The 12th man wasn’t nominated for Seattle’s Mt. Rushmore — and apparently Seattle has a Mt. Rushmore.
NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk paid tribute to America this offseason allowing fans to vote online who belongs on their favorite team’s (digital) granite monument.
When Seattle Seahawks fans’ votes were tallied on June 16, Steve Largent, Cortez Kennedy, Walter Jones and Shaun Alexander were carved. The 12th man (Seahawks believers) finished fifth, ahead of Jim Zorn, Matt Hasselbeck and Mike Holmgren among others.
There is no question that Largent, Kennedy and Jones are worthy. Largent was the NFL’s all-time leader in catches, reception yards and touchdowns before Jerry Rice suited up. Kennedy (who like Largent is in the Hall of Fame) was a relentless pocket-collapsing force at the defensive tackle position. Jones is considered one of the best complete left tackles of all time.
The real debate came between Alexander and the fan base, which is really an apples-oranges comparison pitting the running back’s accomplishments against the 12th man’s ego.
Alexander didn’t do it alone, but he carried much of the offensive weight when the team made its first Super Bowl appearance in February 2006. The two-time All-Pro won the NFL MVP that season and set the record for most rushing scores in 16 games (27, broken a year later by LaDainian Tomlinson), which capped a five year stretch where the halfback collected 7,504 yards and 87 touchdowns after handoffs.
The 12th man, on the other hand, had its number retired and are pretty darn loud, but they essentially don’t exist on the road, where the Seahawks play half their matches and occasionally win. You could make the argument the fans buy tickets and merchandise and supply the squad’s payroll (so the team can give out deals like Nate Burleson’s seven year, $49 million pact), but revenue sharing shrinks the direct impact significantly. (Jaguars fans say thanks a lot.)
The right man won, and frankly, Seattle’s Mt. Rushmore would have looked goofier if a fan’s face was etched next to Jones. Official plans for this national landmark are not set in stone (yet), so don’t lose sleep over this, diehard Seahawk supporters.
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