This article was originally written as a review of the Seattle Seahawks on my Yelp page which you can find HERE. A lot of people really liked it so I figured I would turn it into a full blown blog post on my website.
For as long as I can remember, the Seahawks have been a part of my life, sometimes more than others but always there. From the early days that featured names like Zorn, Largent, Krieg, and Warner to the current crop of young talent like Wilson, Lynch, Sherman, and Thomas, no other organization in the city has been able to draw the level of passion out of its fan base better than Seattle's own NFL franchise.
When the Nordstrom family owned the team, there was an expectation of success that kept the good times rolling for a very long time. Unfortunately, they eventually sold the Seahawks to a man named Ken Behring whose primary goal wasn't to win championships in Seattle, but to relocate the team to Los Angeles where he felt more money could be made. After a failed attempt that actually got as far as having trucks filled with all the organization's belongings on the road and ready to roll, he ended up selling the team to one Mr. Paul Allen, one of the famous founders of Microsoft, an avid sports fan, and a man who cares deeply about preserving his Seattle roots.
After saving the team and working with the city to custom build a stadium that would rival any other building in the league, Mr. Allen set out to bring back the glory days of success that some felt may never return. After a run of success with coach Mike Holmgren and Pro Bowl caliber players like Matt Hasselbeck and Walter Jones that culminated in one of the most heartbreaking and gut wrenching games in sports history, it was time to reshuffle the deck once again. After a few mediocre seasons ended with less than desirable results, coach Pete Carroll and General Manager John Schneider were brought in to create a new culture of winning by installing a philosophy for how to build a team that had never been seen before.
Over the last four years under Carroll and Schneider, the Seahawks have been controversial, eye opening, and sometimes shocking not only in the level of success they have achieved but by how they have achieved that success. In four years time, there have been over 1000 roster moves and an endless line of players have been brought in that no one else wanted or that other teams thought weren't good enough. They brought in guys that were supposedly too short, too tall, too skinny, too slow, not experienced enough, too young, too hard headed, too quiet, or just flat out not good enough. In each of these players, the staff saw something special and took advantage of those qualities to get the most out of the talents they do possess.
Let's talk about the "12th Man" for a moment. While not officially part of the organization, the fan base is as much a part of the team as any of the players, trainers, coaches, or front office personnel. We are the loudest, most passionate fans in all of sports and the Guinness Book of World Records will even provide proof if needed. The number 12 has become a symbol of unity not only amongst the fans, but between the fans and the players themselves. Every member of the team will tell you they owe their success in some part to the 12th Man and not one person anywhere could ever convince them otherwise. On social media, they communicate with and give shout outs to the 12th Man. Pete Carroll refers to them every week in interviews and post game press conferences. The Seahawks have done a wonderful job of finding a way to brand what it means to be a fan and to make it part of the overall experience for anyone that wants to join in.
When the 2013 Seattle Seahawks training camp began, there was so much hype and expectation for a team that had been less than a minute away from competing for the conference championship the year before. The front office added players where they were needed most and what some considered the most talented roster in the league was ready to make a run at a title they had never before been able to claim. While my prediction of an undefeated season would ultimately fall by the wayside, there was no shortage of reasons to think they couldn't take that final, elusive step to championship glory.
As the season began to unfold, it was clear this was no ordinary football team by any stretch of the imagination. They won in ways football teams are not supposed to win and with players who aren't even supposed to be there. On the rare occasions when they did lose, the other team walked away victorious, yet still feeling the sting of facing a team that left every possible ounce of talent and energy they could muster laid out on the field of battle. During the team's two home playoff games, things got very exciting and the earth literally shook thanks to a rumbling "Beastquake" or a hit unleashed by the "Legion of Boom". There was now no stopping this team on their way to meeting destiny face to face and, when they finally did, they put on a show so amazing and so complete, it would go down in history as one of the greatest ever.
Seattle Seahawks - 2014 Super Bowl Champions