Coach's Corner

I don't know about you, but I've jumped all the way on to the Seahawk bandwagon. Of course, I was an original seasons' ticket holder with the Hawks back in the old Kingdome. That was in the late seventies and we made the weekly ferry ride from Bremerton to cheer on a struggling franchise.

I stayed with them all the way into 1984 before I started working for the Huskies and then only saw them periodically over the next 15 years.

Well, I'm not afraid to admit that I'm back! I have watched every one of their games this year, only this time from my own chair, in my own living room, drinking my own beer. I know, I know, that's not really being a true fan. But realistically, they have really carried me through these last two dismal Husky seasons.

I really enjoy cheering for a winner. Duh. I know that with time Coach Willingham will take us all back to the Rose Bowl and win it. Meanwhile, wouldn't it be special if the Seahawks take us all on a ride to the Super Bowl? Think about it.

It will become the biggest thing in this town since the Huskies went on their magical run in 1991. I know that less than 5 years ago the Mariners teased us with their record setting wins but flamed out so fast in the playoffs that they have gone down hill ever since.

It was back in 1978-79 when the Seahawks were my team, (along with the Olympic College Rangers of course), that Seattle experienced it greatest run ever. I was well into the Seattle Sonics when they had back to back championship matches with the Washington Bullets (now known by the more PC term "Wizards"). The Seahawks were still an "expansion Franchise" then and going on that playoff run with the Sonics was a welcome relief from losing.

Because I worked then as the strength and conditioning coach for Lenny Wilkens' Basketball Camps, I actually got to travel with the team back to Washington DC where I, incidentally, got to meet the master of blue humor himself, Mr. Red Fox. That experience still ranks as one of my all-time greatest sports memories.

To fly home on the team charter with the winners of the NBA Championship was simply electrifying for a humble JC football coach. Talk about jumping on the bandwagon, I had jumped on a rocket ship. It was simply one of the greatest times in the history of Seattle Sports. The whole city and state came together in a celebration of the Sonics. The parade, the rallies, the awards, all the hoopla was a tremendous rush of all of us.

I will always carry that run with a special significance because my wife and I were just starting to fall in love then and have been together ever since. You can't underscore the power of a championship run. It can be so emotional that you literally live it with a team.

Well, hang on, because here we go again. The Seahawks have those three key ingredients in order to win it all. They run the ball, they stop the run, and they protect the football. For years those have been the keys to winning the Super Bowl. Every Champion has had the ability to do those things first.

Here are my favorite things about this team. Coach Holmgren, their young linebackers and defense, and the push of their offensive line.

Just last year people in the media and fan base were questioning Coach Holmgren, wondering out loud if he was still the man for the job. He is not the pretty boy type football coach but he is consistent and he is an educator.

Coach Holgren has coached at all levels of the game; at high school, junior college, college, and has been a position coach, an offensive coordinator, as well as being a Super Bowl head coach of the winning team.

This is not about getting to the Super Bowl. This is about winning the Super Bowl.

So, here they are, coming into the playoffs as the best team in football. They will get an extra week to rest sore joints and aching bodies and will play all their playoff games at home. Not a bad way to start the post season.

Seattle sports fans, in particular football fans, are starved for this opportunity. This whole region is poised to go for all the marbles. This could be the next great run for a northwest sports franchise (and I don't consider the Ducks as one). It is becoming apparent that the Seattle crowd is as loud as ever. I can remember times on the sidelines in Husky Stadium when you couldn't hear the guy next to you talking because the crowd was so loud. I remember it being that way in the Kingdome and it sure seems like it is that way now in Seahawk Stadium.

So, bring on Green Bay. Let's see the Hawks tune up further for the playoffs. Fasten your seat belts because this train left the station weeks ago.

Oh, and by the way, throw to the tight end.

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