June 14, 2011

The Forgotten Years (1992-1998): Top 5 Players

5. Brian Blades (WR, 1992-1998)
Brian Blades arrived in Seattle at the tail end of the Ground Chuck era, but he spent most of his career toiling (and thriving) in The Forgotten Years. He was a solid, consistent producer who rarely had the benefit of having an elite QB delivering the ball. Blades peaked in 1994, putting up a career best 81 catches and 1086 yards. Those numbers are even more impressive when you consider he had Rick Mirer and Dan McGwire throwing the ball at him (not TO HIM- AT HIM). As a lifetime Seahawk, and the 2nd most prolific receiver in franchise history, he probably deserves to eventually be added to the Ring of Honor. Here's a cool Blades TD:

4. Joey Galloway (WR, 1995-1998)
Brian Blades' Seahawks CAREER is more impressive than Joey Galloway's, but this list is about the period from 1992-1998- And there was no more electrifying, exciting Seahawk during The Forgotten Years than Joey Galloway. In terms of raw athletic ability, he might have been the most talented WR who has ever played for Seattle. He also might be the only wideout in team history who you legitimately thought "any time he touches the ball, he could score."

There's a reason I usually wore a Galloway jersey from 1995-1998, and we shouldn't let his hideously ugly exit from Seattle (holding out for most of 1999, then playing like shit, then forcing a trade- thankfully Dallas Idiot Jerry Jones gave us TWO first round picks for Galloway) erase the joy he brought the Twelve Army over these four seasons. He was also a dangerous punt returner, scoring four return TDs in addition to his 37 receiving TDs (including this one):

3. Chris Warren (RB, 1992-1997)
You know how a lot of Seahawks fans detested Shaun Alexander's running style, complaining that he wasn't tough or hard-nosed enough? Well, the 2nd most productive back in team history heard a lot of the same crap during his time in Seattle- like Alexander, he was a glider who often looked to be running with less than full effort... But once he found a hole, he ran with deceptive power and speed- and was the Seahawks' all-time leading rusher until Mr. Alexander came along. Ladies and Gents, Chris Warren:

Warren would post four 1000-yard seasons, and make three trips to the Pro Bowl. His most impressive accomplishment might have been his 1017-yard season in 1992. Surrounded by the worst offense in NFL history, and with the opposition KNOWING he was Seattle's only viable offensive weapon, he still ground out 4.6 yards per carry. HOW? Impressive, however he did it.

2. Michael Sinclair (DE, 1992-1998)
Sinclair is one of the most unfairly forgotten players in team history- Only Jacob Green has more sacks as a Seahawk, and no one in Seattle history has forced more fumbles. He was selected to the Pro Bowl three times, and absolutely terrorized enemy QBs in 1998 with 16.5 sacks. One reason he has faded from memory is terrible luck- He spent his career on a fairly nondescript, non-playoff team. Another reason? He was playing next to one of the greatest defensive players of all time.

1. Cortez Kennedy (DT, 1992-1998)
I've talked about Tez before, but the dude is always worthy of more discussion. Sometimes I like to try to talk myself into the idea that Kenny Easley was the 3rd greatest Seahawk ever after Jones and Largent, but let's be frank: It's Tez. For an entire decade, he was a DOMINANT force in the middle for Seattle, stifling opposing rushing attacks and creating absolute chaos for enemy QBs. His litany of accomplishments is amazing- Here's the big ones:

-1992 NFL Defensive Player of the Year
-8-time Pro Bowler (2nd in Seahawks history, behind only Walter Jones' 9)
-3-time All-Pro (2nd in Seahawks history, behind only Walter Jones' 4)
-58 QB sacks (3rd in franchise history, 1st among Seahawks DTs)

A while back, Pro Football Reference made the case for Tez to be in the Hall of Fame... Clare Farnsworth did likewise. In a few years time, The Seahawks should have three players in Canton: Steve Largent, Walter Jones, and Cortez Kennedy. When Tez gets in, I will be there at his induction. That moment, more than anything, will dignify The Forgotten Years.

For all the Twelves who endured The Forgotten Years, Kennedy's ascension to the Hall of Fame will (in some small way) help justify all the time we spent devoted to a team owned by a carpet-bagging Californian that was only occasionally entertaining, and mostly bad-to-mediocre. We will be able to say "I watched the career of Hall-of-Famer Cortez Kennedy." Believe me when I tell you- That is a pretty exclusive club.

What do you think, sirs?

No comments: