A second straight championship rested at the 1-yard line. The Seahawks needed to move the football a mere 36 inches, maybe less, to defeat improbability one last time and end this taxing season with a champagne shower. The situation called for Marshawn Lynch.
You could almost see the eccentric running back nicknamed Beast Mode diving into the end zone and doing his handshake celebration. You could almost see the blue and green confetti falling at University of Phoenix Stadium. Instead, in one moment, the Seahawks forgot who they were. And Super Bowl XLIX turned into the most painful loss in franchise history.
It happened because of the worst play call in Super Bowl history, a decision that will also go down as one of the most regrettable ever in Seattle sports. With 26 seconds remaining, Russell Wilson took a shotgun snap and threw a quick slant intended for wide receiver Ricardo Lockette. New England cornerback Malcolm Butler jumped in front of the route, however, and intercepted the pass in the end zone.
Game over. History delayed. Legacy unfulfilled.