It was pitched as a "storybook ending."
Kevin Williams – in his debut season with the Seahawks, after an 11-year career in Minnesota – was set to play in the Super Bowl for the first time ever Sunday.
The 34-year-old was "itching" to get out there, he told reporters a few days ago, according to the Seattle P-I. The two-week lead-up was moving fast, but he was "trying to enjoy it, soaking in every moment, and it’s been fun,” he said.
Williams had been to the playoffs a few times with the Purple, but never advanced beyond the NFC Championship game. (Thanks, New Orleans Saints.)
Getting over that hump was the reason he came to the Seahawks, ESPN reports.
He was a veteran leader on a young Seahawks defense this past season, a run-stopping stalwart who was reliable and a respected locker room guy.
"He does a great job of keeping us level-headed, and his knowledge of the game is so far past all of ours," defensive end Michael Bennett told SportingNews.
Williams was finally at the end of a long wait.
But it ended in heartbreak.
His Seattle Seahawks were up 10 points with just 8 minutes to go in the game, the defense giving Tom Brady and the Patriots fits with glue-like coverage and a fierce pass rush.
The Star Tribune details a sequence early in the fourth quarter when Williams played a prominent role in forcing a three-and-out, which at the time seemed huge.
But New England scored two touchdowns in that final quarter, going up 28-24 with a hair over 2 minutes remaining.
With 26 seconds left, Williams still had a chance at the Lombardi Trophy, with Seattle's offense just 1 yard away from the end zone.
Then came the interception, the Pats' Malcolm Butler stepping in front of a Russell Wilson pass, sealing the game.
And sealing Williams' fate.
Said Bruce Irvin, his teammate, to the told the Pioneer Press: "I feel so bad for Kevin."
Williams is a free agent this offseason. Before the game, he said he'd consider retirement once the Super Bowl was over, the Arizona Republic reported.
Whether the loss swings his decision one way or the other, we'll find out later.