This wasn’t the way this Husky football season was supposed to go. But, that phrase has become normal in Seattle over the past couple years. We had the Seahawks in 2009, while the Mariners and Huskies put up surprising, yet still mediocre, seasons. This year we said that about the Husky basketball team, before they took off on a run. The phrase never ringed more true for this years Mariner season and now we have a Husky football team that is spinning out of control.
With so many disappointments, we have to ask the question, ‘Did we set our expectations too high?’ You can’t clump all these teams together so let’s take a look at each team.
- The 2009 Seahawks: I’m not going to pretend to know a ton about the Seahawks, I don’t, but I think it’s fair to say that expectations for this team were reasonable. Most fans would have accepted a 7-9 or 8-8 record, that seemed reasonable given the personnel on the team. You could argue there were liabilities all along the offense and the team was plagued by injuries. If you take those into account, we could add another loss to the record. So let’s say 6-10 was a bare minimum for this team. I’m not taking into account the weak division they play in. The team finished 5-11. Not only did they finish below expectations, they weren’t very competitive in many of their games. I think Seattle had their expectations right for this team but the Seahawks failed to meet them.
- 2009-2010 Husky Basketball: The Huskies were coming off their first league championship in decades and expectations were very high. There was talk about repeating as league champions and making a run to the final four. Then, the season started slowly. The team didn’t gel and was extremely inconsistent. The Huskies couldn’t win on the road but looked as if they could beat anyone at home. At times it looked as if they let the expectations get to their heads. Of course, the Huskies turned it around and made one of the most thrilling runs in their history, all the way to the sweet 16 after looking like they wouldn’t make the tournament. The expectations for the final four might have been a little high for this team, but they did show they had the talent to do that, from time to time. Thankfully, a team is judged by how they finish so this team met expectations in my mind because of their late run.
- The 2010 Mariners: In case you’ve forgotten (or just tried to erase this from your mind) their was actually some buzz about the Mariners this year. They were everyone’s sleeper pick to make the World Series. An overachieving 2009 team combined with some sneaky acquisitions and one huge trade (Cliff Lee) by Jack Z had fans thinking playoffs for the first time in almost a decade. Then, the season started. The Mariners were terrible, so terrible that there’s no point in retelling how bad they actually were. But, were the expectations justified? Partially. It was unreasonable to think that the offense would be good. On the other hand, it was unreasonable to think that the offense would be that bad. So, dreams of a World Series were probably unrealistic but dreams of the playoffs or a team in contention? That wasn’t that far out of the question. Needless to say, the Mariners failed completely. The fans weren’t wrong in this instance.
Now, we’re on the brink of losing another season. Jake Locker will be out against Oregon, and potentially more, and the Dawgs will need to win 3 of their last 4 to make it to a bowl game. Going into the season, a bowl game was the minimum expectation and 8-4 seemed like a popular record that most people were picking. Was expecting 8-4 too much? Probably. There were too many holes in the lineup that faced a tough schedule. But, 7-5 or 6-6 was and is completely reasonable. A senior quarterback with all kinds of talent, an offense filled with weapons, and a defense that seemed to improve at the end of the year gave us reasons to think this season would be better than it is. I don’t think we were that wrong in our expectations.
We definitely weren’t wrong in expecting a competitive team, and we haven’t seen that the last couple weeks. That’s the disappointing part. I still believe in this coaching staff, but this team is getting worse. It felt like during the Ty years that the team didn’t bother practicing during the week, it’s seemed like that’s the same case the last 2 weeks. We, as fans, deserve more than we were given against Stanford. Our players and coaches were not even close to the standard we should expect. That’s whats frustrating. I’ve put up with losses, and they’re bad in their own right, but Saturday’s loss was different. It was embarrassing for players, fans, and coaches. Of course, the Huskies could turn their season around just like the basketball team did. They could win their last 3 games and salvage their season. But, things are looking grim right now.
In short, we need to have expectations. We need to expect more than what the Mariners gave us this year and what the Huskies and Seahawks gave us this weekend. If we don’t, there’s no pressure to get better. Hopefully, those teams have higher expectations of themselves. If not, this is going to be another long couple years in sports.