Seahawks Season In Reflection: The Highs, the Lows, And the 12th Man that Never Left

After a year filled with everything from utter disappointment to unbridled elation, the turbulent season of the Seattle Seahawks has finally come to an end.  Accompanied by 284 roster transactions and an unprecedented playoff appearance and subsequent win, the season carried enough emotion to shorten the lifespan of any true-blooded Hawks fan, and had far too many ups and downs to adequately explain in words. However, as a lifelong supporter of the Hawks, I write today urging Hawks’ fans alike to focus on the bigger picture. Take a moment to remove the sour taste Sunday’s loss left in your mouth, pat yourselves on the back, take a deep breath, and recognize the window of opportunity that awaits our beloved Hawks.

It’s undeniable that after the nauseating 2008 and 2009 seasons we all shared common goals and aspirations for our boys in blue: a return to normalcy or, at the very least, mediocrity. While it’s debatable whether these desires actually came to fruition, two things are certain. First, this team made football in Seattle relevant once again and in turn, re-created a culture of winning and brought about a restoration of expected success in the Emerald City. And second, while these intangible necessities may not come with any glamour or glitz, they are essential to the franchise, and most importantly, could not have been attained without the unwavering fan base of the Seahawks – the steadfast support of the 12th man. Continue reading

It’s Holiday Time Dawg Fans

Courtesy of Dean Rutz/Seattle Times

The Cody Pickett to Reggie Williams connection, sprinkled in were some Rich Alexis runs, and the late Marquis Cooper was holding down the defense. Do you remember that team, that was the last time the Huskies played in a bowl game. I was in eighth grade for God’s sake, and more worried about what girl I was going to try and kiss at the next middle school dance than the Huskies in the Sun Bowl.

Back then, the Sun Bowl was an average season for the Huskies. The program had a streak of 20+ non-losing seasons, and life as a Husky fan was just peaches. Then the last eight years happened. We sat there, season after season, watching our Huskies find ways to lose games, find ways to get burned deep in the waning seconds of games, find ways to miss out on the postseason. But no matter how many seasons we floundered away, no matter how bad it got, the Husky faithful kept a confidence about them (founded or not) that the Huskies would be back on top, it was just a matter of time.

That matter of time, many of us thought, would be this year. Remember the lofty goals we set for this team? Jake Locker, Heisman Trophy winner, and with him playing at that level and the conference having a down year, heck we could take the conference.

We aimed too high Husky fans, those dreams were unrealistic, and in the back of our heads a part of us always knew it. A defense that had been the worst in program history two years running, was not going to perform at Pac-10 championship level. An O-line that featured one starter playing the same position he had in 2009 was not going to be able to protect Locker well enough. And as much as it pains me to say it, Jake Locker was not the messiah returned to us in human form.

Disappointed at BYU, encouraged against Syracuse, embarrassed by Nebraska, disgusted against ASU, enchanted by last second wins at USC and in OT against Oregon St. A tumultuous, inconsistent ride through the first half of our season put as at 3-3, halfway to the bowl we wanted so bad.

Then murderer’s row stepped to the plate and knocked the Huskies out. Blown out by Arizona and Stanford, 3-5 and we know we’re going to 3-6 with Oregon up next.

That was when Steve Sarkisian made the best decision of the season. We wrote about it when it happened. Sarkisian decided to bench an ailing Jake Locker who had been playing hurt for weeks. He could have played him against Oregon, rumors spread that Jake had been playing with broken ribs the last week at least, he could have played. But Sark sat him, to give this team the best chance to make a bowl game. With a healthy Locker, a Locker with three weeks to heal, he can win those games.

And that’s exactly what he did. He led game winning drives in each of the final two games, he willed this team to the postseason, and proved what he is made of. No, he is not the best quarterback in the country, he didn’t live up to the hype that was heaped on him this summer. But you find me a player with more heart than Jake Locker. Find me a player with more determination and passion than Jake Locker. When the game is on the line, when someone needs to reach out and take it, he rises to the occasion.

This is a defining moment in a program. The three games this team had to win to get here, they are the three games that are going to usher in a new era of Husky Football. It may not have been what we imagined before the season started, but the way this team got to where it is, is bigger for this program than you could ever imagine.

Two years removed from an 0-12 season this team has finished 3rd in the Pac-10. Two years removed from an 0-12 season this team is playing in a postseason game. This is the turning point, this is what we have waited for.

Let’s show San Diego a party its never seen before. Let out eight years of frustration, you deserve it.

Apple Cup Week Is Here, It’s Go Time Husky Fans

It may not have been pretty, but the Huskies have made it to this point in the season, one win away from a bowl birth. And we get to do it against our hated rival to the East. Oh how sweet it is.

My favorite hobby is talking sh*t about anything associated with Wazzu, so naturally Apple Cup week is my favorite week of the year.

Q: What should the Cougs do if they win the coin toss?

A: Defer til’ next year.

Get it? Like they shouldn’t’ even bother playing. Wow, like how creative am I? Take a look at the UW Dawgpound for some more jokes to pepper you Coug friends with.

One thing you can always count on is Cougs being fair-weather fans. That’s one of the large reasons I detest them. I can name three players on the Wazzu football team, more than most people that claim to me  they are Cougar fans.  I have been perusing the Apple Cup event wall on Facebook the past few weeks, and after looking at the comments posted by Wazzu fans, I decided there were two comments that were the most unique, “Go Cougs”, and “F*ck the Huskies”. C’mon Cougs, your better than that, you couldn’t even come up with “Huck the Fuskies”? Continue reading

King Felix Claims His Throne

We posted this article last week about Felix Hernandez’s chance at the Cy Young award. He blew the competition away. Sabathia and Price didn’t stand a chance.

We here at Seattle Sport Stop just wanted to say, Thanks Felix!

Watching you pitch is an utter delight, and here’s to hoping we are watching you in a Mariners jersey for years to come.

Congratulations to the King, he has finally claimed his seat atop the throne, and I don’t think he will be relinquishing it anytime soon.

It’s Time To Black Out

Let’s get real for a second. It’s Husky game day, and I don’t usually write a preview for games. I like to spend my Saturday’s enjoying my time with friends, drinking adult beverages, and painfully sitting through the game.

I’m not going to write a preview for this game either. We all know everything there is to know about the game tonight, so there’s no point in repeating it here.

The season, to this point, has been a disappointment to say the least. Something we’d like to forget, right? So what does Washington do? They come up with the idea for a black out night. And I’m not buying that they’re only talking about the jerseys.

It’s actually a brilliant strategy. Everyone will be so wasted that if, in Jake Locker’s last game in Husky Stadium, the team flops and so does his career, nobody will remember. And if we win, everyone will be so jacked u on vodka redbull’s that we’ll throw the most bitchin’ party this place has ever seen, and still, nobody will remember.

My advice to you, fully embrace the black out at Husky Stadium tonight, I know I will. So go out, pick up your favorite beverage (no FourLocos you guys) and enjoy this night that comes to Husky Stadium for one night only.

It’s time to black out (This time I mean your outfit, wink)

In Memory of Dave Niehaus

When Dave Niehaus passed away last Wednesday, so too did a large part of the Seattle Mariners.

Dave Niehaus was the Seattle Mariners, and it’s hard to imagine what the organization will be like going forward.

As long as I have lived the Seattle Mariners have been there, and Dave Niehaus has been there. He was so great because of his passion for the team. He was the ultimate Mariners fan, nobody loved that team more than Dave Niehaus did, and it was evident in every game.

I loved this man. I have been pondering over ways to put my emotions in to words, and it’s as simple as that, I love him.

The idea of Dave Niehaus no longer being with us never once entered my mind. There was the question of when he was going to retire? When would he step away from the game? But never, when would he be gone forever? We didn’t want to think about that scenario. We couldn’t imagine a life without him. As long as any of us have been Mariners fans, players and coaches come and go, the faces changed often. One face, Dave Niehaus, was always there.

He was the Seattle Mariners to me, and to many others, and we love him.

It’s Finally That Time Of The Year

I’ve been waiting for this. Since last years loss to West Virginia, I’ve been waiting. Since the He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named committed, I have waited, and since he decommitted,  I have angrily waited. Tony Wroten’s announcement quelled that anger. And now the season is finally starting.

In a little over 48 hours, Washington kicks off it’s season with an exhibition game against Saint Mary’s, and I can’t contain myself.

For the last five years or so, the Washington Men’s Basketball program has been the lone bright spot for me, in a Seattle sports scene that is struggling to say the least.

The Mariners haven’t been worth a damn since 2001, neither has the Husky Football team. Our NBA basketball team was robbed from us by the f*ckin devil himself. The Seahawks gave me some great moments in the mid 2000’s, but I just didn’t seem to form a connection with the Matt Hasselbeck’s, Darrel Jackson’s, and Marcus Trufant’s of the world like I did the Brandon Roy’s, Will Conroy’s, Bobby Jones’, Nate Robinson’s, and Jon Brockman’s.

Something about Husky Basketball just gets me. It used to be Husky Football that really got me going, understandably the last decade has made me gravitate more to Husky Hoops. It’s Hec Ed, it’s the Dawg Pack, it’s the roster loaded with local talent, it’s coach Romar, it’s everything about the program that gets me.

It was the 2003-2004 Husky team that really got me hooked, and then the next year, we all remember, was the magical #1 seed year.

I’m not going to say this team could be a #1 seed, that might be a tad far fetched, but this years team has a chance to be special. The similarities between them and the 04-05 team are scary. Check out Percy Allen’s blog on the Seattle Times, he compares the entire roster from both teams, it’s pretty astonishing.

That Huskies team of 04-05 went to the Great Alaska Shootout and beat 3 top-25 caliber teams to put them on the map. This years Huskies goes down to the Maui Invitational and has the chance to do the same thing.

We’re going to know, early on, what kind of team this is, and I can’t wait. Go Dawgs!