Cyber surfing: Friday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, July 1:

ESPN.com continues its “best of” series, and the Seahawks fared well in the latest “honors” from NFC West blogger Mike Sando. He tabs Virginia Mason Athletic Center as “best team facility” and Paul Allen as “best billionaire owner.”

Sando on VMAC, the facility: “Few team headquarters in any sport can compete with the $75 million facility Seahawks owner Paul Allen constructed on Lake Washington, south of Seattle. The practice fields overlook the water, with swank homes staring back from the opposite shore. Giant doors slide up for an open-air experience in the players’ weight room, offering views of the practice field and, nearby, the water. The team has flown in free agents via seaplane, docking right at the facility. Square footage is right around 200,000 – second highest in the NFL, according to the team – and includes an indoor practice facility adjacent to the locker room. No other facility in the division comes close.”

Sando on VMAC, the training camp venue: “The Seahawks have it nice on Lake Washington, but there’s something special about going away to camp if the venue is right. Northern Arizona University fits the profile for the Cardinals. It’s far enough from Phoenix to escape the blistering heat, but close enough for fans to turn out in large numbers. The high-desert scenery and nearly 7,000-foot elevation combine to set apart NAU from other camp venues in the division and the league overall.”

Remember Jameson Konz? Sure you do. Seventh-round draft choice in 2010. Athletic and versatile. Played multiple positions at Kent State, but was tried at tight end last year. Spent his rookie season on injured reserve after getting a hip injury the second week of training camp. Yeah, that Jameson Konz. Steve Doerschuk of the Canton Repository caught up with Konz and provided this update. Konz, when asked what position he might play this season: “I don’t have any insight on what my role might be. Whether it’s receiver, tight end or H-back, I’ll do everything I can. The position doesn’t matter. My love of the game is profound. I just want a chance.”

Adam Caplan at FoxSports.com offers his Top 15 defensive free agents, and Seahawks tackle Brandon Mebane is at No. 4. Caplan on Mebane: “The Seahawks have no depth at defensive tackle to begin with, so it would be a surprise if they didn’t make a strong play to re-sign Mebane. Should he sign elsewhere, the Seahawks likely would have to sign another veteran to replace him. The Rams are probably in worse shape than most teams at defensive tackle, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they made a run at Mebane, whom they know very well from playing in the same division.”

For the give-us-this-day-our-daily-labor-update item, Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com counters the positive reports from the meetings this week between NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith. Says Mortensen: “Optimism is waning after four consecutive days of negotiations between NFL owners and players and was described as trending “backwards,” player sources told ESPN. Player sources said owners have reneged on a simplified formula that would have given players 48 percent of all revenue. … Players calculate that under the owners’ proposal, it would leave them with approximately with a 45 percent take on revenue, an “unacceptable” amount that one player source said “sets us back to March 11 … before the lockout.”

But Ryan Wilson at CBSSports.com says the new CBA target date could be July 10. Offers Wilson: “The speculation in recent weeks is that owners and players were hoping to have a new CBA, at least in principle, by mid-July. Specifics are hard to come by, primarily because both sides seem more interested in ending the lockout than staging a PR battle through the media. And for the most part, it’s been a successful plan.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we continue our series of articles on the first 35 seasons in franchise history with a look at 1989 – the 14th and final for Hall of Fame wide receiver Steve Largent. We also have a snapshot of what Largent’s final week was like.


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Cyber surfing: Tuesday

Good morning, here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks today, May 24:

A lot of people were surprised when the Seahawks selected James Carpenter in the first round of the NFL Draft last month, including the offensive tackle from Alabama. Steve Wyche of NFL.com caught up with Carpenter on Monday and filed this report. Carpenter his working at Competitive Edge Sports in Atlanta during the work stoppage.

Dave Boling of the News Tribune weighs in on Paul Allen’s new memoir, “Idea Man, and how it reveals the fan inside the owner of the Seahawks and NBA’s Trail Blazers. Offers Boling: “For our purposes, Paul Allen is the most influential person in Pacific Northwest sports. And aside from the revelations about his professional, business and personal relationships, the book provides at least a couple of chapters of insight behind the scenes of sports development in the region.”

Former Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander was inducted into the University of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame over the weekend, and did this interview with a local TV station. After he rushed for 3,565 yards and scored 50 touchdowns for the Crimson Tide – both school records – there’s just one question: What took them so long?

The NFL owners are holding their annual spring meeting in Indianapolis, but it is hardly business as usual – as you can read in this report from the Associated Press. It wasn’t all about the work stoppage, but close. As Jeff Pash, the NFL’s lead negotiator, said, “The only way we’re going to solve this is by saying, ‘OK, let’s put this behind us. Let’s put the litigation on hold and let’s solve our own problems.’ ”

Clark Judge of CBSSports.com is in Indy, and in this report he also touches on what everyone really wants to do: Will there be a season this year, and when will it start? Says Judge, “People want to know if and when we’ll have pro football in 2011 and, if so, what it will be like. My guess is the owners want to know too, though they seem optimistic – maybe even confident – that something will happen.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we continue our profiles of the players elected to the 35th Anniversary team with this look at center Robbie Tobeck – as well as the other eight members of the 35th Anniversary team that weren’t on the 25th Anniversary team that was selected by the Seattle P-I in 2000.


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Cyber surfing: Friday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks on May 20:

Mike Sando of ESPN.com had readers vote for “Flash Point” franchise-turning events for each of the four teams in the NFC West, and the obvious – and overwhelming – choice for the Seahawks was Paul Allen buying the team in 1997. As one voter put it, “It is hard to point to any one of those (other) moments as the one point where it all changed. They were part of a long, ugly slide. Allen buying the team, though, was the one point in time where you can look and say, ‘It all changed right there.’ ”

In the wake of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s comments about being “ignored” by the Lakers because he doesn’t have a statute outside the team’s arena, Vic Carucci at NFL.com weighs in on which NFL players are deserving of the honor. His obvious pick for the Seahawks: Steve Largent.

We’ll go that nine better. In addition to the Hall of Fame wide receiver, Qwest Field needs statutes of all 10 members of the Seahawks’ Ring of Honor – which also would include Jim Zorn, Dave Brown, Pete Gross, Curt Warner, Jacob Green, Kenny Easley, Dave Krieg, Chuck Knox and Cortez Kennedy. The St. Louis Cardinals have such a display outside Busch Stadium, and walking through the statutes is a stroll down memory lane. But if it can be only one for the Seahawks, Largent definitely is the one.

Also from NFL.com, Adam Rank, well, ranks the NFL’s sixth toughest names. At No. 3 is former Seahawks fullback Mack Strong. Says Rank, “Conjures up the image of a mack truck and of course, there is strong in the name. Only rivaled by Homer Simpsons’ “Max Power” name on The Simpsons. But No. 3? Whose name could be tougher than Mack Strong? Find out here.

The funeral for Ron Springs, the late father of former Seahawks cornerback Shawn, was held Thursday and Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com has the details. The elder Springs, who died of a heart attack last week after a long illness, was remembered as a fun and friendly guy. As Shawn said, “You really don’t have any choice but being a friend with my dad. He would talk to everybody.” Including reporters along the sideline when he attended practices while his son was playing for the Seahawks.

At Seahawks.com, we continue our recaps of the team’s first 35 seasons with a look at 1984, a season that started with Curt Warner going down and out in the opener but concluded with a 12-4 record that remained a franchise best until 2005.

We also offer a poll to determine if you think there has been a better free-agent signing than Chad Brown – an unrestricted or restricted free agent. With 325 votes cast, wide receiver Bobby Engram (78) leads Brown (68). Note to those who are atwitter with your tweets: Mack Strong is not on the list because he joined the club as a college free agent – like Dave Krieg, Joe Nash, Eugene Robinson and Rufus Porter. Neither is Mike Williams, because he was a street free agent when signed last year.


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The Seahawks’ world, according to Paul

When word got out that Paul Allen had written a memoir, I wondered how the billionaire cofounder of Microsoft turned multitasking and multi-interest philanthropist would treat the Seahawks and the way he was persuaded into buying the franchise.

You need look no farther than the first sentence in chapter 15 of “Idea Man” – 12th Man.

“If I entered the NBA out of passion, I was called to the NFL out of civic duty,” wrote Allen, who owns the Portland Trail Blazers as well as the Seahawks – among many, many other entities.

That, in 18 well-chosen words, is exactly how the transfer of the Seahawks from Ken Behring to Allen played out in 1996-97: If Allen didn’t “rescue” the franchise from Behing’s attempt to move it to Southern California, who would?

Allen’s honest appraisal of what was a sticky situation continues, as he offers, “By the midnineties, the team was losing more than $5 million a year. It had an absentee owner and a lackluster coach. The Kingdome, which it shared with the Seattle Mariners, was falling apart.”

It was against this backdrop of deterioration that Allen agreed to purchase the Seahawks, if – and only if – the voters approved funding for a new stadium. Long – and arduous – story short, they did, so he did.

“My hometown had asked for help, and I wanted to respond, but I wasn’t about to go it alone,” he wrote.

The rest has been the best of times (the run to the Super Bowl in 2005, as part of four consecutive NFC West titles) and some of the worst (4-12 and 5-11 seasons in 2008 and 2009).

Allen recounts it all, and as honestly as he remembers what first brought him to the Seahawks.

He touches on his role the day the Kingdome was imploded; the firing of longtime associate Bob Whitsitt on Jan. 14, 2005, and the reasons behind it; the acquisition of middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu in the 2005 NFL Draft; his relationship with former coach and general manager Mike Holmgren, or “Walrus,” as Allen calls him; and his stint as the 12th Man flag raiser before the NFC Championship game at Qwest Field.

This chapter alone makes the book worth reading – and you can buy it here – because of Allen’s direct approach to recounting how he became the owner of the Seahawks.

He has changed the franchise, and the franchise has changed him.

“Football is much more than a civic chore for me now,” he wrote. “I’ve gotten hooked on the weeklong buildup to Sunday, to the point where I can’t tell you which I enjoy more, the Seahawks or the Blazers.”


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Paul Allen is Sports Citizen of the Year

The 76th Annual Sports Star of the Year, presented by ROOT SPORTS, at Benaroya Hall in Seattle Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. The evening honors Northwest sports stars, carrying on an annual tradition started by Seattle Post-Intelligencer sports editor Royal Brougham in 1936. (Photography by Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures)

On January 26, 2011 over 1,000 athletes, coaches, media, fans and others in the community came out to Benaroya Hall to celebrate the biggest night in Washington sports. A local sports tradition, the 76th Annual Sports Star of the Year, presented by ROOT SPORTS™ was packed with sports luminaries from the past and present.

Special guests included Keith Jackson, Gary Payton, Apolo Ohno, Governor Christine Gregoire, Hope Solo, and many more!

Congratulations to Seattle Seahawks and Sounders FC owner Paul Allen on being named Seattle Sports Commission Sports Citizen of the Year, an award to be renamed the Paul Allen Award from now on.


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Photoblog: A Beastquake Shakes Qwest

The Seahawks entered Sunday’s wild-card playoff game as vast underdogs to the visiting Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints, but Matt Hasselbeck, Marshawn Lynch and the 12th Man led the way to a victory and a trip to Chicago.

Hours before kickoff, cornerback Marcus Trufant enters the team's locker room at Qwest Field.

Before taking the field for pregame warmups, starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck made some throws from his knees as he coaxed his body into gametime readiness.

Two recognizable faces of the franchise, future Hall-of-Famer Walter Jones and team owner Paul Allen greet each other on the field before the game.

Brandon Mebane fires up his teammates before they headed to the field.

Fans greet the players gathered at the entrance of the field before pregame introductions.

Running backs and best friends Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett have a final word before taking the field.

Under always-present eye of network cameras, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck lets out a yell as he's introduced before the game.

Two Navy EA-18 Growlers flew over the stadium at the conclusion of the national anthem.

Seattle's Raheem Brock sacks New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees.

Members of the 12th Man roar their approval during the second quarter.

Brandon Stokley came up big, scoring on a 45-yard touchdown pass from Matt Hasselbeck.

Pete Carroll gets pumped up after Stokley's touchdown.

Seahawks cornerback Kelly Kennings upends former teammate and current Saint's running back Julius Jones.

Seattle's 12th Man implores the defense to make a stop during the tense fourth quarter.

Defenders Colin Cole and Kentwan Balmer celebrate after stopping the Saints.

In a run for the ages, Marshawn Lynch takes on, stiff-arms and dumps Saints would-be defender Tracy Porter on the way to a 67-yard touchdown.

With Porter on on the ground, Lynch heads for the end zone for a touchdown to give the Seahawks a 41-30 lead.

All 11 of the Seahawks offensive players gathered in the end zone after Lynch's touchdown, with quarterback Matt Hasselbeck leading the cheers.

Fullback Michael Robinson and Lynch laugh on the sidelines after Lynch's big run.

Head coach Pete Carroll dances onto the field as the final seconds expire on the upset victory.

Leon Washington celebrates with fans in the south end zone after the game.

Pete Carroll shakes hands with fans on his way to the locker room.

Matt Hasselbeck leads his kids off the field after the win.

Hasselbeck shares a quiet moment with his son Henry after the postgame commotion had died down. At right are quarterbacks J.P. Losman and Charlie Whitehurst.


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