Spencer Hawes was born and raised in Seattle, and he spent his lone year of college basketball in the great northwest at the University of Washington.
Every summer, he returns to his roots because home is where his heart is.
On Sunday, the eyes of his hometown, of football fans worldwide, will be on MetLife Stadium, home of Super Bowl XLVIII and where the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos will battle it out.
No one in Philadelphia has been more ecstatic than Hawes these past two weeks, when the hype has been at a pinnacle and thoughts of winning the top prize run rampant.
“[My] tickets are here, my passes are here, so now it is just a slow boil,” Hawes said Friday. “It is going to be cold, so hopefully that affects Peyton [Manning].
“I am going to say 24-17 [Seahawks]. If [the Broncos] only get 17, the defense is doing their job. We have to jam up their receivers on the line.”
Seattle enters the game with the No. 1 defense in the NFL, while Denver enters with the No. 1 offense. Whoever is able to impose their will should come out a winner.
The Seahawks went to the Super Bowl in 2005 and lost to the Steelers, 21-10. Hawes, unlike this year, could not attend then.
“In 2005, I was a junior in high school, and I didn’t really have the resources back then to go to Detroit in the middle of the school year,” Hawes said.
“This year it is like the stars have been aligned along the way with the schedule working out. I have been waiting for this for a while.”
Hawes is not alone in waiting for a while. This would be Seahawks first Super Bowl win, but Seattle sports fans have been crying for a championship in any sport for decades.
Seattle has just one pro championship and that came in 1979, when the Supersonics won the NBA title.
“For as maligned as the town of Seattle has been from a pro-sports standpoint,” Hawes said, “the Mariners haven’t been good since I was a little kid, the Sonics moved to Oklahoma City.
“I guess the Sounders coming to town was a positive. It has been a tough stretch the last few years, so to have a team kind of bring everything back, it’s fun for the city.”
Hawes won’t be hard to spot should a camera pan his section.
“I am taking an extra bag for Super Bowl wardrobe options,” Hawes said. “Big coat, UGG boots, long underwear, a Russian-style hat, the whole thing.”