By Brandon Brown
ESN Director of Content
Seattle never has been known as a great sports city. We have been known as a city with a bunch of franchises that can never preform on the big stage. Sure, here and there you would get a team that had one of those magical runs that rallied the entire city, but it would never last. Those runs never resulted in titles either, so every season left a bit of an empty feeling. When I was born in 1994, yeah, I am young, the only title that the city had was the 1979 Seattle SuperSonics squad that took down the Washington Bullets. The other title was the Metropolitans lifting Lord Stanley’s Cup back in 1917, but most people did not even know that ever happened. It was rough, especially for a city with such passionate fans.
The Mariners were so terrible that they wasted the career of arguably the greatest baseball player of the modern era. The best moment in franchise history was a double resulting in a series win and that was just the divisional round. The Sonics had a great stretch in the 90’s and the early 2000’s were fun but they got worse as time went on and eventually packed their bags and left town. I still do not like talking about that. The Seahawks also had a solid run in the 2000’s, they even made it to the Super Bowl, only to lose in one of the most frustrating games possible. It was absolutely infuriating but we stayed loyal to our crappy teams.
Things have changed quickly in the city though and for the better. Teams are starting to not only be competent, but they are starting to win on a regular basis. Here is a short list of those changes:
Title Total – 2.
There was finally a breakthrough when the 2004 Seattle Storm won the WNBA Finals and brought a title back to the city. Unfortunately, many people did not count that, because for some reason women don’t matter in the sports world. Never really understood that because I was hyped about the win. I was in attendance for their win over the Connecticut Sun and the place was rocking and the basketball had you on the edge of your seat. It felt real to me, but I know some people struggle with accepting women are good at things.
The city now had 3 titles to their credit, which was still pathetic. The Storm felt so bad about it that they went out and added another one in 2010 when they knocked off the Atlanta Dream. Just like that, the women were carrying the weight of the entire region when it came to winning. They became the golden standard of how to get the job done.
Title Total – 4.
The Seahawks wanted to get in on the winning as well and who better to ring in a new era than Pete Carroll of USC. The prolific college coach had failed in the NFL before, but ownership liked his spunky nature and felt he would be the one to light a fire under the franchise’s rear. Year 1 got them to the playoffs in a weird 7-9 season. Year 2 missed the playoffs and the rebuild was on. Year 3 drafted a solid linebacker and a short backup quarterback. Year 4 the short quarterback led the team to a Super Bowl win over Peyton Manning with the help of one of the greatest defenses in NFL history. Wow, that escalated quickly. The Hawks were now a powerhouse franchise that had a shot at going all the way every year. Even if they did lose the big game the following year in a way worse than 2005, at least they showed they could get to the big game more often.
Title Total – 5.
Starting in 2009, the Seahawks had a new roommate at CenturyLink Field. The Seattle Sounders burst onto the field, err I mean pitch, and took the MLS by storm. The Rave Green took the winning up a notch as they won the U.S. Open cup in 2009, ’10, ’11 and ’14 along with winning the supporters shield in ’14 as well. Yet, the league cup stayed out of their reach. That was until Román Torres knocked home a PK in freezing Toronto to secure their first in 2016.
Title Total – 6.
The Storm did not want it to seem like they were slacking by any means, they drafted the most decorated female basketball player of all-time in Breanna Stewart right before the 2016 season. It took her and Sue Bird only a couple of seasons before they were adding another banner to the rafters as they took down Washington in 2018.
Title Total – 7.
A year later it was time for the rubber match between Toronto FC and the Sounders. The guys up north got revenge in 2017 when they knocked off Seattle to even up the cups at 1 apiece. This time, the Sounders got to play host in front of a record 69,274 fans at CenturyLink. Rave Green did not mess around as they got the 3-1 victory and hoisted their 2nd cup title.
Title Total – 8.
To quote the great Michael Scott, “Oh how the turn tables.” The city got title hungry suddenly and were ripping them off left and right. Since the Storm’s win in ’04, the city quadrupled their title count and all of a sudden the town was spoiled. I had completely forgot that we used to suck at everything. The sting of the Sonics leaving slowly started to heal and the play of the crappy Mariners became less annoying since the Storm and Sounders also played in the summer. It has become sports heaven.
As if things were not already good enough, the NHL saw how great our city had become and wanted a piece of the action. The Seattle Kraken were born and finally got the city to remodel Key Arena. Now the ‘Climate pledge Arena’ will be the home of hockey and Storm basketball. Fingers crossed; it will become home to an NBA franchise before too much longer.
We have entered the golden age of sports in the Emerald City and it seems like not enough people are truly talking about it. It is if people do not want to jinx it by mentioning it, like a pitcher throwing a no-hitter through 7 innings. Every franchise has become a winner – Mariners excluded – and it is like we are in an episode of the twilight zone. Where Seattle is a tropical paradise, and the trophy cases are filled to the brim. If any other major city had a run like this in the sporting world it would be all over every major sports news outlet across the States. Seattle is one of the best sports cities in America and I am making that proclamation now because I do not know how long this will last.
For now, though; the Storm are playing in their 4th WNBA Finals as you read this, the Sounders sit atop the Western Conference table in MLS and the Seahawks haven’t lost a game and have the MVP frontrunner. Hell, even the Mariners have a truck full of young talent with one of the best minor league systems in the game. The Kraken could get off to a hot start after the Las Vegas Golden Knights gave them the blueprint on how to be a successful expansion franchise. I may be getting a little ahead of myself, but I am just so damn happy to be a sports reporter and have great sports to report on. I also have been a diehard of these teams my entire life, so I am biased.