With the current Seahawks in a big hole and the playoffs looking slim for 2021, it’s good timing that the team is giving fans something to cheer about by honoring the two guys who took Seattle to its first Super Bowl.
Mike Holmgren will join his longtime QB, Matt Hasselbeck, in the Ring of Honor this Sunday. Hasselbeck was honored Monday night (see his speech).
These are the two guys most responsible for bringing the franchise out of its 1990s slump, getting it to its first Super Bowl and establishing a winning culture that has persisted for two decades.
Holmgren took the Seahawks to the playoffs in his first year, 1999, with Dennis Erickson’s leftovers. He then spent the next couple of years revamping the roster, with Hasselbeck and Steve Hutchinson being his biggest additions.
It took Holmgren and Hasselbeck a couple years to get in sync; but, once they did, the Hawks started winning. And, up until this season, they haven’t really stopped.
The Hawks have missed the playoffs just four times since 2003. That includes the last year of the Holmgren era (2008), Jim Mora’s only season (2009) and Pete Carroll’s second season (2011), plus 2017.
They have made the Super Bowl three times, tied for second in the NFL since 1999.
As Carroll said on KIRO Radio on Friday, “Mike Holmgren did an incredible job here and really kind of brought the Seahawks into this new time when I was able to jump in on it and follow suit. He set the thing in motion about winning and getting to the Super Bowl … that made it normal for this program to be that way.”
The Seahawks’ 15 postseason berths since Holmgren’s first year are tied with Green Bay for most in the NFC – across the NFL, only the Patriots (17) and Colts (16) have had more in that time (Bill Belichick took over from Carroll in New England in 2000).
It’s apropos that the Seahawks and Packers have been the NFC’s best during that stretch, considering Holmgren and Hasselbeck (and John Schneider) came to Seattle from Green Bay.
And it’s apropos that the QB and coach enter the Seahawks’ Ring of Honor in consecutive weeks.
“To be able to see the name up there, it’s pretty cool,” Holmgren said. “It’s quite an honor. I’m humbled by it, and it’s going to be a good day for me and my family.”