View photos of players and coaches who have suited up for both the Minnesota Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks.
The Seattle Seahawks were founded on June 4, 1974 when the NFL announced Seattle would be awarded a franchise that would begin play for the 1976 season. The 1st head coach in club history came from the Vikings- Jack Patera, who was hired on January 3, 1976. Patera served as defensive line coach on Bud Grant's staff from 1969-75 where he was an architect of the Purple People Eaters line. One Vikings mainstay from the early 1970s, Bob Lurtsema, was part of a Vikings trade in 1976 when WR Ahmad Rashad was acquired from the Seattle for Lurtsema and a 4th-round draft pick. Lurtsema went on to start 25 games in 1976 and '77 for Seattle as the franchise got off the ground. "It was exciting to be a part of something new like that," Lurtsema said. A fan favorite, Lurtsema and his Seahawks came back to Minnesota on 11/14/76 and he was welcomed at Met Stadium. "There's nothing like it in sports when you come back to play against your old team. It's so much fun to go against your old buddies and see those familiar faces."
Patera fielded a team with salty vets and talented youngsters in 1976, including rookie standout Jim Zorn and future Hall of Famer Steve Largent. The squad won 2 games.
"The city loved us," Lurtsema said. "The fans were there for the game day experience more than for great football. We had some really good players, but it's hard when you start out. Jack Patera did it the right way though, letting the veterans lead the way and bringing the young guys along. It was a great time in Seattle and I loved every minute."
Over the years, the link between the franchises continued as players shuffled between the roster, East and West down the Interstate 90 corridor. The list of names is dizzying for the NFL's two Northern-most franchises.
From Carl Eller in a 1979 trade for the final season of his career, to Percy Harvin in 2013, the teams have had open dialogue on personnel over the past 40 seasons. The connections include the front offices and coaching staffs as well. Seattle coach Pete Carroll reflects fondly on his time with the Vikings under Bud Grant and Jerry Burns while former Vikings head coach Mike Tice spent the majority of his NFL playing days in the Pacific Northwest.
This weekend, former Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and former Vikings QB Tarvaris Jackson return to Minnesota in Seattle's first trip to Minnesota since the duo was helping Brett Favre re-write the record book in 2009, including a 35-9 win over the Seahawks.
View photos of some of the key contributors on the Seattle Seahawks roster in preparation for Sunday's Wild Card playoff game.
One of the most highly-charged player moves came in 2006 when perennial All-Pro guard Steve Hutchinson came to the Vikings via the now-infamous "Poison Pill" offer sheet as a transition-tag player. The Vikings acquired their coveted lineman and did not have to give compensation to Seattle. Following Seattle's similar move with Vikings WR Nate Burleson, the NFL intervened and banned the practice.
Hutch's rugged presence on the offensive line helped the Vikings win consecutive NFC North titles in 2008 and 2009 and advance to the 2009 NFC title game. Hutchinson was All-Pro in 2006, '07, '08 and '09 with the Vikings, going along with the 3 straight he earned in his final 3 seasons in Seattle. Leaving his original team was not an easy decision, especially a team on the rise at the time. Hutchinson's last game as a Seahawk was Super Bowl XL against Pittsburgh. Don't ask him about it.
"Even though we were getting successful out there, we were still a really young team," Hutchinson said. "I was excited to be getting into the NFC North, the old Black and Blue Division, that was a cool aspect. It really reminded me of Big Ten football, which I had enjoyed at Michigan. Going to a team like the Vikings, with all their history, the Purple People Eaters and all of that, it was a great experience."
In Hutchinson's first season with the Vikings, the team went back to Seattle in the regular season, taking a decisive 31-13win from the Hawks on their home field. "It certainly was one of the most memorable games I've ever been a part of," Hutchinson said. "To win that one, I have to say was pretty sweet. I didn't look at it as a revenge game, even though it was built up like one. I just wanted to play well and we did. Today, I'm lucky to say I've been a part of two great franchises where I had success and made a lot of friends. I've still got close friends either on the staffs or players and coaches with both teams. I can't really root for one team this weekend. I'm just hoping that guys like Chad Greenway play well and stay healthy. I want both teams to win for different people."
Hutchinson was teammates with Vikings Ring of Honor member John Randle from 2001-03 and remained close when he came to Minnesota for the 2006 season. Randle went to the Pro Bowl in '01 for Seattle after making 6 appearances in the all-star game for the Vikings. Randle put the closing paragraph on his 14-season NFL career (Minnesota 1990-2000, Seattle 2001-03) in Seattle and polished his Hall of Fame resume, racking up 137.5 career sacks, 114 of those in Minnesota, the most in NFL history by a DT.