Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Doug Baldwin’s Diary of Super Bowl XLVIII

More than 111 million people watched, but only a few know what it feels like to have played in the big game. Seahawks wideout Doug Baldwin shares the experience, from the minute he woke up until he left MetLife as a champion

By Doug Baldwin

8:03 a.m.

I wake up to a light piercing through the closed shades in my hotel room at the Westin in Jersey City. It’s Super Bowl Sunday morning, and the butterflies in my stomach let me know it. It’s the first game day in a long time that I have had this feeling. It’s the biggest game of my life, so what would you expect? I shut my eyes to try to get some more sleep.

8:05 a.m.

That’s not happening. As I lie in the bed trying to focus on nothing, my tip sheet for the game becomes the focal point of my thoughts: Champ Bailey’s press technique, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie’s tendencies. I decide to get out of bed and take a shower. 

8:44 a.m.

I like taking long showers. This one is no different. The late game gives us so much downtime that it’s difficult not to get over-excited too early. Taking long showers helps me control those emotions. Now I’m on my way to breakfast. I walk into the hotel banquet room that was made into our cafeteria. It’s always hard for me to eat breakfast on game day, but I always eat the same thing: one pancake, two pieces of bacon, hash browns, and a handful of watermelon and pineapple. I eat slowly.

9:22 a.m.

I head back up to my hotel room after eating what I could. On my way up, I see my teammate Bryan Walters. We started playing a multiplayer application game on our phones the week prior to coming to New Jersey. We make small talk to create a distraction from what is really on our minds. We play the game for a while before it’s time to get ready for our offensive walk-through.

11 a.m.

My body has already started to adjust to the adrenaline flowing through my veins. I can feel my body temperature rise as we begin our offensive walk-through. I take a few deep breaths to calm my nerves. With each play call, I envision lining up against the toughest look the Broncos defense can give me. It makes it easier in the game if the defense calls the right play against ours. We walk through our first 15 plays on the call sheet. And now it’s time to wait. Again. 

11:20 a.m.

I walk into my room and start packing what’s left of my personal items. I take breaks from packing to play the game on my phone whenever my mind starts to wander to the game on the field. It takes me forever to pack two bags. 

1:04 p.m.

Now it’s about time for me to get into my normal routine. I pull out my team issued iPad, with video of the Broncos’ defense. I watch their last game against the Patriots. By now I have seen every play four or five times, but watching the game itself helps keep my emotions in check. After I watch enough to ease my mind, I head down to get lunch.

1:49 p.m.

espn-picksIn the banquet room, I sit next to Kam Chancellor, my teammate and close friend. I load up on carbs (pasta) while exchanging defensive and offensive game plans with him. He assures me that our defense knows Peyton Manning’s offense well enough to stop it. I assure him our wide receivers can’t be covered. He tells me their goals on defense. I tell him our goal as receivers is to make Marshawn Lynch the MVP. I remind him that if Marshawn wins it, everything has worked out like we planned it. Then something catches our attention. The TV sitting adjacent to us is airing ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown, and the analysts are making their Super Bowl predictions. Ray Lewis is the only one of the four picking us to win it. Suzy Kolber, Steve Young and Trent Dilfer all picked against us. Kam and I look at each other, and without saying a word, we take our phones and capture that moment. The fire that was already intensely burning inside is now being stoked. I have to contain it. When I look at my brother Kam’s face, I see anger exuding from his pores. I’m sure he can see the same from mine. I head back to my room.

2:55 p.m.

All packed, ready to go and wearing my game-day suit, I head down to the buses taking us to the stadium. I place my bags and pick my seat next to the window. I put my earbuds in and pick a slow song off my game-day playlist. Otis Redding’s “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” helps waste the time. At 3 p.m. the bus departs for MetLife Stadium. The journey our team embarked on at the end of July is coming to a glorious end.

3:30 p.m. 

We arrive at the stadium. I like to be the last one off the bus. It’s a personal tradition I started at Stanford. It gives me a few moments alone to thank God for this blessing. I exit the bus and walk to my locker. I tell Richard Sherman that our traditional warm-up routine on game day will commence at 4:20. I start getting ready.

4:19 p.m.

I finish listening to “The Language” off Drake’s latest album. I rap along with the song: I am the kid with the motor mouth, I am the one they should worry ’bout. I grab my gloves and walk out to the field. It’s our time!

4:20 p.m.

I take my lap around the stadium to warm up my legs and survey the land. Yep, 100 yards by 53-and-a-third. Just as I had thought. I catch up to Sherm. He tosses me the ball. We continue to toss it to each other as we jog back and forth down each sideline. Then we set up in our corner where he tosses me a few jump balls. I do the same for him. Then we come together, give each other a hug, tell each other, “Have a day,” and go our separate ways.

At center of frame, Baldwin and Sherman embrace during pre-game warmups, something the teammates do before every game. (The MMQB)
Baldwin and Sherman embrace during warmups, something the teammates do before every game. (Jenny Vrentas/The MMQB)

6:17 p.m.

Kickoff is 15 minutes away. We run out of the tunnel, and I jog to the opposite end zone and take a knee. I’m just thanking God for my opportunity. To be here, on the biggest stage football has to offer, is truly a blessing.

9:23 p.m.

I’m thinking, Get in the end zone! On this play, the call is a zone-beater. We know the Broncos like to play corners over, but they sometimes check to cover-4 when we motion the receiver over. This is the perfect play for us against this defensive look. We ended up going to this play twice in the game. I make the catch, make tacklers miss and then dive across the goal line. The 10-yard touchdown catch gives us our 43-8 lead. How many guys can say they’ve scored a touchdown in the Super Bowl?

Baldwin scored Seattle's final touchdown of the game, and the celebration of a lifelong dream soon followed. (John Biever/Sports Illustrated/The MMQB)
Baldwin scored Seattle’s final touchdown of the game, and the celebration of a lifelong dream soon followed. (John Biever/Sports Illustrated/The MMQB)

9:55 p.m.

The party has started before the clock hits zero. We know we are going to be Super Bowl champions. This is something I’ve been working toward my entire life; something I’ve been dreaming about since I was playing as a kid in Pensacola, Fla., at the Salvation Army. The backyard football, acting like we’re scoring the game-winning touchdown in the Super Bowl, those are dreams of ours—and now, to actually experience it is a tremendous feeling. Down on the field, I get to celebrate with my family, and my agent, Buddy Baker.

baldwin-walking11:10 p.m.

My 11-year-old brother, Devon, and I go back out to the field and meet the fans. I spot two fans I know very well from doing community outreach work in Seattle, and I go say hi. I want to share the moment with them as well. All of the 12s have been amazing this season.

11:52 p.m.

I’m the last player in the locker room except for Russell Wilson. Some of the equipment guys come over with a bottle of sparkling apple cider, and I take a second to sip with them. I stick the nameplate from my locker in my backpack and head out. The buses are waiting. A glorious ending it was.

 

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51 comments
ToddNaz
ToddNaz

"I exit the bus and walk to my locker. I tell Richard Sherman that our traditional warm-up routine on game day will commence at 4:20. I start getting ready."


4:20? Yes, these are Seattle players. ;) Great game day log Dougy... Love it bro! Hawks are World Champs due to you in a large part. Stay with your team and continue to prove everybody wrong like the d-bag CC.

terrace420
terrace420

Rosa, really you don't have anyone else but, Philippinos in your community. How about race don't matter and I'm sure white and black and Asians are proud too!!!! Maybe other islanders as well !!!

That was a stupid post thanks for your racism!!!

GO HAWKS!!!!

terrace420
terrace420

Hope to see you at softball with the stars and this time make sherms dinner event and hang with us in the VIP area on 75 th floor. Love you guys and thanks for bringing home the trophy!!!

GO HAWKS!!!

AndrewPederson
AndrewPederson

Doug, you guys (Seahawks receivers) were clutch all season. So glad you gave us these insights of your special Sunday, and fantastic seeing you enjoy the victory parade as much as us 12s.

garfieldup
garfieldup

@Dougbaldwin When you retire on the game of Football, you have another venue that you can surely consider, and thats writing!

pk_sea
pk_sea

10:35 PM -

Congratulate Cris Carter on what a great job he is doing as an analyst. 

CrystalTheeoneandonlyAguilar
CrystalTheeoneandonlyAguilar

Just another reason to make us 12's love u that much more!! keep being you and thanks for all that you do for us!! we love u!! #89 #seattlseahawks #superbowlchamps

BillRobinson
BillRobinson

Great article and, for the most part, comments. I was rooting for Peyton and the Broncos, but I have only the deepest respect for Pete Carroll and the leadership of the Seahawks, the players, and their fans. Clearly a great effort by the Hawks, and

I have great empathy for Peyton and the Broncos. This was not their night. It would be great to see a repeat game next year. I would expect a much closer game.

Pete is one of the finest coaches in the game. I love how he makes the game fun for the players while developing them and keeping their focus and discipline. He is a breath of fresh air in the NFL.

Doug Baldwin and the offense played a great game, and the defense was simply incredible. Same forr their special teams.

BrianBecker
BrianBecker

Awesome write up Mr #AngryDougBaldwin!  Great seeing you at the parade today!  Way to make a dream year for us 12's become a reality! Thank you.

tdhurst
tdhurst

Sparkling apple cider? Wow, that's a great way to be conscientious of the guys with drinking problems. Kudos.

TrevorCarslay
TrevorCarslay

Awesome Doug, there wasn't a 12 anywhere who thought you were a pedestrian appetizer, more like perfect compliment to Beast and Russell.  That was a 60 minute beat-down that showed the whole nation what us 12's knew all season.  I'm sorry to say but I really hope the national media thinks it was a fluke and this team is not that good, I want Carroll's misfits to keep that fire going all next season too!

jpeters0120
jpeters0120

Great insight to what goes through an athlete's mind on the big day. Thank you.

RosaNosabe
RosaNosabe

Great stuff. The Filipino-American community is truly proud of you, Doug. I'm sure your lola and relatives in Tacloban feel the same way. Mabuhay!

BenMyers
BenMyers

Nice look inside!


Congratulations from a 49ers (and Stanford) fan.  Wasn't happy y'all beat my boys but glad the best team won the SB.  Looking forward to watching an absolute knockout battle between the Hawks and 9ers next year and a long time to come.  A shame that yo're gonna be reporting from the sidelines with Coby Fleener next year though!!! ;)  It's a good time to be a fan in the NFC Best.  Cheers!

MarkUlloa
MarkUlloa

Outstanding journal of Super-Sunday !

We 'Baldwin Boosters of Bainbridge Island' are soooo happy that DB scored a TD... what a great move, to get in to the end zone.

Doug, sincere best wishes and continued blessings to you and the team 

GameisOver
GameisOver

I loved the part about Kam's anger exuding from his pores.  I really believe that he went into this dark place during the game.  Don't make him angry, you won't like it when he's angry...

logue.justinf
logue.justinf

I think writing about the experience was great.  It was nice that you would be so open so guys like Cris Carter can at least read about what it's like to get to a super bowl.

SkylerDavis
SkylerDavis

Sparkling apple cider? LOL. Yeah, right.

Sicko123
Sicko123

Awesome Stuff! I am sure hearing about how great Peyton is and seeing everybody pick the Broncos was extra Motivation and they ALL Played Like It! Congrats to them, happy the proved a lot of idiots in the Media WRONG and forced them to SHUT THE HELL UP especially the idiots on ESPN!

Buck2185
Buck2185

11:59 pm - I am woken up by the loud rantings of my loud mouthed punk team mate, Richard Sherman......

jp4america
jp4america

Thanks!  We watched you at a Seahawks Super Bowl party down here in Fort Walton Beach!  Every time you'd make a play (all season) someone in the room would shout out "that young man is from right here on the Gulf Coast!"  Congratulations to you and your teammates, and thanks for the memories.

Antediluvian
Antediluvian

Thanks for sharing the day with us Doug! Congrats....you've earned it.

MitchellEcland
MitchellEcland

Congratulation Doug! You earned it!

"How many guys can say they’ve scored a touchdown in the Super Bowl?" 

Not Chris Carter.

MarkUlloa
MarkUlloa

@terrace420  Unlike your earlier post, this one came off badly;

You really should've quit while you were ahead, after:

      Love you guys and thanks for bringing home the trophy!!!

EssJ
EssJ

@terrace420  If she had said, "I'm from Pensacola too! We're all proud of you down here." would that be regionalism in your eyes?


The idiots who are trying to cover their own racism by falsely shouting racism at minorities who are proud of their accomplishments are becoming an epidemic.

ToddNaz
ToddNaz

@terrace420  BTW, I'm part Filipino as well but it really doesn't matter. I understand having pride for our heritage because there just isn't many Filipino-Americans in the NFL. But c'mon, Pac-Man has made it clear there are champions from that part of the world too. Stay classy and keep it about the play on the field and this great team and of course 4:20..."the traditional warm-up routine on game day" Most games start around 1PM PT so I'm still confused. :)

Merr
Merr

@terrace420  This comment was uncalled for. Thanks for the stupid post. 


And its spelt *Filipino BTW.

theMMQB
theMMQB moderator

for what it's worth, and in case people are wondering, the NFL prohibits alcohol in locker rooms

RobinRees
RobinRees

@tdhurst Please tell me you're not being a sarcastic idiot. If that's the only thing you can say after reading this article, I feel sorry for your sad, little life.

RScannix
RScannix

@TrevorCarslay Well considering that at least half the chatter coming out of this game is about Peyton Manning and his legacy, I'd say there's a chance of that happening. Seattle will always be an underdog market in the national media. If teams like Dallas or the Jets are any indicator of what happens with an incessant media spotlight, that's definitely a good thing.

EssJ
EssJ

@BenMyers  Are you expecting Mr. Baldwin to be injured because that's the only way he isn't going to play in the Superbowl next year.

LA_Banker
LA_Banker

@SkylerDavis  As a mod pointed out, booze is prohibited in the locker room. So, yes, in fact it was sparkling apple cider. 

el80ne
el80ne

@Sicko123  Agreed. The First Take geniuses were the worst. It was fun to watch them eat crow.

MarkUlloa
MarkUlloa

@Buck2185  If you're trying to be funny... we're not laughing.

If you're serious... be gone, troll.


Hollywood26
Hollywood26

@ToddNaz @terrace420  He was telling sherman the time based upon Kickoff.  When I played my cousin and I had a similar ritual that had to be completed approximately 1:15 before kickoff. The time from kickoff was a fluke in that we did it the first time, we dominated and so in our superstitious minds we couldn't change anything, including the number of passes we threw to each other.  


I did find it hilarious though that they picked 4:20

MyDogWally
MyDogWally

@RobinRees @tdhurst  I didn't think the original poster was being sarcastic or idiotic, but you seem to want to jump to that conclusion.  You may be projecting your own sad, little life onto him.

brendonkuhn1
brendonkuhn1

Seriously, what about their post was worthy of being attacked? You come across as an idiot far more than the original poster.

Congrats Doug, proud of you! You had an amazing season and are certainly a fan favourite to the 12s.

MyDogWally
MyDogWally

@Buck2185 @MyDogWally @MarkUlloa  The same person who asked what you thought.  Looking over several of the posts you've made in various threads, Buck, you have a history of negativity and mean-spiritedness.  I'm honestly sad for you.

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