Will Hawks end Seattle’s stretch of disappointment?
By Jim Moore
Seattle is the capital of sports disappointment. As a native, I know this because I’ve been here for many of the most-recent heart-breaking defeats.
When you reach the age of 56, as I have, you’re somewhat of a historian – at least compared to all of the youngsters running around at the station.
The last time a Seattle sports franchise reached a pro sports title game, fans were left disillusioned by a Super Bowl loss to the Steelers that featured numerous questionable calls. (AP)
They weren’t alive the last time a Seattle team won a championship, when the Sonics beat Washington in the 1979 NBA Finals.
That was so long ago that Washington was called the Bullets then; they’re the Wizards now.
I watched the Game 5-clinching series win in Ketchikan, Alaska, with Bob Norton in his apartment on Fairy Chasm Road. He was my landlord and best friend in Ketchikan.
Bob grew up on Mercer Island and was a huge Seattle sports fan. We celebrated into the night after the Sonics won the NBA championship.
I will be thinking of Bob on Sunday when the Seahawks end Seattle’s 35-year championship drought by defeating the Broncos in the Super Bowl.
Bob died of ALS a few years ago, and I know how excited he would be to see his Seahawks in the big game.
Between 1979 and now, think of everything that’s happened and how close the Sonics, Mariners and Seahawks have come to winning championships from time to time.
•Sonics: They had their best run in the ’90s, reaching the NBA Finals in 1996 after beating Utah in the Western Conference Finals.
Going into the Finals against the Bulls, who went 72-10 in the regular season, they were underdogs who lost the first three games of the series.
But after they won the next two games, you started to feel like maybe they could win Game 6 and 7 and become one of the greatest NBA teams of all-time.
I still wonder if it could have happened if Nate McMillan were healthy in that series. As you know, Michael Jordan’s team won Game 6 and took the series.
The Sonics also set the tone for Seattle sports disappointment in 1994 when they went 63-19 and became the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 8 seed in the playoffs.
When the Seahawks beat the Broncos on Sunday, it will be payback 20 years later for what the Nuggets did to the Sonics.
And now to think we don’t even have the Sonics anymore.
•Mariners: The miraculous late-season run in 1995 might be the most memorable sports stretch in Seattle history. They rallied to tie the Angels for first place in the AL West and won the one-game playoff in the Kingdome.
They then beat the Yankees on Edgar Martinez’ 11th-inning double in Game 5 of the AL Division Series but lost to Cleveland in the ALCS.
And in 2001, they were 116-46 and huge favorites to at least go to the World Series if not win it all. But they lost to the Yankees in the ALCS in another “well, it figures” moment in Mariners’ history.
•Seahawks: In 1983, Chuck Knox’s team shocked Dan Marino and the Dolphins in Miami and moved one step from the Super Bowl but lost to the Raiders in Los Angeles in the AFC Championship Game.
It took another 22 years before they returned to their next conference championship game against Carolina. As you know, the Seahawks beat the Panthers and went on to the Super Bowl, where the officials and Steelers took the Lombardi Trophy away from them.
So here we are, on the verge of finally ending all of this talk about the past.
I’m looking forward to seeing Pete Carroll hoisting the Lombardi Trophy with a smile that stretches all the way to Seattle.
Then the championship parade through downtown with the 12th man lining the sidewalks, people and confetti everywhere.
Then discussion about the future for a change: Can they win another Super Bowl next year? Can they build a dynasty? Can this be happening here? After all that we’ve been through? Really?
Can all of this feel-good stuff extend to the Mariners? And a return of the Sonics?
The vibe of “nothing’s possible” is about to change to “all things possible” thanks to the Seahawks.
The Go 2 Guy also writes for his website jimmoorethego2guy.com and kitsapsun.com. You can reach Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.