Going into the last weekend of August, the Seattle Mariners were the third-best team in baseball—and in a great position to win either the AL Wild Card or the AL West.
Ichiro was up to his usual heroics, Felix Hernandez was getting hot, the bullpen was coming together—everything seemed to be in place for a postseason game or two at Safeco Field.
With the Mojo Risin', people in Seattle even started to compare the 2007 M's to the 2001 version—a team that won a record-tying 116 regular-season games.
Then something went wrong.
The flame stopped burning. The heart stopped beating. The players stopped playing.
Seattle lost eight straight, then lost another five after winning one. At the end of the Mariners' 1-13 run, both the Yankees and Tigers had passed them in the Wild Card race (with the former taking a five-game lead), and the Angels had shored up the division with a nine-game cushion.
That's how it goes for Seattle sports teams.
The Mariners had greatness in their grasp...but they let it go. They embarrassed their city—just as they had six years before, when those record-setting M's fell four games to one to the Yankees in the 2001 ALCS.
It may not be glamorous, it may not be a great sports story—but for fans in the Pacific Northwest, the Mariners' collapse said all that needed saying about the year 2007.