Seahawks v 49ers. Grudge match. NFC Championship.

I could not have written a better ending to a better season.  I never thought I would get the chance to shoot for the Seattle Seahawks.  Especially during the season that they make it to the Superbowl.

I learned so much shooting along side some of the best sports shooters in the business.  I have come a long way, and still have so much to learn.  It has been a truly humbling experience.

Yes, it was LOUD.  That noise is almost like a drug.  It overcomes your body and chills you to the bone.  There is nothing like the sound of the loudest fans in the world.

I am proud to be a 12.

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I added some commentary to many of the images to explain their context, and give some back story.

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I hope someone filled his sock.

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This guy lives in Fife.

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The North End of Century Link Field.

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The guy on the right in the apron makes some mean BBQ ribs.  I had 5.  One of the best parts of wearing the NFL Photo bib is people will give you all the food and skittles you can handle.

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This guy wasn’t making this gesture after the game.

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This grill was cooking meat AND warming hands.  Temps were in the low 40s.

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Guy was asking everyone for deodorant…

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Blue Thunder, the Seahawks official drum line, entertains the crowd in fron of the Event Center before games.  The guy on the right is probably a professional wrestler as well.

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I was actually pretty impressed with how many 49er fans made it out to the game.  They didn’t have many nice things to say.

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Frank Gore, the 49ers running back, heads out onto the field from the visitor’s locker room for pre-game warmups.

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Musical artist Macklemore hangs on the sidelines with his brother and friends before the game.  He performed a 2 song set at half-time.

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Pete Carrol tosses the football around before every game.

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Terry Bradshaw, the great Steeler quarterback and Fox Sports analyst, played catch with spectators in the stands before the game.  He made a sick one-handed catch from a fan in the 9th row, and followed with this expression.

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Some interesting words being exchanged.  Lockette (left), is a receiver for the Seahawks who was on our squad last year, then was picked up by the 49ers, and finally came back to Seattle.  I am sure he was just saying hi to an old buddy…

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Wilson!  Tom Hanks would be proud.

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Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner talking with Peter McLoughlin, the Seahawks President.

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Bobby Wagner, Seahawks linebacker, signing some autographs before the game.

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Dude wore this head piece the entire game.

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Colin Kaepernick, 49er quarterback.

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Golden Tate, Seahawks receiver, shaking hands with Dr. Dre before the game.  “I am a big fan”  -Tate.

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Dr. Dre throws a piece sign to some Seahawks fans.

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Doug Baldwin signing autographs before the game.

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Dwight Clark, former tight-end for the 49ers, is known most for “The Catch”, a td catch he caught from Joe Montana against the Dallas Cowboys to seal the victory in the 1982 NFC Championship Game.  There is a yellow dot painted in the exact spot in the end zone at Candlestick Park where the play occured, now the former home of the 49ers.  They will move into their new, $1.2 Billion Levi’s Stadium in Santa Ana this September.

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I actually feel like I am friends with Michael Straham (left), because he is on my television every morning while my wife watches “Kelly + Michael”.

The Seahawks have a DJ (right) pumping live music during pregame.

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This guy makes me laugh.

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Colin Kaepernick heading out onto the field from the visitors locker room.

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Michael Robinson, Seahawks fullback and lead blocker for Beast Mode, was released from the team during training camp after an illness caused him to lose weight.  The Seahawks resigned him after Spencer Ware went on the injured reserve list for the rest of the season.  He was a quarterback at Penn State in college.

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The guy wearing the “1″ Seahawks jersey talks more trash than Richard Sherman and Deion Sanders combined.

Navarro Bowman, 49ers linebacker, took the sign on the left and tore it into pieces before the game.

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Richard Sherman and the rest of the Legion of Boom heading out of the Seahawks tunnel for warm-ups.  My good friend Nathan is wearing the green beanie in the foreground on the left.

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Aldon Smith, linebacker for the 49ers.

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The team Grandma.

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On most Sunday’s during the season, Howie Long (left), Terry Bradshaw (middle) and the rest of the Fox Sports NFL team are in studio.  But during the NFC Championship game, they set up a mobile studio on the sidelines.  The George Hallan trophy is sitting on the table.

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Byron Maxwell and Russell Wilson head into the locker room before the National Anthem.

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The 12th Man flag is hanging on the exterior of the Columbia Tower, the tallest building in Washington.

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All 32 cheerleaders line up and do a pre-game dance routine across the field before the players take the field.

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Uniformed Servicemen carry out a large American Flag to stretch out for the National Anthem.

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Michael Bennett, Seahawks Defensive End, was traded for in the off-season.  He is good.

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During commercial time-outs before the Seahawks receive a kick-off, return man Doug Baldwin chills against the goal post in the South end zone.

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First play from scrimmage, 49er line-backer shakes off a block from Seahawks tight-end Zach Miller and strip-sacks Russell Wilson.  The 49ers recover and go three and out, resulting in a field goal.  SF leads 3-0.

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Colin Kaepernick runs on 3rd down and is stopped short, forcing a field goal attempt for the 49ers.

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After a long punt by the 49ers, which was downed at the 1 yard line, the Seahawks take over.

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Justin Smith, 49ers defensive lineman, tackles Marshawn Lynch.  Smith would later compound dislocate his thumb.  He would get stitched up and return to finish the game.

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Bowman celebrates by pointing to his name on his jersey after sacking Russell Wilson.

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Ricardo Lockette, Seahawks gunner on punt team, blew up Oregon alum LaMichael James (bottom right) after James fumbled his punt return.  James was badly shaken up, but would return to the game.

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Frank Gore, 49ers running back, is one of the top running backs in the NFL.  But not when playing the Seahawks.  He finished the game with 14 rushing yards.  He would break his ring finger during the game and play with the injury.

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This is the first of many missed tackles on Colin Kaepernick’s 52 yard run.  The 49ers would score a touchdown shortly after on 4th and Goal at the 1 yard line.  A 49er offensive lineman would break his tibia on the scoring play.

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The following 2 images is an after/before series.  The first photo is the edited, cropped, delivered image.  The second photo is the raw photo straight out of camera.

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(Straight out of camera)

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Tony McDaniel (left), Seahawks defensive lineman, was being hard on himself after not stopping the 49ers from scoring.  Cliff Avril, Seahawk pass-rusher, is seen in the background giving McDaniel a wink after a short pep talk.

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Ahmad Brooks, 49ers linebacker, was fined nearly $16k for a hit to the head of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees during the regular season.  He potentially could receive the same fine after a similar hit to Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson.

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Walter Thurmond, Seahawks cornerback, returns a fumble.  The play was called dead and the 49ers kept the ball.

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Jim Harbaugh (khaki pants), the 49ers head coach, was told by his wife that she didn’t like his $8 Walmart pleated khaki pants.  This is the first game Harbaugh coached without pleated khaki pants.

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Halftime.  49ers lead 10-3.

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Macklemore performs 2 songs from the make-shift stage on the 300 level near the 12th Man flag.  He was a long ways from the fans, but his performance kept every fan in their seat during half-time and brought a spark of energy into a somewhat deflated crowd.

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Marshawn Lynch scores on a long run, causing his 3rd “BeastQuake”.  10-10 tie game.

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Colin Kaepernick completes an incredible jump-pass to receiver Anquan Boldin in the end-zone over outstretched Seahawks Safety Earl Thomas.  SF leads 17-10 in third quarter.

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The following 6 images were taken from the 300 level of Century Link Field.

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Doug Balwin returns the ensuing kickoff 67 yards for the longest kickoff return of the season for the Seahawks.  The Seahawks would go on the kick a field goal.  SF Leads 17-13 in the third quarter.

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Members of the field staff sweep up Skittles that covered the field after Marshawn Lynch’s touchdown.

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On 4th and 7, in the fourth quarter, Russell Wilson completes a 35 touchdown pass to receiver Jermaine Kearse, a UW alum.  This would prove to be the winning score.  Seahawks lead 20-17.

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Doug Baldwin, Seahawks receiver, speaks emphatically into an NFL Films camera, talking about the fallacy behind the ‘pedestrian’ term given to the receiving core of the Seahawks.

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Russell Wilson dons a sideline jacket after the 4th down score.

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Marshawn Lynch screamed at Russell Wilson after the score, imploring him to finish the game strong and win the game for the Seahawks.  It was kinda scary.

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The West Side of the stadium.

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The Seahawks offensive linemen huddle on the sideline in an attempt to hear their line coach.  It was very loud.

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Lemuel Jeanpierre tries to pump up the crowd as the 49ers are driving to try and take the lead.

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49ers receiver Michael Crabtree signals in confusion as the crowd level made it impossible to hear the audible.

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Michael Bennett, Seahawks defensive lineman, is tackled by a 49er offensive lineman after recovering a Colin Kaepernick fumble.

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Cliff Avril celebrates after strip-sacking Colin Kaepernick, causing a fumble.

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On third down, Seahawks receiver Jermaine Kearse is tackled on the 1 yard line.  Clearly, 49er linebacker Navarro Bowman is in possession of the football before Kearse hits the ground.  The play was not reviewable, and the Seahawks would keep the ball.  Navarro Bowman’s leg would get trapped under Kearse, and would suffer a gruesome knee injury, tearing both his ACL and MCL.

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After several Seahawks and 49er players scramble for the loose ball, which occurred during the injury, a referee crawls out of the pile, clearly shaken up.

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Pete Carroll discusses his 4th and 1 options with the offensive coordinator thru his headset.  The Seahawks would opt to go for it on 4th and Goal at the 1 yard line.

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Marshawn Lynch walks onto the field for the 4th and Goal play.  He would fumble the handoff from Russell Wilson and the 49ers would take over.  Seahawks lead 20-17 with 10 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter.

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Kam Chancellor, Seahawks Strong Safety, intercepts the pass on the next drive from 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

The first image is the final, delivered image.  The second image is the raw file straight out of camera.

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(Straight out of camera)

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Steven Hauschka, Seahawks place-kicker, nails a 46 yard field goal.  Seahawks lead 23-17 with 3:37 remaining in the game.  The Skittles rejoice.

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Malcom Smith lies in the end-zone after making an interception off of a ball tipped by Richard Sherman.  The pass was intended for Michael Crabtree.  This would prove to be the game winning play.  The Seahawks would kneel to run out the clock.  Seahawks win 23-17.

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Seattle hip-hop artist Macklemore celebrates the interception with his crew in a massive mosh-pit on the sidelines.

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Doug Baldwin makes a turf-angel in the end-zone in celebration after the game.

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I think we all have seen what was said during this interview.  Fox Sport’s Erin Andrews interviews Richard Sherman moments after the game concluded.  “I am the best cornerback in the NFL.”

All the twinkly little lights in the stands in the background are camera flashes.

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The post-game prayer circle, which typically has a mix of players from both teams, was only Seahawk players after this game.  Chris Maragos (bottom) lead the team in a prayer of thanksgiving.

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Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner hugs Macklemore during the post-game celebration.

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The Seahawk’s offensive and defensive linemen threw a dance party in the middle of the celebratory crowd on the field.

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Seahawks full-back Michael Robinson gives an emotion post-game interview to an ESPN reporter.

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Chris Maragos celebrates the victory with his son.

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Terry Bradshaw interviews Head Coach Pete Carroll and General Manager John Schneider after the game.  Seahawks president Peter McLoughlin and Owner Paul Allen look on.

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Russell Wilson gives his post game interview as Richard Sherman and Golden Tate look on.

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All 68k+ fans stayed to celebrate with the team.

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Terry Bradshaw and Richard Sherman hug it out after the celebration.

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The SeaGals give their final cheer of the season at Century Link Field.

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Macklemore and Golden Tate give post-game interviews to KOMO News 4.

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14 Comments

  1. Truly captures the emotions of the day. You are amazing…A proud Momma I am. .. Thanks for the memories for us- it was awesome!!!

  2. Zach Enni wrote:

    Well done Jeff! Some epic shots you got in this game, really captured the rivalry and intensity of this instant classic game!

  3. Stephanie wrote:

    These are awesome Jeff! And I’m super jealous that you were able to get up close and personal for such good football. :)

  4. Rachel wrote:

    This is awe-inspiring! I’ve never seen sport captured like this and it gives me so much hope and motivation to approach every shoot with the same amount of creativity and freedom. Thank you so much for sharing and I look forward to keeping up with all your work that’s to come.

  5. Jim Caldwell wrote:

    Nice job Jeff. Almost felt the noise through your pictures!

  6. Jordan Voth wrote:

    Wow. These are incredible and definitely helps one relive that game last night. Great set of images, Jeff! Go Hawks!

  7. Larry Baker wrote:

    Jeff,
    Wow! Great job! As your mom wrote above, you truly captured the moments and emotions of the day. I was mesmerized by all the the pictures and remembering each of them from yesterday. GREAT job!

  8. Tom Schroeder wrote:

    Your Dad is so proud of you Jeff. What a beautiful job you did capturing the game. That was a fun ride. Thanks

  9. Lisa Jump wrote:

    WOW. Seriously amazing. Love the commentary too – it was like reliving the game all over again! The steam off of Baldwin’s head, and Lynch in scary mode….SO awesome.

  10. Chelsea Dier wrote:

    Great photos!! I didn’t watch the game, but I felt the excitement through these! Thanks for the SOOC to edited photos… it’s always fun to see a peek into other photographer’s final image editing/ selecting.

  11. Joe wrote:

    Great work man. Thanks for bringing us into the action.

  12. Maddy Porter wrote:

    These are fantastic! You do amazing work, very inspiring.

  13. Wow. These are quite impressive!