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On June 4, 1974 Seattle, Washington and Tampa, Florida were awarded expansion teams in the National Football League, which would begin play in the 1976 season. The Seattle franchise, owned by a consortium headed by Lloyd Nordstrom held a "Name That Team" contest and 1,741 different names were submitted, with the Seahawks chosen as the winner. The team would play in the Kingdome, a domed stadium that was originally built for the Seattle Pilots, but now housed the Seattle Mariners.

The franchise hired Jack Patera at their head coach, a former linebacker for the Baltimore Colts, Chicago Cardinals, and Dallas Cowboys, and the defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings. He quickly became known for scowling at his players, pacing the sidelines and occasionally throwing a fit. Unlike current NFL expansion teams, the Seahawks and Buccaneers were not given preferential treatment in the NFL Draft their first year, and free agency was not an aspect of the league. Instead, these teams had to start with the cast-offs of the other NFL teams, and hope to improve over time. This was reflected on the field, and the Seahawks finished their first season a dismal 2-12.

The team began to improve over the years, influenced by the coaching of Jack Patera, and the outstanding play of wide receiver Steve Largent. After Chuck Knox replaced Patera as head coach, the Seahawks reached the playoffs for two years in a row, making it as far as the AFC Championship game in 1984. The Seahawks became the first professional team to retire a number (#12) in honor of their fans on December 15, 1984. The #12 represents the fans place at the 12th man on the field.

After a second pair of playoff berths in 1987-88, the Seahawks would settle in for a long stretch of mediocrity. The Seahawks would be within a game of .500 for seven out of the next ten years, never receiving a playoff berth. Chuck Knox gave way to Tom Flores, who gave way to Dennis Erickson. Seahawks management would draft a highly regarded player in the draft, such as Dan McGwire and Rick Mirer, only to see him bust.

In order to break the string of mediocre seasons, the Seahawks management went out and landed Mike Holmgren, the successful coach of several Super Bowl Green Bay Packers teams, to be the Seahawks new head coach. While the record didn't improve, it is clear that he is better at building talent than his predecessors. He traded away wide receiver Joey Galloway to the Dallas Cowboys for draft picks, resulting in Shawn Alexander, one of the better running backs in the league. The Seahawks made the playoffs for the 2003 and 2004 seasons, losing in the wild card round to the Green Bay Packers and the St. Louis Rams respectively.

The Seahawks opened a new stadium in 2002, located on the old site of the Kingdome. The Seahawks had played two years at University of Washington's Husky Stadium while the Kingdome was torn down and replaced.

YEAR   W    L      %
1976   2   12    0.143
1977   5    9    0.357
1978   9    7    0.563
1979   9    7    0.563
1980   4   12    0.250
1981   6   10    0.375
1982   4    5    0.444**
1983   9    7    0.563*
1984  12    4    0.750*
1985   8    8    0.500
1986  10    6    0.625
1987   9    6    0.600*
1988   9    7    0.563*
1989   7    9    0.438
1990   9    7    0.563
1991   7    9    0.438
1992   2   14    0.125
1993   6   10    0.375
1994   6   10    0.375
1995   8    8    0.500
1996   7    9    0.438
1997   8    8    0.500
1998   8    8    0.500
1999   9    7    0.563*
2000   6   10    0.375
2001   9    7    0.563
2002   7    9    0.438
2003  10    6    0.625*
2004   9    7    0.563*

* made playoffs
** season shortened by player's strike

Head Coaches

1999-present    Mike Holmgren    31-34-0 
1995-1998       Dennis Erickson  31-33-0 
1992-1994       Tom Flores       14-34-0
1983-1991       Chuck Knox       83-67-0
1982            Mike McCormack   4-3-0 
1976-1982       Jack Patera      35-59-0

Retired Numbers
12 - Fans (12th Man)
71 - Walter Jones
80 - Steve Largent


Resources:
http://www.seahawks.com/
http://www.nflhistroy.net/seahawks/
http://cbs.sportsline.com/nfl/teams/history/SEA

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