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Happy Birthday, America! (And to some of our favorite players as well)

Syndication: Spartanburg Herald-Journal TIM KIMZEY/Spartanburg Herald-Journal via Imagn Content Services, LLC

I have always been a fan of symmetry and as a fan of symmetry, I have always loved the fact that the Seahawks organization began play shortly after our country’s 200th birthday - with their first preseason game taking place on August 1st, 1976 and their first regular season game kicking off in the Kingdome at 1:09pm PST on September 12th, 1976.

Game PDFs are courtesy of the Wayback Machine - and are pretty fun to look at!

While it is true that the organization was technically (and officially) “born” two years earlier, in 1974, when Seattle was awarded one of the league’s two expansion franchises, everyone I know considers 1976 the franchise’s actual birthyear.

Seattle Seahawks v San Diego Chargers Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

A couple of days ago, Mookie asked all of us where we are from and what we are doing this weekend to celebrate our nation’s birthday.

Me? I am from here (born in Michigan, raised in Washington) and I am celebrating our nation’s 245th birthday by celebrating the Seahawks!


Players on the current Seahawks roster with July birthdays

Seattle currently has 8 players on the roster who were born in the month of July.

Note: Age before beauty so that I don’t appear to be playing favorites.

Gabe Jackson - born July 12th, 1991

Oakland Raiders v Houston Texans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

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Jordan Simmons - born July 15th, 1994

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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Danny Etling - born July 22nd, 1994

NFL: New England Patriots at New York Giants Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

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Will Dissly - born July 8th, 1996

NFL: JAN 03 Seahawks at 49ers Photo by Kiyoshi Mio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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Penny Hart - born July 15th, 1996

Seattle Seahawks v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

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Marquise Blair - born July 18th, 1997

Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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Jake Curhan - born July 9th, 1998

Reese’s Senior Bowl Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

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Jared Hocker - born July 11th, 1998

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: AUG 29 Texas State at Texas A&M Photo by Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Former Seahawks with July birthdays

I am going to play favorites with a few of these ... the rest will be “age before beauty”.

...

Brian Blades - played his entire career in Seattle (1988-1998); born July 24th, 1965

Brian Blades Seahawks

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K.J. Wright - played his entire career (so far) in Seattle (2011-2020); born July 23rd, 1989

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Miami Dolphins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

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Ron Essink - played for Seattle from 1980-1986; first player ever drafted out of Grand Valley State (10th round, 1980); scored the only touchdown in a 51-7 loss to Dallas his rookie year (notable because he was an Offensive Tackle); born July 30th, 1958

MVLive file photo

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Michael Jackson (not the pop star) - played for Seattle from 1979-1986; born July 15th, 1957

NOV 21 1982, NOV 22 1982; Football - Denver Broncos (Action); Broncos’ Rick Upchurch takes a hard hi Photo By Jim Preston/The Denver Post via Getty Images

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Terry Taylor - played for Seattle from 1984-1988 and again in 1994; born July 18th, 1961

Terry Taylor

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Paul Moyer - played for Seattle from 1983-1989; born July 26th, 1961

Seattle Seahawks v Los Angeles Raiders Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

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Chad Brown - played for Seattle from 1997-2004; born July 12th, 1970

Broncos v Seahawks Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

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Jay Bellamy - played for Seattle from 1994-2000; born July 8th, 1972

Seahawks V Cowboys

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Pete Kendall - played for Seattle from 1996-2000; born July 9th, 1973

Pete Kendall #66...

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Julian Peterson - played for Seattle from 2006-2008; born July 28th, 1978

Seattle Seahawks vs San Francisco 49ers - November 19, 2006 Photo by John Medina/NFLPhotoLibrary

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Shaquill Griffin - born July 20th, 1995

Wild Card Round - Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

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Shaquem Griffin - born 2 minutes after Shaquill

Seattle Seahawks v Miami Dolphins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

A pair of NFL legends with July birthdays

These next two players are considered to be among the best players in NFL history.

...

Barry Sanders - my all-time favorite non-Seattle player; born July 16th, 1969

Detroit Lions v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Focus on Sport via Getty Images
Detroit Lions vs Pittsburgh Steelers - September 3, 1995 Photo by Allen Kee/Getty Images

(What? I told you he’s my favorite non-Seattle player; he gets 2 pictures!)

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Walter Payton - the man known as “Sweetness”; an all-time great who passed too soon; born July 25th, 1954; passed November 1st, 1999 (R.I.P.)

Walter Payton
Chicago Bear Jumping Over Redskin
Chicago Bears Walter Payton... Set Number: X30594 TK1 R14 F23
Super Bowl LIII - New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

(The league’s Man of the Year award was renamed in Payton’s honor after he died; I think that says it all - don’t you?)


Other notable NFL’ers with July birthdays

This last section includes some non-players as well as a bunch of folks that don’t actually have ties to the Seahawks (but who I thought were worth including on the list).

(in no particular order - except the first one because of the Seattle connection)

Gus Bradley - former Seahawks Defensive Coordinator (2009-2012); born July 5th, 1966

Jacksonville Jaguars v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

(Sorry; I love the guy but that photo just cracked me up too much to NOT use it.)

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Jimmy Johnson - America’s favorite former coach ... or not; born July 16th, 1943

9th Annual NFL Honors - Arrivals Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

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Trent Williams - the NFL’s highest-paid Left Tackle can afford to get himself something really nice; born July 19th, 1988

Washington Redskins v Tennessee Titans Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

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Jimmie Ward - SF got a good one in the 2014 NFL Draft; born July 18th, 1991

San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

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A.J. Green - 10 years in the league and still haulin’ in passes; born July 31st, 1988

Dallas Cowboys v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

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Rodney Hudson - another player with 10 years in the league that’s still going strong; born July 12th, 1989

Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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Darrelle Revis - who else has had an island after them? (born July 14th, 1985)

New York Jets v New England Patriots Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images

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John Stallworth - widely considered one of the best wideouts in league history; born July 15th, 1952

Kansas City Chiefs v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

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Dak Prescott - another guy who can afford to buy himself something nice this month; born July 29th, 1993

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

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Roger Craig - the first player to have 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in the same season; won 3 Super Bowls with the 9ers ... before we started to really dislike them; born July 10th, 1960

Miami Dolphins v San Francisco 49ers: Super Bowl XIX Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

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Terry Crews - perhaps better known for being the host of America’s Got Talent, but did play in the league from 1991-1996 ... (insert objections and caveats here); born July 30th, 1968

Madden NFL 12 Pigskin Pro-Am Photo by Marc Stamas/Getty Images

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Ryan Tannehill - got his birthday gift early in the form of Tennessee’s trade for Julio Jones; born July 27th, 1988

Wild Card Round - Baltimore Ravens v Tennessee Titans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

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Antonio Brown - aka “AB”; born July 10th, 1988

Super Bowl LV Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

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Patrick Peterson - switching teams and numbers this year; born July 11th, 1990

Buffalo Bills v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

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Xavien Howard - had 10 INTs last season; would like a raise for his birthday; born July 4th, 1993

Kansas City Chiefs v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

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Believe it or not, Xavien Howard is the only person in this article who shares the birthday month and the birthday DAY with our country - which is why I saved him (and that picture) for the end.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

And ...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA !!!

Seattle Seahawks Victory Parade Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Arizona Cardinals v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images
Seattle Seahawks vs Denver Broncos, Super Bowl XLVIII Set Number: X157569 TK1 R1 F95