By Danny O’Neil
“It’s rare in sports that virtually every move you make works out like you hope it’s going to work out,” owner Paul Allen said Sunday night amidst a raucous Seahawks locker room. “That just doesn’t always happen.”
In fact, it never happens.
At least not in Seattle over the past 30 some odd years in which prolonged bouts of professional mediocrity were interrupted only by a truly putrid season every now and again (most often belonging to the Mariners) and the occasional crushing playoff exit of a championship contender.
The SuperSonics finishing with the most regular-season victories in the NBA in 1994 only to lose in the first round. The 2001 Mariners setting an American League record for victories only to fail to reach the World Series. The 2005 Seahawks, their Super Bowl loss and a referee whose name we won’t mention. Even Big Bertha got stuck on a rock last year.
Maybe it’s the ashen taste of those disappointments that sweetens this victory as the Seahawks team that entered this season bearing the weight of unprecedented expectations and somehow succeeded them.
For once in Seattle, things went as hoped.
That was true for Allen, who four years ago decided to hit the reset button on his football franchise, courting Pete Carroll out of USC.
It was true for general manager John Schneider, who could have looked at the team’s success last season and decided to let this contender ripen over time, but instead saw a unique opportunity to make a trio of aggressive open-market acquisitions, first trading for receiver Percy Harvin and then signing defensive linemen Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett in free agency.
And it was true for an entire city full of fans, whose optimism entering the season was fulfilled by a team that won the franchise’s first Super Bowl in Allen’s 16th season as owner.
After it was over, and Allen’s team won a title, he was asked what this meant to him personally.
“It’s just an unbelievable feeling,” Allen said. “I just think about all the fans, and the players and the coaches. I’m just really happy for them and everybody else in the organization that’s worked so hard to make this possible. When you become the owner of a franchise, you really are representing the community and you’re trying to do your best to represent your community and bring the community a winning team.
“So when you win a championship, you have to feel pretty good about the job you’ve done.”
Actually, Allen and this team that was assembled have every reason to feel even better than that.