Just received word that my friend, neighbor, and former Seahawk, John Hunter will be taken off life support in the coming days after a week long battle with septicemia. After a last ditch effort surgery, the doctors have determined that his heart cannot sustain itself and they will be disconnecting the machines and letting nature take its course. John will leave behind 5 of his own children as well as step children. He is only 47 years old.
John played with the Seattle Seahawks during the 1992 season. John started three games that year. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in 1989 in the third round from BYU and was immediately traded to the falcons where he played from 1989-1991. I know what an abysmal team that 1992 squad was, and I know he didn't have a impact role that season, but he was my friend, he had an impact on me.
I'll never forget talking about the Hawks with John. His eyes would light up when we talked football. When I first met him we talked about the 1992 team. When I was able to name off quite a few players, he smiled and said "anyone who remembers anything about that team must be a true fan, you really are a diehard Hawks fan".
I was like a kid in a candy store when he would share his experiences. He talked about how he felt like he should pay admission when he would watch the defense play that year(1992). I really loved hearing his behind the scenes stories. He was in the same draft class as Deion. I loved the time he told me the story about when he and Deion shared the limo drive from the Atlanta airport to headquarters. He said Deion was the must humble, kind, down to earth person he had ever met. It totally surprised him, as he was expecting the Prime who had marketed himself so well at FSU. Mostly an act John told me, "that kid we do anything for anybody". On the other end of the spectrum, he shared a moment when he almost came to fists with Andre Rison, had no respect for him, called him lazy and worthless. I will miss having these opportunities to spend with John, I loved it.
Of all the stories, I will never forget the one he told me about being traded to the Hawks. Coach Glanville told him to pack his stuff, he had been traded to Seattle. John was from Oregon and had always to play closer to his family. He loved the Seahawks and wanted to play for them more than any team. By that time, he was breaking down physically and knew Seattle would be his last stop. He was grateful he was able to play close to his family during that final year.
John was a gentle giant. A very good man, always smiling, always positive. He was my sunday school leader in Church. I know he wasn't a Hawk for long, and I know nobody remembers him, but Im just real sad right now and am probably just leaning on my fellow .netters during a tough day. Thanks for letting me share some stories about my friend. Once a Seattle Seahawk, always a Seahawk, even if it was just for a few games.
A friend told me today that over thirty former players and even Coach Lavell Edwards have come by to see him this week. Please do me a favor and try to remember John and his beautiful family in your thoughts and prayers as they say their final goodbyes. Rest in peace big fellow, enjoy your birdseye view of what will be the most successful season in Seahawk history.