Marshawn Lynch’s 67-yard-touchdown run is already the stuff of legend. A guy in the elevator yesterday insisted Lynch tossed eight men single-handedly. (From my seat in row EE, somewhere in the lower stratosphere, it looked more like six. ) Some say Lynch used magic, Hogwarts style. And Seahawks fans went so freakin’ insane when he scored, it registered as a small earthquake in Seattle. Not to mention the three false starts the 12th Man already caused by drowning out audibles with a constant “AHHHHHHHHHH.”

It was one of the finest runs in football playoff history, and one of the most amazing sporting events I’d ever been to. But you kind of knew the day was going to be epic when the national anthem got people fired up—I’m not talking about the usual handful of people around you half-mumbling, but everyone singing. Credit Lawrence Brownlee, a rising opera tenor who got his start in Seattle Opera’s Young Artists program, and returns this weekend as love-struck Count Almaviva in SO’s The Barber of Seville. Brownlee stepped up to the mic at Qwest Field and absolutely owned the “Star-Spangled Banner”—confident, with clear intonation, a purity you rarely hear over loudspeakers. He’s also a local legend of sorts, having been known to hit a high F above high C in his last Seattle appearance, I Puritani in 2008, which is the aural equivalent of Lynch’s touchdown run. Brownlee’s cameo was enough to get me to the opera this weekend—if you were equally impressed, tickets are on sale now for performances January 15-29.

Here’s a little taste of another star from Saturday’s game (from May 2010):