The time is upon us. Fate will be delayed no further. Tonight, we learn who these Seahawks are and what they can be. Their foe is well armed. They come for our crown. They come for our pride. Yet, deep in their hearts, they harbor a nagging fear that nothing has changed. Their words and their victories feel hollow, even as they stand atop the division. There is but one path to a division title, and it goes through a city littered with emeralds and bad intentions. No corner is safe. No snap count will be heard. The rain has been unrelenting, but the thunder is just beginning.

Tick, tock goes the clock as even time is impatient for this collision to occur. Even now, the gathering has begun downtown. Smiles and laughing mark the start of the transformation. Lawyers, doctors, and executives mix seamlessly with students, construction workers and librarians. United by a single passion and mission, strangers become friends and friends become family. It is a ritual that happens every time the calendar tells us the Seahawks are home. Nights like tonight are different.

The potential for loss quickens the pace of conversation, of drink orders, and heartbeats. The Seahawks have yet to show they are worthy of great expectations. They have raised hopes high, only to dash them on the rocky shores of late-game collapse. They have led every team they faced and dominated two of the three undefeated teams for long stretches, but have yet to beat a team with a winning record. We watch them like our children. We know their genetic makeup. We know their older brothers and sisters, but this new son has not revealed what he will be when he grows up. Our fifty-three sons will be surrounded by 70,000 parents urging them down the path to greatness, knowing that only those with feet on the field can take the necessary steps.

These are the moments when character is revealed. That is why this Seahawks team has always had the advantage. Few teams can put a collection of players on the field who match the intensity, ferocity, physical talent of the Seahawks. You will feel Kam Chancellor. You will hear Earl Thomas blur by. You will taste the turf with Michael Bennett gyrating over your body. Just as you reach sensory overload, you will turn to see Marshawn Lynch battering your soul. No quarter is given. No help is on the way. This is what you must face to prove your worth.

Arizona, you have our full attention. This will not be a throwaway game like 2013, or the last game against Carolina that everyone expected Seattle to win. You have earned our collective focus. Heaven help you.

This will be a crowd that has spent an entire day completing their transformation from Jekyll to Hyde. Their unrelenting volume will shake your confidence, your body, and possibly even the ground beneath your feet.

These Seahawks are well rested and fully aware of the opportunity in front of them. You stand between them and what they want, and you dare to do it on their turf. They are a thousand pound bowling ball, and you are the pins trying to remain standing when they strike.

Nobody will credit Seattle for victory. They will say the Cardinals were paper tigers who beat poor opponents. They will poke holes and doubt for this reason or that. Only Arizona can exit tonight with recognition and respect. No matter. The Seahawks have never been gifted respect. They have ripped it from the reluctant hands of every national pundit. Tonight is their latest chance to defy the talking heads and disappoint the nation.

We gather here, unified by purpose. Seventy-thousand and fifty-three men, women, and children will descend upon CenturyLink Field tonight with a fury normally reserved for Mother Nature. She may even join in the fun. Thunder is coming, one way or another.  

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