Happy anniversary, Seahawks

Pete Rozelle

First flight of the Seahawks: NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle (center), flanked by Lloyd Nordstrom and Herman Sarkowsky in 1974.

Does today’s date mean anything to you? It should, if you’re an original fan of the Seahawks.

It was 36 years ago today – June 4, 1974 – that the NFL announced Seattle would get a franchise for the 1976 season.

Just to show how much the league has changed, the cost of obtaining the franchise was $16 million – or $1 million less than the total value of the four-year contract the late Reggie White signed with the Green Bay Packers in 1993.

In December of ’74, the league announced it had voted membership to Seattle Professional Football, Inc. – which was headed by Lloyd W. Nordstrom, with partners Herman Sarkowsky, D.E. “Ned” Skinner, Howard S. Wright, M. Lamont Bean and Lynn P. Himmelman.

That group did not start putting together the staff that would run the franchise until 1975, when John Thompson, who had been executive director of the NFL Management Council, was named general manager. Jack Patera wasn’t named the team’s first coach until Jan. 3, 1976.

Three members of the Seahawks’ original staff still work at Virginia Mason Athletic Center: Gary Wright, who retired from the Seahawks in 2008 but is now senior VP of business operations for Sounders FC; director of community outreach Sandy Gregory; and director of video Thom Fermstad.

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