This is what it comes to when you desperately don’t want to write (or think) about the Seattle Mariners.
Marcus Trufant signed a 1-day contract with the Seahawks so he could retire with the team yesterday. Seems appropriate. He’s an important member of the local sports community and he deserves to have his day in the sun.
That’s not really what I find interesting about the whole thing, though. It’s a nice story, but I’m more interested in his place in Seahawks history. Specifically: does he belong in the Ring of Honor?
Right now, there are 11 members of the Ring of Honor. They are:
- Pete Gross
- Jim Zorn
- Dave Brown
- Steve Largent
- Jacob Green
- Dave Krieg
- Kenny Easley
- Curt Warner
- Chuck Knox
- Cortez Kennedy
- Walter Jones
The first nine were members of those great teams from the early-to-mid 80s. They helped establish the history of the Seattle Seahawks. The baseline for greatness, if you will. Cortez represents all the teams from the 90s, as he was the shining beacon of hope on an otherwise pisspoor franchise. Walter Jones represents the start of the second wave of great Seahawks teams after the turn of the century.
There will be more. Off the top of my head, I’d say Mike Holmgren, Matt Hasselbeck, and Shaun Alexander are all locks to make the Ring of Honor, as they were the most important members (with Big Walt) of the aforementioned second wave that saw the Seahawks reach its first-ever Super Bowl.
And, if I’m allowed to look into my crystal ball, I’d say there are a number of awesome candidates in this current third wave of great Seahawks teams: Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, with an outside shot for Marshawn Lynch and Kam Chancellor.
This Ring of Honor’s getting crowded! I’m sure that plays no small part in determining the outcome of players on the fringe. Guys like Michael Sinclair, Joe Nash, Jeff Bryant, Brian Blades, Chris Warren, Eugene Robinson, John L. Williams, Brandon Mebane, and of course, Marcus Trufant.
The ultimate honor for a retired NFL player is the Hall of Fame. You have to be a VERY special player to crack that barrier. The Seahawks have three: Largent, Kennedy, and Jones. In looking ahead, I’d say Russell Wilson is on track (though, he’s going to need a couple more Super Bowl victories and a long sustained career of greatness), Richard Sherman is well on his way, and if Earl Thomas keeps going the way he’s going, he’ll likely get in as well. Aside from those three, you might see Mike Holmgren make it, but it’s so hard for coaches to get in, and besides he really had his greater success with Green Bay anyway.
The next-level honor for a retired NFL player is his primary team’s Ring of Honor (or team hall of fame, or whatever). That’s where you get to have your Hall of Famers, as well as the guys who may not have been good enough for that elite level, but still made a huge impact on that specific franchise.
There really should be a third-level honor, though. Some sort of “Fan Favorite” type of honor where these guys like Marcus Trufant – and the other fringe guys listed above – get their due.
Marcus Trufant was a real professional. In 2007, he made the Pro Bowl and the All Pro teams. He’s currently fifth in franchise history in interceptions with 21 (one ahead of Richard Sherman, for the record). He played 10 seasons in Seattle as a first round draft pick back in 2003. He started immediately and was really one of our rocks in a secondary that was often torched (or, at the very least, not all that impressive). He was an integral part of that second wave of great Seahawks teams, from 2003 through 2007 (five consecutive playoff appearances, four consecutive division titles, one Super Bowl appearance).
Marcus Trufant deserves … something! He may not be Ring of Honor calibre, but he was a very good Seahawk and it’s been an honor to root him on for all those years.
Wilson High School Football Rules!