Seattle Seahawks Information
On June 4, 1974, Seattle was awarded an expansion franchise by the National Football League. On December 5, 1974, NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle announced the signing of a franchise agreement by Lloyd W. Nordstrom, representing the Nordstrom family as majority partners for the "Seattle Professional Football" consortium. John Thompson, a former University of Washington executive, was hired as the general manager on March 5, 1975. The name Seattle Seahawks 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 then recruited and hired Jack Patera, a Minnesota Vikings assistant coach, to be the head coach of the new team. Patera was introduced as the new head coach at a press conference on January 3, 1976.
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. After one season, Seattle switched conferences with Tampa Bay 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.
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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 realignment also allowed the NFL to restore the NFC East and the AFC West to their original post-merger rosters. The original AFC West teams (Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs and Raiders) were original AFL franchises and the realignment preserved those natural rivalries. Seattle has won four division titles in their franchise history: the 1988 and 1999 AFC West titles, and the 2004 and 2005 NFC West titles. The team set two franchise records with an 11-game winning streak and 13 regular-season wins in 2005.
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Before 2005, Seattle had the longest drought since its last playoff win of any NFL team, going back to the 1984 season. That drought was ended with a 20-10 victory over the Washington Redskins in the 2005 playoffs.The franchise's first win came on October 17 when they beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13-10 at Tampa Bay. On November 7 they won their first home game in a 30-13 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. The 1977 season highlight happened on October 30 when quarterback Jim Zorn came back from an injury to throw four touchdown passes in a 56-17 win over the Buffalo Bills at the Kingdome. In 1978, the Seahawks achieved their first winning season with a 9-7 record as WR Steve Largent finished second in the NFL with 1,168 receiving yards and Jack Patera was named NFL Coach of the Year. In 1979, the Seahawks set the NFL record for the lowest total offense in one game (minus 7 yards) in a 24-0 loss to the Los Angeles Rams at the Kingdome. However, the team rebounded from that embarrassment to finish the season with a 9-7 record. In 1981, when the Seahawks lost five of their first six games on their way to a 6-10 record, Steve Largent had another stellar season with 1,224 receiving yards. In the strike-shortened season of 1982, the Seahawks fired Patera after losing their first two games. Interim coach Mike McCormack would finish out the rest of the season and the Seahawks compiled a 4-5 record.
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After a disappointing 1982 season (which was shortened because of a players' strike), the Seahawks moved interim coach Mike McCormack back into the front office and hired Chuck Knox as their head coach. In 1983 the Seahawks were battling for a playoff berth with a 6-6 record. Then in week 13, the Seahawks beat the Kansas City Chiefs 51-48 at the Kingdome to start their winning ways. They would win 2 of the next 3 games to earn their first ever playoff berth. In the wild-card playoffs the Seahawks shut down the Denver Broncos and their rookie quarterback John Elway 31-7. The next week at the Miami Orange Bowl the Seahawks drove 66 yards in 5 plays that ended with a game-winning touchdown for the Seahawks' 27-20 victory over the Miami Dolphins and their rookie quarterback Dan Marino. The Seahawks' miracle season ended in the AFC Championship as they lost to the eventual Super Bowl XVIII champion Los Angeles Raiders 30-14. Despite the 1983 season ending on a sour note, it was the first breakthrough season for the Seahawks, because Curt Warner was named AFC Rookie Of The Year and Chuck Knox was named AFC Coach Of The Year. In 1988, Ken Behring purchased the club from the original owners, the Nordstrom Family. A year later he would name former Los Angeles Raiders head coach Tom Flores team president and general manager.
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In January 1996, Seahawks owner Ken Behring announced that he was moving the franchise to Los Angeles where the team would play at Anaheim Stadium. Grassroots groups like Save Our Seahawks soon formed to pressure the NFL, Behring, and local officials to stop the move. This grassroots effort succeeded when Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen purchased an option to buy the team. Allen bought the team in 1997 after funding a special election for stadium financing. The other Kingdome tenants, the Seattle Mariners, were building a brand new stadium, and the Seahawks felt the Kingdome could not generate the revenue required to be competitive.
As a result of the change in ownership and management, Tom Flores resigned in 1998 and was replaced by Bob Whitsitt. Dennis Erickson was fired at the end of the 1998 season after losing to the New York Jets and missing the playoffs. Vinny Testaverde's "Phantom Touchdown" decided the game; a legendary officiating error that became a primary factor in the NFL's reinstatement of instant replay.
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In 1999 the voters approved the ballot measure to allow the Seahawks to build a brand new stadium to replace the aging Kingdome. With the addition of a new stadium, new head coach and general manager, Mike Holmgren, a new era began for the Seahawks. Holmgren would lead the Seahawks to a division title and to the playoffs in his first year there. But they lost 20-17 to Dan Marino and the Miami Dolphins after leading the game 17-13 in the fourth quarter. For the 2000-2001 seasons the Seahawks moved back to Husky Stadium while their new stadium was being built. The Seahawks drafted RB Shaun Alexander in 2000 draft as their RB of the future. But QB Jon Kitna was let go after the 2000 season and a 6-10 record.
Holmgren then traded for Green Bay Packers backup QB Matt Hasselbeck and made him the starting QB. But Hasselbeck struggled in the first half of the season compiling a 5-7 record. QB Trent Dilfer was signed and won his first four games and the Seahawks finished the 2001 season with a 9-7 record but didn't make the playoffs.
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Before the 2003 season, Holmgren decided to step down as general manager so that he could concentrate exclusively on improving the team. The Seahawks responded by carrying over the momentum from 2002 by finishing with a 10-6 record and a perfect record at home of 8-0. They went to the playoffs where they would face Holmgren's former team, the Green Bay Packers. The playoff game would go into overtime, where quarterback Hasselback made the prediction "we want the ball, and we're going to score." Unfortunately for Seattle, an Al Harris interception returned for a TD sealed the Seahawks fate and they were out of the playoffs again.
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After their Week 8 bye, they then traveled to Tempe, Arizona and finished the sweep of the Cardinals by a score of 33-19. Afterwards, they went home and finished the sweep of their much-hated division rivals, the Rams, by the score of 31-16. When the Seahawks flew to Candlestick Park to take on the division rival San Francisco 49ers, the Seahawks were leading 27-12 going into the fourth quarter. The Niners started to rally, however, and in the final seconds, the 49ers got within two points with a 1-yard touchdown run by Maurice Hicks. Fortunately for the Seahawks, the Niners couldn't tie on the two-point conversion and Seattle held on for the win (27-25).
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