DENVER - Pssst. Did you hear what the Seahawks said about the Broncos?
The Seahawks think the Broncos were stunned, spooked, spineless. They think the Broncos are softer than Alki Beach after a November rain.
Oh, you didn't hear? No worries. It's been 10 minutes or so. Any time now, the Seahawks will start talking again. Wait for it ...
"They looked scared out there," Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner said on ESPN last week, a solid five months after the fact. "Nobody wanted to catch the ball. Nobody wanted to come across the middle."
Sticks and stones was a lie.
We learned lots at Super Bowl XLVIII, the most important lesson being this:
2013 was The Year of the Hawk, not the Horse, like the Chinese zodiac calendar, and Peyton Manning's MVP award, had suggested.
The 'Hawks ruled. In that game, the Broncos drooled.
Since then, we've learned something else: the Seahawks won't shut up about it. When the Lombardi landed in Seattle, any semblance of humility drowned in Puget Sound.
The nastiest defense in almost 30 years? I think so. Don't believe it? Just ask them.
If Seattle played Denver 100 times, the Seahawks would win "probably 90. I'd probably go 90 out of 100," linebacker K.J. Wright said on NBCSN. "They might've got lucky those other 10 times."
Nobody talks trash after a Super Bowl win like the Seahawks.
Hold on, free take backs. One man did. He was a Bronco.
"Of course I heard what they're saying," Shannon Sharpe told me.
To learn the dos and don'ts of trash-talk protocol after a Super Bowl, I went to the master. The Pro Football Hall of Fame has a bust for Sharpe, who won three Super Bowls - two in Denver, one in Baltimore. It should have a separate wing for his words.
Say, Shannon, what's your take on the Seahawks' smack?
"This is what I think: to the victor goes the spoils. If I win the Super Bowl, I get to say anything I want and you can't do anything to disprove it. There is nothing you can do," Sharpe said. "I proved we were the better team, and you can't do anything about it. That's what happens. If you don't want me to talk, shut me up. Keep me out of the end zone. Don't let me catch that pass. Don't let us score.
"That's how you shut us up."
I got the impression Sharpe is more offended by the Broncos' performance than the Seahawks' trash talk.
"We've seen the Broncos have bad games," he said. "Never that bad.
"I just know this: the Broncos didn't show up. I mean, they picked that game, that stage, that moment, to pick the worst day they've ever had? I just didn't see the fire."
Sorry, Colorado. In football there are rules, and this is one: if Shannon Sharpe says a team can talk trash until the garbage man comes, open the dumpsters.
This is asking Picasso how to draw a stick figure, John Gierach how to write a fly-fishing essay, my dog how to sniff out a rabbit. There's a yin and a yang to his yap.
Sharpe once cajoled Chiefs legend Derrick Thomas into three penalties and a suspension. He once called on the National Guard to save the Patriots.
If Sharpe didn't make the trash-talk rules, he sure as heck can amend them.
"You saw the game. Everybody saw the game. 43-8?" Sharpe said. "So unless there was somebody else playing, 43-8 speaks for itself.
"Listen, I played for Denver. I was watching the game. What else can they say? They just had a bad game? We're still trying to figure out what happened."
What did happen? Were the Broncos scared of the Seahawks?
"Bobby Wagner would know better than I. He got an opportunity to look into their eyes," Sharpe said.
Perhaps it's worth noting Wagner is tight with Broncos safety Omar Bolden. They share an apartment in Southern California. Here's a hunch they've talked about the game.
The Super Bowl should be more about the Seahawks' excellence than the Broncos' incompetence. Seattle's loose lips made it both.
"Remember, I played with the Ravens. Talking was part of what we were. I heard our defensive players say the same thing about the Giants (in 2001)," Sharpe said. "After that Super Bowl, our defensive players said a lot of the same things. But there wasn't the social media aspect blowing it up for everybody to see.
"Besides, how do you refute what he (Wagner) said?"
Sharpe spent the past 10 years as an NFL analyst for CBS. The network removed him from its studio team for the 2014 season. If you prefer truths, that's a bummer.
"Right now I'm enjoying my time off. We'll see what happens in the next couple months," he said. "I'm going to work because I want to, not because I have to."
If those Broncos and those Seahawks played 10 games, Sharpe believes the Seahawks would win eight or nine. I said 10 of 10.
They were that good. Just ask them.
I also said if Seattle played in the Super Bowl without Russell Okung (the parallel to Ryan Clady), Cliff Avril (Von Miller), Earl Thomas (Rahim Moore), Michael Bennett (Kevin Vickerson), Richard Sherman (Chris Harris) and Chris Clemons (Derek Wolfe), the Seahawks aren't still talking like there's a word bonus in their contract.
The titan of trash talk said the Seahawks earned their voice.
"No one can ever take that trophy away. It's in their building. But what you did last year has no bearing on this year," Sharpe said. "The only thing is, next year you will get everybody's best shot every single game. You think the NFC West isn't hearing everything they're saying? You think San Francisco isn't hearing that?"
To the victors go the spoils. They also get the words. All of the words, apparently.
Act like you've been there before? Not these champs.
We learned plenty about the Seahawks during their Super Bowl win. Ever since, we learned something else: it was definitely their first.
"Just remember this: A lot of teams have won one in a row," Sharpe said. "You're not special if you win one. A lot of teams have one. Back-to-back, that's different."