Seahawks Insider

Book review: Turner turns love for Hawks into personal history

Post by Eric Williams on Dec. 8, 2009 at 9:08 am with 25 Comments »
December 8, 2009 9:08 am

As a lifelong Seattle Seahawks fan, Mark Tye Turner set out to create a book that would become a must-read for fans of his favorite team.

And Turner, a television writer in Los Angeles, said he found his niche after discovering a thin volume of literature on his favorite subject. He figured, why not add to the collection? So he did.

“All these other teams get history books out, why not the Seahawks?” he said. “I mean we deserve it. We’ve been around for 33 years.”

Turner stayed true to his word with the publication of his new book, “Notes from a 12 Man: A Truly Biased History of the Seattle Seahawks.”

Turner’s offering does not reach the heights of other writer’s tomes on their favorite teams, notably Nick Hornby’s “Fever Pitch” – an autobiographical odyssey detailing Hornby’s obsession with his favorite team, English Premier League club Arsenal.

What Turner does provide is a tidy, easy-to-read history of the Seahawks. The book is written in a series of small chapters divided up into 12 parts in honor of the 12th man.

And they include occasional timeouts – short, informative or entertaining digressions which Turner uses to add commentary or context to the subject matter.

He offers up interesting tidbits that bring to life little-remembered Seahawks like Ed Marinaro, who played a police officer on “Hill Street Blues” and had a cup of coffee with Seattle in 1977, appearing in one game as a fullback; and Al Cowlings, the now infamous driver at the wheel of the white Ford Bronco for O.J. Simpson’s ill-fated run from the law. Cowlings played defensive end in one game for the Seahawks in 1976.


Turner also writes about the struggles of trying to follow his favorite team from afar.

He’s lived in Los Angeles for 20 years, but catches the Seahawks every year in person by making a road trip to Arizona.

Turner also has attended two games at Qwest Field this season.

“The Hawks were always my team and I followed them down there, and that was hard,” he said. “Especially in the early ’90s because the team really started to go south, and it was hard to get the games on down there. L.A. at that point didn’t have a whole lot of sports bars.”

He writes about searching for a place to watch the game in the book, only to have the TV overtaken by a bunch of Cowboys or Giants fans.

Turner said he’s had the Sunday NFL Ticket package since 1996, and he now can watch his team weekly in the comfort of his own home.

Asked to choose his favorite Seahawk, Turner grudgingly selected Steve Largent.

“It’s really hard,” he said. “It’s like choosing kids or something like that.You’re not really supposed to have a favorite.”

General Seahawks
Leave a comment Comments → 25
  1. Can you guys post something that will stimulate some conversation about the GM or coaching situation? Maybe just something inspired by one of the posters on here or a news article from somewhere?

    Posts like this one are good to get the word out about a new resource, but there’s reallly not much to say about it. Thanks for the great job you guys are doing this year.

  2. Dukeshire says:

    We can always post questions in an effort to invigorate conversation ourselves. And I’m sure that if there is any new information, Eric will throw it up. But in th mean time, why don’t you come up with something and see if we can get some momentum going with it…

  3. I think the key to what Tod Leiweke said during the Ruskell Press conference was that “we’re not going to join them, they’re going to join us.” This leads me to believe that they are referring to someone that already knows the organization, and will “join” as opposed to “change” or “shake up.” Tim Ruskell was Executive VP/GM. Not many have that title. Bill Parcells is Executive Vice President of Football Operations, and there is a separate General Manager. I envision something like that happening. Maybe Holmgren as the VP and someone else as GM. The only worry that I have with Holmgren is the ability to stay in the front office and not coach. He has expressed how much he misses the “chess game” on Sundays, and how he groomed QB’s. Well, he wouldn’t be able to do this as a front office guy. Or if he did, would any quality coach want to work for a guy that is always second guessing his game day decisions? Can he get the players and let the coaches teach and game plan? Thant is my concern.

  4. hellomouthbreathers says:

    I’ll get the book, the Hawks have a facinating history: the win two, lose two season, the team physically relocating but coming back, Zorn running around like a mad man, only team to play in both conference title games, QB from a non-exsistent college, The Boz, watever that Blades mess was, Largent, Tez, etc. If the Hawks played on the east coast, they would be a “storied NFL franchise” instead of “that team up in Canada”.

  5. my girl is a recent convert, a new seahawks fan, and i caught her reading the book a few weeks ago. i perused a couple of chapters, and thought it was a good way of getting herself caught up.

    wasn’t ruskell the president of operations and gm? as i recall, holmy was coach and vp.

  6. csungrad says:

    Nice diversion post today, Eric. I met the author in San Diego this year for the preseason game. Nice dude. I will definitely get the book. As a SoCal native who has followed the Hawks for the past 30 years, I can relate.

  7. variable575 says:

    Does anyone know when we might expect to see rumors heating up concerning the GM position? It seems like it would/should be that we have a GM in 2 wks max. FA is right around the corner. what gives!

  8. I would imagine the search will remain a bit quiet for awhile. Even if someone wants the job, from another organization, they aren’t going to want their names out too early. Afterall, they have a season going on where the’re at (and it’s most likely a successful one, or we would be asking about them). Holmy can come out and state his level of interest because he has no connections or responsibilities.

  9. Can we interview candidates during the season who are under contract with other teams? Do we have to get their permission? What’s the protocol?

  10. madpunter88 says:

    The library of books about the Seahawks is thin to say the least. This is the best book in the catalog and ought to be under any 12th Man’s Christmas Tree (or other appropriate holiday celebratory object). I just read this a few months ago. I particularly related to the quest to find a Seahawks game on TV in the corner of a sports bar in the days before DirecTV. As another Seahawks fan who lives well-removed from Seattle (Virginia) this really hit home.

    There is great info in this book about some of the background on the Behring era — which is for a true Seahawk fan is perverse fascination. Also, really good for bolstering your trivia knowledge about the team. I mean, we all know Owen Gill was a terrible second round draft pick but I didn’t even know he was cut before the season started!

    I love the readers of this blog who criticize Eric posting a story about this book or anything that deviates from one of the following topics:
    1. complaining about the team
    2. complaining about the OC
    3. hysterical prognostications about the future GM
    4. complaining about losing Hutchinson
    5. ridiculous guesses at the player(s) Seattle should draft next year even though no one knows when they’ll be drafting or which positions they will target in free agency prior to the draft

    I love this sort of post. Please lets talk more about all things Seahawks and the history of the franchise. There is absolutely a place for it on this blog. Thanks.

  11. It ALL has a place on this blog. I love talking Seahawks history. The only thing I like better is talking about the future (in part because we don’t know what’s it’s like to own a Lombardi Trophy). And no matter what happens in free agency, you cannot pass on a player like Suh if he’s available or you can get him in a realistic trade. I don’t think Cole/Bryant are good enough reasons to pass on that opportunity. The Blazers tried that once and ended up with Sam Bowie.

  12. rramstad says:

    I don’t agree on the GM timing. There are a lot of qualified candidates that we won’t be able to talk to until the season is over. The only way that we get a GM before the end of the season is if we take one of the high profile guys who is taking a year off (Holmgren, Gruden, Shanalanadingdong, The Chin).

  13. Audible says:


    That’s why some of us are thinking Allen already knows who he’s going to hire. The timing makes sense if he’s just going through the motions of the process after deciding who he’s going to hire beforehand.


    Nobody is criticizing Eric for posting a thread about this book.

    “Posts like this one are good to get the word out about a new resource, but there’s reallly not much to say about it. Thanks for the great job you guys are doing this year.” This thread had 13 posts all day so far. A hot thread would have at least twice that many posts by now. Eric, Please continue to post both! Thanks!

  14. variable575 says:

    who has a prediction with spencer/sims? If we don’t retain them, wouldn’t that commit and show our hand in the draft?

    I think we’ll retain at least one of the two busts.(both are FA’s,right?)

  15. I could very well be wrong but I don’t think a GM is under the same rules as a coach. They can be at least interviewed now if not hired. Especially if they are getting a promotion.

    i.e. GM to VP
    director of player personell to GM

    I hope they break the 2 jobs up and get 2 different guys. Don’t totally know why but that is what I want!!

  16. variable – I don’t think there’s any way we can bring back Spencer. Too many injuries for a guy who is supposed to be the glue to the offensive line. He may not be as bad as I make him out to be sometimes, but he’s not the guy you want anchoring the middle of your line either. I think the obvious answer is that Unger must be our Center and it should have started when we were realistically eliminated from the post-season (after the AZ game).

    Although I am not opposed to bringing back Sims, there are better options. Too many to get into right now.

  17. Audible says:

    How much does Spencer make. He would be okay as a back-up. Can’t imagine teams are going to be fighting for him in FA.

  18. When I was small talking with Eric before the game in the Dome, he mentioned that he thinks there will be interest in Spencer in FA. Mainly, it’s because of his size for the position.

    I think it would be tough to ask a former starter to come back as a back-up (part of the reason to outright release Russell). I think Spencer needs to get a fresh start somewhere. As for what he’ll make next year… worst case scenario for him is the veteran minimum, but that’s still a good chunk more than a late rookie draft pick will make. I certainly don’t think he’ll get stuck with the vet minimum though. Someone will take a chance on him (I just hope it’s not us).

    With each passing day, I think there’s more of a chance Marcus McNeill could hit free agency. That would take care of the all important left tackle position with one signing of his name. The Chargers definitely have some decisions to make this off-season. There’s plenty of talent getting ready to hit free agency.

  19. Audible says:

    I wish they’d try Spencer at Guard for a few game to see if that’s a better fit for him. I’m going to be pissed if he sighs elsewhere and turns out to be solid at the Guard position. Maybe he’s too big to play center? I thought centers need to be on the smaller side in order to work effectively in close quarters between the guards.

  20. Ideally, we’d finish the rest of the year with Sims at LG, Unger at C, and Spencer at RG.

    We’d know if Sims/Unger could develop any chemistry moving towards ’10. If so, I’d be all for resigning Sims. I don’t have much interest in resigning Sims if he’s never worked with Unger before (with the assumption Unger is moved to C).

    We’d also know if Spencer could play a decent RG or not. And if he did, would he and Unger work well together? If so, I wouldn’t mind Spencer resigned as our RG.

    Strange as it sounds, there’s a possibility we could pencil those three into the interior OL next season if everything fell right. I don’t expect it to happen, but right now we have the luxary to find out. And yet we won’t (frustating) do what’s best for our long term interests because our coaching staff is playing for right now and saving their jobs. I understand that, but as a fan it makes me mad that the best long term interests of this franchise aren’t being taken into consideration.

  21. Audible says:

    Well, in the end, it’s a business and an entertainment-based business at that. Looking at it from that point of view makes it a little easier to understand why they’re living in the moment. Gotta entertain the fans, fans are not entertained by losses, and most fans wouldn’t understand the bigger picture like the diehards do around here. If Mora loses this head coaching job, he wont get another one for awhile, if ever.

  22. Dukeshire says:

    “I love the readers of this blog who criticize Eric posting a story about this book or anything that deviates from one of the following topics:…” LOL.

  23. hambone08 says:

    Eric, I’m curious to hear your thoughts on Matt’s arm strength. Hasselbeck hasn’t ever been a huge deep ball threat but I saw two plays on Sunday that he usually makes. Everyone was talking about the underthrown ball to Burleson but there was also a throw to Griffith that was underthrown as well but he ended up turning his shoulders around and making a great snag (I think it was the drive that led to Forsett’s TD). In your opinion, is this an accuracy issue or has it got something to do with his arm strength/mechanics? Or do you think it’s simply that nagging shoulder injury? I think he’s got two year left in the tank but the Matt we saw in 2007 would’ve hit those guys in stride Sunday.

  24. hambone you gotta understand that he doesn’t have time to get poised in the pocket and square himself up and launch it like he used to, either.

  25. Yeah, Matt had a good pass blocking unit in ’07. They were horrible run blockers, but at least they had a strength.

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0