NFL football in Seattle turns 40 on Wednesday


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.

40 responses to “NFL football in Seattle turns 40 on Wednesday

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!!

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. “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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 !!

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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!


    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.

  16. 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?

  17. 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 !

  18. 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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