For the second year in row Seattle has earned Forbes’ “America’s Most Miserable Sports City”. Atlanta came in second and Phoenix in third, but hey at least ATL and PHX have basketball teams.
Here is an excerpt of the Forbes article:
The Seattle sports scene isn’t exactly hopping these days. Baseball’s Mariners haven’t been in the playoffs since 2001, while the NFL Seahawks are 9-23 over the past two seasons, a distressing slide for the football club following a five-year run of postseason appearances that failed to bring a championship.
Both franchises, born a year apart in the mid-1970s, are still searching for their first titles despite qualifying for the playoffs a combined 14 times. In 109 cumulative sports seasons for all Seattle pro teams, the city has only won one title. The franchise responsible for that lone championship a distant 31 years ago, the NBA Supersonics, left for Oklahoma City two years ago, lured by a better arena deal. It’s left local fans to watch ESPN highlights of prized 2007-08 Sonic rookie Kevin Durant light up opponents in an Oklahoma City Thunder uniform. Add it all up, and Seattle is America’s most miserable sports city for a second straight year.
All of this on the heels of an alleged story that one of our beloved sports icons, Ken Griffey, Jr., was asleep in the clubhouse when he was supposed to be called on to pinch-hit. Meanwhile an article on ESPN is “Scripting Griffey’s Final Chapter.” Do I need to mention that the Mariners lost today by giving up a grand slam in the 8th inning to the lowly Baltimore Orioles?
A few days ago I gave the rundown of some questionable moments in Seattle sports ownership/management history. A good friend of mine responded to the post by saying:
“…I just wish Seattle as a whole (fans & writers) would be a little more critical about how we really feel instead of being so soft and lenient. I really think that if we weren’t so nonchalant about things, we might have a championship by now. It’s not like we don’t have the money to spend and the intelligence to make dumb decisions in the office. Take Boston or NY and the love to their team. They (fans & writers) are critical and demand more from the teams and because they are, they get it! Just sayin!”
At first I was a little upset that my friend would even bring up Boston or NY. Of course my friend is not as diehard as I am, he’s been known to rep teams from other states and cities (such as the Angels, seriously dude? Division rivals?). But I can sense the frustration. ESPN ran an article about the 2008 sporting year in Seattle. Outside the Lines titled the article “The Worst Year Ever: Think the last 12 months were rough? It could be worse. You could be a sports fan in Seattle.” Maybe that will help some of you understand why I become unnaturally quiet during some sporting seasons or after games… Life is ROUGH as a Seattle sports fan.
But will I settle for any more mediocrity? No. In fact some of my friends have called me out for my critical opinions of our sports teams as of late. Such as the Hawks hiring of Pete Carroll (may work out) and the lack of bats the M’s picked up in the off-season (hasn’t worked out). They look at it like I am no longer am excited about Seattle sports.
To the contrary. I LOVE Seattle sports, but I’m just upset that we’re looked upon as such deadbeats. My friend is right, we have the resources. Nintendo owns the Mariners and Paul Allen owns the Seahawks. Now the season is young for the Mariners, but let me be a realist, we have a lot of work to do (thankfully we’re in the lowly AL West). There are a lot of question marks for the Seahawks heading into the upcoming season, and though it’s a new regime and we’re “rebuilding” I’ll be quite upset if we don’t make a run in the lowly NFC West. Man seriously; thank goodness we play in the weakest divisions… Yet we still can’t win them, I’m getting slightly sad here.
But, fo real. Something needs to happen with our professional sports teams. Our teams may be indicative of the city, in that we’re just happy to be a part of the dance. But that’s more of the older ilk. My generation of fans is hungry. We’re hungry for a National Championship and another run into the Super Bowl. We were teased in 2005. If there’s one thing I’m sure if, is that Seattleites don’t take shit and don’t like to be teased. So to the Sounders, the Mariners, and the Seahawks… I’m begging you to help us stop getting teased. I’m not quite ready to call you out, but I am. I won’t give up on my teams, but at least let me be interested past the halfway point of any season.
More so I want the management and the owners to be as passionate as the fans are. They should not wait until there is a hole in the team to fix it. They should be proactive. They should not wait until we hit rock bottom. They should constantly be rebuilding, improving their farm system. Seattle is a city that is built on innovation, thinking outside of the box, being dynamic and creative… our owners and management should embrace that and use our ideals in the team foundations. To steal the line from Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” Seattle fans have been coming for decades and are notorious for having one of the loudest fan base in the NFL. Let’s break this losing mold and let’s cheer for victories instead of final farewells for old icons.
More often then not you’ll see me, a proud alum rockin a University of Washington hat or one from any sports team in Seattle. You know why, because I’m not from NY, Boston or LA. I’m from Washington and I’m damn proud of it. And though I’ve suffered mild lapses of depression such as after Super Bowl XL (I think I may have suffered permanent depression because of that), I will always rep the home teams. Even when I was living in California, even during 2008 I wore my purple and gold or blue and green.
Memories of my family yelling at the TV screen as Steve Largent perfected the tiptoe sideline catch, paving the way for Madden video game grabs. Barkin with the Dawg Pack when the Huskies won the 1992 Rose Bowl and split the National Championship with Miami. Joining a collective “Ohhhhhhhhh!” as Shawn Kemp delivered a monster dunk only thought imaginable on NBA Jam Tournament Edition. Skipping classes and jumping with exuberance as the M’s beat the Yankees in 1995 to get to the ALCS. All hallmarks of my sporting youth, but none of which I will ever forget. Sure we may be lacking in a major championship in my lifetime, but Washington sports run deep in my blood.
But I’m no longer going to live on a hope that something may happen in any given sports season. I want action, I want change, I WANT to be disappointed when we don’t get to a conference championship or lose a bowl game. That’s how it was for me growing up… and now that I’m a bit older (still not grown up) and I’m a bit more invested, with memorabilia and various bets (I mean tickets) I don’t want to rep the title of “America’s Most Miserable Sports City” I want to smash Pennsylvania’s feat of having the Stanley Cup, Super Bowl trophy and winning the World Series. Oh wait; we don’t have an NHL or NBA team… Go Sounders?
Oh the life of Seattle sports fan. Hey, if anything we’ve built character and are true fans that don’t jump on the bandwagon just because our teams are winning… because quite frankly, it’s been a long time and we’re still fans.