Seattle Sports Push Through Tough Times
During exhausting political and economic times, Americans have always fallen back on sports.
As a nation we've had some fabulous stories to follow over the past year, giving us a great release from our economic trough and political madness. In Seattle, that hasn't been the case.
The SuperSonics were sold by "one of our own," Howard Schultz, to the Oklahoma City businessman who had no intentions of keeping them in town.
The Huskies had one of the worst football teams in the history of college football.
The Mariners created Major League Baseball's 100/100 Club ($100 million payroll, 100 losses).
The Seahawks never seemed to realize the season started.
One of the cities newspapers, the Post-Intelligencer, went under after 146 years in business.
The Seattle Times' Steve Kelly summed it up best: "Then 2008 happened. And Seattle became the country's favorite sports punch line and punching bag."
Kelly has been great to follow throughout the insanity because he pulls no punches and his pulse is in sync with that of the city.
In 2007, he was calling for Jim Mora to replace then-Huskies coach Tyrone Willingham, a dream that never came true.
While there are still no certainties on where the economy is going, it seems Seattle is starting to rebound.
The Huskies didn't get Mora but they did land the high-energy Steve Sarkisian from USC to rebuild the program’s prestige.
Mora will still be a major part of Seattle's sports landscape as coach of the Seahawks, who just landed the most impressive prospect in the 2009 NFL Draft, Aaron Curry.
It's not looking like the Sonics will be coming back to town any time soon but basketball isn't dead in the 206. The Washington Huskies were the Pac-10 Champs this year, winning their first outright league title since the conference’s formation.
Kevin Calabro was the long-time voice of the Sonics and thanks to Seattle's newest pro sports franchise, he won't be collecting food stamps anytime soon.
Calabro is calling the shots for the Seattle Sounders of the MLS. Seattle has always been a very soccer-friendly city, and the team's neon green jerseys can be found packing King County's uprising "soccer bars" on any given night.
I'm sure Calabro is happy with his new job but could he have done better? The Seattle Mist of the Lingerie Football League kick-off in September—a job almost any media member would be happy to cover.
Even with all of the new positives budding in the Pacific Northwest, there has been one that trumps them all.
The return of The Kid.
Kid hardly seems like the proper way to describe a 39 year-old man, but to Seattleites, Ken Griffey Jr. will always be that—and his return had the city buzzing like when the Seahawks made the Super Bowl.
Larry Stone covers the Mariners for the Seattle Times and he summed it up best: "The face may be a bit more weathered, and the body a little more padded. But when he puts on the iconic No. 24 and steps in the box, bat cocked, Griffey still strikes the same imposing image."
Now Griffey, Ichiro, and a cast of unknowns have the Mariners at the top of the AL West.
If at the end of the day you can't handle the ups and downs of the sports world, KJR-AM's Mitch Levy will always host The Bigger Dance to keep you occupied.
It’s Sunday and the sun is shinning in Seattle.
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