A happy posthumous birthday to Pete Gross

Posted Dec 28, 2013

Ring of Honor play-by-play man Pete Gross called his last Seahawks’ game in 1992 before losing his battle with cancer, but his signature call lives on as we remember him on what would have been his 77th birthday.

Pete Gross has been gone since 1992, but his signature “Touchdown, Seahawks” call lives on.

It’s Steve Raible’s way of remembering the man who meant so much to the franchise as the radio voice of the team from its inaugural season until midway through the 1992 season, when Gross died after a lengthy battle with cancer – two days after being inducted into the Seahawks’ Ring of Honor.

“That was something Pete always said, and I agree that it’s the team that scores the touchdown,” Raible said. “It’s not the individual. You can go back and say, ‘Oh, what a great catch Golden (Tate) made.’ Or, ‘What a terrific run Marshawn (Lynch) made.’ But that initial call is it’s a touchdown for the entire team.

“And, in point of fact, it’s a touchdown for the whole franchise and for the community and the 12th Man.”

Today would have been Gross’ 77th birthday. What’s even more jaw-dropping is that Gross has been gone longer (21 years) than he was the Seahawks’ radio voice (17 years).

“There are probably a lot of fans 30 and under who might not remember who Pete was,” said Raible, a former wide receiver for the Seahawks who provided the analysis to Gross’ play-by-play from 1982 and has been the play-by-play man since 2004.

And that’s just not right. Gross never played for the Seahawks, but he called the plays made and called the plays made by the other members of the Ring of Honor – quarterbacks Jim Zorn and Dave Krieg; coach Chuck Knox; the Hall of Fame duo of wide receiver Steve Largent and Cortez Kennedy; late cornerback Dave Brown; running back Curt Warner; strong safety Kenny Easley; and defensive end Jacob Green.

“It’s a shame that we lost him way too soon,” Raible said. “But he sure left an indelible mark on everybody – the franchise, me, everybody that worked with him; or knew him, quite frankly.

But there’s a little bit of Pete in Raible’s call every time the Seahawks score a touchdown.

“I just always like the way that sounded,” Raible said. “I changed it a little bit because I can’t go that high. Dogs continue to run toward the stadium when we replay his calls. They hear that; the only living creatures who can hear that.”

Raible laughed before adding, “To me, it just sounds right and because Pete did it, that’s good enough for me.”

And Gross was more than good enough. He touched everyone’s life that he came in contact with, in a beyond-positive way.

“There’s not a day that I come here to this building and see his banner hanging in the hall where all the Ring of Honor members are portrayed, or go to the stadium and look up and see Pete’s name up there, that I don’t think of him,” Raible said. “It’s just always a memory and a great reminder that when you have an opportunity as young guy to work with somebody like him, and to learn a little bit about the craft and then to be able to follow in his footsteps, it’s great.”