SBD/February 3, 2014/People and Pop Culture

Seahawks Owner Paul Allen Slow To Embrace Spotlight Amid Team's Success

Allen is increasingly visible in the Seahawks' locker room and on the sideline
The Seahawks' success in recent years has helped cement team Owner PAUL ALLEN's "legacy in Seattle sports and made this year’s Super Bowl a coming-out party of sorts for Allen, who is rarely seen, even at NFL owners meetings," according to a profile by Ken Belson of the N.Y. TIMES. Allen, a "Seattle native, has reasons to smile." The Trail Blazers, which he "bought a quarter-century ago, are off to their best start in years," and the MLS Sounders, of which he "owns a part, continue to draw record crowds." While Allen "sidesteps the spotlight and leaves most of the details of running his teams to specialists," he flies to Portland "to sit courtside at Blazers games, and he approves all major club decisions." He also "built the team a new arena, and after several rough years, he has found the right formula of front-office acumen and talent on the court." Allen said, "In Portland, I am more involved in the details of trade discussions because I’ve been around that sport longer and can watch tape and can give some input to the drafting process. In football, not at all. It’s so specialized." While Allen is "less involved in the Seahawks’ personnel decisions, he is increasingly visible in the locker room and on the sideline." Seahawks C MAX UNGER said, "He’s a great owner in the sense that he lets the people he hires really, for the most part, run the team and do their jobs." Team President PETER MCLOUGHLIN said, "He doesn’t micromanage, but he holds us accountable, and he’s very, very pleased." McLaughlin "speaks to Allen daily about the operations of his teams" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/1). McLoughlin added Allen is "just a great boss." He said of Allen, "He lets you do your job. He hires good people ... (and) gives us the resources and freedom to do our jobs. He's a great leader. He asks very good, probing questions. He is engaged, but he lets us do our job" ("Closing Bell," CNBC, 1/31).

HE CAN GET SOME SATISFACTION: Allen appeared on PBS' "The Charlie Rose Show" Friday and said the "satisfaction" he gets from the team's success "comes on a number of different levels." Allen: "One is just seeing how the community responds to the team and enjoys seeing the team victorious. ... Especially in smaller markets, I think that comes to the fore in a pretty unique way, in Seattle with the '12th Man.'" Allen said there also is satisfaction in seeing the players and coaches succeed. He said he might try to "make a good suggestion here or there" to the coaching staff, but added he is "not quite as obsessional as I used to be." Allen: "In the early days, I'd try to memorize the statistics of every NBA player, but I'm not quite that bad anymore." Allen raised the "12th Man" banner for the NFC Championship Game against the 49ers, and he said, "I don’t do many things like that, so for me to hear from the fans that they really appreciate what I try to do with the team and they're excitement level, that's just a tremendous moment as a sports owner" ("Charlie Rose," PBS, 1/31).

HUMBLE IN SUCCESS: In Green Bay, Mike Vandermause profiled Seahawks Exec VP & GM JOHN SCHNEIDER and wrote, "There’s a common theme among friends, family members, former teachers, coaches and colleagues when talking about Schneider: He is extremely driven, but at the same time humble and unspoiled by success." In the "highly competitive and sometimes cutthroat NFL world, Schneider has emerged as one of the most popular and respected" GMs. Chiefs GM JOHN DORSEY said, "John’s so lovable, I mean I love him, I do." He added, "I love being around him. He put a smile on your face. He makes you think. He’s very respectful" (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 2/2).
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