Ten years ago if I had told you the fate for the 2007-2017 Seahawks, you might have called me a liar. Hell, I would’ve called me a liar. I’m thankful for a lot, but specifically within the Seattle Seahawks organization I’m thankful for the following.
I’m thankful for good management
Debate over the latest controversial play call aside, we are so lucky to have a coaching and management duo of our team as tireless and competent as Pete Carroll and John Schneider. Last week while the Buffalo Bills were embroiled in national controversy, debate, and then open mockery for benching Tyrod Taylor for unproven rookie Nathan Peterman I reflected back on the personnel decisions made by the Seahawks. While we may not always agree with the moves the Seattle front office makes, looking at you Kasen Williams fans, there has never been a doubt in my mind that each decision is made for a specific, rational purpose. While some were speculating the Bills had benched their quarterback for possibly racial reasons, the Seahawks have avoided the perception of anything so unethical. I know asking for a football team’s management and coaching staff to not make decisions based on racial factors isn’t a high bar, it should be the default. But 2017 has been a weird year, and maybe that bar isn’t as low as we once thought.
I’m thankful for players like Russell Wilson and Cliff Avril
Wilson gives me the dilemma of too many choices, what exactly do I pick as my main reason for being thankful he is the quarterback of my lifelong favorite team? Wilson and Avril both are hugely positive influences within the community. From Wilson visiting Seattle Children’s Hospital like clockwork every week, to Avril building a house in Haiti for every sack he recorded last year, these two men are just two examples of the type of person we cheer for on this team.
There are so many examples of good will, philanthropy, and a genuine drive to improve our world that come from the 53 men in green and blue every week that it could fill a book. Not even going into the charity work done by the men and women of the Seahawks organization. Which leads me to my next point.
Thank God for Paul Allen
Great organizations are often led by great people. Paul Allen, for decades, has been a positive influence on the Seattle community. Appearing in the “philanthropy top 50” almost every year and named 2011’s “most charitable American,” Mr. Allen didn’t just save Seattle from losing its football team, he funds research into artificial intelligence, brain research, health, education, the arts, and more. And of course, I’m thankful for one glaringly obvious trait of Mr. Allen’s, he isn’t Jerry Jones.
The Seahawks’ owner displays one of the best traits you could ask for in sports team ownership, hiring the right kind of people and letting them operate within their area of expertise. Too few owners in the NFL hire the right front office or head coach, and the team suffers for it. Since purchasing the team 20 years ago, we have seen Paul Allen hire those who win, and be willing to dismiss those who don’t. We’ve experienced the thrill of watching Seattle advance to the Super Bowl three times, winning one of them. The Seahawks of 2017 are night and day difference than that of 1997, and I couldn’t be more thankful.
So while you hopefully spend time with friends and family today, I hope you are as thankful for the success and character of our beloved team. If you are out there away from home, especially overseas, God bless and come back safe. I’ve been there, as have other members of the Fieldgulls staff. We’re with you every step of the way. Things aren’t always perfect, mistakes are made, games are lost, kicks are missed, but the Seahawks are one of the reasons I am proud of Seattle, the State of Washington, and the great Pacific Northwest. Happy thanksgiving from our family to yours.