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Here s a look at what the local and national media are saying today about the Seattle Seahawks, who beat the San Francisco 49ers 23-17 Sunday in a hard-hitting, back-and-forth NFC title game, and will be playing for their first Super Bowl title on Feb. 2.

To Those Who Would Call Me a Thug or Worse ... | Sports Illustrated
I show passion on the football field but that s only a small part of who I am. If you want to judge me, I can handle it, Richard Sherman writes in a guest column.

Thunderous Defense and Crowd Lift Seahawks to Super Bowl | New York Times
No matchup would have been as delicious (or entertaining) as a third installment of the league s most vicious rivalry, teeming with such contempt and scorn that during the week, Sherman said he doubted there would be postgame handshakes. He welcomes his role as villain, much as the Seahawks unheralded receiving corps embraces the perception that it is inferior in talent and in pedigree.

In a classic title game, the Seahawks prevail | ESPN.com
Championship games don't get any better. This was a heavyweight bout of NFC West powerhouses, with haymakers being landed in every round -- bloodied, broken, but unbowed, as each fighter kept getting up to land one more big shot.

Losing was never option for this audacious, bodacious team | Seattle Times
It wasn t graceful, but it was typical. The Seahawks aren t floating to the Super Bowl as if on a cloud. They re stomping. They re dancing. They re sticking their chests out and declaring that, in the most rugged test this young team has faced, they ve shown championship mettle.

Once again, Kearse comes through in the clutch for Seahawks | The News Tribune
Kearse will forever be hailed as the local hero from Lakes High School and the University of Washington who bailed out the Seahawks when they needed a play the most.

22 Brief Thoughts About That Richard Sherman Interview | Forbes
If you stick a microphone in a football player s face seconds after he made a huge play to send his team to the Super Bowl, you shouldn t be surprised if he s a little amped up.

No joy in S.F. as Niners defeated by Seahawks | SFGate.com
Moments after the final play a few enthusiastic Seattle fans jumped through the somber crowds crowing 'Good game' and offering excited handshakes. No Niners fans, at least at first, seemed up to reciprocating.

49ers collapse late, fall to Seattle in NFC title game | SacBee.com
The 49ers started hot, played smart and were careful with the ball early on. But in the Seahawks home, where their defense waits like wolves for opportunities and where the stadium literally shakes with crowd noise, all it takes is one mistake to turn a well-played game into an avalanche.

Seahawks player leveled by guy in street clothes on 49ers sideline | USAToday
... someone standing in street clothes on the San Francisco 49ers sideline laid out Seattle Seahawks gunner Jeremy Lane during a punt coverage in Sunday s NFC championship.

Johnny Manziel takes a shot at Seattle s 12th Man | ForTheWin
Following Seattle s 23-17 NFC Championship victory over San Francisco Sunday night, Johnny Manziel couldn t help himself.

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