No longer a child, not yet middle-aged, and still finding their place in the NFL world.

...the 30-year wall of silence is an impressive achievement for a League that leaks as a lifestyle.

He recommended Jack Patera enthusiastically for the Seahawks...

The letter C is coming soon!

The Seahawks used Williams’ local reputation as a promotional tool, as they would do (very briefly) with Ahmad Rashad.

The average Seahawk selected in the veteran allocation is 6-2, 222 pounds, just under 26 years old and is entering his fourth NFL season.

The Seahawks played the Rams...facing off against future Seahawk coaches Chuck Knox, Tom Catlin and Ken Meyer. decided early to pursue coaches with no NFL head coaching experience.

Patera had the boldness to recruit 3 coaches with no NFL service...

...why was there no place for one of the ultimate local heroes of the early 1970s – Sonny Sixkiller?

Thompson may have looked on paper like a conservative and safe manager for a new team with first-time owners, but...

...reports from the camp are unclear as to who did the special team evaluations.

As a defensive coach, Jack Patera valued his linebackers.

Maybe we'll come up with something soon!

...nobody else on the Seahawks squad took their dislike quite to the extent of Ahmad Rashad.

The Nordstroms were an obvious possibility because of their wealth and local presence.

Approximately 14 members of that squad would never play for the Seahawks again.

A simple lesson in draft history is to list the fate of quarterbacks for several years before 1976.

Jack Patera was unable to take a single Redskin veteran from the allocation list.

...the Seahawks’ offense would be directed by 3 men who had 2 years of NFL experience between them

Terry Brown’s Seahawk career lasted less than 24 hours.

...we think this story might just have been a good Patera Prank!

While Patera had an inside edge on stocking his team with Vikings, he only chose one Viking from the allocation...

Character would clearly play a part...

Patera lived up to his code of we will tolerate you until we can replace you...

Yes! We will have something for Y eventually!

What more need we say?

O is for Ownership
Herman Sarkowsky and Ned Skinner formed Seattle Professional Football in June 1972 as the vehicle for bringing a professional football franchise to the city, but the NFL made the consortium sweat for another 4 years before making a decision on expansion. In February 1974, the League narrowed the choices to Honolulu, Memphis, Phoenix, Seattle and Tampa: and on June 4 1974, Seattle and Tampa were awarded franchises.

Sarkowsky could be grateful — and relieved. Seattle’s campaign for a franchise had been running seriously for only those 2 years, a blink of an eye when Tampa had been bidding just as seriously since 1967. Phoenix’s campaign would not be over until it captured the Cardinals from St Louis for the 1988 season. Memphis would still be looking for a piece of the action well beyond its ill-fated venture in the USFL, while Honolulu also continues to wait.

However, winning the franchise ended a battle, not a war. Seattle had a team, but it would have to wait another 6 months before the team had an owner.

The NFL had made it clear that it was looking first for a site. It seems that Sarkowsky was under pressure from the League not to present a definitive ownership structure during SPF’s lobbying, because that would hamper the League’s next step of selling the franchise to the best bidder. This suited Sarkowsky, who was not in a position to become a majority investor on his own, and he wisely did well enough in the lobbying stage to keep him inside the ownership deals without alienating the NFL.

The NFL made its ownership intentions clear shortly after awarding the franchise. The new owner could be a consortium (which Sarkowsky had been expecting) but it would have to guarantee to have a single party with at least a 51% stake in the ownership vehicle. The League was not committed to local ownership either: it had already tapped several potential owners and syndicates who might be ready to buy at the right price, including Hugh Culverhouse (who would be offered the Seahawks but eventually acquire the Buccaneers).

Sarkowsky had been testing the waters to build an equal-stakes partnership of investors with him in charge. The NFL firmly rejected his partnership plan, sending him back to the drawing board just as other syndicates made their moves.

Three local syndicates wound up competing with the NFL’s bidders.

Even allowing for the uncertainty surrounding the NFL’s rules, the purchase price of the franchise, and the changing fortunes of potential owners during this negotiating time, the lack of preparations in both cities looks surprising. None of the other “modern era” expansion teams had as much difficulty putting their people and money in the right place.

The delay would be to Sarkowsky’s advantage because he knew from early on that it would be hard to find a 51% owner among Seattle’s business elite and needed time to come up with a solution. The Nordstroms were an obvious possibility because of their wealth and local presence, but they seem to have been the only major Seattle-based player willing to consider joining in (and even then they only did it after much debate in the family). None of the rival bidders could come up with anything like the Nordstroms from within the Seattle community.

The NFL took 6 months to resolve the competing ownership bids, and granted ownership to the alliance between Sarkowsky and the Nordstrom family (christened Seattle Professional Football, Inc.) on 5 December 1974.

Sarkowsky had secured the decisive role that he deserved. He had built the original Seattle Professional Football, led the franchise campaign, and then built an ownership structure acceptable to the NFL. He would continue to dominate the process of building the Seahawks.

As Sarkowsky’s team and the Nordstroms settled into the front office, their next challenges were to find a manager and a coach. Consistent with what had happened so far, neither would be settled as quickly as might have been hoped.

Almost Hall

Almost Hall of Fame

We invite you to visit our special feature, the Almost Hall of Fame, where we honor those Seahawk players who won our hearts even if they haven't won Hall of Fame honors.

Spirit of '76

Go Hawks

We invite you to visit our in-depth feature on the 1976 expansion team, where we honor every known player who had a chance at becoming Seahawk on the 1976 squad! |
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