Bandwagoning - and Proud of it

Bandwagoning (n): A cause, party, or current trend that attracts increasing numbers of adherents and followers.

Yup, that sounds like me. For the next 12 days, anyway.

Yeah I know, this is a Husky website. And unabashedly, I'm a Husky fan – ardent, first, and foremost. I have been for forty years. I was just as happy – if not happier - seeing the Dawgs crush the Ducks on Saturday night at Hec Edmundson as I was witnessing the Seahawks run roughshod over the Panthers on Sunday. I cringed a bit when the Lady Huskies couldn't finish their own Oregon sweep, dropping their game in Eugene. There is extreme bias when it comes to my local sporting support, and the Huskies have always run first – and maybe second, third, and fourth – in my pecking order.

But I'm not going to be sheepish in accepting the Seahawks' invitation to take a ride on their bandwagon, simply because I'm a Husky-first guy. The tri-county area has three million people in it. This is a once-in-four-decades shot here, and there's more than enough room on the bus for folks like me to grab some loop. And being a life-long Seattleite - and one who has attended a few NFL games and has had a casual interest in Seahawks fortunes over the years - I'll gladly bask in the media circus that will be the town's privilege to partake over next two weeks.

I mean, you can count on one hand the times that we as an entire city have been able galvanize and celebrate with regards to playing in the championship final of major sporting event. It's high time the city gets its fortnight in the sun. And I'm not going to miss out on the revelry just because of enduring pride in enjoying the college game more that the pros.

This is a time for the CITY to celebrate.

Sure, there have been times when our fair burgh has had a chance to feel good about itself on a national stage. But none have near the magnitude of what the Seahawks have immersed the city of Seattle into (Ed. Note: no mention will be made of the Mariners, since the cardinal rule of bandwagoning is that you must achieve at least the final of whatever it is the bandwagon is rolling towards – which disqualifies them from this discussion.)

In 1973 a quiet, bespectacled Earl Anthony won the PBA National Championship on ABC. Legions of local keglers began watching Chris Schenkel and Nelson Burton Jr. on a weekly basis, hoping to see if their favorite flat-top lefty made the step-ladder finals. The local Tacoman makes good and becomes the Jack Nicklaus of the lanes for the next two decades. But this following was limited to only those guys and gals of the area Tuesday night mixed doubles leagues.

Kirkland's WS Little League team of 1982 really doesn't count, either. While Cody Webster became a household name for a spell - his intimidating frame and 70-MPH fastball blowing away all those frightened Taiwanese five-year veterans - these weren't the New York Yankees, they were the best of the Bad News Bears set. Not the stuff of fluttering ticker tape, except if you lived in Kirkland.

Fred Couples is a Masters Champion and a "Skins" legend. But the O'Dea High School graduate transplanted to Houston, then to Santa Barbara, a long time ago.

Auburn's Greg Haugen won a world welterweight title, and had his wars with Vinnie Pazienza (who after taking years of headshots, thought he would save pronunciation time by eliminating the last three syllables of his last name and now calls himself Paz). Haugen even came back to visit, and fought in the area a couple of times. But by the time he was champ he was living in Henderson, Nevada.

And we've had our Olympic heroes. Phil and Steve Mahre. Sugar Ray Seales. Rosalynn Sumners. Helene Madison (multiple winner at the '32 Olympics in swimming). Short-track speed skater Apolo Ohno. The Husky Crew and their 15 Gold Medals.

We had a nice title story two years ago with the Seattle Storm bringing home the WNBA championship. It was something for the city to feel good about, and they received – for a day or two – some well-earned attention (teaser: How many of you were at the victory parade?)

And of course, there were the Rose Bowls of Jim Owens, Don James, and … um … oh yeah, Rick Neuheisel. And that 1991 Washington team is still mentioned as one of the great all-time College teams in media circles.

Of course, as a Husky channel we'd be remiss if we didn't mention Washington's Women's Volleyball spiking their way to an NCAA Championship just this past month.

However, those titles and bowls had to share spotlights with other high-profile titles and bowls playing out on the same day.

The Super Bowl – yes, The Super Bowl - stands alone on its own altar, and only one city in the nation will be able to ascend its inviting steps.

And for your media blitz of Berman-Madden-Michaels, Brown-Bradshaw-Johnson, Leno-to-Letterman, coast-to-coast, nationally-charged exposure, this town hasn't seen anything like it's going to see over the next dozen days. The 1979 and 1996 NBA Finals doesn't come close - heck, some of those 1979 playoff games were actually on tape delay. Toss in the 1916-17 Seattle Metropolitans and their Stanley Cup-winning effort over the Montreal Canadiens – you all remember that, don't you - and now we've pretty much covered the entire docket of Seattle sports championship history.

So as we enter the final fortnight of football recruiting, and as Husky hoops embarks on a precarious stretch of five-out of-seven out on the conference road, these normally newsworthy endeavors will, with good reason, be back-paged by this 155-year-old city's most auspicious foray ever into the Sporting world -- Super Bowl XL (how about that - Extra Large, even), starring "our" Seattle Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Truthfully, I'd be a bald-faced liar if I called myself a die-hard Seahawk fan (Bald yes – liar no). Saturdays are normally taken with Husky games in mind, leaving Sundays for family concerns. And I'll always be perfectly content with that. No matter how this storied Super Bowl run ends, I'm quite certain to be back to my bald, ornery Purple-and-Gold ways on Monday, February 6.

Meanwhile, I'll catch up with you all in a couple of weeks. I got me a bandwagon to ride.
Rick Samek can be reached at Top Stories