Gallant: Seattle sports have their own versions of Tom Brady in a Bucs jersey
On Tuesday, I saw something that truly saddened me. I saw Tom Brady – the man who gave this sports fan everything – wearing his new team’s jersey.
It wasn’t photoshopped. It was real. And I felt like a man who’d found out on Instagram that his ex had happily moved on to someone else.
WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE IN MY FACE ABOUT IT, TOM?
🚨 *NOT* a jersey swap 🚨
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) June 16, 2020
So I challenged you people. The brave souls who can withstand more than 10 minutes deep in the abyss of Twitter. Show me a picture of your favorite athlete playing for another team, and tell me if you were able to root for him in those different threads.
Ken Griffey Jr., Gary Payton, and Marshawn Lynch were the most popular answers, with Randy Johnson, Richard Sherman, and Ichiro Suzuki not too far behind. But more on them later. These Seattle sports-related answers really jumped out.
The most depressing sports photo of all time
Whoever picked this photo for Shawn Kemp’s 2002-03 Orlando Magic team picture was MEAN. Though they may have been foreshadowing that it was to be his last year in the league.
Seeing this photo ruined my day the way Jim McIlvaine’s contract ruined Kemp’s love of the SuperSonics. The only thing missing from this ASPCAthletes-esque ad is a depressing Sarah McLachlan song in the background.
Is this allowed?
I don’t care how much you like Durant. In a superstar-driven league, rooting for Durant to succeed meant you were rooting for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Yeah, he won them no titles. And it’s fairly amusing that he decided to leave OKC after they’d come so close to beating the 73-win Warriors… for the Warriors. But you can’t root for a team of zombie thieves.
Ken Griffey Jr. in a White Sox uniform is one strange sight. One that leads to a depressing realization: his half season in Chicago was the last time he played in the playoffs. Even worse? He was a member of just three postseason teams over his entire career.
After being a part of the most memorable play in NFL History and four Super Bowls, it’s weird to see Franco Harris in anything other than a Steelers uniform. But you can’t blame him. Pittsburgh played some real hardball with Harris before the 1984 season. They released Harris – who was within 382 yards of Jim Brown’s all-time rushing record – after a 1,000 yard rushing season in 1983. Harris found an opportunity with the Seahawks after Curt Warner tore his ACL, but he unfortunately wasn’t able to break that record here.
And then there was Warren Moon. For me, it’s strange to see Moon playing for anyone other than the Houston Oilers. But after arguably the greatest sports photo of all-time, it’s nice to remember his short stint in Seattle.
A little less nice to remember is Shaun Alexander’s final year in the NFL. Three seasons after leading the league in rushing yards and the Seahawks to the Super Bowl, he ran for just 24 yards on 11 carries in four games with Washington.
I’m not sure what stings the most:
• That he won the Super Bowl.
• That the Seahawks’ pass rush took such a step back without him
• That Seattle is banking on L.J. Collier and Darrell Taylor to replace him.
I guess it’s all of it.
In the other half of this two-part series, which you can read here, we look at eight big Seattle sports stars and whether I would have been able to root for them after they left town for another team.