SEAHAWKS WINNING SUPER BOWLS WILL HELP PUT SEATTLE’S SPORTS BACK ON MAP - The last time one of Seattle’s major franchises had a parade to celebrate a title came in 1979 when the SuperSonics won the NBA title and no one on the Seahawks current roster was born. To call Seattle’s championship history thin is an understatement. The crushing losses along the way have become so plentiful that disappointment has become the default expectations for most fans in the area.
But this years’ Seahawks team is different. And maybe that’s why there is so much support behind the Super Bowl-bound team.
While Seahawks fans are puffing out their chest with swagger and bravado, they don’t seem to overdo it. It’s hard to brag on a national scale when the only professional titles won over the past 30-plus years came from your WNBA franchise.
That’s not to belittle what the Seattle Storm accomplished, winning championships in 2004 and 2010. But it’s not something that registers.
Even the success of the Seattle Sounders, winning two U.S. Open Cup championships and becoming the model for expansion success doesn’t resonate beyond a select audience. Creating a world-respected soccer atmosphere is an achievement fans in Seattle take great pride about. Yet, it remains a blip on a broader scale.
That’s why this group of Seahawks has taken hold of Seattle and the entire Pacific Northwest the same way music like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and others swallowed the region in the late 1980s and early 90s. They have fun. They dance. They brag. They ride the thin border between confident and cocky and their coach encourages all those traits.
They are the antithesis of what Seattle has been. And because of that, their legions have grown exponentially. The “12th Man” is real that has engulfed far more than just Seattle and the Puget Sound region.
While most feel that the Seahawks have become the ‘bandwagon team’ of the year. That is far from the truth. True Seahawks fans have always rallied around their team. Through the losses and wins, through the ups and downs. Seattle sports fans are truly some of the best fans in America.
This version of the Seahawks also differs because they’ve managed so far to meet the expectations heaped upon them. They haven’t teased as teams in the past 20 years have.
They are not the 1994 Seattle SuperSonics who had the best record in the NBA during the regular season then became the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 8 seed in the opening round of the playoffs.
They aren’t the 1995 Seattle Mariners, a feel-good story that helped save baseball in the Northwest by rallying from 13 games behind in August to win the AL West title then stunned the New York Yankees in a five-game division series victory but could go no further.
They’re not the 1996 Sonics who had the misfortune of running into the 72-win Bulls in the NBA finals.
And they aren’t the 2001 Mariners who tied the major league record with 116 regular-season wins but were no answer for the Yankees in the postseason.
It wasn’t that long ago sports in Seattle had sunk to a point where it was in consideration as the most miserable sports town in the country. The 2008 year was exceptionally bad, the uppercuts coming one after another. It all started with the SuperSonics leaving Seattle after 41 years and relocating to Oklahoma City in the summer of 2008, a blow with wounds that still sting more than five years later. The Mariners lost 101 games with a payroll of more than $100 million. The Washington football team went 0-12 during the 2008 season and the Seahawks were 4-12.
There is optimism on the horizon — beyond just the Seahawks. There remain hopes of the NBA coming back and with it, an NHL franchise. The Mariners lured Robinson Cano away from New York as a free agent in the offseason. And the Sounders have one of the best American players in Clint Dempsey.
Yet all that hope will have a crowning achievement if the Seahawks can beat Denver and claim their first Super Bowl title. (Photo: USA TODAY Sports)
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