Washington State University, my alma mater, comes over to this side of the mountains for a football game once a year as well. Both they and Gonzaga do it for recruiting familiarity and name recognition. Both have a lot of alums in this area, sure, but it's mostly done to get the program more exposure.
This would be similar to UCLA basketball playing a home game every year in the Bay area, or USC football playing one game every year in San Diego.
Those two programs don't do that, and I agree with their not doing it. Teams should play in their home town, it just seems right, you know? But that's just one man's opinion.
Still, Gonzaga does fill one niche very well. Seattle is desperate for a winner.
Remember the Sonics of 1978-79? They won it all. Remember the Huskies of 1991-92? Yeah, yeah, they won it all just as well. It's been a long time since a team from Seattle can make that claim.
We all watched the Seahawks lose a game they could've won to the Rams last weekend. They're just like the Huskies. They'll probably end up at 8-8 and not make the playoffs. Again.
The Sonics are also even up and probably not headed for the playoffs either. Again.
The Mariners haven't made the playoffs recently, and even when they did with the best record ever in baseball, they flamed out early with no clutch bats.
The Cougars were pretty good but how good can they really be if they can't beat a not-very-good Husky team? WSU is having a good run, but not anything like this area is looking for. Fans seem skeptical that they'll find a way to Coug it. The few three Apple Cups have proven that, but again, WSU, although it has a lot of alums over here, isn't located in Seattle.
Someway, somehow, Seattle will find a winner. Unfortunately, those hopes seem to fade in any sport representing this region. The Seahawks will probably miss the playoffs, again. The Sonics will battle for the 7th or 8th spot and probably miss again. The Mariners will probably just miss again even when it comes to free agent signings but certainly will find a way to fade out of the playoffs. Omar Vizquel, anyone?
Just like the Huskies did this past season with a couple of terrible losses to Arizona and California. Although the Huskies finished strong, fading down the stretch seems standard for the local sports franchises. No team since Marques Tuiasosopo's Huskies has ever finished it right. Not for almost a decade anyway.
Why can't the local teams win it all? Sort of makes you wonder if there's something in the water.
So, as a Husky football fan, you at least know it happens every once in a while, win championships that is - 1995 and 2000 being the most recent. Do we have to wait five years in between? Is that realistic? That is a point I'll let you experts debate on the boards.
Does anyone remember the parade for the Sonics after they won it all in 1979? Remember how the whole community embraced the Huskies following their parade in 1992?
Why can't a Seattle team just rise up and have some magic and give us a good old dose of civic pride? Alas, we should all take heed in that it's not the destination, but rather the journey. Look at Chicago Cub fans. At least they had Da Bulls. Heck, few cities ever get to experience what Boston did with the Celtics or what New York does with the Yankees.
All you can do is either become pessimistic and bitter or try to stay positive and keep supporting the Huskies. Washington, year in and year out, still give Seattleites the best chance of winning a championship.
How about next year? If not, we'll take it in 2005.
| Dawgman.com columnist and KJR 950 Sports Radio personality, Dick Baird.|
Dick Baird was an Assistant Coach (Linebackers) and Recruiting Coordinator at the UW from 1985-1998. He has joined the Dawgman.com staff as a featured columnist for both the web site and Sports Washington magazine. In addition to his regular editorial columns, Coach Baird will try to provide some of his unique perspective by answering a few of your selected questions online. If you would like to send in your questions, please CLICK HERE.
| Click here to read more articles from Coach Baird |