The Seattle Seahawks gave Mike Holmgren a cherry red Harley-Davidson motorcycle after conducting his final practice as head coach (judging by the way the Seahawks have played this year, it was also their first practice).
"I'm touched by it. This is really a nice Christmas present. I don't know what to say. It's really something,” Holmgren said while sitting on his motorcycle.
After practice on Friday, eight-year Seahawks' veteran Bobby Engram addressed the team. As Engram was speaking, injured guard Mike Wahle (only fitting it’s an injured Seahawk) drove the brand new, limited edition 2009 Screamin' Eagle Harley-Davidson into the practice facility.
"They told me (Engram) wanted to talk to the team at the end of practice," Holmgren said. "I thought it was going to be a pep talk. I didn't think it was this."
According to a local Harley-Davidson dealership, Holmgren’s new hog retails for close to $40,000.
Holmgren immediately “jumped” on his motorcycle and revved the engine. Unlike his team this year, Holmgren was able to get his new Harley out of neutral.
The Super Bowl winning coach then rode his bike on the practice field as his player’s cheered—like most of the Seahawks’ drives this year, this one stalled around midfield.
"It's just a token of our appreciation and just thank you [for leading us to a 4-11 record]," Engram said.
Is Mike Holmgren really worth of a brand new Harley?
Holmgren coached the Seahawks to their first ever Super Bowl appearance at the end of the 2005 season. Granted, they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the NFL referees, but anytime you can lead a team to their first Super Bowl you deserve a $40,000 motorcycle.
During Holmgren’s 10 seasons as head coach of the Seahawks, his team made the playoffs in six times. He’s not only the longest-tenured coach in the team’s history, he’s also won the most games (86).
Between 2003 and 2007, the Seahawks 51-29 record (.638) was the best in the NFC.
However, it’s time for Holmgren to step down and leave the Seattle Seahawks. The game has passed him by. He’s become too conservative and too predictable to be successful in the league anymore.
Still, Holmgren is one the NFL’s all-time greatest coaches. He’s a teacher, a motivator and more importantly, a good human being. It speaks volumes to the quality of the man that his players surprised him with such a lavish gift.
Holmgren's final loss as the Seahawks head coach will come Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. After the season is over, Holmgren plans on returning to Arizona. He and his wife own a house in the Phoenix area.