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Which Seattle Seahawks Players Belong On The Team’s Mount Rushmore?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

 

With Russell Wilson on the cusp of becoming the highest paid player on the Seattle Seahawks, if not in the entire National Football League, many fans have begun to debate where Wilson ranks among the greatest Seahawks of all time. He is already the most accomplished quarterback in Seahawks history, and the winningest 3rd year quarterback in NFL history. He has also helped deliver the Seahawks their first championship title, while leading the team to consecutive Super Bowl appearances. And he is favored by Vegas odds to do so again this season. All good arguments for Russell Wilson to be on the Mount Rushmore of Seattle Seahawks players, past and present. Except, he's not on mine.

To make the Mount Rushmore cut, you need to be one of the four best players in the entire history of the franchise. In this case, a Seahawks history that dates back to 1976, and includes such notable fan favorites as, Jim Zorn, Dave Kreig, Curt Warner, Mack Strong, Kenny Easley, Shaun Alexander, Jacob Green, and Matt Hasselbeck. And, of course, there is The Boz. Brian Bosworth may be the most over-hyped Seahawks player of all time, but is best remembered for being trucked on his home field by Bo Jackson. And with respect to the others, none of them qualify for Mount Rushmore status.

Actually, no discussion of Seattle Seahawks Mount Rushmore candidates should start without first considering the three NFL Hall of Fame inductees: Steve Largent, Walter Jones, and Cortez Kennedy. By their acceptance into The Hall, these three players have been acknowledged as the most accomplished players in Seahawks franchise history. And who am I to argue with the National Football League Hall of Fame Voters? Although, admittedly, one of the three selections has me on the fence in regards to the Seahawks Mount Rushmore discussion. But, let's start with the HOF'ers and see where it takes us.

Steve Largent. This is the no-brainer pick. Largent is simply the gold standard of Seattle sports icons. He represents what Seattle fans respect the most in their sports stars; intelligence, toughness, and an unyielding determination to overcome the odds. Unheralded and over-looked, Largent became the classic overachieving underdog. If you aren't old enough to remember the "payback" hit Largent put on Denver Broncos safety Mike Harden, do yourself a favor and find it on the interwebz. It's a treat to watch, and a decleating hit that forever solidified Largent's place in the pantheon of Seattle sports greatness. Not considered athletic enough to compete at a high level in the NFL, Largent only went on to become the leading receiver in the history of the franchise, the franchise's first Hall of Fame inductee, and the undisputed heavyweight champion of Seahawks fan favorites. Steve Largent is first and foremost on the Seattle Seahawks Mount Rushmore.

The next face on the mountain side has to be the big man, Walter Jones. The rock. For thirteen HOF worthy years, Big Walt protected the health and welfare of Seattle quarterbacks as an impassable obstacle. Regarded by his peers as one of the best in the business, you could count on one hand the times Jones was beaten by a pass rusher over the course of an entire NFL season. In 2005, he anchored one of the league’s best offensive lines, opening the holes for Shaun Alexander to become the league's rushing leader and MVP. Which also led to the Seahawks earning their first Super Bowl appearance. Despite his propensity to skip training camps, Big Walt was the epitome of a true professional, a trusted teammate, and a fan favorite. Walter Jones has earned his place on the Seahawks Mount Rushmore.

So, now we've come to the final Seahawks Hall of Famer. As you may have concluded by my praise of the previous two, Cortez Kennedy is the one I struggled over for inclusion onto the Seahawks Mount Rushmore. But this is to take nothing away from Tez. Kennedy was the only thing going for some very mediocre Seahawks teams that the newly indoctrinated 12's only know of from legend and lore. Yes, the Seattle Seahawks once sucked. Like, for a long time. And no player embraced the suck better than Kennedy. Through nearly a decade of losing football, Tez carved out an admirable career with eight Pro Bowl appearances, and became a fan favorite on Seahawks teams that often provided very little for fans to get excited about. And arguing against a Hall of Fame players right to be on his teams Rushmore, especially a team with so few big name stars in it's past, is not an argument I'm quite ready to make. The problem is, I cannot close my eyes and recall a single iconic Tez highlight. To my memory, he was a very solid player, but not a spectacular one. Regardless, Cortez Kennedy is in The Hall and on the mountain.

My final choice to complete the Seahawks Mount Rushmore is the man that has more jaw-dropping, earth shaking, stiff-arming highlights than anyone who has ever worn a Seahawks jersey. A man known as Beast Mode. Marshawn Lynch is the heart and soul of a Seahawks team that has become one of the most dominant teams of this decade. A dominance coinciding with Lynch being traded to Seattle in 2010, and quickly establishing his dominance over opposing defenses. Whether it's the Beastquake run over the Saints, or last season’s Desert Storm attack on the Cardinals, Lynch has provided shock and awe with a ferocious running style. He is a huge reason Seattle hoisted the Lombardi trophy in 2013, and he took them to within a yard of raising it again last season. When the Seahawks offense has sputtered, Lynch has been the catalyst to get the machine running smoothly. The entire team is electrified by his smash-mouth, momentum-swinging plays. And so are the 12's. No other player in NFL history has incited a registered earthquake from his cheering fans. 

In time, the 12's may add Russell Wilson to the Seahawks Mount Rushmore. Maybe even one of the Legion of Boom. But for now, Marshawn Lynch will represent the present day Seattle Seahawks with his place next to Largent, Big Walt and Tez on my Hawks Rushmore. 

So, who is on yours?

GoLocalPDX partner Oregon Sports News: Since 2011, Oregon Sports News has provided entertaining, hard-hitting local sports news & commentary every weekday. To read more from this author, check out Oregon Sports News by clicking here.

 

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