By Grant Bronsdon
Grant Bronsdon, 20, is a 2012 graduate of Garfield High School and a sophomore at Yale University. He grew up decorating his bedroom with Sports Illustrated covers, and his dream job is to work in the Mariners front office
Too often in the past decade, the Seattle sports scene has been one of misery and hopelessness.
We’ve seen the Mariners crumble from its high of 116 wins in 2001 to dismal lows. We’ve seen the Seahawks flirt with real success, but drop the ball on multiple occasions, sometimes literally. We’ve seen the Sonics leave town, the Sounders fail to get it done in the playoffs, and the Husky football team flounders near mediocrity.
So when we get news like we did Friday, it’s OK to celebrate.
Washington hired Boise State’s Chris Petersen as its next football coach and the Mariners are close to reaching agreement with star free agent Robinson Cano. We’ve waited so long for real talent and success that we deserve a moment of exuberance.
But it’s easy to listen to the critics and drown your thoughts in a sea of negativity.
“Petersen has only coached at Boise State! They have a blue field!” they say. “Just wait until he has to face the big boys week in and week out. He doesn’t stand a chance.”
“How much money are they paying Cano – $240 million?” they ask. “He won’t be worth anything near that. Halfway through that deal, you’ll regret it. And a slugger in Safeco Field? Forget about it!”
“Seattle sports will never be relevant,” others say. “It’s too far away, too isolated, and nobody cares enough.”
Sure, our teams don’t have a strong track record. We’ve had hirings that have flopped. Just take a look at Keith Gilbertson, Ty Willingham, Don Wakamatsu or Bill Bavasi. We’ve signed players that, in retrospect, perhaps weren’t worth the money – Chone Figgins most readily comes to mind.
Yet despite that, we’ve stuck with our teams. We’ve rooted for the Seahawks through thick and thin, and we’re now rewarded with perhaps the most exciting team in this city’s recent memory. We have a magnetic star quarterback, a hard-hitting secondary, and a fun-loving coach who has created a winning culture almost overnight.
The Hawks have captured this city. Who’s to say the Huskies and Mariners can’t do that?
Mariners faithful have long been clamoring for a star free agent. They’ve begged for the team to finally invest resources in pursuit of a championship.
Well, Cano appears to be heading here. More moves could be on deck, whether that extends to trading for Tampa Bay ace David Price, signing former Mariner Shin-Soo Choo, or acquiring other established major leaguers. What’s wrong with our management taking a swing for the moved-in fences and showing that they want a championship pedigree?
And if things break our way, we could be a year out from preparing for the Pac-12 Championship at Husky Stadium while the Mariners are coming off a spectacular, playoff-bound season.
If it does happen, enjoy it. Relish it. And remember that it all comes back to Friday. The day the Seattle sports scene was rocked by two laid-back stars.
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