SEATTLE—The Seahawks weren’t able to come away with a victory when they hosted the Los Angeles Chargers at CenturyLink Field, but Sunday afternoon was memorable for a reason bigger than the final score, because it was Seattle’s first home game since team owner Paul Allen died last month.
The Seahawks honored Allen before the game, then continued the celebration of the man who saved professional football in Seattle throughout the afternoon by playing some of his favorite songs during breaks in the game. The playlist included, to name a couple of songs, Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child (Slight return)” prior to the start of the fourth quarter, and Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” after the game.
A few minutes before kickoff, a tribute video to Allen was played on the stadium’s video boards, then a moment of silence was held prior to the national anthem. Then when it came time to raise the 12 flag, rather than have a ceremonial flag raiser, Allen was honored with another video before the flag was raised, then lowered to half-staff. On the field, Allen’s initials, along with the 12 flag, were painted between the 20 and 25 yard-lines on both ends of the field. Players and coaches again wore patches honoring Allen, as they will do for the rest of the season, and a limited number of those patches, as well as pins honoring Allen, were sold to fans, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Seahawks Charitable Foundation. More pins and patches will be made available soon at the Pro Shop.
Throughout the weekend, a number of buildings around Seattle, including CenturyLink Field, were lit up blue in honor of Allen.
“I thought it was a special tribute,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “All of us wish we could do more—you feel so helpless at this point—but you do what you can do. So we gave him tribute, and we love the spirit that he stood for and what he brought to all of us. He affected all of us, everybody in this place was affected by Paul Allen and his wisdom and his charity and his love for this area. I thought it was a beautiful tribute to him."
Added quarterback Russell Wilson, “Paul has meant so much to us. Just what he has meant to this city, to come back home—win or lose, at the end of the day life’s a lot bigger, a lot more grand than winning or losing. You think about all the things Paul has done. I was reading a quote the other day about how he chooses optimism; that’s our football team. Paul was the best leader for us in that sense. He has always been that way, so I think about that, I think about all the things he has done for the world, just all the different things he has done to impact the world, the legacy that he lived. So it’s always good to represent him, to wear the Seahawks logo and just represent him and who he is. It’s an honor.”
Seattle-area landmarks, structures, and buildings lit up blue in honor of Paul Allen, the Seahawks owner who died from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.