Associated Press/Seth Wenig
A Seattle Seahawks fan celebrates as the Seahawks come up with a safety against the Denver Broncos the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J.

Native American Fans Celebrate Seattle's Super Bowl Win, Shocked by Denver Loss

Simon Moya-Smith
2/3/14

You could almost hear the collective moan coming from Denver late Sunday as the Seattle Seahawks brought to Super Bowl XLVIII what Peyton Manning and the Broncos left at home in the Mile High City.

From the first play to the last, the Broncos suffered tipped passes, blocked passes, dropped passed, fumbles, failed snaps and interceptions, allowing the Seahawks to batter the Broncos all the way to a 43-8 victory.

Trudging into halftime, Native American Broncos fans were attempting to cheer each other up, holding strong by rooting for their orange and blue, but it soon became apparent that the Broncos – a team that had broken a tall stack of records this season – weren’t the same team they’d witnessed win an AFC championship.

Jessica Pearl Salas, a Yaqui and Navajo, told Indian Country Today Media Network that she was shocked by the Broncos’ Super Bowl performance.

“We haven’t lost like that once [this season]. I just don’t get it,” she said. “A loss like that? That was ridiculous. That was ‘80s Broncos. It was just so hard to watch.”

Salas, who was born and raised in Colorado, added that rumors were afloat in Denver on Monday morning that the game was fixed.

“We just got whipped. Some people are even thinking that it was rigged,” she said.

Meanwhile, in Seahawks country, the revelry launched from the first snap of the game.

Denver Broncos' Peyton Manning walks off the field after the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Seahawks won 43-8.(Chris O'Meara, AP)

Aries Rivers of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, told ICTMN it was evident that the Broncos didn’t bring their A-game.

“It didn’t even seem like the Seahawks were playing against anybody,” he said. “It was kind of a clean sweep. It didn’t seem like they broke a sweat at all.”

Famed Native American photographer and die-hard Seahawks fan Matika Wilbur referred to this year’s Super Bowl Sunday as the “best day of my life!...”

“I literally cried,” she said, laughing heartily. “The real Super Bowl was two weeks ago when we beat the [San Francisco] 49ers.”

Wilbur said her mother called her late Sunday after the game and asked, “Are you coming home for the holiday?” referring to the Seahawks’ win.

Wilbur said that during and after the game she felt bad for Peyton Manning. “How old is he now? Like 50? Is he ever going to get back to the Super Bowl?”

But, back in Denver, not all is lost. Optimism is Monday’s remedy for Broncos fans, Salas said.

“I’m glad we made it that far,” she said. “There’s always next year.” 

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