boston in 2004, when the Red Sox won baseball's World Series for the first time since 1918.
"This is the first time I've really seen Seattle passionate about anything," she said. "It's, like, East Coast. It's very exciting."
About 30 people watched the game at the Outlander Brewery in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood. It was such a blowout that by the fourth quarter, employees had switched one of the three TVs to Animal Planet's "Puppy Bowl."
"We're all in euphoria right now," said Steve McVay, a 43-year-old Seattle IT worker. "It's a huge deal for the city. Since the Sonics we haven't won anything."