Years from now, when Seattle sports fans look back at January 2013, I like to believe they will see it as a critical point when all three major sports franchises finally turned a corner following years of darkness and disappointment.
A time when the Seahawks first showed their ability to make a serious run at a Super Bowl with Russell Wilson at quarterback, a time when the Mariners avoided making the mistake of trading their future ace Taijuan Walker and a time when the Sonics' new ownership finally made strides in securing a team from Sacramento.
Of course, this is all wishful thinking today, but we can hope, right?
Looking back, the month of January was nothing short of a wild rollercoaster ride for Seattle sports fans when you consider all of the things that did and didn't happen.
Between the Seahawks, Mariners and Sonics, it's been an exciting but bumpy ride.
When my wife told me that a deal was in place for the Kings to move to Seattle, I couldn't tell if she was joking or simply trying to console me following the Seahawks' loss in Atlanta the week prior and Justin Upton's rejection of his deal with the Mariners just days before that.
Turns out, the deal with the Maloofs was indeed true, yet we still have a long way to go before anything becomes finalized.
At the same time, I'm genuinely torn.
My heart goes out to the fans in Sacramento—fans who, a little less than a year ago, I urged to continue their fight to keep their team when rumors surfaced about a potential move. Deep down, I believe they should continue to fight, and I wish them the best. If only the city of Seattle had leadership half as decent and well-intended as Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson back in 2007-08.
Is it wrong that, at the same time, I kind of want a t-shirt?
While I'm afraid to jinx things, you have to imagine the folks at Media Fly Creative, especially after being featured on seattlepi.com a few days ago, certainly have customers. Besides serving as a fitting complement to my well worn "Robbed" shirt purchased a few years ago, I'd be supporting the cause to bring the Sonics back without putting money in David Stern's pocket.
Meanwhile, if we're going to talk about merchandising, Nick Eaton at seattlepi.com added more fuel to the fire by asking us what look the team should adopt if it returns.
At this point, I'm tempted to stop, but one other point keeps nagging me.
Do we really want this team?
Beyond the ethics and awkwardness, will fans really be excited to see the Kings in the Sonics' pajamas once they actually get down to playing basketball?
Initially, I'm sure fans will simply be thrilled to see professional basketball again. But unlike the team that left town in 2008, which had Rookie of the Year Kevin Durant and top pick Russell Westbrook, the potential incoming roster from Sacramento looks like a train wreck.
While I'm sure there are a number of fans who will be thrilled to see former University of Washington star Isaiah Thomas return to Seattle, the fact is that the rest of this roster looks dreadful.
Yes, there is some talent, but even the most promising players on the roster—Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins—both come with serious baggage. Granted, beggars can't be choosers, but if the Sonics are reborn, they may want to gut this roster.
Once again we must fight the temptation of getting too far ahead of ourselves. Nothing has been finalized, and I expect the good folks in Sacramento to put up one final fight.
But with the Seahawks done until summer and the Mariners' season still a short way from getting started, it's hard to put the idea of having the Sonics back to rest .
January may have been a wild ride, but February, at the moment, looks to be a real snooze. With all three teams, we will have to wait and see, but I remain hopeful.
Hopeful that we have only begun to bear witness to the greatness of Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. Hopeful that the young Mariners take the guidance of their elders and begin to awaken following a decade of false starts. And hopeful that professional basketball returns to Seattle.
If even one of the three can happen, I will take it as a small win. Anything else after that, I like to think, will make Seattle a great place to enjoy pro sports for the better part of the next decade.
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