by: William P. Tomisser
After listening to John Clayton on KJR, I recently suggested that Housmandzadeh was miffed with his situation in Cincinnati where he felt he was getting the short end of the appreciation stick from the team and fans. He was ripe for someone to show him how much he was wanted and some appreciation for his achievements, and Seattle was only too happy to oblige.
Sam Farmer has written a great piece in the L.A. Times that tells the story of how Seattle wooed T.J. and how far teams will go to get their man. Sam writes:
This type of free-agent visit -- far more elaborate than one for a typical player -- is choreographed to the last detail. For instance, one of the Seahawks' equipment men used to work in Cincinnati, and knew the kind of shoes and gloves that Houshmandzadeh prefers. And there they were, the same brand of shoes and gloves, complete with the lime-green Seahawks detail, positioned just so on a table where Houshmandzadeh couldn't help but notice them.
"It was perfect," Mora said. "T.J. walked right past that table and was like, `Hey! These are the kind I wear!' "
Seattle really has one of the top sales pitches in the league right now for recruiting players. For top free agents, the VIP treatment is spectacular and personalized. Allen sends his private jet to get the prospect and fly him and his family to Seattle. In Seattle, the prospect gets on Allen's personal seaplane for an hour-long tour of the city complete with a flyby of Qwest Field with the player's stats lit up on the scoreboard.
After the seaplane lands at Seahawk headquarters for a tour of the VMAC, the prospect gets wooed by Jim Mora with all his charm, charisma, and enthusiasm as he tours the facilities and is shown what his future would be like with the Seattle Seahawks. For Housh, it was personalized with his favorite brand of shoes and gloves in lime green conspicuously laid out on a table he passed by. He noticed! Top that one anywhere else in the NFL these days.
The article's a good read and gives good insight into what the Seahawks can do to roll out the red carpet when they've a mind to.