As Dave Krieg stood on the field smiling at halftime of the Seahawks - 49ers game in order to accept his induction into the team's Ring of Honor, the sky above Qwest Field resembled Clam Chowder.
The brooding mix of fog with patches of sun was an appropriate back drop for a man that was a living, breathing microcosm of that small-market NFL Team Way Up There In Seattle.
Growing up watching the Seahawks in my teens, I had long blonde hair. Now at 35, my head's so bald you can see my thoughts.
I blame Dave Krieg for some of my hair loss.
No other player on the Seahawks would make me so completely enriched with anger in one moment, only to turn around and fill me with so much unbridled glee.
If he wasn't fumbling on one play, he was throwing a deadly-accurate touchdown pass to Steve Largent. Nobody in the NFL during the 1980's and early 1990's could look so bad one game, then so brilliant the next.
A shining example of one of the most under-appreciated and underrated quarterbacks not only to put on a Seahawks uniform - but to play the position - looms taller than the Space Needle:
Dave Krieg is only 12 touchdowns shy of the legendary Joe Montana on the All-Time Touchdown list by NFL quarterbacks.
That is the NFL's All-Time list.
One constant throughout the mounting dichotomies was my admiration for the self-effacing quarterback. In victory, Dave always deflected praise and put it on his teammates instead. In losses, he never deflected blame but took it all on his back whether it was warranted or not.
What I loved about Dave Krieg was his modesty, humility and "ah-shucks" demeanor which was in increasingly short supply around the NFL.
As my wife and I sat amongst the appreciative crowd of nearly 67,000 fans, we watched Dave Krieg once again – even in his moment - deflect the praise away from himself only to turn the praise towards someone he credited the most for his successful NFL career, Former Seahawks Head Coach Chuck Knox.
It wasn't a surprising move. Even with a standing ovation from a crowd the size of which any rock band would love to play in front of, the modest man from a college the size of a Wall-Mart insisted on sharing the limelight with those around him.
Also in attendance to share this well-deserved day with Dave was former coach Rudy Gaddini, who was his coach at Milton College, Owner Paul Allen, President Bob Whitsitt and General Manager Bob Ferguson.
As Dave thanked the fans, players and coaches who meant so much to him throughout his playing career, it was only fitting that the standing ovation lasted much throughout his speech. Even Matt Hasselbeck, warming up for the second half, stopped the passing drills momentarily to join in on the ovation.
It proved a symbolic and appropriate gesture. A tip of the cap to the predecessor who thus far serves as the only quarterback ever to take the Seahawks to the conference championship.
"I was more nervous (for the ceremony) than playing a game," said Krieg.
"The ovation, I could have stayed out there the whole time (without speaking)."
In an era absorbed by suffocating egos and Me-Firsts, it's refreshing to honor humble, team players who played their hearts out for the team they loved.
"I'm sure I gave (Seahawks) fans both great exhilaration and great heartburn with my highs and lows."
He paused for a moment, smiled and with ever the slightest hint of pride perhaps said it best.
"I gave them all I had."
Todd Breda is the Owner and Creative Director of Seahawks.Net. If you would like to e-mail Todd, send any and all love letters, hate mail, whimsical musings or Clam Chowder recipes to: email@example.com
Dave Krieg: Giving It His All
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