Could the end of the string of Seattle sports catastrophes finally be upon us?

Article by Jerod Allen

As the 2008 calendar year draws to a close, fans of Seattle sports breathe a collective sigh of relief. For those who root for Emerald City teams, this year can't end quickly enough.

To review the last three major professional team seasons in Seattle:

  • Mariners: 61-101, .377

  • Sonics: 20-62, .244

  • Seahawks (through week 14): 3-11, .214

So the Mariners, with their robust 38% rate of victory, have been by far the most successful franchise in Seattle in the past year. Of course, they had to spend over $100 million to reel off wins at that clip, which comes in at about $1.5 million per victory.

Throw in the historically bad University of Washington Huskies football team, and the four teams are a collective 102 games under .500 (84-186).

But, as everyone knows who suffered through this year—not just the worst year in Seattle sports history, but arguably the worst sports year any city has endured since Rome was overrun by the Vandals in 455 AD—the collective winning rates of these four teams is just the tip of the iceberg. An abbreviated list:

  • The Mariners become the first MLB team with a $100 million payroll to lose 100 games in a season.

  • The Sonics are unceremoniously relocated to Oklahoma City with the extremely vocal support of NBA commissioner David Stern.

  • The once-proud Huskies complete the second-ever winless season by an FBS program in college football history.

As 2008 winds down, however, some small signs of hope have begun to emerge for each team:

  • The Mariners finally fired Bill Bavasi, the architect of the patchwork, overpriced recent incarnation of the team, and brought in a new GM who immediately set to work at building the team back into a contender with timely trades and draft preparation.

  • The Huskies hired a new head coach from USC, one of the pre-eminent football factories in the country; young, energetic, and a solid recruiter, Steve Sarkisian has breathed new life into the program.

  • The Seahawks will get their highest draft pick in a decade and are in line to take Michael Crabtree from Texas Tech, one of the most exciting wide receiver prospects to come out of college in recent years. Not only is Crabtree a rare talent, he fills an extreme need for the 'Hawks, who saw their season derailed by multiple injuries to wide receivers early in the year.

  • Finally, even though the Sonics are gone, fans can find sour-grape solace in the fact that the Oklahoma City Thunder are on pace for the worst record in NBA history and have already started bleeding money in a struggling local and national economy.

In the past year, Seattle sports fans have come to expect the worst; as each team resets for 2009 with new leadership and optimism, the series of events that represented the worst year for a city in sports history will soon be but a distant memory.

We hope.

Comments

1

Let's not forget the incoming Sounders FC. They have an ownership group that is dedicated to bringing a winning team to Seattle. They just hired a great coach with an amazing track record. They also have a huge number of season ticket holders.

4

:- )
Matt, you're aware, right, that SSI is a Klat-network site, designed by them to address all sports and to which all of their writers have access.
:chuckling:
Kind of pictured the D-O-V crowd looking around and going, "Huh?!" when this occurred :- )

5

What...my knowing nothing about the Sounders is going to hurt your business? :)
If so, I apologize in advance. LOL
That wasn't meant as a slap at Klat or at you for commenting on sports outside of the Mariners and MLB...feel free, bro. I lightly follow the Seahawks, am a die-hard NY Rangers fan (NHL) and avoid the NBA like a plague, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy commentary on other sports.

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