Monday, May 30, 2011

Seattle: Where sports fans always get the short end of the stick

It is hard to survive in the Seattle sports scene.

This city has seen generations go by without feeling the recognition of champions.

Teams have been dissolved. Moved. Stolen. Championships have been forgotten, ignored, dropped, and yanked from our clammy hands. Our heroes leave before their time, or stay long enough to become despised. Those most reverent, passionate, loyal members of our family, are taken from us, without ever tasting the glory they so deserve.

Every decade or so we are pitted against the elements, forced to prove we have even a right to exist. To prove that we are more worthy than Milwaukee, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles, or Oklahoma City. No one cares about us, or anyone in our general vicinity. Clubs are given days to prove they work before a personal favor is called in. Even in our own city, we are second-class citizens, sold down the river for an extra buck. Another year of our team means another miracle was pulled out of the hat. We aren’t even allowed the dignity of keeping our pride, our history. WE are all we have.

Few would ask for such a burden. This is not a place where rings are expected. This is a place, a nation, where simply winning a playoff game is the stuff of legends, where making it to that final game is the ultimate goal. It isn’t a burden that a Yankee or a Laker could ever understand.

And yet it is this burden that brings us of the Emerald City together. We are the sixes, the twelves, the rave green. We believe in 137 decibels, and standing for the full 90. When there’s two outs, we say “SO WHAT?”.

Even despite our difficulties, our passion rarely gets its due. We are not respected. We are not recognized. Last on sportscenter, last on primetime, last on our own local news. But still, year after year, we crawl out of the woodwork to see the next runners-up, or who will win it all to the collective shrug of a nation. Other cities have trophies to fall back on when things get tough; we simply have the hope that next year will be just a little bit better. And that’s all we need.