To be honest I had a little bit of trouble figuring out what to title this post. If you are a true Seahawks fan, you understand that the title I chose tells you all you need to know about the contents of this piece.
Tonight is the 2012 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony, and Cortez Kennedy will become the second true Seattle Seahawk to sport the famed yellow hall of fame jacket. Kennedy’s career stats speak for themselves. In 11 seasons with the Seahawks, Tez recorded 668 tackles, 58 sacks, and 3 interceptions. Tez made the pro bowl in 8 seasons as was named to the NFL all-pro team 3 times. Kennedy’s best season came in 1992 when he racked up a career high 14 sacks and was named the NFL defensive player of the year. What is most amazing about this accomplishment was that the 1992 Seahawks finished a franchise worst 2-14. That just goes to show you how dominant our defense was and how anemic our offense was.
Personally, Cortez Kennedy is one of the biggest reasons why I fell in love with the Seattle Seahawks. He was drafted the same year I was born and stayed around until I was 10-years-old. I have been told stories that as an infant, I would smile whenever the Seahawks made a big play. I assume that there was a lot of smiling taking place whenever Tez was on the field and making plays. When I got a little bit older I would try to imitate Kennedy’s on-the-field play by tackling anything from my dogs, to my parents, and even my friends. I truly enjoyed watching Tez play for most of my childhood. In a sport where players are cut, traded, or move for other reasons on a consistent basis it was great to see this man be a constant force season after season in Seattle. It is safe to say he was the anchor of Seahawks defenses in the 1990’s. I only got to see him play live once in a 1999 preseason game but I have the ability to say I got to see one of the best defensive tackles to ever play the game.
Since Tez’s retirement after the 2000 season, he has been a terrific leader in the community and he has made several appearances at Seahawks games. Kennedy has raised the 12th man flag three times and was also inducted into the Seahawks ring of honor in 2006. What I am looking forward to the most is Kennedy’s jersey retirement. According to Seahawks rules, a player’s number can only be retired if they are a pro football hall of famer who entered Canton as a member of the Seattle Seahawks. Tez is now eligible to have his #96 raised into the rafters at CenturyLink Field, joining Steve Largent’s #80, Walter Jones’s #71, and #12 for we the fans. I look forward to this day tremendously and I hope it will not be long before this happens.
I believe I speak for the entire 12th Man as I offer my sincerest congratulations to Cortez Kennedy, one of the most dominant defensive players in football history. I for one cannot wait to welcome you back for alumni day September 16th against Dallas and for your jersey retirement later down the road. Once again, Congratulations Tez!