When I first moved to Seattle, all I would hear from the local fans is how difficult it is to be a Seattle fan.
Then the Seahawks won the Super Bowl.
C’mon, how hard can this be?
Well, since that time, being a Seattle sports fan pretty much parallels life; whenever you think something good is going to happen, well it doesn’t.
This past week was pretty much the epiphany of this.
First off, the Mariners were in line to sign the Japanese Babe Ruth; Shoehi Ohtani. The Mariners have had a long history with Japanese superstars, they had the most international money to offer, and Ohtani was rumored in saying he wants to play for a west coast small market city where he would be the star. Not only did he not sign with the Mariners, he signed with their arch rivals the Angels. So much for being in a small market and being the best player on a team with Mike Trout.
Secondly, after a great win versus the Eagles last week, the Seahawks were pining for a high seed in the playoffs as they visited the Jags. Well, not on;y did they play a poo game and lost on a 4th and 6 where there was an egregious holding call, they lost their best player (after losing 4 other Pro Bowlers) Bobby Wagner in the 3rd, where the Jags scored on three straight plays…..yes 3 straights PLAYS the moment Wags was out, and probably won’t make the playoffs.
Finally, the Sounders made the finals to play for back-to-back MLS titles. They lost. Badly.
Honestly, these type of high hopes that get dashed in the 11th hour is commonplace here. Whether it is things I have recently experienced such as the M’s barely not making the playoffs twice, Felix getting ripped off a Cy Young in 2014, or the obvious worst thing that ever happened in Seattle sports history in February 2015. Or events of the past such as the 1994 Sonics losing to the 8th seed Nuggets (having the best record and Michael Jordan being put on suspension for gambling), the Sonics making the finals the year the Bulls were unbeatable in 1996, the Sonics fucking leaving the city with the founder of Starbucks stabbing them in the back, the Mariners winning a record 116 games and still remain 1 of 2 teams to NEVER even make a World Series, etc etc. Lucy yanking out that football before Charlie gets to kick it is more the norm than the exception.
At first that vexes me; I’m tired of being a sports victim. I want to win!! And 2013 made me feel like a winner. But not any more.
Then I realized that in order to be a proper Seattle fan, I have to experience the pain. Because without the years and years of misery, I don’t deserve the spoils. Now I get to feel what it is like to be one of the long time fans here. Sure, it will never be exactly the same as being here for 40+ years, but this level of frustration has at least opened the door for me to become a proper fan of Seattle. Or at least gets me on the waiting list. That makes me feel more in tune with the city; I feel victimized and like a big stupid fool now, just like you. Not such a bad thing. :)
Now the big rumor around here is that Seattle will be getting an NHL team. The arena has been approved for 2020 and all the paperwork for an expansion franchise has been filled out. Let’s see if Lucy leaves that ball in place this time.