The Seattle Seahawks are a professional American football team based in Seattle, Washington. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The team joined the NFL in 1976 as an expansion team. Seattle is the only team to have played in both the AFC (American Football Conference) and NFC Championship Games. The Seahawks' only Super Bowl appearance was in 2006 for Super Bowl XL where they were defeated by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
For more details on this topic, see History of the Seattle Seahawks.On June 15, 1972, Seattle Professional Football Inc., a group of Seattle business and community leaders, announced its intention to acquire an NFL franchise for the city of Seattle, WA. Around two years later on June 4, 1974, the NFL gave the city an expansion franchise. On December 5, 1974, NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle announced the official signing of the franchise agreement by Lloyd W. Nordstrom, representing the Nordstrom family as majority partners for the consortium. Nordstrom died of a heart attack before the Seahawks played their first game.
On March 5, 1975, John Thompson, former Executive Director of the NFL Management Council and a former Washington Husky executive, was hired as the general manager of the currently unnamed team. The name Seattle Seahawks ("Seahawk", another name for osprey) was selected on June 17, 1975 after a public naming contest which drew more than 20,000 entries and over 1,700 different names. The name "Seahawks" was submitted by Mary Hoolahan of Seattle, WA. Thompson recruited and hired Jack Patera, a Minnesota Vikings assistant coach, to be the first head coach of the Seahawks. Patera was introduced as the new head coach at a press conference on January 3, 1976. The expansion draft was held March 30–31, 1976, with Seattle and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers alternating picks for rounds selecting unprotected players from the other 26 teams in the league. The Seahawks were awarded the 2nd overall pick in the 1976 draft, a pick they used on defensive tackle Steve Niehaus. The team took the field for the first time on August 1, 1976 in a pre-season game against the San Francisco 49ers in the then newly constructed Kingdome.
The Seahawks are the only NFL team to switch conferences twice in the post-merger era. The franchise began play in 1976 in the NFC West division but switched conferences with the Buccaneers after one season and joined the AFC West. This realignment was dictated by the league as part of the 1976 expansion plan, so that both expansion teams could play each other twice and every other NFL franchise once during their first two seasons. In 2002, the Seahawks were returned to the NFC West as part of an NFL realignment plan that gave each conference four balanced divisions of four teams each. This was done after the Houston Texans were added as the thirty-second team. This realignment restored the AFC West to its initial post-merger roster of original AFL teams Denver, San Diego, Kansas City, and Oakland.
Seattle has won seven division titles in their franchise history: the 1988 and 1999 AFC West titles, and the 2004–2007 and 2010 NFC West titles. They won the NFC Championship Game in 2005, and went on to lose in the Super Bowl against the Pittsburgh Steelers (though it was not without controversy as NFL Films has Super Bowl XL at number 8 on its top ten list of controversial calls). Before 2005, Seattle had the longest drought of playoff victories of any NFL team, dating back to the 1984 season. That drought was ended with a 20–10 win over the Washington Redskins in the 2005 playoffs. The all-time Seahawks playoff record is 8-11.
In 2010 the Seahawks became the first team in the history of the NFL to win their division and a playoff spot with a losing record (7–9) in a non-strike shortened year. They subsequently stunned the defending Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints 41–36 for a win in the first round, but lost in the following week to the Chicago Bears 35–24.
As a tribute to the raucous fans that made the Kingdome the loudest stadium in the NFL the Seahawks retired the number 12 on December 15, 1984. Since then #12 Jerseys have been sold by the team and worn by Seahawk fans, often with the name "Fan" on the back. The Seahawks also have a ceremony before each home game where a flag bearing the #12 is raised by a prominent individual. In the 2005 season the fans were again making a difference in games and were recognized with the presentation of a special game ball for their efforts in a game against the New York Giants, a game in which the Giants committed 11 false start penalties in large part because of the crowd noise.
The team's use of the phrase "12th Man" was in a legal limbo for a while between the 2005 and 2006 seasons when Texas A&M University sued the team for trademark infringement. Before going to trial, both parties settled out of court with Seattle agreeing to acknowledge ownership rights to the 12th Man slogan to A&M. In return the Seahawks were allowed to continue to use the phrase.
Starting in the 1998 season, Blitz has been the Seahawks' official mascot. In the 2003 and 2004 seasons, a hawk named Faith would fly around the stadium just before the team came out of the tunnel. However, because of her relative small size and an inability to be trained to lead the team out of a tunnel, Faith was replaced by an augur hawk named Taima before the start of the 2005 season. Taima started leading the team out of the tunnel in September 2006.
During the Seahawks' first ten seasons (1976–85), the team's headquarters was at Carillon Point on the shores of Lake Washington. The summer training camps were initially held at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, just southwest of Spokane. When the team's new headquarters across town in Kirkland were completed in 1986, the Seahawks held training camp at home for the next eleven seasons (1986–96), staying in the dormitories of the adjacent Northwest College. In Dennis Erickson's third season as head coach, the team returned to the hotter and more isolated Cheney in 1997, where they held training camp through 2006. In 2007, training camp returned to their Kirkland facility, because of the scheduled China Bowl game that was later canceled. In 2008, the Seahawks held the first three weeks of camp in Kirkland, then moved to the new 19-acre (77,000 m2) Virginia Mason Athletic Center (VMAC) on August 18 for the final week of training camp. The new facility, adjacent to Lake Washington in Renton, has four full-size practice fields: three natural grass outdoors and one FieldTurf indoors.
Seattle Seahawks uniform combinationSeattle Seahawks uniform, 1976–1982Seattle Seahawks uniform, 1983–2001When the Seahawks debuted in 1976, the team's logo was a stylized royal blue and forest green hawk's head based on Northwestern tribal art. The helmet and pants were silver while the home uniforms were royal blue with white, blue and green arm stripes. The road uniform was white with blue and green arm stripes. Black shoes were worn for the first several seasons, one of the few NFL teams that did in the late 1970s.
In 1983, coinciding with the arrival of Chuck Knox as head coach, the uniforms were updated slightly. The striping on the arms now incorporated the Seahawks logo, and the TV numbers moved onto the shoulders. Helmet facemasks changed from gray to blue. Also, the socks went solid blue at the top, white on bottom.
In 2002, to coincide with the team moving to the NFC as well as the opening of Seahawks Stadium (which would later be renamed Qwest Field, then CenturyLink Field), both the logo and the uniforms were heavily redesigned. The Wordmark was designed by Mark Verlander and the logo was designed by NFL Properties in-house design team. The colors were modified to a lighter "Seahawks Blue", a darker "Seahawks Navy" and lime green piping. The helmets also were changed from silver to the lighter "Seahawks Blue" color after a fan poll was conducted. The logo artwork was also subtly altered, with an arched eyebrow and a forward-facing pupil suggesting a more aggressive-looking bird. At first, the team had planned to wear silver helmets at home and blue helmets on the road, but since NFL rules forbid the use of multiple helmets, the team held the fan poll to decide which color helmet would be worn. The team has usually worn all blue at home and all white on the road since 2003, but late in the 2009 season, the Seahawks wore the white jersey-blue pants combo. The blue jersey and white pants combo has been worn for only one regular season game, the 2005 season opener at the Jacksonville Jaguars, while the white jersey and blue pants combination has not been worn regularly since late in the 2002 season, with the exception of late in the 2009 season. In 2009, the Seahawks once again wore the white jersey and blue pants combination for road games at Minnesota (November 22), St. Louis (November 29), Houston (December 13) and Green Bay (December 27).
With the Oakland Raiders wearing their white jerseys at home for the first time ever in a game against the San Diego Chargers on September 28, 2008, the Seahawks have become the only NFL team to have never worn their white jerseys at home.
On September 27, 2009, the Seahawks wore lime green jerseys for the first time, paired with new dark navy blue pants in a game against the Chicago Bears. The jerseys matched their new sister team, the expansion Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer who wear green jersey with blue pants. On December 6, 2009, the Seahawks wore their Seahawks blue jersey with the new dark navy blue pants for the first time, in a game against the San Francisco 49ers. The Seahawks broke out the same combo two weeks later against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and two weeks after that in the 2009 regular season finale against the Tennessee Titans. In December 2009, then-coach Jim Mora announced that the new lime green jerseys were being retired because the team did not win in them, because he liked the home jerseys better, and added that the home jersey is a better match for the navy pants. In the same press conference, he stated that the new navy pants "felt better" on players as opposed to the Seahawks blue pants. For the 2010 season, Seattle returned to the traditional all "Seahawks Blue" at home and all white on the road.
Main article: List of Seattle Seahawks seasonsAs of 2009, the Seattle Seahawks have competed in 33 NFL seasons, dating back to their expansion year of 1976. The team has compiled a 250–266 record (257–276 counting the playoffs) for a .484 winning percentage (.482 counting the playoffs). Seattle has reached the playoffs in eleven separate seasons, including in the 2005 season when they lost Super Bowl XL to the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the 2010 season, the Seahawks became the first team in NFL history to earn a spot in the playoffs with a losing record (7–9, .438); that year, 7 teams in the NFL with a record of 7–9 or better did not make the playoffs, including two 10–6 teams. However, the Seahawks would go on to defeat the reigning Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints in the Wild Card round, becoming the first team ever to win a playoff game with a losing record. They are also the oldest existing team in the NFL to never have had a tie game.
Main article: List of Seattle Seahawks recordsDuring the 2005 season the Seattle Seahawks had one of the most potent offenses in team history.
|Player||Years played for the Seahawks||Year inducted|
Note: Although Mike McCormack served as head coach, president, and general manager for the Seahawks, he is only listed in the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his contributions as a tackle for the New York Yanks and the Cleveland Browns.
- 12—Fans (12th Man) in 1984
- 71—LT Walter Jones in 2010
- 80—WR Steve Largent in 1996 (though retired, Jerry Rice wore #80 for his 2004 stint with the Seahawks with Largent's permission)
- Several other players and individuals related to the team have been honored by their induction into the Seattle Seahawks Ring of Honor
|Seattle Seahawks staff|
Special Teams Coaches
Strength and Conditioning
|AFC East: BUF · MIA · NE · NYJ • North: BAL · CIN · CLE · PIT • South: HOU · IND · JAC · TEN • West: DEN · KC · OAK · SD|
Main article: 12th man (football)The term "12th Man" was coined and marketed to represent Texas A&M Aggies fans after the 1922 Dixie Classic. While intellectual property laws recognize such common law uses in trademark disputes, the official registration of the mark was not filed by Texas A&M (U.S. Reg. No. 1948306) until September 1990, and later significantly bolstered by the passage of the Federal Dilution Trademark Act of 1995. This law allowed Texas A&M to use potential damage to the trademark through dilution as a justification in its lawsuit against the Seattle Seahawks. According to statements made by Texas A&M officials, they sent requests to stop using the phrase to the Seattle Seahawks (2004, 2005), Buffalo Bills (undated), and the Chicago Bears (undated). Both the Bills and the Bears responded to the requests stating they would no longer use the phrase, however the Seahawks failed to respond to the request.
In January 2006, Texas A&M filed suit against the Seattle Seahawks to protect the trademark and in May 2006, the dispute was settled out of court. In the agreement, Texas A&M licensed the Seahawks to continue using the phrase "12th Man" in exchange for a licensing fee and public acknowledgement by the NFL franchise as to Texas A&M's ownership of the phrase.
The Seahawks have some of the loudest fans in the NFL, dating back to the days of the Kingdome. In 1984, the number twelve was retired to honor the fans.
The Seahawks began playing at CenturyLink Field in 2002. Every regular season and playoff game at CenturyLink Field since the 2nd week of the 2003 season has been played before a sellout crowd, a streak of 52 consecutive games.
Inside CenturyLink Field the noise level can reach as high as 137 decibels, or the equivalent of a jet engine. Indeed, this has caused problems for opposing teams, making them have numerous false starts and penalties. From 2005 through the beginning of the 2010 season, fans have caused a league-high 107 false start penalties.
Prior to kickoff of each home game, the Seahawks salute the loudest fans in the NFL by raising the 12th man flag at the south end of the stadium. Current and former players and coaches, various local celebrities, fans, other Seattle area athletes, and current owner Paul Allen have raised the flag.
As of 2009, the Seahawks' flagship station is KIRO 97.3FM. The current announcers are former Seahawks players Steve Raible (who was the team's color commentator from 1982–2003) and Warren Moon. The Raible-Moon regular season pairing has been together since 2004 (during the preseason Moon works for the local television broadcast so the color commentary is split between former Seahawks Paul Moyer, Sam Adkins, and Brock Huard). Pete Gross, who called the games from 1976 until just days before his death from cancer in 1992, is a member of the team's Ring of Honor. Games are heard on 47 stations in five states and Canada making the Seahawks the NFL's largest area in terms of network coverage.
Past announcers include; Steve Thomas (Radio: 1992–1997), Lee Hamilton also known as "Hacksaw" (Radio: 1998–1999), and Brian Davis (Radio: 2000–2003). Preseason games not shown on national networks are televised by KING-TV, channel 5 (and, in 2008, also on sister station KONG-TV since KING, an NBC affiliate, was committed to the Summer Olympics in China). Curt Menefee (who replaced Vern Lundquist) has been the Seahawks TV voice since the 2009 preseason. The games are produced by Root Sports Northwest.
|Grand Coulee||KEYG-FM||98.5 FM|
|Moses Lake||KBSN-AM||1470 AM|
|Mount Vernon||KBRC-AM||1430 AM|
|Port Angeles||KONP-AM||1450 AM|
|Walla Walla||KUJ-AM||1420 AM|
|Coeur d'Alene||KVNI-AM||1080 AM|
|St. Maries||KOFE-AM||1240 AM|
|Klamath Falls||KLAD-AM||960 AM|
|La Grande||KUBQ-FM||98.7 FM|
|The Dalles||KODL-AM||1440 AM|
|Team colors||Steel Blue, Dark Navy, Neon Green, White
|Mascot||Blitz, and Taima the hawk|
|General manager||John Schneider|
|Head coach||Pete Carroll|
|League championships (0)|
|Conference championships (1)
|Division championships (7)|
|Playoff appearances (11)|