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Former Seahawks great Steve Largent making new connections

Former Seahawks great Steve Largent visited Olympia Wednesday to lobby on behalf of the wireless industry in his role as CEO of the leading trade group. (CTIA image)

Former Seahawks legend Steve Largent is best known for his Hall of Fame career, but he’s made quite a name for himself off the field as well.

Largent, who served in Congress for eight years, has spent the last decade as CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, the leading wireless industry trade group.

It’s in that role he visited state lawmakers in Olympia Wednesday to lobby on behalf of the industry.

“Fewer regulations, less taxes on our consumers and how that will help roll out these services to Washington state in particular even faster,” he told Seattle’s Morning News in an interview previewing his agenda.

Largent said he was never a techie, but first got exposed to the wireless industry playing for the Seahawks in 1984 when Seattle-based Cellular One approached him and fellow Seahawks great Jim Zorn to endorse the company.

“They said ‘hey, would you guys like to do some work for us?’ And we said ‘sure’,” Largent said.

So they gave him one of the early models, a big bag phone that weighed about 10 pounds and “worked some times.” But he was hooked.

After Largent’s playing days ended, he was elected to Congress. Serving on the telecommunications subcommittee, the Oklahoma Republican helped craft the laws governing the burgeoning industry.

“So I was kind of front and center on all that,” he said. And that gave him a leg up when the CTIA went looking for a new CEO.

It might not be as thrilling as catching a touchdown before more than 65,000 screaming Seahawks fans, but he said he loves it nonetheless.

“It’s really a fun industry to be a part of; it’s an exciting industry and I love it.”

Still, he’ll forever be linked with his days on the field, and quarterback Zorn. He said the two remain close all these years later.

“I’m leaving this morning and catching a flight to Kansas City to go see Jim and Joy,” he said.

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