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1976 Players at a Glance

Eddie McMillan

Eddie McMillan was there!

Eddie McMillan

And he was kind enough to personalize a photograph for me when he autographed it!

My friend Marolyn, a Seahawks season ticket holder, attended a Seahawks function for members of the SeaHawkers club that Eddie McMillan attended as a special guest. As a surprise from Marolyn, she asked him to sign the picture you see below! How cool is that?!?!

PLEASE read the article below about Eddie McMillan. It's awesome; another beautiful job by the writers at the Seattle Times!

1977 Season Summary

Team Captains: T Norm Evans (Offense), S Eddie McMillan (Defense), S Steve Preece (Special Teams)
Team MVP: WR Steve Largent
Notes: Set record for wins by 2nd year expansion team.

Street and Smith's Pro Football 1977

There was stability in the secondary, despite the 27 touchdown passes given up by Seattle. Ex-Steeler Dave Brown started all 14 games at free safety, ex-Packer Al Matthews did the same at strong safety and ditto ex-Ram Eddie McMillan at left corner.

Scanned from Birth of a Franchise

Seattle Draft: 'Good Job'

Source: Seattle PI
By Don Fair

"Seattle took one of our very best in Ken Geddes, but 32 players were all we could protect. We took a chance and lost on him.

"I also though Seattle did a good job of taking defensive backs. I know Eddie McMillan started for us, and we think we have a very good football team.

Gil Brandt, who has spent 17 years discovering players as Dallas' vice-president in charge of personnel development, added, "Seattle made some excellent choices. They got a good blend of players like Hoaglin, McMillan, Curtis, Geddes that can come in and lead stability.

"And they got good young guys, like the two from us (tight end Ron Howard, cornerback Rollie Woolsey). They have good possibilities for the future."

Photo of Eddie McMillan


by Doug Thiel
Sunrise Publishing Inc.

“Last year I was walking off of the field after we’d lost a game. An old lady leaned over the rail and said, ‘That’s all right, Sweet, all you can ask from a man is that he do the best that he can.’ I smiled a bit and started thinking I wish I could have won the game for that lady.”

That feeling and that situation was an eternity away from his old neighborhood where stealing was an accepted way of behavior. The most admired kids were the ones who could steal the best. Most of them were into drugs and crime. Pimps and drug dealers had all the money, had all the ladies. They drove the big cars. Now that really molds a kid’s impression about what is right for him, what he’s supposed to do to get ahead. Misdirected information results in misdirected behavior. Hey, I didn’t fully realize that stealing was against the law until I got to college. Everybody knew what the law was, but everybody did it, and it was accepted.

“People walk down the street and offer you a TV for sale from the time that you’re one year old and you think that it’s all right.”

AT age fifteen two events took place which created lasting impressions. As a high school athlete Eddie made the National AAU Junior Championships which were held in San Francisco.

Just as he was about to turn off a TV set he saw a black man on the news. That wasn’t different except that this black man wasn’t an athlete—he was the anchor man on the news.

“For the first time in my life I realized that you could be black and be somebody and not be involved in crime. I saw blacks in nice homes, driving nice cars, and I knew that they weren’t involved in crime. Man, that really created an impression on me. I made up my mind then that I, too, could be somebody, and I definitely did want to be somebody.”

The other incident involved the Central Florida Track Club. As one of two black members on the team, Eddie was definitely in the minority when the team visited Forsythe, Georgia for a meet. The twenty team members and the two coaches went into a restaurant and sat down. “After a while I realized that the waitress had taken everybody’s order except mine and the other black kid’s. Pretty soon this guy, probably the owner, went to the coach and said, ‘You and the other can stay, but those two niggers gotta go.’

“That really shocked me. I’d read things like that, but I’d never experienced them. I said to myself, ‘I’m at the cross now.’ Finally this guy tells the coach we can eat in back. I told Leon, ‘If the coach says that we gotta eat in back, I’m walking out and going home.’

“The coach got up and said, ‘If they can’t eat, we can’t either.’ Outside there was crowd shouting and waving sticks and clubs. It was scary.

Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2007 9:35 PM

I'm trying to contact Eddie Mac. he is an old friend and I can't seem to locate him.Do you know of his where he can be reached. I have some information I would like to share with him. I have been living in Spokane, WA for 20 years.

Jack H. Johnson Jr.
Spokane, WA.

Brother of Michael "Burk" Johnson.

From: Andrew Stein
Sent: Wednesday, January 09, 2008 10:19 PM


Scanned from Birth of a Franchise

[Headline unknown]

August 1, 1976
The Seattle Times
By Gil Lyons

The Seattle Seahawks will strive for a “first” today when the National Football League opens shop in the Kingdome.

No expansion team has ever won a first exhibition test, dating back to the Dallas Cowboys in 1960.

Seattle’s long-awaited debut in the NFL will begin at 1pm against the rebuilding San Francisco 49ers before what should be a capacity crowd of nearly 65,000.

Seattle’s defense, led by such established players as Mike Curtis, Ken Geddes, Don Hansen, Eddie McMillan and Al Matthews, is rated fairly strong, although the pass rush is suspect. The top two rookies, Steve Niehaus at defensive tackle and Sammy Green at outside linebacker, will play.

Their pay includes aches, bruises, and victory thrills

by Susan Wade Special to The Seattle Times
August 19, 2000

SEATAC - The sun is starting to slant behind the hillside that buffers Tyee High School. And Ken Austin, NFL-certified player agent by trade and rescuer of wandering football souls by calling, is running out of time.

His Puget Sound Jets, the No. 2-ranked semipro team in the nation, have just this practice and another before putting their 8-0 Northwest Football League record on the line against the Oregon Thunderbolts. Today's 6 p.m. game is at Auburn Memorial Stadium.

In a larger sense, the sun is setting steadily on the potential pro-football careers of some of the Jets. Austin, owner and head coach, has a team that's closing in on a sixth league championship since starting out as the Federal Way Jets in 1990, but he scrambles constantly to find paying football jobs for those players who want them.

Running back DeShaun Fauntleroy, lineman Leland Johnson and cornerback Joe Lewis, all current Jets, have played in the Indoor Professional Football League. Defensive lineman Mikal Bailey played in the Arena League. Linebacker Ryan Skinner, who played for the Jets last year, graduated to the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Sherriden May, a Spanaway Lake High graduate, played in the NFL with the New York Jets before playing last season with the Puget Sound Jets.

Photo scanned from Pro! magazine These Jets, ages 21-37, play for free. The bruises and morning-after aches feel the same as in pro football. The thrill of winning is equally euphoric. Any abuse they take is their donation to a sport and a team they love.

"Their commitment is incredible," Jet defensive coordinator Stan Wrubluski said. "They get beat up out there. And when we hit people, they get thumped. They do this for the love of the game, and sometimes it's hard to let that feeling die."

The Jets converge on the grass field after eight-hour work days at the construction site, car dealership, insurance company, business office, mail room and jail. They're an array of sizes, from lineman Ron Livingston at 6 feet 8, 310 pounds, to wide receivers Art Ballard and Rico Brown at 5-6, 180.

Not every player makes every workout.

Linebacker Shannon McKenzie and strong safety Terrell Walker won't show at this one - they fly in from Alaska every weekend at their own expense, but they're physically fit and experienced enough to slide into the lineup seamlessly.

So the Jets, with nicknames of Sugar Bear, Papa Smurf and Bumpy, are a crazy-quilt of backgrounds, talents and aspirations. But the common thread is their focus on winning. Said outside linebacker Dion Alexander, "Nobody wants to do it for free and lose."

The Jets' victories include 55-6, 27-0, 76-6 and 48-0 blowouts. So far, they've outscored opponents 336 to 63. That's an average of 42 points a game.

But assistant coach Eddie McMillan, like Austin, concentrates more on "making them productive in society and helping them get across life's hurdles."

Photo scanned from Pro! magazine McMillan, one of the original Seahawks who also played for the Los Angeles Rams and Buffalo Bills, knows what gets the NFL's attention and that some of the Puget Sound Jets have those tools and some don't.

"In football, you have all races, creeds, types of people," McMillan said. "Same as in the rest of life. Sometimes you might not like some of your teammates or the referee's decisions. But you have to have discipline and be a team player. Football is a good foundation for learning those things."

McMillan and Austin use the same approach. Under Austin, the Jets win, one way or another.

"I'm building young men, building character," he said. "If they turn out to become football players, that's great. But I'm teaching them about the values of life through football."

Austin grew up with strict rules at home. Years ago, his Marine-drill-instructor, growling, epithet-laced orders sure to scare any recruit, caught Austin smiling. Explained Private Austin, "Sir, after being around my mother, this is noooo problem. This is easy."

Mama Austin might have predicted Ken would be inducted, as he was June 24, into the Minor League Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, for his coaching accomplishments. She didn't warn him, though, that he'd have so many financial and personal responsibilities in giving back to the game he has loved since his boyhood in Louisiana.

With limited sponsorship, Austin pays from his personal bank account the $1,040 cost for staging each home game. He depends on donations and the gate, not an optimistic picture when tickets are just $7 for adults and $5 for students, with children 12 and under admitted free. He doesn't make money on concessions; the Auburn Little League operates the stand for its own profit.

While he would love to have increased sponsorship investment, fundraising isn't his main message. It's quality football.

"We're not a bunch of beer-bellied guys getting together on the weekends to bump heads," Austin said. "We're guys you can identify with."

Photo scanned from Pro! magazine Like Manuia Sami Alo. He drives a forklift and works the chain at a lumber mill in Fife. The 23-year-old spent his formative years in American Samoa but played for a Clover Park High football team that barely won a game during his tenure as a two-way tackle. Still, he dreams of playing college ball.

He came close. His parents sacrificed much of their life savings to enroll him at Walla Walla Community College because the school assured he'd get a football scholarship once he joined the team. The program was eliminated before the 1998 season.

A helmet-to-knee injury a couple seasons ago derailed this man Austin calls D-Train. The doctor told him football was over, that he'd be lucky if he even walked again. But Alo's dream still smoldered deep inside his 6-6, 320-pound frame, and Austin fanned it to life.

"If it wasn't for him, I'd probably be bigger than I am and completely out of shape," Alo said. "He takes me places and I trust him. If you have a good heart, I don't think anyone can stop you but yourself."

The Jets are made up of men like Alexander. Austin swears the two-time All-American from Eastern Washington, who attracted attention from Dallas Cowboy and Kansas City Chief scouts before a knee injury, could be a linebacker for the Seahawks. But Alexander, 25, a former assistant coach at Kennedy High, said he would rather keep his machine-operator's job at a hardware store, continue counseling teens for the city of Kent and watch his two daughters grow up.

Men like Lewis. He played basketball at Seattle University and football at Kansas Wesleyan. Now, at 26, he juggles his second Jet season and his accounting job.

"It's a flame that you've always had inside you, something you were born with," he said of his desire to play. "But I know there's life after football."

Men like Corey Sampson. He's more than Corey Dillon's former quarterback at Franklin High. He went on to become sixth in the nation in interceptions while playing for Northeast Louisiana.

Like former Huskies Sean O'Laughlin (kicker), Omar Frost (cornerback) and Bryan Pittman (tight end) and former Washington State lineman Von Jackson.

McMillan and Ernie Jones

Like Damon Dickey, who played for UW Coach Rick Neuheisel at Colorado. The cornerback lost his scholarship after an off-field incident but would like another chance, and has the speed and skills to earn it.

Once, at Fort Dent, Austin couldn't prevent darkness from setting in. But he refused to let it halt practice. He directed the players to line up their cars, door to door, on the sideline and turn on their headlights. And the work went on. Until the Jets understood Austin's Xs and Os.

"Sometimes it's like that prayer meeting that goes on and on, after you've already said `Amen' at least five times," Austin said. "It's like they say in the Marines: `You will not die until I say you can die!' "

And the Puget Sound Jets can't let up now. Not with the Oregon Thunderbolts eager to come into town and leave Austin with the Jets' first defeat in addition to the usual $1,040 tab.

A chorus of rumbling dog barks sets the cadence. Then these men - somehow still energized after sprinting, stretching, squatting, sweating - broke into song:

"We . . . are . . . the . . . Jets!"

Just those four words. Over and over.

The refrain swells from down in the Tyee High School bowl to the houses that keep watch from the hillside above. And in the rhythm, you can hear the echoes of Austin and the hearts of these players.

Click here for the story!

Gatorade Jr. Training Camp Wrap-up


The summer-long Gatorade Jr. Training Camp program held its final session on September 14 at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland. Over 100 kids were in attendance, all winners of a contest at Top Foods. The coaches were alumni Melvin Jenkins, M.L. Johnson, Art Kuehn, Eddie McMillan, Randall Morris and Manu Tuiasosopo, with Seahawks staffers Nesby Glasgow and Paul Johns lending assistance..

The Pocket Book of Pro Football 1976

Edited by Herbert M. Furlow

McMillan has experience and speed. If his attitude Is okay, Seattle lies a plus. Dave Brown comes from the Steelers, and may welcome the opportunity to play. He was a backup corner and safety last year as well as a kickoff-return man. With a plethora of corners on the roster, it seems likely that amongst Colbert, Crump, Davis, Taylor, and Woolsey some will be switched to safety. None is sure to Stay. Taylor is coming off a broken arm suffered in the Denver Broncos’ camp.

Rolly Woolsey's now a Seahawk after expansion

The Idaho Free Press
March 1976

"Overall, we were a little surprised at some of the players available to us " said Patera, who swiped an excellent crop of linebackers in Mike Curtis, Ken Geddes, and Ken Hutcherson. "We may not have drafted 39 good football players but we have overall a very good nucleus."

The Seahawks not only drafted the nucleus of a good linebacking unit, but also Eddie McMillan from Los Angeles – former starters with their respective teams - plus Rondy Colbert from the New York Giants, Dwayne Crump from St. Louis and Dave Brown from Pittsburgh.

"The defensive backs and linebackers we came up with are very impressive " said Patera. "To have a good defensive you have to have experience and the only way to gel that is to get guys who have played. In Curtis, Geddes, Hutcherson Matthews and McMillan, we have guys which have played."

Collecting Eddie McMillan?

1976 Topps #388