For 36 years, from the Kingdome through the team ruling the NFL kingdom, Clare Farnsworth has been exquisitely reporting and writing on the Seahawks. Heck, he is THE Seahawks writer. Has been since -- ! -- 1979.
Friday is the final day of his career. His goodbye column for the team's website, for which he's worked the last six years, is here. It describes a who's who of Seahawks football since Jimmy Carter was president. And it's classy.
Richard Sherman was one of many Seahawks to note what Clare's done:
Never miss a local story.
Clare is the kindest guy I know in Seattle sports. The first day I got on the beat in October 2005, lost jumping into the middle of what became the Seahawks' first Super Bowl season, Clare went out of his way to show me around the team's old, cramped headquarters in Kirkland. Then still the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Seahawks writer and a supposed "competitor" on beat with an Associated Press writer, Clare gave me quick rundown of the roster. Of how great Matt Hasselbeck was to talk to. What the best ways were to get quiet, humble Walter Jones to talk about himself.
Every single day, bar none, that I've seen him and heard from Clare -- from the scorching summer of 2006 when we shared a dorm hallway at Eastern Washington University in Cheney covering Seahawks training camp there, writing stories from the old EWU wrestling room with his visor pulled low near his eyes, through this week when I traded emails with him -- he's been the same, top-class act.
How many people do you know you can say that about for 10 years running?
Go beyond the fact his reporting was limitless and unparalleled, that he covered the Seahawks from coaches Jack Patera through Chuck Knox, Dennis Erickson (he has some particularly great stories, not all written, on him), Mike Holmgren and Pete Carroll. Go past that he's been a two-time finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s McCann Award, presented for distinguished reporting of the NFL. Go beyond that he's written all the defining moments of the franchise since Jim Zorn was throwing and Ken Behring moved the team to Southern California for a few hours in 1996, through the team's first three Super Bowls over the last 10 seasons, including this one I covered with him in Detroit in early 2006. In that regard and so many more, Clare is going out on top.
What I respect and admire Clare most for is this: No matter how busy he was -- no matter deadlines, editors' demands, interview times or the fact we were supposed to be competing on the same beat turf -- Clare always, always had the same pleasant and welcoming disposition. It truly remains, through this final week on the job, unfailing, refreshing, real.
When I left the AP in 2010 to be the University of Washington's first in-house sports writer, Clare was a year into being the Seahawks' first in-house writer. He described in detail this strange new gig of a journalist being embedded with a team and telling its stories from the team's -- not the public's or mainstream journalism's -- points of view. He explained how his instincts initially struggled with seeing everything but only being able to report certain things. And as I learned while I did it at UW, he was dead-on in his advice on how to reconcile that.
Thank you and congratulations, Clare. Here's to a long life full of Rubio's fish tacos on a beach back in San Diego (he graduated from San Diego State), Blondie's pizza on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley -- and well-earned, endlessly happy days with your wife Renee, children Jessica, Erica and Nathan and grandaughter Satya.