The Legion of Boom will be playing in its second straight Super Bowl Sunday against one of the all-time greats in New England Patriots QB Tom Brady. The Seahawks have not faced Brady and the Pats since their 24-23 victory in 2012 when Richard “U Mad Bro?” Sherman gave Brady an earful after the game. Now the two teams are set to face off again on football’s greatest stage.
The Legion of Boom is the nickname of the Seattle Seahawks’ secondary: cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell and safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. Former Legionnaire Brandon Browner is now a member of the Patriots.
It was Chancellor who first called them “The Legion of Boom” during a 2012 radio appearance and the nickname stuck. It is a play on the “Legion of Doom” comic book characters.
Here is what you need to know:
1. The Legion of Boom Formed on the Basketball Court
Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas met while playing in a pickup game during the NFL lockout of 2011. In what seemed like a mini-celebrity basketball event, the trio played against NBA star Jamal Crawford and his crew in a game of pickup basketball at an L.A. Fitness. Sherman was pleasantly surprised by how well they all played defense together on the court. “We just had a good chemistry out there,” said Sherman according to ESPN.com.
2.The Legion of Boom Were Late-Round Picks
Earl Thomas is the only member of the Seattle secondary selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor were both selected in the fifth round. Byron Maxwell was selected late in the sixth round. The Seahawks scouting deserves a pat on the back for finding multiple diamonds in the rough. Getting the “bang for your buck” is an understatement when it comes to these guys.
3. Every Member of the Unit is a Pro Bowler
Richard Sherman, who is arguably the best player in the group, was not selected to the Pro Bowl the first time the rest of the Legion went in 2011. Though he wasn’t chosen, the selected members of the Legion of Boom (Brandon Browner, Earl Thomas, and Kam Chancellor) brought Sherman along with them to Hawaii anyway. Three years later, and Sherman won’t be missing a Pro Bowl any time soon.
4. The Legion of Boom Talks Lots of Trash
The Seahawks have, on average, given up less than 200 receiving yards per game the past two seasons. No other defense in the league is within 15 yards of them in that category. In 2013, they grabbed a league-leading 28 interceptions. The total was cut in half in the 2014 season not because they took a step back in talent, but because opposing quarterbacks took less shots at the stingy secondary who deemed their part of the field the “No Fly Zone.”
5. The New-Look Legion Faces an Old Friend
One of the original Legion Of Boom members, Brandon Browner switched teams and will face the 2015 Legion as a Patriot in Super Bowl XLIX. Browner was a pivotal part of building the Legion of Boom before his departure. During his last season in Seattle, Browner grabbed six interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. PED issues and suspensions forced the Seahawks to part ways with Browner.