The Seattle Seahawks are a professional American football franchise based in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league’s National Football Conference (NFC) West division. The Seahawks joined the NFL in 1976 as an expansion team. The Seahawks are owned by Paul Allen and are currently coached by Pete Carroll. Since 2002, the Seahawks have played their home games at CenturyLink Field (formerly Qwest Field), located south of downtown Seattle. The Seahawks previously played home games in the Kingdome (1976–1999) and Husky Stadium (1994, 2000–2001).
The Seahawks are the only NFL franchise based in the Pacific Northwest region of North America, and thus attract support from a wide geographical area, including some parts of Oregon, Montana, Idaho, and Alaska, as well as Canadian fans in British Columbia and Alberta. Seahawks fans have been referred to collectively as the “12th Man”, “12th Fan”, or “12s”. The Seahawks’ fans have twice set the Guinness World Record for the loudest crowd noise at a sporting event, first on September 15, 2013, registering 136.6 dB during a game against the San Francisco 49ers and again on December 2, 2013, during a Monday Night Football game against the New Orleans Saints, with a then record-setting 137.6 dB (decibel).
Over the years several notable players have been Seahawks, including Shaun Alexander, Brian Blades, Brian Bosworth, Dave Brown, Kenny Easley, Joey Galloway, Jacob Green, Matt Hasselbeck, Steve Hutchinson, Walter Jones, Cortez Kennedy, Dave Krieg, Steve Largent, Joe Nash, Marcus Trufant, Curt Warner, Jim Zorn, and Marshawn Lynch, as well as, for a brief time, Hall of Famers Carl Eller, Franco Harris, Warren Moon, John Randle, and Jerry Rice. Largent (1995), Kennedy (2012), Jones (2014), and Easley (2017) have been voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame primarily or wholly for their accomplishments as Seahawks. Brown, Easley, Green, Jones, Kennedy, Krieg, Largent, Warner, and Zorn have been inducted into the Seahawks Ring of Honor along with Pete Gross (radio announcer) and Chuck Knox (head coach).
As per one of the agreed parts of the 1970 AFL–NFL merger, the NFL began planning to expand from 26 to 28 teams. In June 1972, Seattle Professional Football Inc., a group of Seattle business and community leaders, announced its intention to acquire an NFL franchise for the city of Seattle. In June 1974, the NFL gave the city an expansion franchise. That December, NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle announced the official signing of the franchise agreement by Lloyd W. Nordstrom, representing the Nordstrom family as majority partners for the consortium. In March 1975, John Thompson, former Executive Director of the NFL Management Council and a former Washington Huskies executive, was hired as the general manager of the new team. The name Seattle Seahawks (“Seahawk” is another name for Osprey) was selected on June 17, 1975 after a public naming contest which drew more than 20,000 entries and over 1,700 different names.
Thompson recruited and hired Jack Patera, a Minnesota Vikings assistant coach, to be the first head coach of the Seahawks; the hiring was announced on January 3, 1976. The expansion draft was held March 30–31, 1976, with Seattle and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers alternating picks for rounds selecting unprotected players from the other 26 teams in the league. The Seahawks were awarded the 2nd overall pick in the 1976 draft, a pick they used on defensive tackle Steve Niehaus. The team took the field for the first time on August 1, 1976 in a pre-season game against the San Francisco 49ers in the then newly constructed Kingdome.
Blitz is the official mascot of the Seattle Seahawks, a team in the National Football Conference of the National Football League. A large blue bird, Blitz made his debut on September 13, 1998 at the Seahawks’ home opener at the Kingdome in Seattle, Washington. The augur buzzard species is also the Seattle Seahawks live mascot.