“The bandwagon is a crowded ride, we all know that, whether it’s football or life. The faint hearted are the first to get off the ship.”
~ Chuck Knox, Head Coach, Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks have recently experienced the phenomenon of the “Bandwagon Fan”, especially now since they have won the NFC Championship and will be playing in Super Bowl 48. This is an uncommon phenomenon for the Seahawks because typically the “bandwagon” fan is mostly associated with teams like the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Miami Heat, Pittsburgh Steelers, and San Francisco 49ers. The Urban Dictionary defines the bandwagon fan as:
Anyone who claims they are a “fan” of a particular sports team, even though they had no prior support for/interest in the team until that team started winning. These types of fans only show playoff interest, have probably never watched a regular season game, don’t own any type of team merchandise, nor would they buy any.
There is nothing worse in the world of fandom than being outed as the bandwagon variety. If you follow this reference guide you will hopefully be converted from a Seattle Seahawks bandwagon fan into a Seattle Seahawks brand new fan. This guide will provide you the basis to hold your own if questioned about your newly founded fandom of the Seahawks. Welcome aboard, but first there are some commandments that you must diligently follow if you are going to be Reppin’ The 12.
- Thou shalt cheer as loud as humanly possible when the defense is on the field.
- Thou shalt remain silent when the offense is on the field until the ball is snapped.
- No matter what the score is, thou shall not leave until the game clock reads zero.
- In Russ we trust.
- Thou shalt stand fast during seasons of pestilence.
- Thou shalt not worship another NFL team, even if thou’s father was a fan of the Green Bay Packers or Pittsburgh Steelers when thou was growing up.
- Thou shalt bear wrath against the 49er Faithful.
The Seattle Seahawks were established in 1976 as an expansion team into the NFL. The team identity of Seahawks (Osprey) was picked from a public naming contest with over 20,000 entries. The team played their games in the King County Multipurpose Domed Stadium a/k/a The Kingdome until 2000.
The Nordstroms (1976 -1988): Seattle Professional Football was a group of local business and community leaders who worked together to secure a NFL franchise. On June 4, 1974, the NFL announced that Seattle would have a franchise starting in the 1976 season. Clothing and shoe retail magnate Lloyd W. Nordstrom was the majority owner of the team. The franchise cost $16 million dollars. Lloyd Nordstrom would never see the newly founded Seahawks play. He died prior to the teams inaugural season. His brother, Elmer Nordstrom, assumed the ownership role for the family.
Ken Behring a/k/a Bubba (1988- 1997): Behring was a California real estate developer who is a villain in the history of the Seahawks. Behring went through several head coaches and front office hires which resulted in running the franchise into the ground. Behring personally selected quarterback Dan McGwire in the 1st round of the 1991 draft (instead of Brett Favre). The pick is considered a 1st round bust. Behring then tried to hijack the franchise and move the team to Los Angeles.
In 1996, Behring moved the team’s headquarters from Kirkland, Washington to Anaheim, California. Behring defended his move by claiming the King Dome was unsafe in the event of an earthquake. It’s not like there are any earthquakes in SoCal. The NFL stepped in and threatened to fine Behring $500,000 and $50,000 for every week the Seahawks were not in Seattle. The voters of Washington and the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation would step into the breach and stopped the possibility of the Los Angeles Seahawks.
Paul Allen (1997 -present): Allen promised to purchase the Seahawks from Behring contingent upon voters agreeing to build a new outdoor football stadium and exhibition center. The taxpayers would be responsible for $300 million of the project and Allen would contribute an additional $130 million. The vote, Referendum 48, would take place in June of 1997. If the vote passed, Allen would purchase the team from Behring.
Even before the vote had taken place, Allen wanted to show voters he was serious about buying the team and winning. Pro Bowl linebacker Chad Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers who was considered one of the top free agents that year signed with the Seahawks after being picked up in Allen’s private jet and flown to Seattle for a visit.
The draft was taking place and Behring was still the owner. The Seahawks were in the position to make trades in order to make two of the first six picks in the draft. Behring didn’t want to pay the extra money the picks would cost the team. Allen guaranteed to spend $25 million of his money in order to get the two picks, even if the vote for the new stadium failed. Thanks to Allen, the Seahawks got the two picks and selected cornerback Shawn Springs (#24) and left tackle Walter Jones (#71).
The election was held and the voters approved the stadium project narrowly with 51 percent of the vote. The Kingdome would be imploded in 2000 and the new Seahawks Stadium would be built in the footprint of the dome.
The video below is Allen telling the story himself about the purchase of the team.
The first head coach was Jack Patera, who had northwest ties growing up in Portland, Oregon and attended the University of Oregon. In the beginning, it was quarterback Jim Zorn (#10) throwing to wide receiver Steve Largent (#80). Zorn was an undrafted free agent that was originally signed by the Dallas Cowboys. He would later be waived by the Cowboys. Zorn came to Seattle and etched his name into the Seahawks Ring of Honor (ROH).
Largent was a 5’11”, 187 pound, fourth round draft pick from the University of Tulsa who was drafted by the Houston Oilers. He was on the verge of being cut before being traded to the Seahawks for an eighth round future draft pick. Largent has since been inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. His #80 is one of four jersey numbers hanging from the rafters of Seahawks Stadium.
Zorn to Largent
Pete Gross was the voice of the newly founded Seahawks for radio broadcasts. Pete would hold that job for the next 17 years. You will find his name in the ROH. Three days after being inducted into the ROH, Gross died from cancer.
Steve Raible took over the duties of being the voice of the Seahawks. He was also a rookie wide receiver (#83) on the inaugural team in 1976.
The Chuck Knox Era
Chuck Knox took over the head coaching job for the Seahawks in 1983. Knox was known for his propensity for the offense to pound the rock and thus developed the nickname of “Ground” Chuck. In his initial season as head coach, he took the Seahawks to their first playoff appearance and made it all the way to the AFC Championship game after upsetting the Miami Dolphins on the road.
The Knox era spawned many Seahawk greats. This is by no means an all inclusive list of Seahawks legends, but if you know these names and their meaning to the franchise, you will have street cred with the real 12th Man.
Dave Krieg (#17) took over the reins for quarterback from Zorn. Krieg played college football at Milton in Wisconsin. The school doesn’t even exist today. He was an undrafted free agent and joined the Seahawks his rookie season in 1980. He would go on to play for the team through 1991. He ranks in the top 15 for many NFL passing records. Kansas City Chiefs legend Derrick Thomas sacked Krieg seven times at Arrowhead Stadium making a NFL record. Krieg got the last laugh by throwing a last second game winning touchdown to wide receiver Paul Skansi . You can find Krieg’s name in the ROH.
Running Back (#28) Curt Warner was drafted in 1983 by Seattle as the #3 pick of the draft. He led the AFC in rushing yards his rookie year. He played for the Seahawks until 1989 and was a three time Pro Bowler. Warner is in the ROH.
Curt Warner is a running back for the Seahawks, not a quarterback or NFL analyst.
Strong safety Kenny Easley (#45) was drafted by the Seahawks as the fourth overall pick in the 1981 draft. He won the AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year award. In 1983, he won the AFC Defensive Player of the Year award and recorded 7 interceptions for the season. In 1984, he snagged 10 interceptions and won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award. He was a hard hitting, dominating, and play making safety. Number 45 can be found in the ROH.
“Play hard and hit people hard!” ~ Kenny Easley
Watch the Enforcer’s highlights:
Fullback John L. Williams (#32) was drafted by the Seahawks in the first round of the 1986 draft as the fifteenth overall pick. He played 8 seasons for the Seahawks and fit in great with the “Ground Chuck” run game. He was a hard nosed old school football player.
Well before John McClane was battling German terrorist Hans Gruber at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles, the original “Die-Hards” were the Seahawks 3-4 defensive front comprised of left D-End Jacob Green, Nose Tackle Joe Nash, and right D-End Jeff Bryant. The trio were nicknamed the Die-Hards after being founded in 1983 under head coach Chuck Knox. They played together as a unit for the next six (6) seasons until 1990; when future Hall of Famer Cortez Kennedy was drafted by the Seahawks. After drafting The Tez, Knox changed the team’s defensive scheme to a four (4) man front. These three guys were the bedrock of the Hawks defense every Sunday for nearly a decade; an amazing feat. When asked why they were called the Die-Hards? Green was quoted “Because we always start.” Let’s take a closer look at their career.
Jeff “Boogey” Bryant #77
Bryant was drafted by the Seahawks as the 6th overall pick in the 1982 draft. His entire 12 year NFL career ended in the 1993 season at the age of 33. He played in 175 games (started 167) and recorded 63 sacks. His hometown is Atlanta, Georgia and he won a National Championship playing for Clemson. While at college he got the nickname of “Boogey” because of his dance skills and the name stuck with him in the NFL. After each victory, Chuck Knox and Boogey would lead the team in a cheer of “Hip, Hip, Hooray!”.
Joe “Slipper” Nash #72
Nash was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Seahawks in 1982. He spent the next 15 years of his career fighting in the trenches for the Hawks defense. His last season was in 1996. Nash has played in the most games ever (218) to hold a franchise record. He racked up 779 tackles and 47.5 sacks, but his bailiwick was blocking kicks (8 field goals and 2 PATs), for which he also holds the franchise record. The nickname of slipper was coined for him by Assistant Coach George Dyer because Nash’s stance was relaxed and appeared flatfooted; as if Nash should be in a leather recliner smoking a pipe with slippers on.
Jacob Green #79
Green was a first round pick (10th overall) for the Seahawks in the 1980 draft. He ended up playing 12 seasons for the Seahawks and his final season was with the 49ers. He holds the Hawks franchise record for sacks (116) along with a club record for forced fumbles (28). Green played in 178 games (4th in franchise history) and started 176 games (2nd in franchise history). Not only was he a productive player, but he was also a team leader. In 1995, he was inducted into the ROH. His son-in-law is current Seahawks D-End Red Bryant (also a Texas A&M alum) and wears the #79 jersey.
God Bless America and God Bless the Seattle Seahawks ~ Cortez Kennedy
Defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy (#96) was drafted by the Seahawks as the third overall pick in the 1990 draft. In 1992, ‘Tez won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award despite the Seahawks despicable record of 2-14. He retired in 2000 after spending his entire career at Seattle. He was named All-Pro four times. Kennedy refused to go to Anaheim for work outs with the team after Bubba tried hijacking the franchise to Southern California. Kennedy told Behring to pound sand because he signed a contract with the “Seattle” Seahawks. Since then, Kennedy has been inducted into the ROH and the NFL Hall of Fame.
Welcome to Canton Mr. Kennedy
The 12th Man
On December 15, 1984, the Seattle Seahawks retired jersey number 12 in honor of their loyal fan base, the 12th Man. Seattle fans were known as the loudest in the NFL. In 1985, the NFL enacted a rule to penalize the home team if their fan base was too loud. The 12th Man didn’t pay attention to the rule.
In 2003, the Seahawks started the tradition of raising the 12th Man flag prior to kickoff at home games. A special person or groups of persons are selected to do the honor. It always fires the crowd up.
Left tackle Walter Jones (#71) was drafted by the Seahawks as the sixth overall pick in the 1997 draft. Jones was selected to the Pro-Bowl nine times and named an All-Pro seven times. He played for the Seahawks his entire career and was injured in the 2008 season which eventually ended his career. He is regarded by many as the best left tackle to ever play the game. The Seahawks retired his jersey and he is expected to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame this summer. The Governor of Washington has declared April 30th as Walter Jones Day.
The Mike Holmgren Era
Mike Holmgren a/k/a the “Big Show” was hired as the head coach leaving the Green Bay Packers in 1999. Under Holmgren’s watch, the Seahawks won 5 NFC West Division titles and led the team to a first time Super Bowl appearance in the 2005 season. The Hawks would lose to the Stealers in the big game thanks to some bad calls from the officials. Holmgren stopped coaching for the Seahawks after the 2008 season.
We Want the Ball and We’re Going to Score! – Matt Hasselbeck
In 2001, Holmgren acquired quarterback Matt Hassselbeck (#8), a/k/a Hass, in a trade from the Packers, where Hass acted as Brett Favre’s back-up. In 2003, Hass returned to Green Bay to face the Packers in the wild card round of the playoffs which went to overtime. The Hawks won the coin toss for overtime and Hass told everybody in Lambeau Field that the Hawks wanted the ball and they were going to score. Unfortunately for Hass, he then threw a pick six interception to end the game.
Hass would leave the Seahawks in 2011. He had a great career in Seattle and you should find his name in the ROH in the future.
Running back Shuan Alexander was the nineteenth overall pick in the 2000 draft. He would be the Seahawks running back until 2008 when he was released from the team. He holds many franchise rushing records and had great success in the 2005 season and was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player en route to the Super Bowl. For most 12s it is a love/hate relationship with Alexander. He was criticized by many for being soft and falling down after first contact with a defender.
Tacoma native and Wazzu Cougar, Marcus Trufant (#23) was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks as the 11th overall pick in the 2003 draft. Trufant played cornerback for the Seahawks until 2011. He is considered a hometown favorite amongst the 12th Man and is still activity in the Seattle community.
The Pete Carroll Era
“It’s All About the Ball.” ~ Pete Carroll
As the bandwagon fan, this is the only era of Seahawks football that you have some knowledge about. Paul Allen hired Coach Carroll in 2010. There were many critics in the sports world who believed hiring Coach Carroll would prove to be disastrous. His enthusiasm and positivity would not motivate grown men who are paid professionals.
In his first season, he led the team to a NFC West division title with the first ever losing record of 7-9. The Seahawks hosted the defending Super Bowl champion Saints in the Wild Card playoffs. Matt Hasselbeck played a great game and newly acquired running back Marshawn Lynch (#24) scored a 67-yard rushing touchdown to secure the upset win over the Saints. It was the greatest run in NFL playoff history and caused an earthquake known as the Beast Quake.
The Hawks would not resign Hasselbeck the following season and secured the services of quarterback Tavaris Jackson (#7). The Hawks finished the 2011 season with another 7-9 record. Coach Carroll and General Manager John Schneider had spent the last two season turning over their roster while drafting their own players and signing free agents. As bandwagon you should familiarize yourself with the prevalent Seahawks players.
“Just a baby stiff arm.” ~ Marshawn Lycnh
Lynch was acquired in a trade from the Buffalo Bills in 2010 for a fourth round draft pick. It was a brilliant deal made by Schneider. Lynch brought the identity of toughness to the Seahawks team. His nickname is Beast Mode and he loves to eat Skittles after scoring a touchdown. This man runs like a beast and is hard to take him down. As a defender, you never want to find yourself on the receiving end of his stiff arms. Lynch might just go down as the greatest running back in Seahawks history by the time his career is over.
The Legion of Boom – L.O.B.
The four charter member of the Legion of Boom are free safety Earl Thomas III (#29), strong safety Kam Chancellor (#31), cornerback Brandon Browner (#39), and cornerback Richard Sherman (#25). This secondary unit is comprised of speed, surprise, and overwhelming violence with an overtone of swag. The group has since added members to the unit which are cornerback Byron Maxwell (#41), cornerback Walter Thurmond III (#28), cornerback Jeramy Lane (#20), free safety Chris Maragos (#42) and safety Deshawn Shead (#35).
“The Separation Is In The Preparation.” ~ Russell Wilson
A big change was coming for the Seahawks in 2012. The franchise had Nike completely revamp the team’s uniform. The biggest change was the 3rd round draft pick (75th overall) of Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson (#3). Once again the critics blasted Carroll and the Seahawks for their selection of Wilson because he was too short to make it in the NFL. As a rookie, Wilson won the starting job as quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks over the highly touted free agent Matt Flynn (#15) who was just signed from Green Bay. Wilson would go on to lead his team to the franchise’s first road playoff victory since 1983. To this day, he is still doubted by many in the national media, but if you are a Seahawk fan, you have complete confidence in his ability to win and persevere through adversity.
The following RainCity Redemption video series is excellent and entertaining. It will provide the bandwagon fan with all the necessary information about the Pete Carroll era Seahawks:
Rain City Redemption I
Rain City Redemption II
Rain City Redemption III
When you find yourself sitting at a sports bar or party this Super Bowl Sunday and are rooting for the Hawks, hopefully this guide has provided you with the foundation and knowledge to counter any accusations of being a bandwagon fan.