The city of Seattle is 2-0 in 2009. After wins by the Washington men’s and women’s basketball teams yesterday, our city is undefeated for the first time in what seems like forever. Now I know how the good people of Narnia felt when their endless winter finally came to an end, the snow melted and flowers bloomed, the white witch was destroyed, and peace and goodness was restored to their land of righteousness. This year, 2009, is the end of our long winter. This is the Chronicles of Seattle.
How can we not feel good about 2009? Now that 2008 is behind us, things can only get better. The Worst Year Ever is history and our future is as bright as the gleam in Steve Sarkisian’s eyes at his inaugural University of Washington press conference. We have a new regime on the diamond in GM Jack Zduriencik and field manager Don Wakamatsu. We have a new pro football coach in Jim Mora, Jr., set to rebuild a franchise coming off one of their worst seasons in recent history. We have the aforementioned Sarkisian ready to guide the gridiron Dawgs to their first bowl game in seven years. We have a brand spanking new Major League Soccer team, complete with a rabid fan base and one of the greatest ownership groups in sports. And for now, we have basketball and a team, at 10-3, halfway to an NCAA Tournament appearance for the first time since Brandon Roy took to the court in purple-and-gold.
In truth, the magic number of wins that will almost surely guarantee a major-conference program an at-large bid to the NCAA Tourney is 21. The Husky men are currently 10-3, meaning they need to win 11 of their remaining 17 conference games in order to reserve their ticket to the dance. An 11-6 record the rest of the way in a Pac-10 full of surprising teams (the lowly Oregon State Beavers knocked off the thought-to-be-powerful USC Trojans yesterday…the crowd then chanted “Just Like Football!”) will be no easy task, but this Husky ballclub looks up to the challenge. In a hostile environment at Washington State, with a monkey on their back in the form of a seven-game losing streak to their cross-state rival, the Dawgs trounced the Cougars to set an early tone for the season. There will be no messing with this Husky ballclub.
This may all sound like blind optimism, but the truth of the matter is, no one can really be pessimistic after last year. We hit rock bottom. We were the Britney Spears of the sports world. Now we have to pick ourselves up and begin the climb back to the top. Britney knows what’s up. This is our year. I can feel it, and you should feel it too. Go out and buy that Mariners jersey you’ve been wanting. Go grab some purple drink and gulp it down. Reserve your playoff tickets early. This is the season we’ve all been waiting for, the year we return to glory, the time for us to break out our “Seattle” shirts, our “S” caps, our Husky gear, our Tatupu jerseys and wear them proudly. The Mariners are on the rise, the Seahawks will start fresh, the Sounders are here to stay, and the University of Washington is back! Everybody welcome 2009, the year Seattle returns to glory!