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NFL football in Seattle turns 40 on Wednesday

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Forty years ago Wednesday, the NFL granted a franchise to Seattle to begin play in 1976. For the right to become the NFL’s 28th team, Seattle’s ownership reportedly paid $16 million. The Seahawks had blue, white, green and grey uniforms, and they played in the Kingdome, which also opened in 1976.

It took eight years for Seattle to make the postseason, but when it did, it made much of the opportunity, winning a pair of playoff games before falling on the road against the Los Angeles Raiders in the 1983 AFC title game. The Seahawks would return to the postseason in 1984, winning a wild-card game before losing at Miami.

For another 21 seasons, that was it as far as playoff success went for Seattle. In fact, for 10 straight seasons (1989-1998), the club missed the playoffs. However, by 2005, the Seahawks — now in the NFC — had turned the corner. And in 2005, the club snapped its postseason winless streak and made it to its first Super Bowl, where it lost to Pittsburgh.

After another brief lull, the Seahawks hired head coach Pete Carroll and G.M. John Schneider in 2010. And with a rare skill for identifying and developing talent, the franchise has reached new heights. Today, at 40, the Seahawks are defending Super Bowl champions.

For some, turning 40 can be cause for uncomfortable reflection. For Seattle, it is cause to ponder how far it has come — and how bright the future could potentially be.

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40 Responses to “NFL football in Seattle turns 40 on Wednesday”
  1. slugbaitspace says: Jun 4, 2014 12:49 PM

    The future’s so bright for the Seahawks, I gotta wear shades

  2. seabrawk12 says: Jun 4, 2014 12:49 PM

    Go HAWKS

  3. thestrategyexpert says: Jun 4, 2014 12:52 PM

    Just goes to show you what can happen when you get a couple of decent football people in charge of a team. Other teams should strive to find better talent in the scouting, coaching, and management positions so they can be the next something special.

  4. touchdownroddywhite says: Jun 4, 2014 12:53 PM

    Ahhhh. The kingdome. Watched many many games there. Monster truck rallies too. Still have the tshirt from the last game ever played there, Mariners v Rangers. I just wish I had been able to watch more Seahawks games there as a kid.

  5. natureboy704 says: Jun 4, 2014 12:55 PM

    So one Super Bowl ring in 40 years?? Boy oh boy

  6. taylorgangtrippymane says: Jun 4, 2014 12:57 PM

    And now they’re the greatest franchise in professional sports.

  7. kamthechancellor says: Jun 4, 2014 1:02 PM

    Happy Birthday SuperBowl Champs!

  8. liddogg33 says: Jun 4, 2014 1:08 PM

    Man it feels GOOD to be at the TOP OF THE NFL MOUNTAIN!!!! and with a healthy Percy and richardson and Christine Micheal for this year people are gonna have to respect the offense as much and the defense!!!! Man it’s great to be a SEAHAWK right about now!!’n

    GO HAWKS!!
    #DYNASTY

  9. shatho1 says: Jun 4, 2014 1:12 PM

    well there’s one thing wrong with this. can someone explain how the Seahawks are 40 when 1976 – 2014 is only 38 years

  10. tonyromoisavictim says: Jun 4, 2014 1:22 PM

    They were granted the franchise 40 years ago

  11. abninf says: Jun 4, 2014 1:23 PM

    I remember watching their first game as a kid because Jim Zorn wore a jersey that was too big and the number on his back was tucked into his pants.

  12. changsteinelgamal says: Jun 4, 2014 1:25 PM

    In what world do you get 40 when going from 1976 to 2014?

  13. beingnickb says: Jun 4, 2014 1:37 PM

    I realize it may take more than just minimal effort for some of you, but please read the article. Seattle was granted the franchise in 1974. 2014 – 1974 = 40.

  14. albanyhawker says: Jun 4, 2014 1:41 PM

    I never get tired of hearing “Seattle Seahawks, Defending Super Bowl CHAMPIONS!!!”

  15. thekingdave says: Jun 4, 2014 1:44 PM

    And almost moved to LA in 1996. Best fans in the NFL!!!

  16. chawkup says: Jun 4, 2014 1:46 PM

    At age 40, you’ve never looked so beautiful! Happy Birthday to my beloved Seahawks!

  17. fumblenuts says: Jun 4, 2014 1:52 PM

    “And in 2005, the club snapped its postseason winless streak and made it to its first Super Bowl, where it lost to Pittsburgh.”

    And one of the Zebras came back to Seattle and apologized for his bone headed mistakes that cost the Seahawks that Super Bowl.

  18. joetoronto says: Jun 4, 2014 1:58 PM

    Bo knows Seattle…..Bo owns Seattle.

  19. ronfai says: Jun 4, 2014 2:01 PM

    Lol what a rich, vibrant and illustrious history Seattle has with sports LOL

  20. humanlawndart says: Jun 4, 2014 2:07 PM

    On a related note, the Buccaneers also came in in ’76. And they managed to win a Super Bowl WELL before Seattle did.

  21. ronfai says: Jun 4, 2014 2:07 PM

    Seattle has been a total of 3 title games and 2 Superbowls…. in… 40 years!!!! LOL

  22. Go-Hawks! says: Jun 4, 2014 2:23 PM

    The Browns, Lions, Texans and Jaguars have not made it to a single Superbowl, let alone won one.

    The Cardinals (0-1), Falcons (0-1), Bills (0-4), Panthers (0-1), Bengals (0-2), Vikings (0-4), Eagles (0-2), Chargers (0-1), and Titans (0-1) have all been to the Superbowl and lost.

    Bills, Falcons, Vikings, Eagles, Chargers, & Titans have gone 48 years without a Superbowl victory (since there have only been 48 Superbowls).
    Bengals: 47 years, no Superbowl wins (since they we created a few month after Superbowl I)

    Also, the Browns turn 70 years old TODAY!! Happy Birthday Brownies.

  23. ceefu says: Jun 4, 2014 2:31 PM

    It took the 49ers 35 years for them to get their first championship (1981). They’re in second place for most championships at 5.

    The Steelers have the most championships at 6. It took them 41 years to win their first championship (1974).

    Given how bright the Seahawks’ future looks right now, I’d say they’re doing just fine.

  24. hawkfan50 says: Jun 4, 2014 2:34 PM

    A heartfelt ‘thank you’ to the Nordstrom ownership group and our current owner Mr. Allen for all they’ve done for this team , the community and the fans of our beloved Seahawks .

    GO HAWKS !!

  25. myhawks1976 says: Jun 4, 2014 2:44 PM

    Go Hawks!

  26. Go-Hawks! says: Jun 4, 2014 2:44 PM

    And it has been more than 40 years since the Dolphins, Chiefs, and Jets have won a Superbowl. And the Chiefs and Jets haven’t even been BACK to the big game since they last won it over 40 years ago.

  27. trollhammer20 says: Jun 4, 2014 3:01 PM

    Seattle was owned by Bay Area land developer Ken Behring from 1988-1998.

    The team’s longest playoff drought was from 1989-1998.

    This is not a coincidence.

    Behring hired bad coaches like Dennis Erickson, was influential in drafting Dan McGwire, and was more interested in moving the team to California than he was in building a winner in Seattle. He actually went so far as to relocate the team’s headquarters to Anaheim for a brief time.

    Then Paul Allen came along and worked the deal to build a new stadium, and bought the team in 1998. In the sixteen seasons since then, the Seahawks have seven division titles, nine playoff appearances, two NFC Championships, and one Super Bowl Championship.

    The Seahawks over the last 25 years are a perfect example of the difference between poor ownership and great ownership.

  28. alankelly2013 says: Jun 4, 2014 3:02 PM

    The Seahawks were pretty good for an expansion team in the early years and then a very competitive team through most of the 1980’s with the Nordstroms in charge.

    When they realized the NFL was beginning to turn into such a huge business they decided to sell and mistakenly sold to a wealthy business man from California named Ken Behring. He single handedly ran that frnchise into the ground and then tried to move them to LA.

    Please don’t blame that on the fans.

    Then Paul Allen stepped in to rescue them and the team has been pretty successful ever since. Now they’re on top of the world and it looks to me like they might be there for a while. Very exciting for all of us who have been fans from the beginning.

  29. mexxx27 says: Jun 4, 2014 3:18 PM

    You can say whatever you like.
    The Seahawks are the only team that gets to say
    Reigning Super Bowl Champions!!!!!!

  30. backdapack4evr says: Jun 4, 2014 3:25 PM

    Winning a Super Bowl in 40 years is not bad!
    Some teams are still waiting for their first that Have been in the league longer!
    Good job Hawks!!

  31. ariani1985 says: Jun 4, 2014 3:30 PM

    GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO SEATURDS!!!!!!!!
    rahrah sis boom ba!!!!!

  32. lurch61 says: Jun 4, 2014 3:33 PM

    then again others in the NFC West have won 5! :)

  33. irishinyourface says: Jun 4, 2014 3:33 PM

    one ring in 40 years = pathetic

  34. thereisfootballwestofjersey says: Jun 4, 2014 3:41 PM

    Brian Bosworth is still looking for Bo Jackson

  35. Go-Hawks! says: Jun 4, 2014 3:42 PM

    One ring in 40 years = Better than 40% of the league.

  36. stopthehate15bowdown says: Jun 4, 2014 4:17 PM

    You can’t blame seachicken fans for being obnoxious, band-wagon
    frontrunners! They aren’t used to success! 293-303 all-time with a 12-12 playoff record ain’t bad for a red-headed stepchild expansion franchise!

  37. qdog112 says: Jun 4, 2014 4:18 PM

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY SEAHAWKS!

    FROM NOWHERE TO: the model franchise in the NFL and I’m a Panthers fan who admires success.

    They draft well, evaluate well, treat their players with respect and they DELIVER ON THE FIELD.

  38. gashmr says: Jun 4, 2014 4:39 PM

    Has it been since 1976? man I was just a kid when they started. First year I was in the Navy….they were 2-12 that first season. Zorn was QB. They traded Dorsett to Cowboys for a bunch of players as I remember. Did they get Largent in that deal?

  39. allidoiswin55 says: Jun 4, 2014 6:57 PM

    Most embarrassing part of people talking crap is not understanding the difference between being rewarded with an expansion team AND ACTUALLY having a team to field which occurs later ! Lol c’mon man simple logic people it takes years to get a team not overnight fools shesh show some sort of common sense !

  40. 12hawksfan1976 says: Jun 4, 2014 7:42 PM

    Yep, it took the Seahawks 38 years to win their first championship.

    Let’s take a look at how that compares to the number of years it took some other NFL franchises to win their first trophies, shall we?

    Let’s see:

    49ers (1946-1981): 35 years. About the same as the Seahawks, give or a take a couple years.

    Broncos (1960-1998): 38 years. Same as the Seahawks.

    Patriots (1960-2001): 41 years. More than the Seahawks, but only by a few years.

    Steelers (1933-1974): 41 years. As with the Patriots, a few more than the Seahawks but not by many.

    Saints (1967-2009): 42 years. Again, a few more than the Seahawks, but not by much.

    So, the Seahawks are in some pretty fine company, don’t you think?

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