A GRIP ON SPORTS
If you want to know what's going on in the boardrooms on Wall Street, or whether inflation is going to return or if bond prices are headed down, then Forbes Magazine's website is probably a good place to start. But if you wonder what is the most miserable sports city in America, the website might not pop into you head as the go-to spot. Yet, Forbes has a list. And a nearby metropolis is on it. Read on.
• OK, not just on it, but atop the list. Yep, Forbes says Seattle is America's most miserable sports city. Ahead of Atlanta, Phoenix and Buffalo, for goodness sakes. Now, putting aside the fact Buffalo should be dinged at least 1.4 million points for just being Buffalo – I spent a weekend there once covering the NCAA Tournament, so that qualifies me as an expert on all things Buffalo under the sports writer rules of engagement – is there anyway Seattle is the most miserable American sports city? Sure there is. When was the last time a Seattle sporting season actually finished with you, the typical fan, feeling upbeat? Sure, you could answer last NFL season, because the Hawks seem to be on the rise, but wouldn't you have felt better if they actually had, you know, defeated Atlanta? Heck, the last time – the only time – a Seattle professional sports team actually won it all was 1979 (pictured). That's so long ago I wasn't even married yet and, in about a week Kim and I will celebrate an anniversary that demands I buy some sort of precious metal to earn brownie points. Talk about a distant memory. (No, not our wedding; that is seared in my mind thanks to a hotter-than-Hades church - and my beautiful bride, of course.) There is a whole generation of Washington sports fans who have grown up without a championship team to call their own. Sure, there has been some college success in Seattle since the SuperSonics blasted the Bullets, but only a certain percentage of folks in Seattle root for the local university, while everyone rallies around a pro sports team. Heck, it's been so long since the last pro title the home team no longer exists (though it was reincarnated this spring for about 37 seconds) and the visiting team in that title series has a different name. So it isn't hard to see why Forbes would put Seattle atop its list. But what will knock it off the top spot? It won't be the Sonics, at least not for a while. Or the Mariners, unless some miracle happens down the stretch. The Sounders could chip in with a championship, but I doubt this is their season and that even if it were, it would move the needle much. So that leaves the Hawks, who each day seem to move further from the contender ranks to the boy-that-was-a-disappointing-season list. Though the offseason was filled with hope and expectation, ever since training camp began I've been getting these feelings of trepidation. Maybe it's Percy Harvin's injury. Maybe it's Pete Carroll's seemingly forced smile. Or maybe, just maybe, it's 30 years of following Seattle pro sports teams. I've come to expect the worst. Or, as Forbes puts it, the most miserable.
• WSU: Yes, I could take a cheap shot here and use a line like “speaking of most miserable …” but I won't. Though the last few football seasons would have to be pretty high on someone's most miserable list. Anyhow, what are the best- and worst-case scenarios for the Cougars this football season? Ted Miller of ESPN.com has his thoughts. The Pac-12 blog also has a video interview with Mike Leach and ranks the conference's cornerbacks. … There is some Pac-12 Network news, though it has nothing to do with DirectTV.
• Idaho: Speaking of recruits, Vandal coach Don Verlin announced three more for this season, which makes the 2013 class about as large a one school could have. Josh Wright has a blog post and a story.
• Indians: Spokane's woes were nothing a little extra home cooking couldn't cure, as the Indians defeated Salem-Keiser 6-4 in 11 innings last night. Chris Derrick was at Avista and has a game story and a blog post.
• Youth: Greg Lee introduces you to the Coeur d'Alene Little Leaguers who will be trying to be the first North Idaho group to get to Williamsport.
• Mariners: The trade deadline came and went before the M's began their game in Boston last night. And though, just a few weeks before, Seattle would be big-time sellers, Wednesday's lineup included all the names we sort of expected to be gone: Michael Morse, Kendrys Morales, Raul Ibanez. It didn't matter, though. The M's lost 5-4 to the Red Sox in 15 innings. … The M's made one minor deal but hope to be able to re-sign many of their veterans. Hope is all we have, right?
• Seahawks: The big news yesterday, again, was Harvin's injury and what it means to the Hawks' offense. Everyone seems to be downplaying the significance but, really, how could it not hurt? Throughout the offseason there was nothing but chatter about how much Harvin would mean to Russell Wilson and his receiving corps. Now that Harvin's out, it isn't that much of a big deal? I'm not buying. … A couple of defensive players are just happy to be in Seattle.
• The Forbes' piece got me to wondering. If the magazine ranked smaller cities, would Spokane be on a most miserable sports town list? I don't think so. Not with events like Bloomsday and Hoopfest around. And there is that college basketball team that seems to win its league every year. Until later …