Catching up with: Steve Niehaus

Posted Sep 25, 2012

The Seahawks’ first-ever draft choice was Steve Niehaus and he was back in town to sign autographs before the team’s Monday night game against the Packers.

What he did: In 1976, the expansion Seahawks had the second pick overall in the NFL Draft and used it to select Steve Niehaus, a defensive tackle from Notre Dame (the expansion Buccaneers took Lee Roy Selmon at No. 1). Niehaus started every game for the 2-12 Seahawks as a rookie, registering a club-high 9.5 sacks among his 90 tackles to be named NFC Defensive Rookie of the Year. But a series of knee injuries limited him to eight starts over the next two seasons and eventually ended his career.

What he’s doing: Niehaus, who turns 58 today, works in the natural gas business and lives in his hometown of Cincinnati. He was at the “Monday Night Football” game and signed autographs in Touchdown City prior to kickoff. This was his first visit to Seattle since 1994, and he doesn’t even count that one. “I came out for a wedding, for two days,” he said. “I was in and out. So it’s actually been since 1990.” Cracking a smile, he added, “It’s changed just a little bit.” This time, he is here for a week. “Travel around and enjoy what I missed,” he said. “Because I miss this area, I really do. I wish I wouldn’t have moved.”

Quick hits

If I could have dinner with anyone – living or dead – it would be: “Gary Larson.”

Must-see TV: “Law and Order.”

The best book I’ve ever read: “Not a big reader. ‘Moby Dick.’ No, I’m teasing. I don’t remember the name of it, but it was a philosophy book.”

You don’t say

My best memory as a Seahawks: “Actually, the night I got here from South Bend (on Draft Day in 1976). We came into Latitude 47 on a boat and there was a big crowd. It was really nice.”

Something most people don’t know about me: “I have a grandson who’s 6-5 and he’s 13. He plays tight end, split end and outside linebacker. And he plays basketball, too.”

If I could relive one day of my life: “The day I was drafted, I guess. That was kind of special.”