Added Fisher, "Most offenses are designed to fool the linebackers. Lofa was out there calling exactly what they were doing, so they didn't have a whole lot of options."
Sometimes Tatupu's signals weren't easy to hear, as the boisterous crowd celebrated a team it hopes can win Seattle's first major professional sports championship since the SuperSonics won the 1978-79 NBA title. "This is the craziest crowd I've ever seen in this town," said a man who should know, Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament, as he mingled on the field during the postgame trophy presentation. "There's been sort of a gloomy mentality in Seattle-because of the weather [27 consecutive days of rain, a streak that ended on Jan. 15], because there've been so many heartbreaks-but this is an enormous boost for the fans."
Tatupu was delirious, too, but in a different way. "My head hurts, and everything is really foggy," he said softly as he walked slowly toward the players' parking lot less than an hour after the game. "That play knocked me stupid, and I vaguely remember the rest of the game. Maybe it'll come back to me later. I'm just glad we won."
Tatupu managed a slight smile. In half an hour he would be home, where a small dog was waiting to give him some well-earned dap.