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End of an Era: Legion of Boom Officially Extinct

Earl Thomas’ agreement with the Baltimore Ravens signals the official extinction of the Legion of Boom.

It is a sad day for Seattle Seahawks fans everywhere. The Legion of Boom is officially no more.

As first reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN earlier today, the last man standing from the infamous trio of Seahawks defensive backs has written his ticket out of the upper northwest. Safety Earl Thomas III has inked a four-year, $55 million deal with the Baltimore Ravens, marking the official end of the greatest era in Seattle Seahawks history.

Where did the moniker “Legion of Boom” come from you ask? Some would say that it was birthed in 2014, during this heated interview:

The self-proclaimed “L.O.B.” had its seeds planted in 2010, just months after the Seahawks finished an abysmal 2009 campaign at 5-11 under rental head coach Jim Mora. Mora was fired shortly after the season, and team CEO Tod Leiweke was quick to sign at-the-time USC head coach Pete Carroll. Carroll rapidly made changes to the staff by bringing on future NFL head coaches Gus Bradley and Dan Quinn to run the defense and create the blueprint of what would later become the Legion of Boom.

Later that spring at the NFL Draft, Carroll and Seahawks general manager John Schneider selected two guys you may have heard of: Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. Thomas was taken 14th overall in the first round, while Chancellor would fall to the 133rd selection in the fifth round. Thomas would go on to have a great rookie year, setting his career-high season interception total with five picks, while Chancellor was more of a rotational player at the time. Fast forward to April of 2011, and the final piece of the trio was selected in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. That piece was Richard Sherman.

Over the course of the next seven years, the Legion of Boom would rack up six consecutive winning seasons, three division titles, two NFC Championships and most importantly the franchise’s first Super Bowl championship with a monster 43-8 win over first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning in Super Bowl XLVIII. As if their legacy wasn’t cemented with the colossal win, it was later revealed all three players participated in the game with significant injuries.

Some would argue that the 81 games shared by the three superstars showcased not only the best secondary ever assembled, but possibly the best defense ever assembled (save it ’85 Bears fans!). The hard-hitting, no-nonsense, ball hawk nature of the group fully validated the nickname, and the mentality consumed not only the rest of the defense but the entire roster. In the event you’re more of a numbers-junkie, their stat lines certainly back up all the talk:

Earl Thomas III – 6x Pro Bowler, 3x First-Team All-Pro, 684 tackles, 28 interceptions, three defensive touchdowns

Richard Sherman – 4x Pro Bowler, 3x First-Team All-Pro, 404 tackles, 32 interceptions, two defensive touchdowns

Kam Chancellor – 4x Pro Bowler, 606 tackles, 12 interceptions, nine forced fumbles

Unfortunately for the Legion of Boom father time is undefeated, and he usually erodes both body and patience. Injuries have plagued all three members, eventually leading to the end of Chancellor’s career in 2017. Sherman’s tenure in Seattle would come to a close after rupturing his Achilles’ tendon during the 2017 season, while Thomas would go on to have two gruesome leg injuries, the last of which ending his time with the Seahawks in mid-2018.

As if the injuries weren’t enough, sideline quarrels, holdouts and disagreements with management would pile on and lead to the final destruction of the most feared defense of the 2010s. Sherman was released after his injury and signed a three-year, $39 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers in March 2018, and Thomas’ departure was made official with today’s aforementioned signing with the Ravens.

Despite their controversial demise, nobody can take away what this group brought to the table during their time in Seattle for the franchise, the community and for the fans. The team’s blue-collar identity and clear success were directly derived from everything that was the Legion of Boom. I myself can remember sitting on the couch the night of February 2, 2014 with tears in my eyes, thanking every single player out loud for giving me the first taste of a championship in my pro-sports fandom. A night I will not soon forget.

So from a 12th Man to you Earl, Richard and Kam: Thank you for everything.

Long live the Legion of Boom.

The BIGPLAY Podcast

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