The stars came out for the 85th annual MTR Western Sports Star of the Year awards Thursday night at the Seattle Westin Hotel, but none bigger, literally and figuratively, than a pair of former Seahawk offensive linemen: Hall of Famers Walter Jones and Steve Hutchinson.
Jones, one of the great left tackles in the history of the game, went into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014.
Hutchinson, who played five seasons next to Jones at left guard (2001-05) before signing with Minnesota, learned Saturday that he was voted into the Hall of Fame.
“It’s hard to beat,” Hutchinson said. “The day I got married, the birth of my children and then Saturday … to find out I am going to be put in the Hall of Fame, it’s hard to top that.”
Jones and Hutchinson were joined Thursday by two other former offensive line teammates with the Seahawks, center Robbie Tobeck and tackle Sean Locklear.
Jones helped Seahawks radio announcer Steve Raible present the Paul G. Allen Award for philanthropic contribution to Seahawks general manager John Schneider and his wife, Traci.
“And I am also here with my boy Hutch, just here celebrating with him and for people to get a chance to know him,” said Jones, who gave a shout out to Hutchinson during the show. “I get a chance to see Hutch about twice during the year, and for him to now be in the Hall of Fame, and be in there with him, it’s pretty cool.”
Hutchinson is working with the Seahawks as a consultant. He was attending the sports show for the first time.
“This is great,” he said. “What a wonderful night.”
One of the biggest stars on hand was the emcee, Apolo Ohno, who won eight Olympic medals in short-track speedskating before gaining additional fame winning “Dancing with the Stars.”
Among the others in the crowd were new Washington State football coach Nick Rolovich, WSU athletic director Patrick Chun and WSU running back Max Borghi, one of the male sports star of the year nominees.
It was hard to miss Slick Watts, the former Sonics guard who was the 1976 sports star of the year, who was wearing a Sonics jacket. Watts said he has attended the show 42 straight years.
Sonic icon Fred Brown was also in attendance as was P.J. Carlesimo, the former Sonic coach who helped present the sports story of the year award.
It was a big night for the Sounders, with Raul Ruidiaz winning male sports star of the year and the team’s second straight title winning story of the year. Ruidiaz and the rest of the team are training in Mexico, but former Sounders goalie Kasey Keller was on hand, helping present the award that Ruidiaz won.
Courtney Thompson, former UW star volleyball player, Sadena Parks, former UW star golfer, and Storm guard Jordin Canada presented the female star of the year award that went to UW softball player Sis Bates.
Bates is in Atlanta with her Husky team, but there were still stars aplenty at the show. But none bigger than the two players who once manned the left side of the Seahawks offensive line.