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January 18, 2014 at 7:21 PM

Mike Holmgren, Jim Zorn offer calming words for the nervous 12th Man

Jim Zorn raises the 12th Man flag before the Seattle Seahawks NFC Divisional Playoff game against the New Orleans Saints at CenturyLink Field on Saturday, January 11, 2014.  Bettina Hansen / Seattle Times

Jim Zorn raises the 12th Man flag before the Seahawks’ NFC Divisional Playoff game against the New Orleans Saints last Saturday. (Photo by Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)

Mike Holmgren, December 2008. (Photo by Associated Press.)

Mike Holmgren, December 2008. (Photo by AP)

You’re nervous, thoughts of a terrible loss creep up, you worry about this going badly or that going badly and then your hopes and dreams evaporating.

You’re part of the Seahawks’ 12th Man and the clock is ticking toward Sunday’s big clash with the 49ers.

So here are a few calming words from a couple of guys who know all about game-time tension:

Mike Holmgren, the coach who took the Seahawks to the Super Bowl after the 2005 season, and Jim Zorn, the first quarterback for the Seahawks when they were founded in 1976 and who was their starter until 1983.

“You know what?” Holmgren said Saturday. “The Seahawks have the best team and unless something screwy happens, we’re gonna win. We have a good team.”

These days, Holmgren is a commentator on KJR-AM, the sports station, and talks about the hosts. “They’ve been at this sports business a long time, and they’re a mess,” says Holmgren.

He reminds them, “First of all, it’s a game. Football is a game.” And in his coaching days, he says he’d remind himself, “You’re not sending somebody to the moon.”

One of Holmgren’s daughters, Calla Holmgren, is a doctor in Salt Lake City. “She saves lives. That’s important,” says Holmgren.

For the fans, Holmgren says to just keep remembering the Hawks are the superior team, even though he also thinks it’ll be a close game.

“Relax and enjoy it,” he says. “It’s going to be OK.”

Unless, he adds, “Something odd should happen.”

Oh, we didn’t need to hear that last comment. Just delete it.

Jim Zorn also is confident about the Hawks.

“The whole season has led up to this game. They know what it is like to be playing in a tight, high-risk game,” he says.

“What I’ve liked about Seahawks all year long is even there might be tightness, it’ll be before the same. Once the game starts, you’re going to see the Seahawks and the fans come alive.”

Sure, he understands some of you are feeling uptight and nervous.

“That’s the thrill of being in a championship game,” says Zorn. “Get a good night’s sleep and enjoy the game.”

And if on Sunday you’re hyperventilating waiting for kickoff, says Zorn, “Try breathing into a paper bag.”

See? All calm now?

Comments | Topics: jim zorn, mike holmgren, Seahawks

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