Ian Furness on Paul Allen

Paul Allen was a billionaire. But he was also like you. Mr. Allen was a sports fan. He grew up in Seattle and attended games at Husky Stadium. He was trailblazer in technology, science, medicine, space exploration and music. He also bought the Trail Blazers NBA team.

There was a parade in Seattle to celebrate a Super Bowl title. There was another to celebrate a MLS Cup championship too. That is because Paul Allen cared about this community's sports fans because he was one.

In 1996, for a brief period of time, the Seahawks actually packed up and moved to Southern California. Mr Allen was then asked by community leaders to step in and help save the franchise. He purchased the team one year later, and soon thereafter through a public/private partnership what we now know as Century Link Field was built and the Seahawks were saved.

Paul Allen made the bold move to hire Mike Holmgren and turn control of the franchise over to the Super Bowl champion coach. It resulted in an unprecedented run of success including five division titles and a the franchise's first ever Super Bowl appearance. 

In 2010, Paul Allen made an even bolder, more controversial move when he fired Jim Mora after one season and hired Pete Carroll and John Schneider. The rest is history.

We still have an NFL franchise in Seattle because of Paul Allen. Portland has one of the best arenas in the NBA and a competitive team year in and year out because of Paul Allen.

In Seattle and Portland, Paul Allen attended almost every Blazers and Seahawks game. He did so because he was like you. He was a fan. The biggest fan. And thanks to Paul Allen we still have an NFL team so we too can continue to be fans. 

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