Growing up, I had two distinct sports heroes: Ken Griffey Jr. and Steve Largent.
I admired the former because he was so superbly talented, you couldn't help but be in awe of his abilities. But Largent? Here was a guy deemed too short and slow by the team that drafted him, to the point that he was traded to the Seahawks. All he did after that was work his way into a Hall of Fame career that was as impressive as any before some guy named Rice came along.
For all I knew, that could be me. I could be that too slow, too small white kid who became a famous athlete. (Hey, every kid dreams!)
So, imagine my glee when a rumor surfaced last night that Largent is on the Seahawks' short list to take over from Tod Leiweke as CEO of the Seattle Seahawks. There are so many reasons why this makes sense, and why this should be an absolute no-brainer hire if there's mutual interest. And there's plenty of reason to believe that there is.
Anyone who's listened to Largent over the past few years knows that he's made no secret of wanting to get back into the NFL, ideally with with Seahawks. He's always said he'd love the chance to work for the franchise he helped put on the map in the 1980s.
But this is beyond just recycling a superstar for the purposes of name familiarity. Just because you played the sport at a high level doesn't mean you can manage in the sport at a high level -- hello, Matt Millen. However, Largent's not your typical ex-jock. Shortly after retiring, he was a congressman in his native Oklahoma for eight years. Following a failed bid for governor of the state, he has worked in the corporate world as CEO of CTIA, a wireless industry lobby group.
So, to recap: He's a Seattle sports icon, intimately familiar with both the city and the franchise; he has extensive political experience, which should allow him to position the franchise better than most CEOs (and if you want to take issue with his conservative views in liberal Seattle, fine -- but just remember the guys in the NFL he'll be working with are Republicans, too); and he's been running a large corporate organization for the last six years.
Uh, I'd say he's qualified.
Over the last 10 years, the Seahawks are the one Seattle franchise I've generally been able to count on to not screw things up. Please, Seahawks -- make this happen.