Catching up with Steve Largent

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By Mike Brown

LargentSteve1113Life is certainly much different now for Steve Largent compared to his playing days, and time is simply the reason why.

Looking like a million dollars at the age of 50, the greatest player in Seahawks franchise history is about to become a grandfather.

“Kyle, my oldest, is going to be 26 this summer and is expecting his first child,” said the Pro Football Hall of Famer during a visit last week to veteran camp. In fact, Largent and his wife Terry have seen their family grow to where their youngest is a freshman at Seattle Pacific University. “Kramer will complete his freshman year and is interested in becoming a trainer,” said Largent. “He’s hoping to work with the Seahawks this year at mini-camps like this one and at training camp.”

That’s a whole different life compared to the way most Seahawk fans remember the legendary wide receiver. A longshot to even make it on an NFL roster, Largent held league records in three major categories when he retired in 1989: 819 receptions, 13, 089 yards, and 100 touchdowns. That earned him a first ballot entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Ballots also became a part of Largent’s life after football. He successfully ran for the U.S. House of Representatives and served four terms in his native state of Oklahoma before a failed bid to become governor of Oklahoma. But he’s still involved in the political arena.

“Well, I am… sort of,” he says. “I’m president of the trade association that represents the wireless industry. Wireless devices are now my bailiwick. It continues to grow and get better and better and offer more services to customers.”

Largent offered a lot to Seahawks customers during his 14-year career. He was voted to the Pro Bowl seven times, and set his first NFL record on Monday Night Football in front of a jam-packed Kingdome when he claimed the mark for most consecutive games with a reception. He retired with a then-record of 154 straight games.

But it seems so long ago. Now he’s monitoring adult children but still playing the role of dad.

“My daughter Casie is going to go to law school next year; I have mixed emotions about that,” quipped Largent. “My other son Kelly is a sophomore at a junior college in Oklahoma; he’s playing baseball and has a chance to play division one next year.”

Largent says he doesn’t think about what it would be like playing nowadays in the NFL. But his memories of the game are vivid, stretching well back in his life.

One of the first people he greeted during his visit to veteran camp was Seahawks defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes, with whom Largent played in college. “Raymond was a senior when I was a sophomore and played the other wide receiver spot when we were at the University of Tulsa,” Largent recalls. “Ray moved from running back to wide receiver when I got there.”

He also remains close to Seahawks quarterback Jim Zorn, who threw many of the touchdown passes that Largent caught in his career. Heck, Kramer Largent has used the Zorn residence to get his laundry done this past school year.

So it was probably Steve and Terry Largent who picked up the tab at dinner with the Zorns later that night.