It doesn’t seem that long ago that Steve Largent was the Seahawks’ leading receiver – for 12 consecutive seasons, from 1976-87. It really doesn’t seem that long ago that he retired as the NFL’s all-time leading receiver in receptions (819), receiving yards (13,089) and touchdown catches (100). And can it really have been 18 years ago that Largent was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
Don’t look now, but Largent celebrate his 59th birthday today.
That’s because Smith, the Seahawks’ original running back who now coaches the position on Pete Carroll’s staff, will turn 59 in November.
Smith and Largent were members of that inaugural Seahawks team way back in 1976, wise-beyond-their-years rookies who never played like it. Their playing careers have ended, but their friendship endures. And what would Smith get his friend for his birthday?
“What do you get a guy who has everything?” Smith said with a laugh.
And Largent has had his share of success, on and off the field. He was the first inductee into the Seahawks’ Ring of Honor in 1989, when he called it a career after 14 seasons. He had his No. 80 retired in 1995, to coincide with his election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Each season since 1989 the Steve Largent Award has been presented to player or coach who best exemplifies the spirit, dedication and integrity of the Seahawks. The first recipient? Largent, of course.
His post-career life has included a stint as a U.S. Congressman from 1994-2002 and a run for Governor of his home state of Oklahoma. He became president and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association in 2003. He and his wife, Terry, have watched their children – Kyle, Kelly, Kramer and Casie – not only grow up but make them grandparents.
“I don’t know what I’d get him, but I just want to say happy birthday to him,” Smith said. “Steve is a great guy. He’s a special person.”