Screw reality. This is everything we’ve ever wanted rolled up into a single moment in time and it’s goddamn beautiful. You want Chris Petersen? You got Chris Petersen. You want Robinson Cano? You got Robinson Cano. You want the best team in the NFL? You got the best team in the NFL. If you have a wish to make, a prayer to be answered, a request you absolutely must have fulfilled? Today is your day.
You and I, we aren’t conditioned for this. This is sleet in November, triple-digit temperatures in July. We aren’t used to what this feels like. Happiness? Euphoria? This is Seattle. Seattle. When it comes to sports, we’re the perennially disappointed, the consistently underwhelmed. We live in a snow globe where it simply rains all the time. We fall short of expectations, come up empty-handed at year’s end, tank the off-season, blow the big game, flub every opportunity at every single turn, and wallow, miserably, wretchedly, in the cynical aftermath of the emotional nuking our psyches continually endure.
They’ve called us the Worst Sports City in America. On multiple occasions, no less. It sucks to be us, they’ve pointed out. And for the most part, they’ve been right. It has sucked to be us. We haven’t done shit. We haven’t won shit, we haven’t achieved shit, we haven’t been shit. We’ve been nothing. Some cities fly under the radar; we haven’t been on the radar.
We were a glorified coffee house, a hipster’s paradise, a tech mecca, nothing more. We were a shoulder shrug, an eye roll. We were Carlton Banks, Screech Powers, Steve Urkel, the uncoolest of the uncool. If they cared about us, they only cared about us long enough to poke fun at us. And when they poked fun at us, we often found ourselves in agreement with them. They were right, after all. We weren’t anything beyond a punch line. We were the joke.
I’ve been doing this for twenty-nine years. That’s how long I’ve lived in this soggy, dismal snow globe of ours. Since birth. This is all I know. All I know is what it feels like to be on the losing end of championships, the wrong side of recruiting pitches and free agent signings, the opposing hemisphere to success and victory and celebrations and parades and all the giddiness that goes along with all those wonderful, marvelous things.
But today. We have today. We staked out today. We sat in front of our computer screens for the bulk of a week — for the bulk of the past few years, since we’ve been here before — waiting for today. We refreshed our web browsers incessantly, addictively in anticipation of today. We sourced sources who sourced other sources, we mongered rumors from rumormongers who metastasized magnificent tidbits of the most menial nature. We sat in a metaphorical squad car like the fictional Ed Hocken, shelling red pistachios by the dozen, looming outside the figurative office of our very own Vincent Ludwig as Frank Drebin, that rascal, bandied about the confines haphazardly searching for clues.
We won at something. We poached the New York Freakin’ Yankees and the entire free market for their very best player. We hijacked college football for one of their very best coaching candidates. We did that today. Both those things. Two hours apart. And all the while we were supposed to be sitting here content with the fact that our 11-1 NFL team remained poised to clinch their division crown just 48 hours from now.
There is logic, of course. We haven’t won anything yet. They don’t hand out rings for off-season hauls, no trophies for mid-season win-loss records. But there has to be a start. There is a spark that begats a flame that ignites the fire. The blaze does not matriculate from thin air, spontaneously. That spark must always occur first. Robinson Cano is a spark. Chris Petersen is a spark. Eleven wins to one loss is a spark.
So screw logic. Forget it. Let’s enjoy this moment. Because we don’t have moments like this very often. Today, we are kings. Today, we are the center of the sports universe. Today, we are on our way to greatness, to success, to victory, to championships, to awesomeness, to badassery, to celebrations and smiles and hugs and laughter and all that good stuff we’ve longed for, we’ve yearned for. This is the start of something amazing. This is what the top of the world feels like. Yes. Seattle.