With news today limited to Seattle U getting housed at Fresno St., Isaiah Thomas winning another Pac-10 P.O.W. Award, and Jake Locker being his usual tantalizing self at the Senior Bowl, Im devoting todays space to a State of Seattle Sports address. The fact that President Obama is giving a State of the Union address tonight is completely coincidental.
(Polite applause as I ascend podium.)
Team owners, executives, coaches, players, and, especially, my fellow Seattle sports fans: Its an honor to speak to you tonight at this critical juncture in our sports teams history. The past 12 months have seen us accomplish much: The Seahawks won a playoff game (pause for ovation). The Husky basketball team won the Pac-10 Tournament (pause for ovation). Felix Hernandez won a Cy Young award, the first of many Im sure (pause for ovation). The Seattle Storm won a WNBA title (slightly shorter pause for ovation). And the Husky football team made it back to, and won, a bowl game! (long pause for ovation).
Please, please, take your seats. We have much to be proud of in SeattleSportsNation. But we have many challenges as well. Our Mariners — well-funded by owners and well-supported by fans — floundered to another 101-loss season. And we still dont have a NBA team. I know this affects thousands of Seattle sports families every day. And I am committed to change.
Lets start with the Mariners. Today I am calling on our citys sports leaders to impose conditional term limits on team executives. If you preside in an executive role over a team, and that team does not make the postseason for 10 consecutive years, you are fired. Every local sports team is safe from this provision except the Mariners, who completed their ninth consecutive non-playoff year in 2010. Only two top executives have been in place for the entire nine-year run: CEO Howard Lincoln and President Chuck Armstrong. Under the terms of my new legislation, they would need a Mariners playoff appearance in 2011 to extend their term limits clock up to 2021.
Further, team executives and coaches would have 25 years to bring a championship to Seattle. If you cant get it done in a quarter of a century, you are out. This would mean curtains for Armstrong, but Pete Carroll still has until 2035.
I think we can all agree that a playoff appearance per decade, and a championship per quarter century, is the absolute bare minimum for performance. I hope our citys sports leaders will agree to enact this common sense legislation.
Now, to the NBA. As I stand here, I cannot honestly say that we are any closer to bringing an NBA team back to Seattle than we were the day the Sonics left. When possible cities for relocation are mentioned nationally, I hear Anaheim, Las Vegas and Kansas City, but never Seattle. Therefore I would like to call on every member of SeattleSportsNation to write a quick email to Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, Washington Governor Chris Gregoire, and the NBA league office.
Tell them what we all know — that the departure of NBA hoops has left a big hole in the citys sports calendar, and in the hearts of die-hard Sonics fans. And I dont even want to get into what Durant and Westbrook are up to right now. Good God.
My fellow fans, we have many challenges ahead. But let us keep in mind a great insight by once and future Mariners broadcaster Ron Fairly: In order to win, you must score more runs than your opponent. Words to live by.