On Lombardi Trophy's postgame trail

For whatever reason, we don't always think of the Lombardi as meaning as much to football players as, say, the Stanley Cup means to hockey's elite. But just listen to Giacomini who, like most, was struck by the reflective properties (both figuratively and literally) of Lombardi's shiny silver surface. "Those are the two things that mean the most to me in this world and to be holding them both at the same time, I held it in but ... but ... but I wanted to let it go, I really did," he said, his eyes getting moist. "Life doesn't get better than that for people who do what we do. This is something we've all worked so hard for, starting at Pop Warner. But it just doesn't all sink in until you have that trophy in your hands."

What did Alayna think of Lombardi? I asked. It's silver. It's from Tiffany's. Does she want one for herself now? (Hey, Baltimore's John Harbaugh had replicas made for his entire staff.)

"She liked it, but what she really wants is an American Girl doll," Giacomini laughed.

The trophy then went into the taped, massive mitts of left tackle Russell Okung, who handed it off to a Seahawks official in a gray coat, who then marched it off the field, holding it out in front of him, arms extended, like a live bomb. From there it went under the stands and into the Seahawks' frenetic locker room, where Drake's "Trophies" was blasting on the Seahawks' deafening portable stereo system.

Players, coaches and execs all instantly started hovering around for photos with Lombardi. Some fixed their hair or adjusted their ties before taking the trophy into their arms. Some couldn't wait. Kicker Steven Hauschka posed with it right out of the shower, yelling, while covered in a towel, "Hey, naked trophy pictures!"

Some players prayed in its presence: "Heavenly father, you have made us champions." Some players screamed things of a far less-holy nature. Some, such as linebacker Heath Farwell, who helped escort Harvin on his second-half kick return for a touchdown, still couldn't process what that silver would mean to Seattle. "We got hardware!" Farwell shouted before stepping away. "Put it away, put it AAAAWAY; it's too much!"

But even in the Seahawks' jam-packed, loud and chaotic locker room -- where Lynch, God bless him, was wearing a mask over his mouth and periodically full-on tackling unsuspecting teammates to the ground in celebration -- it was never hard to find Lombardi. You just had to follow the sound of clicking camera shutters or look for the flash of white light reflected off the top of the trophy. Even when it went down a restricted hallway and into the coaches' locker room, you still knew where it was because the second it turned the corner and was out of sight, you could hear the Seahawks assistant coaches erupt in spontaneous, delighted cheers at their first glimpse of what they had dedicated their entire lives to earn.

Out in public, Lombardi is almost always in the hands of a star player, the commissioner, an owner or the head coach, but in here, just after the game, it belongs, for the briefest of moments, to the dozens of unheralded players, coaches and employees who helped secure it. After visiting the coaches, it went into the training room for a round of photos, then to the equipment guys, then to the team's amazing group of scouts. The linebackers took it for a few minutes. Then the linemen. Then the tight ends.

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