Seahawks, shipyards and love

Those who follow professional football know that the Seattle Seahawks are one of the premier teams in the National Football League. However, after embarrassing Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl last February, the team stumbled out of the gate this fall by losing three of their first six games. Since then, however, the team has won seven of eight and could win the NFC West division with a victory in Arizona next Sunday night.

At this point, it’s not unrealistic to anticipate another Super Bowl appearance. The Seahawks are soaring again.

How do they do it?

The answer is love.

All professional football players are the best of the best. They’re among the fastest, strongest and most agile athletes in the world. It’s the coaching and the “chemistry” that defines the differences between the good and bad teams. OK, it’s also the quarterback, but ultimately it’s teamwork in the purest sense that wins the day. And if you’ve watched the Seahawks defense lately, you’ve seen teamwork par excellence.

In mid-November, after the disappointing start to the season, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll met with about 10 key players to discuss the team’s struggles and determine how to get back on track. According to Doug Baldwin, a wide receiver who attended the meeting, the takeaway was the importance of “playing for each other, trusting each other and loving our brothers.”

Watch these guys at work and tell me you don’t see the love among brothers.

This team also clearly loves its coach, the charismatic Mr. Carroll. We all do, here in the Pacific Northwest.

So, what does all this have to do with shipyards?

The answer is love.

At the International WorkBoat Show in New Orleans a couple weeks ago, Frank Foti, the CEO of Vigor Industrial in Portland, Ore., told a keynote audience that the foundations of his company’s success are “truth, responsibility, evolution and love.”  It’s not often that you hear a company include love in its mission statement, but that’s the truth at Vigor, and it seems to be working. The company’s nine shipyards are all busy, doing good work and the future looks bright. They love building and repairing boats, and taking care of each other.

By the way, to see some Carroll-inspired team camaraderie and that “lean on me” attitude, check out this video.

Go Seahawks.

About the author

Bruce Buls

With a degree in English literature from the University of Washington (Go Dawgs!), journalism experience at the once-upon-a-time Seattle P-I, and at-sea experience as a commercial fisherman in Washington and Alaska, Bruce Buls has forged a career in commercial marine trade journalism, including stints at Alaska Fishermen’s Journal and National Fisherman, WorkBoat’s sister publications. Bruce spent 16 years as WorkBoat's technical editor before retiring in May 2015. He lives on Puget Sound’s Whidbey Island, about 20 miles north of Seattle (go 'Hawks!).

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