Seattle Seahawks History Timeline: Yes, They Were Almost Named The Sockeyes

  • Rick Chandler

Now it’s time to run down the team history highlights of the participants in the Super Bowl, starting with the Seattle Apple Knockers Seahawks (see below). Enjoy.

1970: Just for fun, the AFL and NFL decide to merge. The NFL announces expansion from 26 to 28 teams. Lincoln, Neb., and Vancouver, B.C., are confident of victory.

June 15, 1972: Seattle Professional Football Inc., is formed. Pro football in Seattle? What madness is this?

June 4, 1974: NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle awards Seattle an expansion franchise, signing the papers on the deck of the U.S.S. Missouri. Lloyd W. Nordstrom and family are nattily-dressed majority partners.

June 17, 1975: But what to name this team? The public is asked to submit possible team names in a contest, and it draws 20,365 entries with 1,741 names — 151 of them Seahawks. But some of the names are more inventive. Like, Apple Knockers (our favorite). The five finalists are: Seahawks (already the mascot of several area high schools and a junior college), Mariners, Evergreens, Olympics and Sockeyes. Some of our other favorite submissions that didn’t make the cut:

Abominable Snowmen, Aqua-Ducks, Aero-Techs, Alki Ants, Anchovies, Bumbershoots, Chowderheads, Clam Diggers, Cutthroats, Domebusters, Ferries, Flounders, Geoducks (a type of clam), Hammerheads, Harpooners, Lucky Loggers, Nutcrackers, Puddle Jumpers, Sheep, Silver Sasquatch, Sonics, Squid, Vampires, Woodpeckers.

January 20, 1976: Lloyd W. Nordstrom dies of heart attack.

March 30, 1976: Seattle and Tampa Bay alternate picks in the expansion draft, with Seattle choosing defensive tackle Steve Niehaus as their first draft pick.

August 1, 1976: The Seahawks are placed in the NFC West, and play their first preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers in the brand new Kingdome. A technological marvel, it is declared that the Kingdome shall live forever, and never be torn down.

August 26, 1976: Seahawks trade their 1977 eighth-round draft pick to the Houston Oilers for Steve Largent. But they later trade their first round pick in 1977 to Dallas, and the Cowboys use it to draft Tony Dorsett.

October 17, 1976: Seattle earns its first win, 13-10 over Tampa Bay.

November 7, 1976: Seahawks’ first home win, 30-13 over the Atlanta Falcons. Seattle finishes season 2-12.

1977: Seattle and Tampa Bay switch divisions, the Seahawks now in the AFC West. Sadly they do not also switch uniforms.

Nov. 5, 1979: In a 24-0 loss to the Los Angeles Rams at the Kingdome, the Seahawks have minus-7 yards total offense: an NFL record.

1983: The Chuck Knox Era begins, as RB Curt Warner (1,449 yards) leads the Ground Chuck offense to a 9-7 record and its first-ever playoff berth. Seahawks reach AFC Championship Game, losing to the Rams 30-14. Warner is AFC Rookie Of The Year and Knox is AFC Coach Of The Year.

1987: Seahawks figure that nothing could possibly go wrong by drafting Oklahoma linebacker Brian Bosworth, a can’t-miss, sure-to-be-Hall-of-Famer.

1988: Ken Behring buys the team from the Nordstrom family, with several attractive ties thrown in to sweeten the deal. In 1989 Behring hires Tom Flores as team president and general manager.

1991: Seahawks add to draft legacy by choosing QB Dan McGwire, brother of Oakland A’s slugger Mark McGwire. He of course sets records in every offensive category, is considered the best quarterback of all time, and is later elected President of the United States.

1992: Knox resigns, and Flores becomes head coach.

1993: “With the second pick in the 1993 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks take Rick Mirer, quarterback, University of Notre Dame.” (Drops mic, exists stage).

1994: An acoustic tile falls from the ceiling of the Kingdome, causing the team to move to Husky Stadium for three games: the first instance of an NFL team leaving their stadium for home repairs. Flores is replaced as head coach by Dennis Erickson, late of University of Miami. The acoustic tile is named general manager.

1996: Owner Ken Behring says he’ll move the franchise to Anaheim because, get this: he’s afraid of earthquakes in Seattle, and of course Los Angeles is earthquake-free. The NFL calls B.S. on this, and insists that Behring honor his lease with the Kingdome, which runs through 2005. Behring decides to sell, and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen opens his wallet.

1999: Seahawks hire Mike Holmgren as head coach. The team would win conference titles in 1999, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007, losing in the ’06 Super Bowl (’05 season) to Pittsburgh. Holmgren’s mustache is arrested for DUI in 2002.

March 26, 2000:

I sifted through the rubble and got away with this:

2002: Long live Seahawks Stadium/Qwest Field/CenturyLink Field, which shall live forever, etc. … (Seahawks return to the NFC West).

2010: Pete Carroll becomes head coach. OK, Seahawks’ fans, how many of you can tell us what Carroll’s middle name is? (Clay). Or how many NFL teams he’s coached for? (8 … among then the 49ers). Or what World Football League team cut him when he tried out at safety in 1973? (Honolulu Hawaiians). Or what USC’s conference record under Carroll was in 2005? (0-0).

2013: NFC West title, Super Bowl again.

Friday: The Denver Broncos.