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The Seattle Seahawks are a professional American football team based in Seattlemarker, Washingtonmarker, USA. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The team, along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, joined the NFL in 1976 as expansion teams. Seattle is the only team to have played in both the AFC (American Football Conference) and NFC Championship Games. The Seahawks have one Super Bowl appearance, Super Bowl XL.

Franchise history

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, WAmarker. Almost two years later on June 4, 1974, the NFL awarded the group 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 on January 20, 1976, just months before the Seahawks played their first game.

On March 5, 1975, John Thompson, a former University of Washingtonmarker executive, was hired as the general manager of the yet-unnamed team. The name Seattle Seahawks (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. Thompson recruited and hired Jack Patera, a Minnesota Vikings assistant coach, to be the first head coach of the new team. 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 Kingdomemarker.

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 six division titles in their franchise history: the 1988 and 1999 AFC West titles, and the 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 NFC West titles. They have won the NFC Championship Game once in 2005, and lost the AFC Championship Game once in 1983. 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 (7-10).

As a tribute to the raucous fans that made the Kingdomemarker 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 season when Texas A&M Universitymarker 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.

Headquarters and training camps

During the Seahawks' first ten seasons ( -85), the team's headquarters was at Carillon Point on the shores of Lake Washingtonmarker. The summer training camps were initially held at Eastern Washington Universitymarker in Cheneymarker, just southwest of Spokanemarker. When the team's new headquarters across town in Kirkland were completed in , 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 , where they held training camp through . 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 Virginia Mason Athletic Centermarker on August 18 for the final week of training camp. The new facility, adjacent to Lake Washingtonmarker in Rentonmarker, has four full-size practice fields: three natural grass outdoors and a one FieldTurf indoors.

Logos and uniforms

Seattle Seahawks uniform combination
Seattle Seahawks uniform, 1976-1982
Seattle Seahawks uniform, 1983-2001
When the Seahawks debuted in , 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 , 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 , to coincide with the team moving to the NFC as well as the opening of Seahawks Stadiummarker, 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 seafoam 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. Because of the reflectivity of the paint used, the appearance of the helmets' color can vary widely between gray, navy, and turquoise, depending on the lighting. The team has usually worn all blue at home and all white on the road since 2003. 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 and made its final appearance in a December 7, 2003 game against the Minnesota Vikings. On November 22, 2009, the Seahawks once again wore the white jersey and blue pants combination in a game against the Minnesota Vikings. The Seahawks also wore their home blues during Super Bowl XL despite being designated as the visitor, since the Pittsburgh Steelers insisted on wearing their road uniforms because of their recent road success.

With the Oakland Raiders wearing their white jerseys at home for the first time ever in a game against the San Diego Chargers on Sept. 28, 2008, the Seahawks have become the only NFL team to have never worn their white jerseys at home.

On Sept. 27, 2009, the Seahawks wore seafoam green jerseys for the first time, paired with the blue pants in game against the Chicago Bears. The jerseys were designed in honor of the new Major League Soccer team Seattle Sounders FC who also wear a seafoam green jersey with blue pants (or in SSFCs case, shorts). It was originally reported by Chris Berman from ESPN during the Week 3 predictions of his 2-Minute Drill portion of SportsCenter and confirmed by QB Matt Hasselbeck.


As 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 ten separate seasons, including losing Super Bowl XL in 2006 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Team records

Players of note

Current roster

Pro Football Hall of Famers

Player Year inducted
Franco Harris
Steve Largent
Carl Eller
Warren Moon

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.

Retired Numbers

Coaches of note

Head coaches

Head Coach Years served Regular Season Record % Playoff Record
Jack Patera 1976-1982 35-59 .372 0-0
Mike McCormack 1982 4-3 .571 0-0
Chuck Knox 1983-1991 80-63 .559 3-4
Tom Flores 1992-1994 14-34 .292 0-0
Dennis Erickson 1995-1998 31-33 .484 0-0
Mike Holmgren 1999-2008 86-74 .538 4-6
Jim L. Mora 2009-Present 3-6 0.333 0-0

Current staff

Sea Gals (Cheerleaders)

The Seahawks cheerleaders are called the Sea Gals. During the off-season, a select performing group from the Sea Gals travel parades and with other NFL Cheerleaders on the road.

12th man

The term "12th Man" was coined and marketed to represent the Texas Aggie 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 Kingdomemarker. In 1984, the number twelve was retired to honor the fans.

The Seahawks began playing at Qwest Fieldmarker in 2002. Every regular season and playoff game at Qwest Field since the 2nd week of the 2003 season has been played before a sellout crowd, a streak of 52 consecutive games.

Inside Qwest 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 end of the 2008 season, the 12th man has caused a league high 78 false start penalties.

Prior to kickoff of each home game, the Seahawks salute the second-loudest fans in football - behind Texas A&M University's fans at Kyle Field - 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.

Team owners

Radio and television

, the Seahawks' flagship station is KIROmarker 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   until just days before his death from cancer in  , 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-TVmarker, channel 5 (and, in 2008, also on sister station KONG-TVmarker since KING, an NBC affiliate, was committed to the Summer Olympics in China) Curt Menefee replaced Vern Lundquist as the Seahawks TV voice for the 2009 preseason. The games have been produced by FSN Northwest.

See also

Notes and references

  1. Look Back
  2. Look Back
  3. 1976 NFL Expansion Draft - Pro Football Hall of Fame

External links

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