Seahawks Insider Blog

Book review: Turner turns love for Hawks into personal history

12manmugAs a lifelong Seattle Seahawks fan, Mark Tye Turner set out to create a book that would become a must-read for fans of his favorite team.

And Turner, a television writer in Los Angeles, said he found his niche after discovering a thin volume of literature on his favorite subject. He figured, why not add to the collection? So he did.

“All these other teams get history books out, why not the Seahawks?” he said. “I mean we deserve it. We’ve been around for 33 years.”

Turner stayed true to his word with the publication of his new book, “Notes from a 12 Man: A Truly Biased History of the Seattle Seahawks.”

Turner’s offering does not reach the heights of other writer’s tomes on their favorite teams, notably Nick Hornby’s “Fever Pitch” – an autobiographical odyssey detailing Hornby’s obsession with his favorite team, English Premier League club Arsenal.

What Turner does provide is a tidy, easy-to-read history of the Seahawks. The book is written in a series of small chapters divided up into 12 parts in honor of the 12th man.

And they include occasional timeouts – short, informative or entertaining digressions which Turner uses to add commentary or context to the subject matter.

He offers up interesting tidbits that bring to life little-remembered Seahawks like Ed Marinaro, who played a police officer on “Hill Street Blues” and had a cup of coffee with Seattle in 1977, appearing in one game as a fullback; and Al Cowlings, the now infamous driver at the wheel of the white Ford Bronco for O.J. Simpson’s ill-fated run from the law. Cowlings played defensive end in one game for the Seahawks in 1976.


Turner also writes about the struggles of trying to follow his favorite team from afar.

He’s lived in Los Angeles for 20 years, but catches the Seahawks every year in person by making a road trip to Arizona.

Turner also has attended two games at Qwest Field this season.

“The Hawks were always my team and I followed them down there, and that was hard,” he said. “Especially in the early ’90s because the team really started to go south, and it was hard to get the games on down there. L.A. at that point didn’t have a whole lot of sports bars.”

He writes about searching for a place to watch the game in the book, only to have the TV overtaken by a bunch of Cowboys or Giants fans.

Turner said he’s had the Sunday NFL Ticket package since 1996, and he now can watch his team weekly in the comfort of his own home.

Asked to choose his favorite Seahawk, Turner grudgingly selected Steve Largent.

“It’s really hard,” he said. “It’s like choosing kids or something like that.You’re not really supposed to have a favorite.”