Seattle Seahawks

Wed, 17 Sep 2008 21:57

The history of the Seattle Seahawks

About the NFL team Seattle Seahawks.

The Seattle Seahawks, also known as the Hawks, are the professional football team that represents Seattle, Washington in the National Football League (NFL). During their first season, in 1976, the team played in the National Football Conference (NFC) West Division. From 1977 to 2001, the Hawks switched into the American Football Conference (AFC) West Division. In 2002, the team returned to the NFC West Division, where the Seahawks continue to compete in today.

Seattle Professional Football Inc.

Herman Sarkowsky and Ned Skinner were founders of the Seattle Professional Football Inc. This was a group of business leaders and community leaders in Seattle. In 1972, the group made plans to bring an NFL franchise to Seattle, Washington. It was not until 1974 that Seattle Professional Football Inc. would reach this goal. Nearing the end of 1974, an official franchise agreement was signed between the then NFL Commissioner, Pete Rozelle, and a representative of the Seattle Professional Football Inc, Lloyd W. Nordstrom. The team was to be an expansion franchise. It was not until 1975 that the team would be named the Seattle Seahawks, which was chosen through a naming contest.

The young Hawks

On the first day of August, 1976, the Seattle Seahawks would play their first game ever. The franchise would play at their home stadium at the time, the Kingdome, against the San Francisco 49ers. Seattle lost the match, and it would not be until October 17 that same year that the team would experience their first win. Their first ever win came from a 13-10 win as a visiting team against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Seahawks won their first game at the Kingdome against the Atlanta Falcons in November 1976. Ending the season with a record of two wins and twelve losses, the Seahawks were off to a rough start.

It would not be until 1978 that the Seattle Seahawks would have their first winning season. This was a rather successful year for the franchise, with a season record of 9-7 and a number of awards handed to players and staff members. During this year, Hawks Head Coach Jack Patera won the NFL Coach of the Year award. Their wide receiver, Steve Largent, ranked second in receiving yards. Also, the AFC Player of the Year award was given to quarterback Jim Zorn by the Touchdown Club of Washington, DC. These individual and team successes would bode well for the young team. In 1979, the Seahawks would continue their success by recording another winning season (9-7).

After recording two consecutive winning seasons, the Hawks experienced three years of failure. The 1980 season would end with a record of 4-12 and the '81 season would only be slightly better, with a record of 6-10. During the 1982 season, Patera, the Hawks' coach, was replaced by Mick McCormack, and the team still recorded a losing season with a record of 4-5. The '82 season was shortened because of a strike in the league. McCormack was moved to a franchise office position and Chuck Knox was hired as the Seattle Seahawks head coach in 1983.

Taking flight with Chuck Knox

The 1983 season would turn out to be the Seahawks' most successful season to that date. Under the coaching of Chuck Knox, the Hawks were able to make it to their first playoff appearance. After beating rookie John Elway and the Denver Broncos, the Hawks went on to the Miami Orange Bowl to play against rookie Dan Marino and the Miami Dolphins. They went on to their first ever AFC Championship Game against the Los Angeles Raiders. The Hawks lost to the Raiders, 30-14, and the Raiders went on to become Super Bow XVIII Champions. Knox was declared the AFC Coach of the Year and running back Curt Warner was rewarded as the AFC Rookie of the Year.

In 1984, the Seahawks would continue their success to end the season with a record of 12-4. Once again they would enter into the divisional playoffs. This time, however, they lost to the Miami Dolphins. Once again, Knox was named the coach of the year. After two consecutive successful years, the Seahawks would hit a slump in the 1985 season. They played inconsistently throughout the entire season and never made it to the playoffs. In 1986, the team would play much better, ending with a 10-6 record, but they still did not make it to the playoffs. The team was able to make it to the playoffs again in 1987 as a wild-card team. They were defeated by the Houston Oilers, 23-20.

The Seattle Seahawks were finally able to win their first AFC West division title against the Los Angeles Raiders in 1988. Once again, though, their hopes of making it to the Super Bowl were crushed after a 21-13 loss against the Cincinnati Bengals in the divisional playoffs. During this year, the franchise was bought from the Nordstrom family by Ken Behring.

Crashing hard in the '90s

From 1992 to 1998, the Seattle Seahawks would be challenged with a number of upsets and setbacks. With consecutive losing streaks, including the franchise's worst season ever (with a record of 2-14), the team would undergo a number of changes. Although the Seahawks were able to acquire a number of players who were expected to have a positive effect on the team, their inconsistent play still prevailed. In 1994, the head coach was replaced by Dennis Erickson and the franchise president, Tom Flores, was replaced by the owner's son, David Behring. The continued troubles that the team faced urged Ken Behring to sell the team.

In 1996, the Seattle Seahawks would have a new owner in Paul Allen, who agreed to buy the franchise only if a new stadium was built, which was done. With a number of staff and player changes, as well as a change in the home venue, the Seahawks were expected to turn around their mediocre play as well. Still, they would continue having troubles in both the 1997 and 1998 seasons, recording two more losing seasons. Finally, the team would make another change in 1999 that would catapult the team back to a premier competitor.

Mike Holmgren and the Seattle Seahawks

Mike Holmgren was the former head coach of the Green Bay Packers. In 1999, Holmgren was hired by the Hawks as both General Manager and Head Coach. In their first season with the new coach and GM, the Seahawks would record their first winning season in years, closing with a record of 9-7. In the following season, the Hawks recorded another 9-7 season. This would mark their last year in the AFC Division as the team was moved to the NFC in 2002. The Hawks moved to the Seahawks Stadium in 2002, where they finished with a 7-9 season record. Holmgren gave up his role as general manager to focus on his duties as head coach. The team finished 2003 with a record of 10-6, but they lost their chances to make the playoffs.

In 2004, the Seahawks were expected to make it to Super Bowl XXXIX. They were unable to fulfill these expectations until the following year, in 2005. Ending the regular season with a record of 13-3, the team went on to represent the NFC in Super Bowl XL, which they lost to the Pittsburgh Stealers. This would be their only Super Bowl appearance to date (2008). In the 2006 and 2007 seasons, the Hawks would continue to have winning seasons and enter into the playoffs. The 2006 season ended after a loss to the Chicago Bears in the NFC Divisional Round Playoffs. The 2007 season ended in a similar manner, after being defeated by the Green Bay Packers.