Did you see what our local teams did over the weekend? If you live in the Seattle area and aren’t going to work in a good mood today, you better check yourself before you wreck yourself. For real. No, I’m serious. FOR REAL!
It doesn’t matter if you’re a Husky or a Coug, a basketball fan or a football fan. There was something for everyone this weekend, from the Dawgs’ thrashing of Syracuse, to the Cougars’ timely (albeit unsettling) victory over Montana State, to the Storm’s last-second win in the WNBA Finals, to the Seahawks’ dismantling of the 49ers. Every one of our major sports teams gave us reason to believe over a 48-hour time frame, including the Mariners, who continued to do their best to improve their 2011 draft position by tanking down the stretch (keep fighting the bittersweet fight, M’s).
Though the feel-good juices could be found flowing all over the Emerald City, they were perhaps no more prevalent than amidst the bowels of Qwest Field on Sunday afternoon. While the Huskies, Cougars, and Storm were all projected to take home wins in their efforts, the Seahawks were viewed as a ridiculous underdog in their matchup with San Francisco. Which, in turn, made their triumph all the more impressive.
Let’s not kid ourselves, however. In spite of the fact that the Hawks ultimately routed their Bay Area foes, we weren’t feeling so sure about the boys in blue until one-fourth of the battle had passed. It took a 35-yard reception from one of the newest Seattleites, Mike Williams, to unlock the floodgates for a Seahawks ballclub that had struggled to remove themselves from life support in the contest’s opening period.
But even with that catch, our fears weren’t entirely quelled. Williams was tackled at the one-yard line, leaving open the possibility of disappointment. Matt Hasselbeck, being the trusty leader he is, had no intentions of letting down the fan base. Shortly after hooking up with Williams for the game’s biggest play, Hasselbeck made a mad dash for the left-hand corner of the end zone, then dove full-extension — showing no residual effects of the rib and back injuries that have plagued him over the past two years — as he snuck the nose of the pigskin around the pylon for six. The ensuing PAT from kicker Olindo Mare gave the Hawks a lead they would not relinquish. And from there on out, it was a massacre.
Hasselbeck looked like the quarterback of old as he slung the ball around the turf, connecting with eight different receivers, including seven who logged double-digit receiving yards. He would hook up with Deon Butler prior to halftime for the second-year wideout’s first career touchdown. Following intermission, Number 8 marched onto the field and supplied Deion Branch with a veritable ticket to redemption, providing the oft-criticized veteran receiver his first touchdown catch of 2010.
Even the defense got in on the action, as Marcus Trufant intercepted an errant Alex Smith pass and returned it for a score. This coming one minute into the third quarter, before many fans had returned from their halftime pilgrimage to the concourse. Another pick earlier in the game — this one by recently released and re-signed utility-back Jordan Babineaux — put a stamp on the Seahawks’ team effort.
A fourth quarter field goal by Mare capped the day’s scoring as the 12th Man stomped its way into the new season with a statement, knocking off San Francisco by a score of 31-6.
Adversity was the underlying theme of the weekend for all our local teams. While the Seahawks epitomized the comeback win, the Huskies, Cougars, and Storm all stared down deficits during their respective conquests. That determination in times of difficulty is what made these successes all the more enjoyable for those of us who bled the colors of our hometown squads. It’s not often that four of our ballclubs find pay dirt in the same two-day span. In fact, the last time that just the Seahawks, Huskies, and Cougars won on the same weekend was over three years ago, on Saturday, September 8 and Sunday, September 9, 2007. The last time that all four of these clubs won on the same weekend? It’s never happened. Ever. So consider yourself a witness to history.
Not to overglorify some early-season football victories or make you believe that the Storm are our most important athletic asset or anything (though they are two wins away from a WNBA championship, which cannot be ignored), but come on. How often do we get to enjoy this many achievements as local fans? It’s rare, made rarer by the fact that we’ve been down for so long.
I implore you to revel in this moment. Wear your team apparel to the office or around campus. “Like” as many Seattle sports-related pages on Facebook that you can find. Make water cooler discussion more than just polite chit-chat on a game or two. ENJOY THIS! Our teams deserve the recognition. This city deserves the pick-me-up. And most of all, more than anything else, we, as fans, deserve the happiness of a weekend victorious.