Sleepless is Seattle after Super Bowl triumph

by Jim Slater, Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 04 2014 09:38 AM | Updated as of Feb 04 2014 05:38 PM

Seattle Seahawks fans celebrate in the streets after their team won their NFL Super Bowl XLVIII against the Denver Broncos in Seattle, Washington February 2, 2014. Photo by Jason Redmond, Reuters.

NEW YORK - Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was partying all night at age 62 with his championship squad Monday, hours after routing Denver 43-8 in Super Bowl 48.

"We had a great party that was rolling at our place. Everybody was so excited about the accomplishment," said Carroll, the third-oldest Super Bowl champion coach.

"Sleeplessness was in order around our building last night. We can sleep some other time."

Seattle-based rap singers Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, who won four Grammy Awards a week earlier, sang at the bash as the National Football League's youngest team celebrated in style and started talking about a title repeat.

"We've seen the effort it takes to get to this point. We'll try to replicate it and do it again," said linebacker Malcolm Smith, the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player. "We're looking forward to the challenge of having a target on our back and people coming after us."

Smith returned an interception for a touchdown and recovered a fumble, two of four turnovers caused by dominant Seahawks defenders who have adapted to rule changes to reduce concussions yet still deliver full-force hits to rivals.

"Even with the rule changes, you can still have an intimidating presence," Smith said. "We've tried to change the way we play to still be legal and keep things effective."

The Seahawks, who allowed a league-low 14.4 points a game this season, will enjoy a parade in Seattle on Wednesday as they begin work to defend the crown.

"That starts tomorrow. Our guys would be surprised if it didn't," Carroll said. "We will take this in stride and have a big celebration. We won't miss the fun part of it but that won't stop us from setting our sights on how this is going to go.

"We'll go back to work eventually."

The Super Bowl victory was the first major sports crown for a Seattle team since the 1979 SuperSonics, now the Oklahoma City Thunder, won the NBA title.

Higher contract offers figure to come for many players now that they are Super Bowl champions.

"We're going to try to keep these guys together the best we can and watch them grow together," Carroll said. "It's a fantastic group."

Seattle rolled to a 22-0 half-time lead and Percy Harvin returned the second-half kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown on the Seahawks' way to matching the third-biggest Super Bowl rout.

"I thought it would be tougher," Smith said. "We thought they would challenge us a lot more."

"Sometimes it can be like an avalanche," Carroll said. "We really seized the night."

Also seizing an opportunity was New York as a Super Bowl host, with kickoff conditions of 49 degrees (9.4 Celsius) for the first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold-weather city giving hope for other would-be hosts in chilly climates.

"It was an extraordinary week," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. "I think the event was tremendously successful."

"It was special to play this one here," added Carroll. "When you get a chance to do something of this magnitude, you want to do it in this area."

After becoming the most prolific scoring attack in NFL history this season, the Broncos produced the fewest points in a game in quarterback Peyton Manning's two seasons at Denver.

"It's very disappointing," Manning said. "It's a tough pill to swallow."

Manning, a five-time NFL Most Valuable Player, fell to 11-12 in career playoff games, the most playoff losses by any NFL quarterback.

It was Manning's second loss in three Super Bowl appearances, having won in 2007 with Indianapolis and lost with the Colts to New Orleans in 2010.

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