The Ball’s in My Court: The State of Seattle Sports

The one defining moment in Seattle sports’ history came in 1979 when the Seattle SuperSonics won their one and only NBA title. Back in 2004, the Seattle Storm won the WNBA title, and that shook the very foundation of Seattle Sports. Who am I kidding? Some hardcore sports fans, including myself, didn’t even know it had happened until a couple weeks after.

Moving forward, 2005 was a good year to be a sports fan in Seattle. The Seahawks were dominant in the NFC West, and in the playoffs, a thrashing of the Carolina Panthers (at which yours truly was in attendance) led the way to their first Super Bowl appearance in team history. While Seattle fans (this one in particular) remain bitter about what took place once the Seahawks got there, they still got there.

The Sonics had a record of 52 – 30, taking fourth place in the Western conference, and managed to get past the Kings in the first round before getting eliminated by the Spurs, who went on to become NBA champs. The Mariners sucked, but hey, come on. It’s Seattle. There always has to be at least one Seattle team that sucks. At this point I think there might have actually been a bill passed in Washington legislature assuring it.

Fast-forward four years. The year 2009 has begun, and the Seattle sports scene is devastated. The Mariners are coming off of a horrendous year in which their longest winning streak was a mighty four games, and they finished with the worst record in the American League. The Sonics have moved on to greener pastures, if you’re bold enough to call Oklahoma City as such. The Seahawks finished last season with a record of 4 – 12, which was also the final season for head coach Mike Holmgren.

Looking back at 2008, the year wasn’t pretty in local college sports either. The Washington State University Cougars and the University of Washington Huskies had combined for a record of 2 – 23, with both wins coming from the Cougars. And one of those wins was over the Portland State Vikings (don’t worry, I hadn’t heard of them either).

The other win?  That was over the Huskies in perhaps the least intriguing Apple Cup of all time. So, after removing the win over Portland State, and after removing the Apple Cup, the average game by WSU or UW was lost by an astounding average of 34 points. Maybe next year WSU or UW can try to schedule Bellevue College for a game. Since we don’t have a team, they might actually get a win.

However, there might be a bright spot yet. As I am writing this article, I just watched Endy Chavez and Ken Griffey Jr. hit back-to-back home runs to take the lead 3 – 2 over the Angels, who have dominated the division lately, and it’s made me realize that this team can win. Furthermore, and I can’t believe I’m saying this about the Seattle Mariners, they’re exciting to watch. They might be one big bat away from being a major contender, and I hope I’m not eating my words at the end of the season, but I think this team can be in the running to win the American League West.

There also might be one more bright spot. I never in my wildest dreams thought that a Major League Soccer team could make it in Seattle because of the sport’s lack of popularity here. So far though, they have. They’re also doing something I thought might happen the first game, but didn’t expect to happen every game, and that’s sell out at Qwest Field.

Then there’s the Storm. I, and most other sports fans, can’t even tell you what’s going on with them. I think it was put best by a local student named Jessica Bradley who said, “Storm who?”