Its that time again….that time where all local sports talk radio focuses on one thing and forgets about all other sports in the region. That time where all heads turn to a little practice facility on the east side of Seattle metro. That time where the local BMOC’s suit up and get ready to represent the Emerald City the right way.
This past Saturday, the Seahawks started training camp to 30,000 fans. On the surface that sounds crazy; 30,000 to see a staged practice?
Well, hang on to your butts…..all 12 practices open to the public were sold out in 45 minutes ($7 a pop). Yes, all 30,000 seats for 12 practices (day practices mind you, during work hours) are sold out.
To put that in perspective, the Mariners game last night versus the Red Sox (a popular team nationally that only come once a season) pulled in 25,240.
That doesn’t seem right, huh. I mean the baseball game is an actual real game that counts. Football practice, well, it is not even a real practice; more like a little show for the fans.
But I say it does seem right.
First off, the M’s play 81 home games. 81 games? A little overkill, huh. The Hawks only play 8 home games, 2 preseason, and the median ticket price is $300+ (second highest in the league). This may be the only chance you get to see Richard Sherman mouth off live or Russell Wilson pose for the media in person.
Secondly, the M’s are possibly the worst franchise in all of sports since their inception in 1977. Only 12 winning seasons out of 39, 4 playoff appearances, currently have the longest playoff drought in all of sports (15 years), and have zero World Series appearances. Only the Expos/Nats can challenge that level of futility. On the other hand, the Hawks are really good at the game of football. I would argue in the last 11 seasons, the Hawks have had the best run of any NFC team; 3 Super Bowl appearances, should have won 2, made the playoffs 8 times during that span, 4 playoff appearances in a row, and have become the ‘it’ team in the NFL.
Thirdly, baseball sucks compared to football. It just does. I like baseball. I really do. But football is so amazing. Yes there are certainly issues with the NFL; owners behaving badly, concussion danger, the pass interference rule, etc. But wow, Sunday is truly Funday here in Seattle. And really across other intelligent and awesome cities.
I won’t bog you down with wonky impressions of the Hawks this coming season (that will be in the ‘Sports’ section once Sept 11th hits), but let’s just say being in a city with a NFL team that is really really good and absolutely captures the attention of the entire city ala Green Bay, Denver, Pittsburgh, and Kansas City is something you don’t fully appreciate unless you live in one of those cities. Buses pass by with Hawks logos, 12th man signs are in over 50% of office windows, people wearing jersey on non Blue-Friday days!! It’s a scene for sure.
A new season, a new chance at a Super Bowl, and a feeling of hope. It’s a good thing. :)