Sports are supposed to make us happy. They slake our desire for competition. They let us escape the mundane with moments of elation and transcendence. They also make us extremely cranky, especially here is Seattle.
Seattle sports fans do have plenty to complain about. We’re just a couple years past one of the worst sports seasons for a city in history, and things haven’t gotten dramatically better since. Still, it’s all relative. Outside of Greg Halman’s heartbreaking death, and to a much lesser degree, the absence of the Sonics, most sports complaints can only rate as inconveniences in the portrait of life.
So, in the spirit of the holidays, here are some of the sports-related things that just make me happy. There’s nothing wrong with sports making you mad and frustrated, but hopefully the good times more than balance out the bad.
- Curling on TV. I’m watching it right now. I love watching curling, but I really don’t know why. It’s moderately ludicrous and I can’t even remember how the scoring works right now. Still, I was thoroughly excited when I saw the Canadian channel was showing it this morning.
- The weekly Terrance Ross 360 alley-oop. Always surprising, always beautiful. Ross might not yet have broken out to the extent we’d like, but wow, the highlights are amazing.
- The continuing teardown and rebuild of Husky Stadium. This is a no-lose. It was already one of the coolest places to watch a football game in the world. Now, we’ll get a stadium that isn’t falling apart and hopefully has a few more concessions and restrooms. As an added bonus, we have the good fortune of playing in another great stadium for a year. Century Link might not be Husky Stadium, but it’s a whole lot better than stretching out the rebuild to be able to keep playing games, or looking for some other stadium option. Finally, years down the road, we’ll get to wax nostalgic about all the great games we saw in the old Husky Stadium. Perfect.
- Prince Fielder is still a free agent. I’m kind of doubting that he wants to come to Seattle, but until he signs elsewhere, hope stays alive. I’m not delusional enough to think that he’ll immediately take the Mariners to the World Series, or even the playoffs. It’s just that, coming into the offseason, two, maybe three free agents excited me: Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, maybe Jose Reyes. The fact that the Mariners could be the favorite for Prince makes me happy.
- For that matter, the Mariners future, at least until the season starts. Right now, they’re a couple of years away from having a young and absolutely dominating rotation. Throw in an all-star second baseman and a couple of young sluggers, and the future is bright. It never works out how we plan it, but we can forget about that fact for a little while.
- Tony Wroten. He’s maddening too, with the free throws and turnovers, but you can see him improve every game. He’s the most explosive offensive player I’ve ever seen at UW. If he sticks around next year, there’s no reason he can’t be an All-American.
- Tim Tebow. Love him or hate him, he’s provided one of the greatest stories we’ve had in a while. Just enjoy the ride. These types of things don’t come around that often.
- The Huskies are in a bowl game for the second year in a row. It’s even a good bowl game, and we get to watch the Heisman Trophy winner. Sure, the Dawgs aren’t great yet, but after their recent history, I’ll never take a bowl game for granted again.
- The universality of sports. I just finished playing “The Purple Ball Game” with my niece, which consists of throwing a foam purple Husky basketball up and down the stairs. Dan made up a basketball game called “The Flying Dutchman” (here and here) that has us continually laughing and doing ridiculous things. Kids on soccer fields throughout the world grow up to be Pele and David Beckham. Sports are for everyone, in any form you want. All ages, races, people of any intelligence or political or religious persuasions, anyone can enjoy sports, side by side. To me that seems important.
Who knows if we’ll get anything else on this blog in the next week, so I’ll take this opportunity to wish you a merry Christmas, happy holidays, and whatever else you may celebrate. We appreciate anyone who takes the time to read what we write, especially when the posts are often few and far between. We hope you have a few items to add to my list above, and much more to be thankful for outside of the sports world.
-Matthew and The Good Guys