To the good people at Forbes magazine who annually rank Seattle as the most miserable sports city in America, here's a message from the left corner -- please insert your rankings in a place where the sun never ventures. Then hide there yourselves.
Should the Seahawks beat the 49ers Sunday in San Francisco, giddiness is forecasted to go from tropical storm to Category 3 hurricane. Nearly simultaneous news Friday morning of the signing of football coach Chris Petersen by the University of Washington and the presumptive acquisition of free agent Robinson Cano by the Mariners made for one of the most astonishing days in the history of Seattle sports — certainly in the Non-Game Outcome division.
If you're a Seattle sports fan, you've have already been chastened by your non-sports friends to calm down, take a deep breath and chill because nothing has been won yet. To whom you undoubtedly retorted, "You putrid pile of compost! I know that. It's about what can happen. I know what was — we always suck. These day is about what could be."
Anticipation is the lifeblood of a sports fan. Event outcomes can turn good or bad, but anticipation, when created, is what sustains from season to season, generation to generation. By their annual natures, sports teams are accorded at least modest degrees of optimism by some fans every year.
And as longtime fans know, there is historically no place more anticipation-free in sports than Seattle, where championships come along as frequently as ice ages. The arrivals of major talents such as Petersen and Cano signal that moribund franchises — the Huskies have not been to the Rose Bowl since 2001, the same year the Mariners last made the playoffs — understand clearly that moves must be busted.
The timing is, of course, coincidental. But there is a connection between the moves: TV revenue. Boxcars of it.
Since the 2012 advent of the Pac-12 Networks, the demon spawn of the marriage among ESPN, Fox Sports and revenue-starved colleges, each conference school is guaranteed at least $23 million annually, which is a decent upgrade from the $4 milllion to $10 million the various schools pulled down before they conspired to become their own broadcast outlet.