If it can be said that professional sports franchises have birthdays, then today is that day for the Seahawks — it was June 4, 1974 when the NFL officially awarded an expansion team to Seattle.
About a year later, the team was named the Seahawks — that’s the clip from the Seattle Times you see above, written by longtime Seahawks beat writer Gil Lyons, who sadly passed away a few days ago at the age of 83. The clip above is from June 17, 1975, when the team got its name as Seahawks — it had been unofficially called the Kings during the time when the ownership group was going through the process of getting the team (good insight on that here).
So maybe it can be said that the Seahawks have two birthdays (that would have been fun as a kid).
We’ll celebrate this birthday today, however.
And as birthdays are always a time of reflection, I thought I’d pass along one man’s list of the top five moments in franchise history. To clarify, these are the top moments for the team as a whole, not individual accomplishments such as Steve Largent’s records, etc. Simply the top teamwide moments.
1, Beating Carolina to advance to the Super Bowl in 2006 — The Seahawks have yet to accomplish the ultimate in pro football — winning a Super Bowl (maybe that will happen this year?) So for now, simply getting there remains the top moment in team history. The game itself, a 34-14 win over the Panthers, didn’t have a ton of drama, but that also allowed for a pretty gradual and continual party throughout the second half as it became clear the Seahawks were indeed going to Detroit (the less said about that game the better, probably).
You can relive that moment below:
2, Beating Miami in the AFC Divisional Playoffs to advance to the 1984 AFC title game — Longtime fans may say this game is still No. 1 for the sheer drama and shock value of the Seahawks — in their first time in the playoffs — upsetting a Dan Marino-led Dolphins team to advance to the conference title game. Just 13 days earlier, the Seahawks had needed to win their last regular sesason contest just to get into the playoffs, and suddenly they were a game away from the Super Bowl after a 27-20 win over the Dolphins keyed by 113 yards and two touchdowns by rookie Curt Warner (three Miami fumbles, two in the late going, also helped). That game and 1983 season — we’ll forget that the Hawks were blown out the following week in Oakland — was the beginning of the Chuck Knox-led ’80s in which Seahawk-mania gripped Seattle in a way that wasn’t really rivaled again until Mike Holmgren showed up in 1999.
3, Marshawn Lynch’s “Beast Mode” run helps Seahawks upset Saints in 2010 playoffs —The 2010 season was eerily similar to 1983 — big name coach arrives to take over struggling team and in first year wins final regular season game to sneak into playoffs and then pulls off big upset once there. The Saints, recall, were the defending Super Bowl champs, and generally considered a 10-point favorite. But Matt Hasselbeck had his last great moments as a Seahawk to put Seattle in control early, and Lynch had his first great one to keep the Seahawks safely in front late, and everyone went home happy after a 41-36 win. (And again, we’ll forget what happened the following week in Chicago).
Relive Lynch’s run below:
4, Seahawks win at Los Angeles on final weekend of 1988 season to win AFC West — The Seahawks entered the 1988 season with pretty high hopes. The AFC seemed wide open and Seahawk team that had come close to breaking through the five previous seasons seemed as good a bet as anyone else to win it. So the fact that they finished 9-7 and lost in the divisional round to upstart Cincinnati — which proved the fat that there was no real dominant team in the AFC that year by coming out of nowhere to advance to the Super Bowl —has this season often regarded as something of a disappointment.
Still, Seattle also won its first divisional title in 1988, beating the Raiders in the LA Coliseum on the final day of regular season in a hugely entertaining 43-37 win in which Dave Krieg had one of his greatest days, throwing for 410 yards and four touchdowns. It was the last great moment of the Knox era as the Seahawks lost at Cincy two weeks later and didn’t advance to the playoffs again until 1999.
5, Seahawks beat Dallas in 2006 Wild Card round — The year after the Super Bowl run didn’t go as smoothly for the Seahawks as hoped as Shaun Alexander got old overnight and the team struggled to a 9-7 record. Still, the Seahawks won the NFC West to earn the right to host the Cowboys (also 9-7) in the Wild Card round.
And we all know what happened then as the Cowboys lined up to try a potentially wining field goal with 1:19 left before Tony Romo botched the snap, then took off and was tackled just shy of a potentially winning touchdown by Jordan Babineaux to preserve a 21-20 Seattle win (one of the plays that helped earn Babineaux the nickname “Big Play Babs.”) EDITED FROM EARLIER
You can watch the play below, and if you have other moments you feel deserve recognition, feel free to comment below: