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In 1976, the Emerald City got its wish: a professional football team of its very own. Created as an expansion team, the Seattle Seahawks filled the void of the football-starved Pacific Northwest, where it remains the only franchise in the region.
Its moniker was chosen by the public from a total of 1,741 different names, and in 1998, Blitz became their energetic mascot, proudly sporting the team colors of navy, green and gray. In 2005, a live augur hawk named Taima was added to the roster with the job of leading players out onto the field on Seahawks Sundays.
Initially, majority ownership was held by the Nordstrom family of retail chain fame before changing hands. Ultimately, the franchise was purchased by philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 1997.
Seattle calls CenturyLink Field home today, but in the beginning, there was Kingdome. This multi-purpose arena boasted the largest concrete roof in the world as part of its original design; it was demolished in 2000.
The Seahawks' inaugural team featured a diverse mish-mash of players with varying experience and backgrounds, and former Minnesota assistant coach Jack Patera was selected as the Seahawks' head coach. The team's first-year record was just 2-12 while playing in the NFC, but that didn't faze fans of the fledgling team.
The following year, the Seahawks transitioned into the AFC and made significant improvement, finishing 5-9 thanks to the efforts of quarterback Jim Zorn and wide receiver Steve Largent.
In 1983, under the guidance of coach Chuck Knox, the Seahawks made it to the AFC championship game, and they returned to post-season play in 1984 after a stellar 12-4 season that included the benching of leading rusher Curt Warner due to injury and the mid-season switch to quarterback Dave Krieg. Over nine seasons, Knox led the team to an 83-67-0 record and was the recipient of multiple Coach of the Year awards.
In 2002, the Seahawks returned to the NFC and their brand-new stadium, and they went on to win the conference championship in 2005 after their best season to date, beating the Carolina Panthers.
Pete Carroll, the team's eighth head coach, began his tenure in 2010 after starting his career at the college level; he eventually spurred the Seahawks on to their first-ever Super Bowl victory in 2013 (Super Bowl XLVII).
Home to amazing talent from its very inception, Seattle boasts a number of Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees, including one of the franchise's most legendary players, Steve Largent. He held the title of the NFL's all-time leading receiver at his retirement in 1989, paving the way for superstars like cornerback Richard Sherman and running back Marshawn Lynch.
Perhaps one of the most epic contributors to Seattle's success, though, is someone who never even took to the field. It's the 12th Man, otherwise known as the Seahawks' fans. They're known for their unwavering, crazy-loud support – and they've held a few Guinness World Records to prove it.
During the Seahawks' 2011 playoff game against the Saints, Marshawn Lynch's 67-yard touchdown run caused an explosion of noise from excited fans, resulting in a new record for loudest crowd roar at a sports stadium. Another game against the Saints on December 2, 2013 yielded a crowd roar topping off at a thundering 137.6 decibels. The Seahawks went on to win both of those games (and more) with the help of the 12th Man.