Seattle Seahawks Have Been Here Before: Team Playing Out 1983 All Over Again

Brad HinkleContributor IJanuary 12, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 25:  Quarterback Dave Krieg #17 of the Seattle Seahawks passes during the game against the Los Angeles Raiders at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 25, 1987 in Los Angeles, California.  The Seahawks won 35-13. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
George Rose/Getty Images

The day is December 24th, the year is 1983. The location is the King County Domed Coliseum, more affectionately recognized as the Kingdome.

The Seahawks have stumbled into the playoffs with a 9-7 record, finishing second to the Los Angeles Raiders in the AFC West despite having swept the regular-season series.

Most people didn't know what to expect against Denver; they had an upstart quarterback named John Elway who hadn't exactly performed well, but they were tied with the Hawks at 9-7 and entered the playoffs in a surprisingly strong year by the division.

That season series was split with each team winning at home that year, but Denver had all the momentum in putting up 38 points in the last meeting.

They wouldn't even score 10 points.

No, destiny would see to it that on that day, the Kingdome would send the Hawks out as a winner and they'd fly cross-country to meet the Miami Dolphins.

This also happened to be the first year for another legendary QB by the name of Dan Marino.

The Seahawks were playing in the Orange Bowl against a team that just finished last season as losers in Super Bowl XVII. Marino had been superb that season in throwing 20 touchdowns as compared to 6 interceptions.

The Seahawks of Seattle had no shot—they had barely edged into the Playoffs by the virtue of a weak AFC beyond the Western division.

Surely, the team most likely to go all the way would put its run to bed and move on.

It wasn't to be.

Dan Marino and his Dolphins were defeated on that day 27-20 in one of the more meaningful playoff games in the history of the NFL.

The heavy underdogs from Seattle, under the leadership of Chuck Knox, Curt Warner, Steve Largent and Dave Kreig, marched on, dashing the hopes of a team looking to return to the big show—shocking the world.

The improbable outcome is only worse these days as Dan Marino retired without ever winning a ring—this being one of several missed opportunities for the "Greatest Quarterback to Never Win a Super Bowl."

Of course, as all of us who follow the history of this team know all too well, we went into the Conference Championship game against the very same Raiders we had swept during the season and we were still considered underdogs at the Memorial Coliseum.

And sure enough, we stumbled when it mattered most to a 30-14 loss that ended our Cinderella run.

People say that one of the hardest things to do in the NFL is beat another team twice. We did that but couldn't pull off the hat trick and do it three straight times.

The Raiders would go on to dominate Super Bowl XVII, winning 38-9 over Washington.


Today is January 12, 2011. The Seattle Seahawks have already overcome an improbable victory over what was viewed as a superior team—the world-champion Saints have gone marching home.

In five days (counting today), we will go back into Soldier Field in the dead of winter and try to beat a team we have already beaten at home.

Should we prevail, a Packer upset over the Falcons would result in the NFC Conference Championship game being held at Qwest Field, a much more friendly environment than what our Hawks faced at the Memorial Stadium in 1983.

If we can turn the Saints into this year's rendition of the Denver game, fly to Chicago and pull out a memorable win in a Dolphin-esque fashion and get the Packers at home to cap the playoffs, maybe we can play out a different scenario in the modern age of football, a Cinderella story that will be completed by a trip to the Super Bowl.

With Pete Carroll as our Chuck Knox, Marshawn Lynch as our Curt Warner, Matt Hasselbeck as our dependable and gritty veteran, and Mike Williams as our mountain sized Steve Largent, maybe we can make it happen.

Sometimes history repeats itself, sometimes teams and players exceed expectations, sometimes lightning strikes twice, sometimes miracles do happen.