A couple of unusual, even unique, things are happening in Seattle.
In sports. And they’re good things.
Check this out: This season, the Mariners had a rookie make the All-Star Game. So did the Kraken. And the Seahawks had a rookie make the Pro Bowl*.
* For those not oriented to sportsball, the NFL’s Pro Bowl fills the same ecological niche as the All-Star Game does in the other major sports.
Congrats to Julio Rodriguez, Matty Beniers, and Tariq Woolen, respectively.
This is the first time in the recorded history of the four major professional sports (baseball, hockey, football, and basketball) where one city has had rookies get this level of recognition in three sports in the same year.
But, to be fair, Seattle has often done well with their rookies. Developing and accumulating talent to make for a winning team has been rather more difficult in the Northwest.
So that makes the other thing going on now even more impressive.
After 21 years, the Mariners made the playoffs. Granted, they didn’t make it very far, but it’s still an achievement of note.
The Seahawks, despite a truly horrendous mid-season and a 9-8 record also made the playoffs. Admittedly, they didn’t even last as long as the Mariners, nor has it been nearly as long a playoff drought (they lost their Wildcard game a mere two years back). But still, playoffs.
And then there are the Kraken. Remember, this is a team in only their second season, who in their first roundly fulfilled my prediction that they would “dive to the sea floor, subsisting on a diet of the occasional bottom-dweller that strays into reach of their tentacles.” They finished the 20/21 season with a mere 60 points, 37 short of the Wild Card (at least they finished three points ahead of Arizona). This year, with the season a bit more than half done, they’re a single point out of first place in their division. It’s not quite a ’69 Mets turnaround–and they still theoretically could finish with a worse record than last year–but it’s pretty darn impressive.
Making the playoffs in three different sports in one year? Not bad, Seattle, not bad–if you can pull it off.
Could this be the start of a sport renaissance in the Northwest? Probably not. A little respect in the national press? Even less likely.
A heck of a lot of fun while it lasts? Oh, yes.