Former Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren wasn't the only person to hold up CEO Tod Leiweke as the best thing to happen to the organization in years.
With Leiweke leaving to take an ownership stake in the Tampa Bay Lightning, I wanted to pass along thoughts from DiLune2, a Seahawks fan and regular contributor in the comments sections of various blog entries. DiLune2 was able to personalize Leiweke's impact in ways that I could not when he left the following comment on the earlier Leiweke item:
Leiweke changed the Seahawks when he came onboard. The stadium experience in "Qwest" was horrible the first couple of years. The sound system in the upper deck was so loud I had to wear earplugs. They had a PA announcer who was constantly talking, advertising this or that (I still have nightmares about the Nextel Direct Connect Play. Every other freaking pass play it was the Nextel Direct Connect Play, essentially drowning out the crowd. Complaints were answered by form letters from the team. My family had season tickets since 1984 and were considering dropping them because just attending games was so terrible.
When Leiweke came aboard, everything changed. I remember seeing him coming up the aisle of our section early with a crew with sound detectors. Next game, the sound was down and we could actually hear ourselves cheer. The 12th Man flag went up and I got to shake hands with Chuck Knox and Steve Largent when they raised the flag. It was an entirely different stadium experience, night and day.
His effect on the fans cannot be overstated.
The Seahawks will have lost two of their pillars, Holmgren and Leiweke, in a relatively short period. Those two leave big shoes to fill, for sure. Largent has previously expressed interest in joining the Seahawks' leadership, but the team never seemed close to heading in that direction.