Sports franchises are fickle beasts.
As a Washington native, I'm all too familiar with heartbreak and the hurt that loss and letdowns have brought. Even when things are at its best, we've seemed to fall short and experiences failure. And when things are good, have they ever lasted? Teams change, time shifts, and the brotherhood we thought could last... disbands.
Ten years can make a huge difference: The Sonics, from '94-'98, made playoff runs and a Finals appearance, only to fall into obscurity and eventually move cities ten years later (edit: be stolen from Seattle—f*** you Stern); the Mariners, coming off the best AL regular season record in history, haven't made the playoffs since, despite having the best young pitcher in the league and one of the most prolific hitters for much of that time.
Where did I think our Seahawks would be ten years later? Just eight years after our Superb season, I wouldn't have ever guessed that there would be whispers of yet another appearance on the horizon because, hey, I hated the Pete Carroll hire. I was worried, after seeing our other franchises crash and burn after our best runs at championships, that we had seen the last of our chances die when those excessive whistles blew on that sad day on February 5th. I hated USC. I hated his attitude. And, through my ignorance of who he was, I hated Pete Carroll.
But, thankfully, I was wrong.
We had our rebuilding phase, even having managed a 7-9 playoff appearance, including the 3rd best, in my opinion and lifetime, game we've seen from our team. After four consecutive NFC West titles, and then 4 consecutive subpar years, we're finally on an upswing like that of which we have never seen. Talk of more championships, dominance, and that "D" word that is far too premature grace the lips of analysts and fans alike, thinking that one year constitutes greatness and we deserve to be considered the best for years to come.
We've been the most miserable sports city for some time now and it's been ingrained in my fandom. Sure-thing draft picks will fizzle (*cough*Curry*cough*), former MVP's will wilt against tackles and fall into obscurity, and promising young stars will choose money over us (which it looks like you'll need, A-rod).
I think we all have a right to be confident. I mean, damn, we just throttled the most prolific offense to take the field, and nearly shut them out at that. We've seen great comebacks, should-be-executive-of-the-year front office moves, and seen our depth stand out as the "next man up" philosophy has been put to the test; but, I guess I've learned to temper my expectations. I've seen what the past has brought us and what hope has laid at my doorstep. I'm still a little weary, but I might be learning to trust again.
Maybe my hopes will be given up. Maybe our favorite players and hometown heroes will leave town. Maybe we will, yet again, suffer heart-wrenching loss when it matters most.
But, I think I'm ready--I feel my faith wont falter, and I think we can do this.