Cortez Kennedy never played in the Seahawks’ state-of-the-art stadium. But when it opened in 2002, he jokingly referred to it as “The House That Tez Built.”
Now, it’s difficult to walk about CenturyLink Field without being reminded just what an impactful player Kennedy was during his 11-season Hall of Fame career that began when the dominating defensive tackle was selected with the third pick overall in the 1990 NFL Draft and ended after the 2000 season.
Leaving the press box after Friday night’s 34-6 preseason victory over the Chicago Bears, the hallway that leads to the sixth level of the parking garage is lined with photos of Kennedy. There’s one of him hugging his bust on the night he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012. There’s another where Kennedy is sitting on Brett Favre after sacking the Green Bay Packers’ Hall of Fame in waiting quarterback. In another, Kennedy is reaching between a pair of blockers to pull down the ball carrier with one hand.
And, of course, his photo and etching are among those of the other Ring of Honor members – Largent, Jim Zorn, Dave Brown, Pete Gross, Curt Warner, Jacob Green, Kenny Easley, Dave Krieg and Chuck Knox.
The timing of that stroll down memory lane was, well, timely. It was well past midnight, and Saturday is Kennedy’s 46th birthday.
So we wish only the best for the eight-time Pro Bowl selection turned team ambassador on his special day, because Kennedy was indeed a special player and remains a special person.
Just look the around the next time you’re in “The House That Tez Built.” The evidence is everywhere.