I was reading Sports Illustrated today when I came across an article titled “Sportspocalypse Now,” written by Chris Ballard. Depicting none other than our fair city, Ballard’s one-page essay was devoted to the sad state of athletics in Seattle. There was talk of the Sonics’ departure, naturally, as well as the trio of ineptitude in the forms of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Husky Football progam. Ballard went so far as to visit our city to fully immerse himself in the tragedy that is the Seattle sports scene.
All of this got me thinking about how far we’ve fallen here in Seattle. No, we’ve never been the epicenter of the sports world (save for a brief fifteen minutes in 1979 when the Sonics took home the NBA championship), but we were never broken down like this before either.
For instance, there’s never been an extended period of time when ALL our teams were this horrible.
If the Mariners sucked, then the Hawks were decent.
If the Hawks AND Mariners sucked (see: the late 1980’s to mid-1990’s), then the Sonics and Huskies were good.
We weren’t a title town, but we weren’t the dregs of sports society either. All that has changed this year.
Let’s recap 2008, shall we.
The year kicked off with a Seahawks loss to Green Bay in the NFC Conference Playoffs. That was one shot.
The Husky Men’s Basketball program then transitioned a mediocre regular season into a first-round postseason exit…in a jayvee-like tournament dubbed the College Basketball Invititional. Two shots.
The Mariners kicked off their season in April and were arguably out of contention by the time May rolled around. Before the M’s could fall deep into the cellar, the Sonics concluded their miserable final season at the end of April, a finish bad enough to warrant the #4 draft pick in the June draft. Shots three and four.
In July the announcement was made that the city of Seattle would allow the Sonics franchise to migrate to Oklahoma City, undoubtedly the biggest sports-related loss in this city’s history. Five shots.
As we moved ominously towards fall, the unheralded Husky football program kicked off their 2008 season with a loss in Eugene to the Oregon Ducks, setting the trend for a ballclub that, nearly two-and-a-half months later, is still winless. Six.
Our final hope, the Seahawks, our fallback in recent years, hit the gridiron shortly thereafter and, like the Huskies before them, laid an egg on Opening Day, dropping a 34-10 contest to the Bills in Buffalo. Seven shots.
Oh, and in case you haven’t heard, our beloved Tuba Man, aka Edward McMichael, a fixture outside Seattle sporting events over the past three decades, passed away last week after three teenagers beat him up, took his money, and nabbed a ring believed to be that of the 1979 Supersonics championship team that he kept around his finger at all times. Eight.
This city deserves better.
A city that has so loyally and passionately stood by our teams, win or lose, for worse or for better, and literally, as the Tuba Man can attest to, ’til death do us part. Now, more than ever, Seattle sports fans need a voice they can rely on to give them honest perspective on all that is happening in their world. From the Seahawks, to the Mariners, to Husky football and basketball, and even beyond our municipal borders to anything and everything that resonates with Seattleites.
Here at Seattle Sportsnet, I, as a lifelong devoted Seattle sports fan, pledge to give you the best coverage and analysis on all that you’re concerned about with your local sports teams. Each day we will bring you as much information as possible about the goings on around our city and provide the most up-to-date analysis that corresponds. I hope you’ll check in with us daily and let us be your voice, a fan’s voice, an insider’s voice. Thank you.