Bird Watching: 40th Anniversary of the Seahawks

Forty years of Seahawk history

With additional reporting by Jake Laycock

For 40 years, we’ve watched the Seahawks lose (2-12 in their first season) and win a lot, making it to postseason play in 10 of the past 13 seasons.

They may never become the Green Bay Packers, but as they enter their 41st season (with three Super Bowl appearances, including the big win in 2014), they’ve cemented their place in the Seattle psyche and made the “12th man” phenomenon a legitimate thing.

Magnificent Moments: Five We'll Never Forget

1. Bringing Home the Hardware

Who can forget Seattle’s 43-8 thrashing of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII? And that victory parade in Seattle? (2/2/2014, 2/5/2014)

Seahawks (left to right) Chandler Fenner, Mike Morgan, Richard Sherman, Kellen Davis, Christine Michael and Doug Baldwin celebrate at CenturyLink Field after the Super Bowl XLVIII victory parade on February 5, 2014.

2. Beast Quake

Marshawn Lynch’s electrifying 67-yard touchdown run against the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints in a wildcard playoff game may never be equaled. Beast Mode broke nine tackles—and the Saints’ playoff hopes—en route to the end zone. (1/8/2011)

3. Big-play Guy

With Tramon Williams draped all over him, Jermaine Kearse caught Russell Wilson’s perfect spiral for an overtime touchdown and a spot in Super Bowl XLIX, capping the most improbable comeback in Seahawks history. (1/18/2015)

4. Boast Mode

In their first visit to the postseason, the Seahawks routed the Denver Broncos in the wildcard game, and then upset the Miami Dolphins to earn a trip to the AFC Championship game. (12/24/1983, 12/31/1983)

5. Basic Payback

Steve Largent is in the Hall of Fame for catching the football, but the wide receiver says his all time favorite play is a tackle he made on Denver safety Mike Harden, who was running back an interception. Largent leveled Harden with a jaw-rattling hit—and recovered Harden’s fumble, settling the score from 14 weeks earlier, when Harden knocked Largent out with a vicious hit that resulted in a fine for Harden and a concussion and two missing teeth for Largent. (12/11/1988)


Miserable Memories: Five We'd Like to Forget

1. That Pass

Malcolm Butler’s interception of Russell Wilson’s pass sealed the Seahawks’ fate in Super Bowl XLIX and left most of Seattle saying, “WTF? Why didn’t they just give the ball to Beast Mode?” (2/1/2015)

2. That Owner

Ken Behring, the guy who eventually sold the Seahawks to Paul Allen in 1997, packed up the team’s equipment and tried to move it all to California, only to be told by the NFL to cease and desist. And unpack. (2/2/1996)

3. Those Penalties

The Seahawks didn’t play particularly well, but their loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XL still stings because the referee in that game apologized four years later for blowing two crucial calls. (2/5/2006)

4. The Phantom TD

When New York Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde scored on a quarterback sneak, it knocked the Seahawks out of playoff contention and Seahawks coach Dennis Erickson out of a job. Though the football never crossed the goal line—officials apparently mistook Testaverde’s helmet for the ball—the call could not be challenged at the time. (12/6/1998)

5. And This One

In the 10th game of their fourth season, the Seahawks were whacked 24-0 by the Los Angeles Rams at the now-defunct Kingdome. The game isn’t particularly noteworthy in NFL lore, except for the Seahawks’ magnificent futility: They managed just one first down and their total offensive output was minus 7 yards. (11/4/1979)

The Height (and Weight) of a QB

Jim Zorn (1976–1983)
• 6-2, 200 pounds
• Passer rating: 67.3

Dave Krieg (1983–1991)
• 6-1, 200 pounds
• Passer rating: 81.5
• 3x Pro Bowl

Rick Mirer (1993–1996)
• 6-3, 210 pounds
• Passer rating: 63.5

Warren Moon (1997–1998)
• 6-3, 218 pounds
• Passer rating: 80.9
• 9x Pro Bowl

Jon Kitna (1999–2000)
• 6-2, 220 pounds
• Passer rating: 77.4

Matt Hasselbeck (2001–2010)
• 6-4, 223 pounds
• Passer rating: 82.4
• 3x Pro Bowl
• 2005 NFC champion

Russell Wilson (2012–present)
• 5-11, 203 pounds
• Passer rating: 101.8
• 3x Pro Bowl
• 2x NFC champion (2013, 2014)
• Super Bowl XLVIII champion

Raible Remembers...Well, Most of the Time

Steve Raible, longtime KIRO-TV news anchor, was a Seahawks wide receiver from 1976 through 1981. In 1982, he moved to the broadcast booth as an analyst and became a play-by-play man in 2004. What’s been most memorable about those times? Read on.

Steve Raible (left) consults with legendary announcer Pete Gross.

1. Most (un)memorable moment as a player?

“Catching a long TD pass in Oakland to help us to a one-point win over the Raiders in 1978...and remembering nothing about it. I was knocked unconscious later in the game by Jack ‘They Call Me Assassin’ Tatum and spent the night in the hospital with a concussion.”

2. Most memorable moment as a broadcaster?

“Saying as the seconds ticked down in Super Bowl 48, ‘Twelves, they’re bringing the trophy home! Your Seahawks—Super Bowl 48 champions!’”

3. Most athletic teammate?

“A tie between DB Dave Brown and WR Sam McCullum.”

4. Rookie-season salary?

“$27,500 [in 1976]—as a second-round draft choice!”

5. Worst injury?

“Collapsed lung in preseason 1981. Spent the first part of the season on injured reserve.”

6. What is something we don’t know about Hall of Famer Steve Largent?

“Although his nickname is Yoda, he was actually a delightful Princess Leia at our team Halloween party back in the late ’70s.”