Renton, Wash. Mike Holmgren always said that when the 2008 season was over he wanted to return to his home in the Phoenix area and ride his motorcycle.
Thanks to the club for which he walked the sidelines for the last 10 seasons, he’ll have a new bike to break in.
After Holmgren’s final full practice as coach of Seattle on Friday, eight-year Seahawks’ veteran Bobby Engram stood up to address the team.
As Engram was talking, injured guard Mike Wahle roared into the indoor practice complex on a brand new, limited edition 2009 Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson to the cheers of the players.
“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.”
Holmgren then hopped on the bike for a short test drive with the team roaring in approval. Each position group then circled around the bike for a photo with the coach.
“It’s a good thing to be a part of and coach deserves it,” Engram said. “As a guy who has been around him a lot, just talking to these guys, we felt we had to do something special.”
Engram signed with Seattle in 2001 when Holmgren was both coach and general manager and has been part of all four of the Seahawks’ West titles.
According to a local Harley-Davidson dealership, the model retails for close to $40,000.
“It’s just a token of our appreciation and just (a) thank you,” Engram said.
After practice last Friday, before his final home game last Sunday, the team presented him with the Steve Largent Award, an honor usually given to a player.
“I thought the Largent Award was enough, that was plenty,” Holmgren said. “That itself was enough, but this was — I don’t know what to say — it’s really something.”
His players felt that he deserved more.
“What do you give a guy who you feel has it all?” Engram said. “We didn’t want to give him anything cheesy, but something that can be remembered.”