Finding Hope For The Seattle Sports Fan

Let me answer my own question before I even ask: Probably not.

But like, remember Scott Spiezio?

You know, barely replacement level infielder, but started 112 games in 2004? Hit .215 and found his way to a whopping 127 whole bases?

Maybe?

Well, what about Jerome James?

Made 5.5 million dollars and averaged 4.9 points per game in his only year as a full time starter? Yes?

Don’t make me mention Jeff Cirillo. David Bell was just fine…so believably just fine.

So it goes in Seattle, Washington.

Seattle is an objectively wonderful place to live. You’ve got the surrounding mountains and three months of Mediterranean paradise-style weather, the casual sarcasm and inexplicable-to-others pronunciation of “bagel,” and, of course, the innate seasonal affective disorder that, like an injection of snake venom, act as immunization against seasonal affective disorder.

All of this bounty!

And yet, bounty aside: these teams; these oppressive, disappointing, needy goddamn teams.

If I have any trust issues, it’s thanks to the Mariners, Sonics and Seahawks. (Sorry, The Sounders and Storm, but honestly, caring enough about you to be hurt is a little much for me.) Just when you think you’ve found a childhood hero in Bucky Jacobsen, you realize that you’ve really got, well, Bucky Jacobsen.

And yes. Before I go any further: yes. There have been highlights, glorious, triumphant, tearfully-Snapchatting-your-brother highlights.

Felix Hernandez’s Perfect Game. I was there, yo. Like three rows behind the Mariners’ dugout. Some guy behind us started smirking to his friend about it in like the 6th inning. Didn’t matter. No jinx. (Forever thanks to my Aunt for not using her tickets that day…)

The Seahawks playoff-run last year. The tearful Snapchat coming soon after Michael Crabtree did not in fact know better than to enter Richard Sherman’s no flex (end) zone. “I’ve literally never been happier in my life,” I think I said. “Literally,” of course, in the literal sense.

2001 Mariners. I’ve watched “Sweet 116” enough to warp the VHS tape. Ichiro was so unbelievably cool and good. Bret Boone taught me how to reupholster my head and neck aesthetics (Frosted Tips and Puka Shells: An Elementary School Odyssey). Jamie Moyer was at one of my basketball games that year. I guarded his kid. Salad days.

Moments of ecstasy aside, the winningest regular season in American League history drags us right back to the heartbreak and mistrust. We overextended our luck. Could’ve still won the division with 103 wins. Could’ve put those 13 others to good use in the playoffs. It could’ve worked. Think about it. Think about it for thirteen years. They square us up, knock us down, and then offer an increasingly shaky hand up again.

See, the most remarkable thing about the Seahawks over the last few years was that they were ostensibly made up of the same cast of castoffs we’ve seen year-in-and-year-out on the Mariners and, before that, the Sonics (ripriprip). How were these guys going to be any different than the Richie Sexson-Adrian Beltre Mariners?

Things don’t work out up here: Antwan Randle-El throws a touchdown to beat you in the Superbowl and then Kevin Durant’s only here for a year. No matter how well things seems to be rolling along and trending upward, the two-headed Sisyphus that is Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong will find a way to let go of the boulder.   

These are the realities: you get to win 93 games and miss the playoffs, or go 7-9 and win the division. Robert Swift gets drafted instead of Al Jefferson around here. This is the cycle. There’s no escape.

I can’t even imagine what horrific fate awaits us now that the Seahawks are world champions. That was over the line. We got greedy. Please, Ethereal Justice System Charged With Correcting Universal Imbalance, since you’re reading, don’t do something crazy like discontinuing Rainier. What will sixteen-year-olds drink? They can’t have spodies every weekend!

So yes, maybe there’s no escape and we’re doomed to be left, doomed to be disappointed, fated to live mostly in moments of failure. But while you remember the agony that was watching the Thunder make the finals or Adam Jones become an All-Star in Baltimore, remember that your constituency purchases the most sunglass sales per capita, despite our 294 overcast days a year.

Among the emotional wreckage, there’s always a glimmer of hope.

This is why, despite the Scott Spiezios, Jerome James’, Jeff Cirillos and Robert Swifts of the world, I still have to believe that Dustin Ackley is the answer in center field, that Russell Wilson will be back in the Superbowl this February, one 10-yard scramble at a time and that, by 2018, the Sonics will exist once again. For every eight months of grey and 40, a 70-and-cloudless three. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – Jamie Varon

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