What Paul Allen meant to the Seahawks franchise
The shocking news of Seahawks owner Paul Allen’s passing broke on Monday afternoon, just two weeks after he had announced that the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma he had previously battled in 2009 had returned.
Danny, Dave and Moore were on the air on 710 ESPN Seattle when the news surfaced, and each host had an interesting perspective on what Allen, who bought the Seahawks in 1996 after previous owner Ken Behring attempted to move the team to Los Angeles, meant to the Seahawks’ franchise. Danny O’Neil and Jim Moore have covered the Seahawks as sportswriters and sports radio hosts throughout Allen’s time owning the team, while former Seahawks linebacker and current Seahawks radio color commentator Dave Wyman has seen how Allen changed the culture within the franchise.
Here’s what each host had to say about Allen.
“Paul Allen was an incredible owner. He gave massive resources to his franchise. … He provided that lakefront property where the Seahawks’ headquarters now sits – he funded the construction of that. … He built a franchise that has gone from something that was quite frankly recognized as an often mediocre team into a franchise that is at the very top of the league in both the way that it pays and treats its players and the success that they’ve enjoyed, especially over the past 13 to 14 years.”
“Everything that he’s done in his life has just been first class, and he’s a much-beloved person here in the Northwest. Really sad at age 65 – way too soon.
“… Everybody thinks that because the NFL’s a multi-billion-dollar industry, every team is pretty much the same and they have all these resources and everything. It’s not the case. You ask players that come from other places, the reason why this franchise is successful is Paul Allen. It starts at the top. … This is different here than it is other places. Other franchises are not like that, and it’s because of Paul Allen.”
“In 1996, I remember being at a hotel down in LA and I was really surprised when I saw (then Seahawks coach) Dennis Erickson in the lobby. We all remember those stories about the moving trucks being ready to go over there in Kirkland to take the Seahawks down to LA. Paul Allen came in and saved the day and bought the team and has kept it here, and it’s flourished ever since.
“… I appreciated that he was a behind-the-scenes guy and you never really heard from him. He let the football people run the football operations.”
You can hear the full segment from Danny, Dave and Moore reacting to the news of Allen’s death, plus listener calls and an interview with Seahawks broadcaster Steve Raible, in this podcast.