When we finally got back to Seattle, it was about 12:30 a.m on Tuesday, and the fans were waiting for us at the facility.
It was great. It was also crazy.
As I was trying to leave VMAC, people were running up to my truck, jumping on it, shaking it, going crazy. I have to be honest — I kind of got scared a little bit. The police had to come and help me get out of the parking lot. That’s when I knew this was on a whole other level.
It’s a different type of thank you.
When I finally got home, I was just laying in bed in shock. I was still kind of shaking from having all the people jumping on my truck, and then I was just thinking.
I’m only 24 years old. I’ve had Pro Bowl honors every year since I’ve been in the league, back to my rookie year, when I was an alternate. I’ve been All-Pro three times, and now we just won the Super Bowl. I’m starting to build a little legacy here.
As I thought about all that, the first thing I said to myself was, “Earl, keep leading. Keep doing you. Keep challenging yourself to be the best.” And that’s how I went to sleep.
The parade on Wednesday was another incredible experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. There were close to a million people out there. They were everywhere. Where there was normally street, it was nothing but people. People were in the trees. On top of buildings. On top of the 7-Eleven gas station.
It’s amazing how one positive thing like that can bring so many people together. That’s what love can do. That’s why I say love is the highest frequency. We won a championship and brought almost a million people together.
The Lombardi Trophy was on the Legion of Boom float. When I got to hold it, I was nervous because I didn’t want to drop it. I held it for a little bit, and then passed it. It felt right in my hands for those few seconds, but I didn’t want to get too caught up in the moment. I feel like I’ll have many more chances coming up to get back there. It’s motivation for me, a challenge I’ve issued myself. I don’t want to get too content.
The year’s journey is proof that, if I really put my mind to something, if I really get locked in, don’t take any days off, come to work and really lead by example, good things can happen. That just makes me want to keep fine-tuning my craft.
Coach Carroll is the reason I have this mindset, and want to be an ever-evolving player and person. When I was drafted, I wanted to know a little more about the guy who would be coaching me. So I went back and did some research on his career. I got some clips to see the way he used to coach.
Looking back, it was funny to see how he changed his coaching style and his approach to the game. The way he talks now, he didn’t always talk like that. He evolved. He’s young at heart, and he’s always trying to get better as a coach. As a player, when you see that, you just try to emulate it. That’s worked for me.
This is a very special organization to be a part of. There is no ill will expressed by anybody toward anybody else. The coaches are very up front with the players. That’s where all of our success started from: the coaches and the players really buying into what each other was bringing to the table.
There’s a genuine appreciation for everybody in the organization. Not even just players and coaches, but everybody in the building: management, security, the cafeteria people, everybody. It’s just a great place to go to work. Coach Carroll keeps it very upbeat and lively. It means everything to me to be a part of this organization.
I’m looking forward to the offseason. I can’t wait to spend time enjoying my daughter and just being a father to her. I’m going to be taking some trips and I love to take time to think when I’m away. My biggest motto is to keep growing, on and off the field. I’m excited for the wisdom to come.
What I got a taste of this season, I will always fight to protect. That is what’s going to take me over the top. I’m glad I was in that environment. I’m glad God enabled me to get a taste of that, because that made me even more hungry. It’s all I can think about. So I’m definitely not going to stop working.
I’ll be looking at my game to see where I can improve and I’m really excited to see how far I’m going to come by the time training camp starts.
It’s been a great season, but we don’t deserve all the credit. I want to give you guys credit. We’ve definitely been in this together. It’s been special. The few times we did lose, you were still there for us. As much as we deserve this championship, you guys deserve it more.
12s, I love you from the bottom of my heart. Let’s see if we can do this thing again next year.
This is the second part in a two-part blog from Earl, recapping his Super Bowl experience. To read Part I, click here.