The Seahawks were one of the surprise teams of 2012 behind rookie QB Russell Wilson, who led Seattle to a 11-5 record. This year, they are expected by many to contend not only for the NFC West crown, but also for a Super Bowl title.
The 28th franchise in the storied history of the National Football League, the Seattle Seahawks played their first season in 1976. Talks to bring an NFL team to Seattle date back as far as 1957, but it wasn't until the 64,984-seat Kingdome was built, and gave the Seattle Seahawks a home, that football became a reality in Seattle. Demand for tickets during the first year of the franchise was high, but perhaps even the ownership of the franchise didn't know how high. On July 25, 1975, season ticket applications were mailed out and just three days later 24,168 had been received. Less than a month later, sales for season tickets were closed because the team reached their target of 59,000.
The Seahawks got their name after having people submit entries with what they felt the team should be nicknamed. Over 20,000 entries were received with 1,741 different names. The Seahawks name was chosen after 151 of the entries suggested the name. The team finished 2-12 under the helm of Jack Patera in their first season but steadily improved in their third and fourth seasons, finishing with a winning record of 9-7. Part of those teams was 5'11'' wide receiver Steve Largent, who was acquired prior to the 1976 season from the Houston Oilers. Houston felt Largent was too small and too slow to be anything in the NFL. Largent used that as motivation during his stint in Seattle, and when he retired he held six NFL receiving records. He remains the only Seattle Seahawks player in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In 1997, the franchise began a complete transformation. The team was purchased by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, followed by the hiring of Super Bowl coach Mike Holmgren two years later. The team added players including Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and MVP running back Shaun Alexander. In 2002, they opened Qwest Field, their brand-new home stadium featuring what the team calls their 12th man. In 2005, fans were treated as their team finished 13-3 and earned their way into their first Super Bowl.
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