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JIM ZORN, FORMER WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBER, IS PROUD OF HIS LONG ASSOCIATION WITH THE SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

DETROIT

Paul Allen may own them, Mike Holmgren may coach them and their fate in the Super Bowl may rest largely in the hands of players such as Matt Hasselbeck, Shaun Alexander and Lofa Tatupu.

But the name many fans still most closely associate with the Seattle Seahawks is Jim Zorn, the affable quarterback coach, who was the team's first quarterback during its plucky postexpansion years.

Zorn, 52, is in the unique position of being a part of what he helped start nearly 30 years ago when the Seahawks entered the National Football League in the fall of 1976.

"I really take pride in that," he said. "It's honouring to have been part of that first group and then 30 years later be going to the Super Bowl and still be a part of the program. It's kind of dreamy really.

"I have my job to do, but I have taken some time to reflect and be prideful of all the past history that I was a part of in the early days."

The connection Zorn made in those early days has endured, in part because of his personality. Zorn is an outdoors nut who rides his bike to work for games and practices and is still widely recognized around town.

"I'm still recognized in Seattle for being coach or the old, old guy," he said. "I get kids who come up to me and say: 'My dad said you were a good player. Can I have your autograph?' The people of my era remember. And now that we're going to the Super Bowl, they've taught their kids that that guy was there when it started."

Though Zorn played in only one playoff game for Seattle, he has been instrumental in helping Seattle's current quarterback, Matt Hasselbeck, reach the team's first championship appearance. Zorn's advice has come not just on the field, but in settling in Seattle and the things one needs to know to raise a family there.

Zorn's years away from Seattle took him first to the Canadian Football League, where he was part of a Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback trio that included Tom Clements and John Hufnagel. Remarkably, all three are now NFL assistant coaches.

He also spent time at Utah State, where he tutored Anthony Calvillo.

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