- Huard recalls how the late Paul Allen was fiercely loyal to the Seattle area, and how he never wanted to be in the spotlight nor did he ask for anything in return.
By Brock Huard
Brock Huard is a former University of Washington and Seattle Seahawks quarterback and a native of the greater Seattle area. He now works as a college football analyst for ESPN.
There are few owners in professional sports who have the financial wherewithal paired with a fierce loyalty to the place they call home to truly operate their franchise in the best interests of their community. One might call it a civic responsibility, and that’s exactly what Paul G. Allen did.
Maybe it was the wet Saturdays he spent with his dad watching the Huskies rain on others parades. Maybe it was his two years spent in the tight knit Cougar community, attending Washington State in Pullman. Maybe it was the years grinding Microsoft into existence. More than likely it was all of it, a huge melting pot of experience in the ultimate melting pot of a sports community in Seattle. And when the time came for someone to step in and save the Seahawks, that’s exactly what the painfully shy Allen did—he saved the Seahawks.
His sudden and shocking passing this week has brought out a reverence and love in so many of the Hawks faithful because he didn’t just save the franchise, he built a champion and a brand that not many imagined was possible 25 years ago. And he did so by never, ever putting himself out front, but also never, ever settling for less than the best. It is why he hired former Seahawks chief executive Tod Leiweke, former Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren and current Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll. It is why he built a world class stadium in CenturyLink Field and a training facility second to none. It is why he challenged a passive aggressive fan base by nature to fall in love with the aggressive nature of Carroll and his players. It is why a franchise that had won four division titles before his ownership would win 12 such titles under his watch, along with winning three conference crowns and the city’s first Super Bowl title as well.
Loyal and humble. Quiet and quirky. Curious and creative. Demanding and exacting.
Paul was all of that and then some. He changed the temperature of the room when he was in it, but would rather not have you know it. Mr. Allen built a connection to community that won’t ever be forgotten.