As the clock to 2008 strikes down, walking down the streets of Seattle, you can feel a sense of no magic in the air. Kanye West's new album sounds like him whining the whole time, but that's not even the worst of what you can hear from the streets of the people of the Great Emerald City.
We wonder, what the heck happened?
I lived in the Seattle area my whole life, I've been watching these teams since I was five-years-old. I watched the Mariners' first trip to the American League Championship Series. I watched Gary Payton and the Seattle Supersonics take on the the great Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the 1996 NBA Finals. Yup, the Seattle glory days.
ESPN likes to predict things that will likely not happen.
Headline says: "Seattle Mariners will likely go win the AL West, win at least 90 games, beat the Angels, and make it to their first World Series run."
Headline says: "Seattle Seahawks will most likely win the NFC West."
Headline says: "The Washington Huskies will win least half of their games this year."
Little did we know the M's 2007 season would be a fluke, that the SoDo MoJo would run out fast when they signed Carlos Silva to a multi-year contract, let go of the dead weight of Richie Sexson, and let go of John McLaren from their managerial staff after his great pep talk to the people of Seattle.
If you'd like to hear it, it's some of the best things I've heard.(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4xjkYfKuHo)
The Mariners this year have no one from their last year's staff, from bench coaches, to base coaches, to the bullpen, they had totally redone everything. Ending their season (61-101), the first team to get eliminated out of the American League Playoff Race.
The Seattle Seahawks, prone to injury for some odd reason this season, had Matt Hasselbeck sidelined for almost the entire season. At one point even their backup Seneca Wallace was out, which brought out their third string quarterback Charlie Frye, who used to be QB for the mediocre Cleveland Browns. The Hawks were 4-11 last time I checked.
The Washington Huskies (I don't even want to talk about it) had high hopes this year having Head Coach Tyrone Willingham, in the hot seat for his team to do better.
Returning quarterback Jake Locker once played against my high school team, Lindbergh vs. Ferndale, and lost 63-7. We had our heads looking up.
But yet, Locker got injured, and just like the Huskies counterparts, the Washington State Cougars had a horrible season. At least WSU won two games.
None of these teams next year have their head coaches coming back. John McLaren got fired from the Mariners, and interim manager Jim Riggleman didn't want to come back to Seattle.
Head Coach Mike Holmgren will finally retire after being one of the best coaches the Seahawks have ever had, and Tyrone Willingham was finally released after his horrible record with the Huskies.
But I hope you haven't forgotten our only championship was also taken away from us, by the owner of what we're famous for.
The Seattle Supersonics were sold by Howard Schultz, the owner of Starbucks Coffee, who made a $150 million dollar profit off of the team and for some reason "Didn't know they (Clay Bennett) were going to move them."
Everyone knows that was a flat-out lie. Bennett hijacked the 41-year-old franchise and moved them to the dust bowl named Oklahoma City. Along with that took the history that was the Seattle Supersonics, and ever promising rookie, Kevin Durant.
But if you look at the upside the Seatt-Oklahoma City Superso-Thunder, are 3-25, making them one of the worst teams in the NBA today. But yet they still play in front of a packed arena.
In 2008, we also lost a huge part to the city, Tuba Man. You could hear him play almost anything, before a major sporting event, setting the tune for the city. He was jumped by five teenagers, and died a week later. Sports fans and city leaders from all around Seattle came together and honored him.
So, there is a silver lining to every cloud, the Seattle Storm is still here, with their 2004 WNBA Championship, but not a lot of sports fans count it as a major championship because they were not part of the first few teams to start.
The Washington Huskies Cross Country team had won the NCAA Championship. Seattle University has started playing in D-I basketball, and has won a few games to date. And also the Seattle Sounders are starting play at Qwest Field in Spring 2009.
So, 2009 the people of Seattle welcome you with Open Arms (Journey reference) and I pray the new coaches and players can make something out of my city. Now, I just hope we can hijack the Los Angeles Clippers, now that would be something.