The Seattle Seahawks are 9–1—their best start in franchise history. They continue to find ways to win games, even when it doesn’t look possible. They are doing so behind an energetic coaching staff, a dynamic young quarterback leading a team whose players believe in each other and a front office that isn’t afraid to pay the players who produce wins on the field. Oh yeah, and then there’s the 12th Man. If you’ve never heard (or heard of) the 12th Man, just drive about 175 miles north of Portland and you’ll hear it for sure. The raucous and ravenous Seahawks fan base boasts the loudest stadium in the National Football League, and the Seahawks haven’t lost in Seattle since 2011.
Their recent success can be traced back to January of 2010, when Pete Carroll was hired as head coach. His mission since day one has been to inspire positivity and competition in every last player on his team. The identity of the team has become one that consists of youthful energy and is brimming with talent. The players feed off of all that energy and talent to produce the only thing that matters: wins. Coach Carroll has successfully stamped his attitude on the entire organization, and it shows. The Seahawks haven’t always played to their full potential this season, but they still find a way to win. The team carries a winning attitude that never seems to fade.
Their stellar young field general embodies this demeanor. Second-year quarterback Russell Wilson plays the game with the poise you would expect from a seasoned veteran. He possesses maturity beyond his years and leadership in abundance. His teammates trust his playmaking ability, and the coaching staff trusts his decision-making skills. Wilson, however, isn’t an ordinary football player. He’s a talented athlete who played for two different Division I colleges and spent a summer playing professional baseball in the minor leagues. Those experiences made him ready to take the reins when he arrived in Seattle in 2012.
Wilson quickly established himself as the starting quarterback in the months leading up to his rookie season. Since then his team has rallied around him to become one of the most successful teams in the league. His determination and preparation make him stand out among even the most dedicated of athletes. The Seahawks know they can count on him to bring his best game to the field, and he consistently delivers results. Wilson is the core of a team whose players have each other’s backs no matter what, and it shows in the way they play and win.
The overall success of Seattle’s 2012 season and playoff run was somewhat of a surprise. However, expectations were loftier coming into 2013. The Seahawks made several offseason acquisitions on both offense and defense that sent a clear message to the rest of the league: We’re here to win a Superbowl. The addition of defensive linemen Chris Avril and Michael Bennett offered more depth to the pass rush. The Seahawks then traded for wide receiver Percy Harvin, an explosive and dynamic young player who can turn any play into a touchdown.
With their intentions clear, Seattle has shown that they are certainly a contender for a championship. Never before has there been this much promise and optimism around a Seattle sports team. It almost seems too good to be true, but fans don’t bother pinching themselves because they know this is no dream. Years of letdowns and botched seasons have prepared Seattle sports fans for this moment. They feel that they are deserving of a team whose record reflects the amount of support the fans provide.
If the Seahawks are able to deliver a Lombardi trophy to Seattle, it will announce the Pacific Northwest’s emergence on the national sports scene. Recent successes of Major League Soccer clubs in Seattle and Portland, along with the youthful promise of the Trail Blazers, contribute to the prominent sports culture that is on the rise in our region. The Seahawks’ opportunity to win a championship is one that doesn’t come around often. Their ability to take advantage of this opportunity presents a chance to change the sports identity of the Northwest.