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The Seattle Seahawks play in the National Football league’s National Football Conference West division. They joined the NFL in 1976 as an expansion team with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Seahawks are now owned by the co-owner of Microsoft Paul Allen and play their home games at CenturyLink Field, which is south of the city.
The fans of the Seahawks are known as some of the most passionate in any sport and have twice set world records for the loudest crowd noise at a sporting event.
- Full Name: Buffalo Bills
- Conference: American Football Conference
- Division: East
- Location: New York
- Stadium Name: Ralph Wilson Stadium
- Year Established: 1960
- Owner: Terence and Kim Pegula
- Head Coach: Rex Ryan
- Manager: Doug Whaley
- Nickname: None
- Mascot: Billy Buffalo
- Team Colours: Royal blue, red, white, navy blue
Inside CenturyLink Stadium
(Mat Hayward / Shutterstock.com)
Founded by Herman Sarkowsky and Ned Skinner, backed by a group of Seattle based businessmen, the Seattle Seahawks were a new expansion team in the NFL along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Following their first season in the National Football Conference in 1976, they moved to the American Football Conference in 1977 and recorded their first winning season in 1978, which saw Jack Patera be named the NFL Coach of the Year. 1983 saw the Seahawks make the AFC championship game and over the next few years, new head coach, Chuck Knox, posted a record of 83 wins and 67 losses, their worst season coming the year after Knox left in 1991 where they only managed to win one game.
The years following this saw much on and off field turbulence, including majority shareholder threatening to take the team to Los Angeles in 1996. However, the following year saw the team purchased by co-founder of Microsoft Paul Allen who also helped push through funding for a new stadium. Mike Holmgren was hired as head coach in 1999 and soon quarterback, Matt Hasselbeck, was added to the team who along with Walter Jones formed the core of what was to become the most successful Seahawks team in history.
2002 saw an NFL realignment in which the Seahawks returned to the NFC. It also saw the Seahawks move into their new stadium. It was popular with the fans and it soon became one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL, the Seahawks fans being referred to as their twelfth man. In their first six seasons in the NFC, the Seahawks made the playoffs five times and in 2006 made their first visit to the Super Bowl, unfortunately losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Head coach Holmgren left the Seahawks after the 2008 season and this marked the start of the Seahawks rebuilding themselves, both on-field and off-field. 2011 saw them qualify for the playoffs despite posting a losing record and made the playoffs again in 2012 after winning 11 games but, unfortunately, lost in a dramatic 30-28 contest against the Atlanta Falcons in the second round.
2013 saw the Seahawks have the top-ranked defense in the NFL and that year posted a 13-3 record. They then won both of their home play-off games to advance to the Super Bowl. With their robust defence, they beat the much-fancied Denver Broncos by 43-8 to win their first ever Super Bowl. 2014 saw them once again have the best defensive record in the NFL and once again they reached the Super Bowl. Here they were defeated by the New England Patriots after giving up a 10 point fourth quarter lead.
Super Bowl Appearances
2014 Super Bowl XLIX New England Patriots 28 – Seattle Seahawks 24
Super Bowl XLIX saw the Seattle Seahawks make their second consecutive appearance in the Super Bowl following a 12-4 regular season. The game was one of the most exciting Super Bowls with both teams being tied 14-14 at halftime. Seattle then ended the third quarter 24-14 up but the New England Patriots fought back with 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to finally win 28-24. The game was played at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona and was watched by over 114 million viewers in the USA who also saw Idina Menzel of Frozen fame sing the National Anthem and a half time show that featured Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz, and Missy Elliot.
2013 Super Bowl XLVIII Seattle Seahawks 43 – Denver Broncos 8
Super Bowl XLVIII was played at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey and saw the Seattle Seahawks take on the Denver Broncos. Despite being underdogs, it saw the Seattle Seahawks defeat the Broncos 43-8, the largest margin of victory for any underdog and the third largest margin of victory in any Super Bowl. The Seahawks dominated the game from the off and it wasn’t until the 3rd quarter that the Broncos made a score. Watched by over 167 million global viewers, it saw the Seahawks linebacker, Malcolm Smith, be awarded the Most Valuable Player award.
2005 Super Bowl XL Seattle Seahawks 10 – Pittsburgh Steelers 21
Super Bowl XL was played at the Ford Field in Detroit and saw the Seahawks take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in front of 68,000 fans. The Seahawks were defeated by 21-10 in a game that was marked by poor officiating The game was watched by over 90 million viewers who also saw The Rolling Stones perform the halftime show.
CenturyLink Stadium (f11photo / Shutterstock.com)
The Seattle Seahawks pay their home games at CenturyLink Field, which is on Occidental Avenue South in Seattle. Formerly known as both the Seahawks Stadium and Qwest Field, it received its current name in June 2011 when Qwest – who bought the naming rights in 2004 – was acquired by CenturyLink.
The stadium was originally built between the years 2000 and 2002 after voters approved the use of public funds to be spent on the new stadium. It has a capacity of 69,000 but this can be expanded to 72,000 for special events. As well as being home of the Seattle Seahawks, it is also the home of the Seattle Sounders of Major League Soccer.
In the NFL, the stadium is one of the most intimidating and daunting places to play for opposition teams thanks to the atmosphere that is created by the Seahawks fans. So loud are the fans of the Seahawks, they have in the past been record holders of the loudest stadium in the NFL – a record that swings between them and the Kansas City Chiefs.
As well as NFL and Major League Soccer, the CenturyLink Field has also been host to a number of other events, such as gigs by the U2, the Rolling Stones, Metallica and Taylor Swift. As well as gigs, there have been a number of speaking engagements there too, including a 28-minute speech by the Dalai Lama in front of 50,000 people in 2008.
Walter Jones (1997-2009)
First round draft pick in 1997, Walter Jones is regarded by many as the best ever player to play for the Seattle Seahawks. During his time at the Seahawks, the left tackle made nine Pro Bowls and was and All Pro seven times. Walter Jones was also named to the All-Decade team in the 2000s. Still a big favourite with Seattle Seahawks fans today.
Steve Largent (1976-1989)
The only NFL Hall of Famer to have only played for the Seahawks and the only retired number in their history, wide receiver Largent retired in 1989 holding every single NFL receiving record at the time.
Cortez Kennedy (1990-2000)
Coming to the Seahawks straight from the University of Miami, in only his third season he was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Quite an achievement because in that year – 1992 – the Seattle Seahawks posted a 2-14 record. Popular fans with players and fans alike, he is widely considered to be one of the best defenders to ever play the game.
Jim Zorn (1976-1984)
Jim Zorn was the first ever quarterback at the Seattle Seahawks and he won rookie of the year in 1976. The first ever Seahawks to post three straight 3000 yard seasons, we went on to become quarterback coach at the Seahawks before going to become the coach of the Washington Redskins.
Did You Know?
- The Seattle Seahawks have some of the loudest fans in the NFL and they have held the record for the loudest stadium on several occasions.
- The Seattle Seahawks aren’t the first ever pro-football team to use the ‘Seahawks’ moniker – a Miami based team in the 40s had the name too.
- Other names considered for Seattle include Seattle Running Salmon, Seattle Pachyderms, and the Washington Georges.
- Steve Largent, the Seahawks Hall of Famer, was elected to the House of Representatives in 1995.
- The Seahawks part owner, Lloyd W Nordstrom, never actually saw the team play. He died eight months before the team’s first ever game in 1976.