Jimi Hendrix Clara McCarty Captain Robert Gray Anna Louise StrongAnna Louise Strong Bailey Gatzert Home WWII Women Pilots
Search Encyclopedia
Facebook
Advanced Search
Featured Eassy Book Store Donate Now
Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search
6872 HistoryLink.org essays now available      
Donate Subscribe

Shortcuts

Libraries
Cyberpedias Cyberpedias
Timeline Essays Timeline Essays
People's Histories People's Histories

Selected Collections
Cities & Towns Cities & Towns
County Thumbnails Counties
Biographies Biographies
Interactive Cybertours Interactive Cybertours
Slide Shows Slideshows
Public Ports Public Ports
Audio & Video Audio & Video

Research Shortcuts

Map Searches
Alphabetical Search
Timeline Date Search
Topic Search

Features

Book of the Fortnight
Audio/Video Enhanced
History Bookshelf
Klondike Gold Rush Database
Duvall Newspaper Index
Wellington Scrapbook

More History

Washington FAQs
Washington Milestones
Honor Rolls
Columbia Basin
Everett
Olympia
Seattle
Spokane
Tacoma
Walla Walla
Roads & Rails

Timeline Library

< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >

Seahawks play the worst game in Kingdome (and National Football League) history on November 4, 1979.

HistoryLink.org Essay 2497 : Printer-Friendly Format

On November 4, 1979, the Seahawks play the worst game in Kingdome (and National Football League) history.

The whole idea in football is to gain yardage. The teams take turns running or passing the ball toward a goal line and it usually works, at least a little. But not in this game, not for the Seattle Seahawks.

Playing against the Los Angeles Rams in the Kingdome, the Seahawks were stunningly inept. They set a National Football League record for futility that might never be broken. They gained no yards. In fact, they LOST yards.

How Did This Happen?

Nobody could have seen this coming. The Seahawks were a relatively new NFL team, playing in only their fourth season, but they seemed to be on the rise. The previous Monday night they had scored their biggest victory. Using trick plays and improvisation by their scrambling quarterback, Jim Zorn, the Seahawks came from behind to beat the Atlanta Falcons 31-28. The national television audience couldn't help but be entertained by the plucky underdogs from the Northwest.

The Rams, meanwhile, had lost three straight games and would be playing before a hostile crowd in Seattle's dome. But when they met, everything went right for the Rams and wrong for the Seahawks. One-sided games happen, but this was ridiculous.

No First Downs, No Yards, No Nothing

The Seahawks simply could not move the ball. At halftime the Rams had a 21-0 lead and the Seahawks had no first downs, meaning they weren't able to gain 10 yards in any four-play sequence. The crowd of 62,048 was getting restless and surly.

The Seahawks' first play of the second half was a completed pass from Zorn to Steve Largent, the future Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver and Congressman from Oklahoma. The play gained 11 yards -- good for a first down, a meager accomplishment that would be shown repeatedly that week on Coach Jack Patera's television show.

For Seattle, that was as good as it got. The Seahawks never earned another first down. And they never got closer to the goal line than that, eight yards shy of midfield. The Rams had lost quarterback Pat Haden and running back Wendell Tyler to injuries in the first half, so the second half was an unrelieved display of two offenses that couldn't do much, if anything. The Seahawks at one time got their offensive total up to 23 yards, but the Rams kept tackling Zorn for losses while he was trying to pass. For the last quarter of the game, the only suspense was whether the Seahawks could raise their net yardage into the black.

They couldn't. When time ran out, mercifully, the Rams had a 24-0 victory and the Seahawks had minus-seven yards. It truly was a sub-zero performance, worst by two yards in the league's 57-year history, a stinker for the ages.

Sources:
Don Fair, "Hawks: A Record in Futility," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 5, 1979, P. C-1; John Owen, "You Can Look It Up," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 5, 1979, P. C-1; Glenn Drosendahl in Bellevue Journal American, November 5, 1979.


Travel through time (chronological order):
< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >

Related Topics: Sports | Most/Least |

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License


Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You




Rams linebacker Jack Reynolds tackles Seahawks quarterback Jim Zorn during worst game in Kingdome history, November 4, 1979
Courtesy Seattle Post-Intelligencer/Lawrence Steagall


Seahawks offensive linemen sit dejectedly on the bench during a game that set a national record for lowest total offense, Seattle, November 4, 1979
Courtesy Seattle Post-Intelligencer/Lawrence Steagall


Chasing his own fumble, Seahawks running back Sherman Smith (right) tries to beat Rams linebacker Jim Youngblood to the ball
Courtesy Seattle Post-Intelligencer/Kerry Coughlin


 
Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search

HistoryLink.org is the first online encyclopedia of local and state history created expressly for the Internet. (SM)
HistoryLink.org is a free public and educational resource produced by History Ink, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt corporation.
Contact us by phone at 206.447.8140, by mail at Historylink, 1411 4th Ave. Suite 803, Seattle WA 98101 or email admin@historylink.org