11. He’s from Compton.
Compton. You’ve heard about this place. It’s a scary, scary little neighborhood. The concrete jungle, they call it. Jungles are frightening. Concrete is also frightening. They shoot people there, supposedly. Gangs run rampant through the alleyways. Wannabe rappers approach you on street corners, Discmans in hand, demanding you listen to their mixtapes. There is nothing more petrifying than that.
And Richard Sherman, he’s from there, he’s from Compton. California! Everyone there smokes marijuana! And carries an AK-47, just like Ice Cube said! How did Sherman escape? He must be some sort of magician, or worse, a wizard. Not the good kind of wizard, either. He’s like Voldemort. The Voldemort of Compton. What do we do? WHAT DO WE DO?!
10. He screwed your fantasy team.
You started a quarterback who started against the Seahawks. That was a mistake.
You started a receiver who started against the Seahawks. That was also a mistake.
Your quarterback threw an interception…to Richard Sherman. Your receiver was blanketed all game long…by Richard Sherman. The end result? You lost your fantasy matchup…because of Richard Sherman. And now you don’t like that guy.
9. He’s smarter than you.
He has a degree in Communications from Stanford.
He scribes for Sports Illustrated.
He graduated high school with a 4.2 grade-point average, good for second in his class.
He can write complete sentences and use the correct forms of their, there, they’re, your, and you’re. Why’s he gotta be like that? Damn that guy for paying attention through fourth grade English.
8. He has dreadlocks.
Wash your hair, hippie! This isn’t Woodstock, or Hempfest, or a Dave Matthews Band concert, or whatever it is kids are into these days. This is football. PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL. It’s time these players started looking like professional professionals, the most professional. There’s nothing professional about that Bob Marley ‘do. Uh-uh, no way. Pert Plus, fool. Give it a try.
7. He can read minds.
My god. You were just talking to your buddies about how Colin Kaepernick shouldn’t have tried to throw over Richard Sherman when, lo and behold, Sherman said that very same thing on camera. And wouldn’t you know it, you too questioned the ability of Michael Crabtree, mediocre receiver, when Sherman raised those exact questions, himself.
What the hell, bro? This guy have ESP or something? He some kind of mind-reader? I don’t trust this dude. Why did he have to say those things I also said?! Screw that guy! Get out of my head, you evil bastard! I hate you!
6. He’s a thug.
Spending his off days performing community service, Sherman is well-known for his thuggish behavior. Patrolling the halls of hospitals and giving back to kids in need, the third-year cornerback carries himself like a true gangster, one who belongs to a gang that has yet to be identified, unless you count the Legion of Boom, which is rumored to be loosely associated with the Latin Kings. Or maybe it’s the Crips. Or it might be that other one they have, the Whatchamacalits, we’re not really sure. Regardless…thug.
5. He’s a fun-loving troll.
So yeah, he patted his former college coach Jim Harbaugh on the behind after his Seahawks trounced Harbaugh’s San Francisco 49ers in Week Two of the regular season.
And yeah, he also patted Niners wideout Michael Crabtree on the behind when Crabtree was denied a touchdown on the final drive in the NFC Championship game.
And okay, yes, he did greet Crabtree with an overzealous attempt at a handshake right after that sneaky little butt-pat and the game-ending deflection that led to a Seattle interception.
And if you go back a ways, he did get in Tom Brady’s ear once after a Patriots loss to ask if the quarterback was mad, bro.
And he did silence ESPN talking head Skip Bayless by casually informing the obnoxious journalist that he was “better at life” than him.
Yes, he did all that. And more.
But in the world we live in, that’s called being a troll. Trolls can be good, bad, or somewhere in-between. Sherman is the best kind of troll there is. He’s a fun-loving, clever little troll who entertains more often than he irritates. Are you not entertained? Don’t we all just want a little entertainment?
4. He endorses Beats By Dre.
Wait. Beats By Dre? Isn’t that Kaepernick’s brand? Don’t they sponsor him? What is Sherman doing with their brand on? I thought we all agreed to boycott Beats! I thought we hated Beats! What is happening?!
The moral of the story: this is why it’s a bad idea to get irrationally upset over headphones. Headphones, people. They’re just headphones.
3. He’s classless.
Richard Sherman isn’t classy, they say. And what is class, you ask? That’s a great question.
To some, class means saying “Please” and “Thank you.”
To others, class is speaking only when spoken to.
To others still, class means driving 50 miles per hour in the left lane of a major interstate with those whimsical little family decals stuck to the rear window of your Ford Windstar and a Jesus fish perched just above your “My child is a middle school honor student” bumper sticker.
Class, as it turns out, is pretty hard to define. And yet by every definition, supposedly, Richard Sherman is alleged to lack possession of that uber-ambiguous character trait we come to associate with politeness and silence and Jesus fish.
Well then. In that case, I want to be classless, too.
2. He’s a loudmouth trash-talker.
Did you not play sports growing up? Have you never enjoyed a little good-natured back and forth with a worthy adversary? Are you non-competitive? Are you soft? Are you a wimp? Do you fail to find the humor in, well, everything? Do you fail to succeed at much of what you do? Do you hate being reminded of your frequent failures? Are you upset over the way your life has transpired? Are you stuck in a loveless relationship? Do you look in the mirror and cry for long periods of time? Have you ever peed yourself just to enjoy a feeling of warmth?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, or if you’re vehemently opposed to answering any of the above questions, then I’m sorry, but you are not qualified to label Richard Sherman a loudmouth trash-talker.
If you still find yourself qualified to pass judgment and are still convinced that Sherman is little more than a loudmouth trash-talker, please turn the volume of your hearing aid down, exit your glass house, and judge accordingly once again.
1. He’s dark.
That year-round tan he sports is no coincidence: Richard Sherman might just be African-American. And in today’s society, that’s still a big deal to a number of people.
If the immediate internet backlash to Sherman’s NFC Championship postgame comments was any indication, a number of Americans still can’t accept certain behaviors without first considering ethnic background. In layman’s terms, we call that prejudice. And when it has to do with ethnicity, it’s better known as racism. People in this country are racist? Gasps abound.
But you already knew this. I’m not the first person to refer to skin color in a column on Richard Sherman and his quote-unquote attitude. It’s almost becoming cliché at this point. It’s hard to really know whether this desensitization to the idea of racism is a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s certainly developing into reality. Are we making progress through overexposure? Or are we not making enough progress because we’ve started to tune out the messages of equality?
The fact is, if Sherman were a white guy who yelled into a TV camera, we’d all giggle. All of us. Because that’s just how we react to white guys mean-mugging through our flat-screens. Why do you think WWE is so successful? Because of impassioned, yelling white guys.
For example, take San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. Isn’t Rivers just a goofball? Every time he goes nutso on the sidelines, we can’t help but smirk. He doesn’t look right expressing that much emotion. It comes across as wacky, rather than threatening.
But don’t you think Rivers might want to be taken seriously in those instances? When he’s trying to fire up his teammates, do you really think he’d appreciate being laughed at? When he’s screaming passionately in an interview over the good or the bad that just took place on the field, do you honestly believe he’s trying to be a comedian? Hell no. The guy is as serious as serious gets. But to us, it all seems so silly.
On the flip side, we have Sherman. Sherman’s antics aren’t much different than those of the San Diego signal-caller. Like Rivers, Sherman also wants to convey passion and inspire through communication. But unlike Rivers, society’s reaction to his behavior is decidedly different. There are those who are fearful of Sherman because he doesn’t look like many of us, because he’s an ethnic minority, because he manages to appear less goofy than Rivers. That’s scary. And for some godawful reason, when people get scared, they often get angry.
Who knows if that’s something the human race will ever be able to control. Some of us are built more tolerant, more intelligent, less afraid, less reactive, and less angry than others. But there are still millions upon millions of people who can’t control their rage when faced with something out of the ordinary.
So we use Richard Sherman as a vehicle for our ire. And we’re no better for it than we were before. It’s a unique predicament, and one for which there isn’t an easy solution.
Why do Americans hate Richard Sherman? Mostly, because they are not him. And he is not them. And that dissonance is great enough to invoke stupidity. Why are we so stupid sometimes?
Filed under: Uncategorized
Well I have to say that despite the smooth press conference that coach Pete Carroll gave today see :http://www.seahawks.com/videos-photos/videos/Pete-Carroll-Week-13-Tuesday-Press-Conference/62794153-fcc7-4423-972a-9e0eb51aef11
I can’t help but get the feeling that this whole suspension of Browner and Thurmond around smoking pot has indeed become a major distraction as we prepare to take on the New Orleans Saints next Monday here in Seattle with the eyes of the Football world focused on us.
The more I hear about second chances, warnings, troubled players etc. the worse feeling I get in my gut that we have fallen into sort of a collective amnesia about who we are here in Seattle and have fallen for the old “Win at any Costs” mentality that Pete Carroll used down at USC before getting slapped there.
The reality is that use of marijuana is not only legal here in Washington state but way less harmful than the legal drug alcohol which doesn’t trigger red flags when NFL players are tested. And just like the rest of society a certain percentage of people don’t have the option of just saying ” No” when it comes to alcohol and drugs and suffer from the disease of addiction. I don’t know if these two players fall into that category but I wouldn’t be surprised given their track record and thus I hope they can get into recovery before they ruin not only their careers but their lives too.
Either way this whole thing is making me take a cold hard look at myself and how important Sports really are in the big picture of life. Or maybe I am just from a different era and still believe if you have talent, work hard, keep out of trouble and are a good teammate you can win on the field and in life, let’s hope I am not wrong and that the next generation of athletes get to have some real heroes like Russell Wilson to grow up with. Go Hawks!
The five-year anniversary of the day I started this website came and went on Tuesday, November 12th, and as those 24 hours marking a half-decade elapsed, I tried to piece together the exact right words to explain what it all meant. The words are harder and harder to come by with each passing year. These moments of reflection aren’t just about the 12 months preceding a birthdate, if you will, but also about the bigger picture of this very thing that has come to define a significant portion of my life.
For starters, when I first launched the site in 2008, I really didn’t think I’d still be doing this in 2013. I figured by now I’d be consumed by a career, by a job that took my attention away from this hobby I partake in. In fact, that has occurred, at least somewhat. If you visit with any kind of regularity, you know I don’t write nearly as often as I once did. I have excuses – finding the requisite passion and energy to do any extracurricular activity is occasionally sapped by the reality of work, for one – but mostly it just sucks that I can’t write as much as I’d like. Writing makes me happy and who doesn’t want to do things that evoke happiness? At the same time, writing and the frequency with which I’ve done it in the past has entered the realm of rec sports and partying and all that other crap we leave behind as we quote-unquote grow up.
But the act of transcribing one’s thoughts is cathartic, to say the very least. And in experiencing all of this first-hand, I’ve come to realize how beneficial the brainstorming, the whispering, and the typing can be. Thinking, then speaking aloud, then tapping plastic squares on a laptop is more meaningful to me than almost anything else. I could never give it up. I need it.
This rambling nonsense leads me to my peers. From the very beginning until the present, I’ve been intrigued by the paths taken by my counterparts in the local blogging world. I’m acutely aware of the things they say, the things they do, and I use that as a barometer for what I say and do, myself. I realize it’s somewhat taboo to acknowledge the fact that other writers exist, but whatever. Insulting a readership by pretending that all the other stuff they could be reading just isn’t there is foolish. So I’d like to go ahead and point out two people, two bloggers, who I don’t know personally, who each write about Seattle sports in their own way, who have had a profound impact on the things I’ve done with this site both in the past and certainly continuing on into the future.
The first is Lookout Landing’s Jeff Sullivan, who bequeathed his popular Mariners-related website unto a protégé, Scott Weber, earlier this year. Jeff was one of the first local bloggers I read who augmented his intellect with a healthy dose of humor. When I started writing, I knew I could be funny (in my own mind, at least) and I knew I could talk sports and wanted to talk about sports. But until I saw Jeff pull an audience by doing both those things, I wasn’t sure I could successfully achieve that unique hybrid.
Jeff’s style impacted me. Likewise, his decision to pass along a product of his own creation to another was just as impactful. He seemingly grew out of his site similar to how I’ve found myself growing out of Seattle Sportsnet. Instead of trashing a product that didn’t need to be left curbside, Jeff found a capable successor in Scott Weber, transcending the legacy of something that otherwise would have been sorely missed. In the world of blogging, that transfer of power was unprecedented. Blogs rarely last more than a few months as it is. When they expire, they usually do so having been nurtured by the hands of a lone individual. To have multiple people craft the works of a single set of pages is special. More than that, it’s made me reconsider how I operate this product of my own.
The second blogger that bears mentioning is Johnny Peel from Dave Krieg’s Strike Beard. Much like with Jeff Sullivan and Lookout Landing, Johnny’s work, punctuated by a distinct personal flair, long ago influenced how this very site behaves. Upon reading Johnny’s articles for the first time, I realized he had a knack for doing exactly what I hoped to do: blending unique life experiences with more worldly discourse about Seattle sports. I took that to heart when I launched SSN.
A few months back, Johnny tweaked the fare of his site ever so slightly, peppering his usual Seahawks talk with an even greater depth of experiential discussion. Johnny, a man of thirty-some-odd years, embarked on a transition into life as a female. The resulting posts on Johnny’s venture into becoming “Johnnie,” something many of us probably cannot relate to, were a profound look into personal discovery — something to which we can all relate.
I’ve frequently struggled with just how much personal insight should be intermingled with sports talk and other grab-ass commentary on this site. Seeing Johnnie reveal herself and come to fruition so openly before our very eyes was both liberating and comforting for those like myself who consumed the words on what would otherwise be deemed a football blog. For me, it gave credence to the fact that there really is no limit to what we do in this blogospheric world of our own creation. In writing within a framework we craft, about a subject matter we determine, we are bound by virtually nothing and no one. To that end, we can say whatever it is we need to say without having to worry about how our words will be perceived – if we choose to absolve ourselves of that apprehension, of course. The reality is much more complicated than that, which is why Johnnie’s courageous efforts were of such resounding significance.
That reality, that cold reality, is that we probably care too much about what we say, what it all means, how it will be interpreted, and how that will lead others to judge us. That goes for everyone. The thing about those who share their words publicly, however, is that we go back and forth between a state of impenetrable thick-skinnedness and an antithetical, ever-so-porous state of being thin-skinned, all while dealing with that precarious question – “But what will everyone think?” – on a much grander scale than our non-sharing constituents. One minute we’re renegade badasses producing a rapid-fire flurry of sexy, exotic words unto the World Wide Web, the next minute we’re incompetent brooders, trying and failing to overcome frustration, to muster the confidence we so desperately need to say exactly what it is we want to say, what we need to say to attain that level of catharsis. In writing, the filter and the ego work in tandem to prevent the best work from ever coming to the surface, from ever reaching the screens of interested onlookers. And in knowing that, we are limited by our own audacity.
There was a mission once. This site had a mission – it has a mission, I suppose, since nothing’s changed in that regard. I wanted to bring people together. I want to bring people together. That’s it, that’s all. It’s a very high-level mission, the type that a Fortune 500 company might tack onto an office wall at corporate headquarters for all to see. And it’s very much true. When I started the site, Seattle sports fans were my target audience and I wanted to write things that would make those people happy, make them think, make them talk to one another, make them feel emotion that wasn’t decidedly negative. Negativity permeated the Seattle sports scene, as it so often has, and we didn’t need more of that garbage. So I wanted to be different, I wanted to provide something other than staid accounts of sports misery.
As time has gone by, that mission has had a greater impact than I ever thought it would. I had every intention of bringing people together in a very general sense. But through writing, I have been privileged enough to bring people to me. From people I love, to people I’ve become good friends with, to people I talk to on a regular basis, to people who inspire me, to people I play basketball with, to those I might just say hi to at a game. There are people everywhere who would never have become a part of my life if it weren’t for words I opted to share with the internet.
I say a lot of stupid things. I am not the most well-versed in knowing when to shut up. But for every stupid thing I’ve ever said, there are maybe one or two less-stupid things I’ve scribed or uttered that made all the screw-ups worth it. I’ve had five years of doing this thing that will dictate the rest of my life. Five years of doing a thing that has forever changed who I am and what I will be. There are a number of people who I’m very grateful to have with me along this journey. Many of them have been presented to you in writing over the past half-decade. Instead of calling each and every one of them out like they so deserve (my apologies for not doing that), I’ve opted to acknowledge two people I don’t know, who don’t know me, who have added value to this experience I’ve enjoyed. They are writers, I suppose, or bloggers if you prefer, but they are not defined by those titles. We are people, all of us, who have been brought together for reasons we cannot necessarily explain, but who have been made better by our very togetherness.
Thanks to all of you for giving me five years of indulgence and for making me better.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Bad news: All this winning doesn’t give us much to talk about.
Sure, we could nitpick middling flaws or break down plays one at a time. But you don’t come here for crap like that. That’s not us. So rather than go football nerd on you or wax overly-poetic about a season just four games old, we’ve done something much more juvenile and fitting. Yes, we’ve anagrammed the names of every single player, scrambling and unscrambling the letters to find the very best phrases among your 2013 Seattle Seahawks.
So without further digression, please enjoy the below findings. Special thanks to the internet for helping rearrange the words.
3 – Russell Wilson, QB
I sell slurs now.
For a nickel, he’ll cuss at you.
4 – Steven Hauschka, K
He shave nutsack.
Smooth as eggshells, baby.
7 – Tarvaris Jackson, QB
Sir Torn Java Sack.
The most unfortunate knight in all of England. Also, I’m sensing a theme here.
9 – Jon Ryan, P
According to my anagram builder, there are no anagrams for Jon Ryan. Seriously. He’s some kind of awesome. This only adds to the legend.
11 – Percy Harvin, WR
Very rich nap.
His naps are like that.
15 – Jermaine Kearse, WR
Easier name, jerk.
Yeah, seriously. This was the hardest one to find a good anagram for.
18 – Sidney Rice, WR
I dry nieces.
Like a fun, semi-frightening, uncle.
20 – Jeremy Lane, CB
Boooooooooooo! Your mother hates you! Boooooooooooooo!
22 – Robert Turbin, RB
Tit rub reborn.
Two hands, cocoa butter, rebirth.
24 – Marshawn Lynch, RB
Lynch ran whams.
He actually did do this.
25 – Richard Sherman, CB
Rich Harden’s arm.
If you know baseball, you know this is a story with a tragic ending.
28 – Walter Thurmond, CB
Lawn rod her mutt.
I don’t really know what it means. But it sounds like something that might happen in Enumclaw.
29 – Earl Thomas, FS
Loathe them. Beat them.
31 – Kam Chancellor, SS
Call me, crank ho.
On that Boost Mobile…
32 – Jeron Johnson, SS
No anagrams. Just like Jon Ryan. The letter “J” seems to present a problem for the English language.
33 – Christine Michael, RB
Chemical rein shit.
On that chemical rein shit. This should be a rap lyric.
34 – Tharold Simon, CB
Mrs. Ton, laid ho.
Mrs. Ton. Always getting busy for money.
39 – Brandon Browner, CB
Darn newborn, bro.
All my friends are having kids. So this is a real issue, bro.
40 – Derrick Coleman, RB
This could describe any number of Mariners.
41 – Byron Maxwell, CB
Mr. No Belly Wax.
He refuses belly wax.
42 – Chris Maragos, FS
44 – Spencer Ware, RB
That’s a pretty badass anagram.
46 – John Lotulelei, LB
He nut jello oil.
49 – Clint Gresham, LS
Calmer nights with Clint Gresham, soft rock radio deejay.
50 – K.J. Wright, LB
No anagrams. Need…more…vowels.
51 – Bruce Irvin, LB
It’s the bottom drawer at Victoria’s Secret.
53 – Malcolm Smith, LB
Mill tacos. Hmm.
Probably not a good idea to eat mill tacos.
54 – Bobby Wagner, LB
Be grabby now.
There’s never a bad time to be grabby.
55 – Heath Farwell, LB
Ah, he fart well.
If you picture Mr. Miyagi saying this, it’s even funnier.
56 – Cliff Avril, DE
It was either this or “rival cliff.” Yes, these were the only two options.
57 – Mike Morgan, LB
It’s like you’re in a desert, you’re so hot, you’re so thirsty, and then suddenly in the distance they appear…monks, monks everywhere. But are they real?
59 – Korey Toomer, LB
Meek rotor, yo.
That rotor is whack, though.
60 – Max Unger, C
Ma ex rung.
61 – Lemuel Jeanpierre, C
A eerie jell en rump.
What are the odds that this is actually the title of a French skin flick?
64 – J.R. Sweezy, OG
You already know there are no anagrams here. I mean, his name alone is basically an awesome anagram.
65 – Jason Spitz, C
It’s totally legal.
67 – Paul McQuistan, OT
As opposed to fancy cumquats.
68 – Breno Giacomini, OT
No, I…I…magic boner.
I mean, yeah, you’re gonna stutter a bit trying to explain your magic boner.
69 – Clinton McDonald, DT
Lint con. Damn cold.
No one wants to get conned over lint. That’s damn cold.
72 – Michael Bennett, DT
Clit beneath men.
Supposedly. If you can find it.
73 – Michael Bowie, OT
74 – Caylin Hauptmann, OT
Thin, puny anal cam.
It has to be thin and puny, I imagine.
76 – Russell Okung, OT
Go skull nurse.
Go skull nurse, go skull nurse, go skull nurse, go! Ninja rap? Anybody?
77 – James Carpenter, OG
Arcane jet sperm.
Quite the mystery, that jet sperm.
78 – Alvin Bailey, OT
Levy in labia.
Levy. Mitch Levy.
79 – Red Bryant, DE
Anyone know if Red Bryant lives on Capitol Hill? Seems like it’d be a logical place.
81 – Golden Tate, WR
Golden “Gentle Toad” Tate.
82 – Luke Willson, TE
Nuke ill owls.
PETA might not like it. But really, we’re just putting them out of their misery.
83 – Stephen Williams, WR
Lethal penis swim.
Which ultimately leads to Chris Maragos’s orgasmic rash.
86 – Zach Miller, TE
Just like the realm in which I searched for anagrams for Zach’s name. Zilch.
87 – Kellen Davis, TE
Russell Okung has these, I hear.
89 – Doug Baldwin, WR
That, uh…that…well, yep.
90 – Jesse Williams, DT
These are Chris Berman’s jellies. Do not touch these jellies.
91 – Chris Clemons, DE
Mrs. No Cliches
Girl’s all original.
92 – Brandon Mebane, DT
Band name: Boner.
Coming to the stage…Boner!
93 – O’Brien Schofield, LB
Credible info, hos.
“Excuse me, ladies. Can you tell me if this is the corner of 4th and Broadway? It is?”
95 – Benson Mayowa, DE
97 – Jordan Hill, DT
A drill, John.
That is a drill.
98 – Greg Scruggs, DE
Sadly, no anagrams. Just so many Gs.
99 – Tony McDaniel, DT
The worst kind of client.
Filed under: Uncategorized
God damn it, Mariners. Your manager just quit on you. He quit! That doesn’t fucking happen! This is the major fucking leagues! What the hell are you doing? How on earth can you possibly explain this disaster? What. The. Fuck.
And he isn’t the first. Not at all. Not even the first this decade. Mike Hargrove quit on you in 2007. In the middle of the goddamn season. He just up and left. Got in a pickup truck and literally drove away. He was so aggravated by the crazy shit you pull that he took a road trip through the country and left Major League Baseball altogether.
Do you assholes even understand what is going on here? Major league managers DO NOT QUIT THEIR JOBS. Ever. It doesn’t happen. They’re making ridiculous amounts of money to babysit adults. This is their dream come true. They’re at the pinnacle of their profession. Why the hell would they ever quit? It would be foolish to quit. No one would do it. And yet…and yet…I can hardly believe this…you’ve had TWO managers quit on you in the PAST SIX YEARS! WHAT THE SHIT?!
And if you want to go back just a little bit further, you had ANOTHER manager quit on you in 2002, when Lou Piniella up and decided it was time to leave. You drove away the greatest manager in the history of the organization because you people are CRAZY! YOU’RE CRAZY! You assholes are nuts and you don’t even realize it! You’re the woman on Maury with eight babies by eight different men wondering why you can’t keep no man while simultaneously proclaiming you don’t need no man while holding eight fucking kids you can’t raise to be men while wearing a leather mini-skirt and heels and talking about your job as a ten-dollar-an-hour stripper in the middle of the goddamn ghetto, goddammit look in the mirror, stupid! This is some bullshit! All of it! All of it is bullshit!
This is all your fault, Chuck. You too, Howard. You senile old bastards have to be some of the worst executives in the history of American capitalism. This organization is making money in spite of your wrinkly, decrepit asses. This organization is being carried by the people beneath you, people behind the scenes who nobly come to work for you crazy fucks every day for God knows what reason. They deserve better than you. We all do. And yet you won’t leave. Why the hell won’t you leave? Just leave.
Eric Wedge quit on you because he got fed up with the same bullshit that every Seattle Mariners fan is equally fed up with. And Jack Zduriencik, whether you fire him or he quits first, is next. Jack hasn’t been great at his job and this organization could probably do better at the General Manager position. But just like Wedge, Zduriencik can do a whole lot better than you. Here’s hoping both men find success elsewhere, success they NEVER would have found here. Because one can only conduct a runaway train for so long before it crashes, burns, and blows to smithereens.
We can all do better. All of us. Every fan, every coach, every player, every employee working beneath you, everyone. Every fan that pays your goddamn salary, that just wants to see this team win, that lives and dies by a baseball team that treats its loyal supporters like absolute crap. Every coach that has to wonder day in and day out whether his job will be secured by a bunch of idiots always looking to find the next scapegoat. Every player that has to wonder if and when he will be cut, a scapegoat in his own right, while being surrounded by the negativity that permeates a losing ballclub. Every employee that’s done his or her job each day without the benefit of seeing the organization succeed. And every single goddamn one of us that just wants the Mariners to win a World Series, which we cannot do with a pair of morons running the franchise.
Get out, you bastards.
Filed under: Uncategorized
We share a lot of things with our Canadian neighbors to the from BC including similar weather, salmon runs, progressive politics and a passion for the American Pastime the game they call Baseball. But I gotta say I’m so happy we we’re able beat the Blue Jays today 9-7 to deny them and their loud Canadian fans the opportunity to celebrate a sweep here in Seattle at sunny Safeco Field this afternoon.
Of course I have to admit I wasn’t feeling too positive after our starter Aaron Harang squandered an early 2-run lead thanks to a flurry of walks aided by a couple homers from the visitors. But somehow the much maligned bullpen was able to shut-down the Jays the rest of the way before handing the ball over to our new closer of sorts Danny Farqhuar in the ninth who got the save.
Once again it was none other than Humberto Quintero one of our slugging relief catchers who had the big-blast of the game a 2-run homer in a 6-run fifth inning rally that took the wind out of the ”Let’s go Blue Jays” crowd. The hot-hitting Justin Smoak also had a clutch 2-run double in the big fifth frame as well as he continues to make a statement these days with his bat. The offense was impressive overall producing 11 hits and coming all the way back from a 7-2 deficit to stun the Jays, for the Mariners biggest comeback of the year.
Now the Mariners will get a day off to enjoy the beautiful Seattle weather like the rest of us before the Brewers come to town Friday. I plan on heading down to Safeco Field on Friday for the opener instead of fighting the crowds to be on hand for the Ken Griffey Jr. induction into the Mariners Hall of Fame night on Saturday. I will say this much, I plan on making another trip to Cooperstown when he gets inducted there in a few more years.
So farewell all you polite ( when sober) Canadian Fans as you battle through the traffic on the way back across the border, we will see you next year and we’ll be ready next time! Go M’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
I had a lot of options last night as far as what to do with my spare time and recreation dollars, but like a good loyal Seattle Mariners fan I decided to head down to Safeco Field to see if our boys could finish off the Astros and get their first sweep of the season. In addition rookie catcher Mike Zunino was scheduled to make his major-league debut so I did my usual routine of grabbing a box seat off one of the scalpers for cheap, this time 25 bucks, and headed into enjoy a nice semi-cloudy evening in Seattle along with 13,000+ Mariners fans.
Though this game was kind of boring with these two powerhouse clubs unable to mount any sort of offense until the Mariners finally broke through in the eighth inning when Nick Franklin drove in Chavez with his third hit of the night much to the delight of the hard-core fans like myself down at the Safe. Mike Zunino had a nice game as well throwing out a runner and picking up his first major-league hit ,and just generally look and athletic and ready to be a Big Leaguer. I am glad to see him and Nick Franklin up with the Big Club as they seem to be hungry and athletic enough to make a difference. We’ve seen a lot of these guys come up and down the past three or four years so I have a pretty good idea of which ones are really athletic and which ones are sort of posers, and unfortunately it looks like Michael Saunders is putting on his posing act again and is ready for a trip to Tacoma. Perhaps he can switch out with Dustin Ackley after he regains his confidence as an outfielder in a week or so and he keeps hitting down there.
Jeremy Bonderman pitched one heckuva game, I was out in the bullpen in the bottom of the eighth when Tom Wilhelmsen was warming up , after we scored a run the “Bartender” sort of sat down and I thought hey maybe Eric Wedge will leave Bonderman in and let them finish out the game and get the victory as he deserved. But as we all know Eric Wedge had to bring in the bartender who really looks like a drunk who was relapsed recently, and then we got to see an absolute nightmare meltdown as Wilhelmsen and Medina surrendered six runs in the ninth inning to take the wind out of our sails completely and send us all home shaking our heads once again . I hope Chuck Armstrong and Howard Lincoln are happy with what has become to this once respected and winning franchise, those two truly are a cancer and as everyone knows nothing really is going to change around here until they go. Yes I know Jack Z and Eric Wedge are on the hotseat, but as usual Howard and Chuck will slink away and hide in their plush seats up above looking down at us hapless fans……Oh what a dismal life it is to be a Mariners fan…
So now the Mariners get a day off before traveling down to Oakland to take on the red-hot Athletics with so many question marks and things up in the air that I don’t even know where to start. I suppose I will leave that to all the great stat-geeks and their hotshot Mariners blogs out there, but really even those guys are baffled now as all of their prospect development plans have fallen through and they too are left with just this dismal product that Chuck and Howard put out on the field year after bloody year . I’m sure not too many of you are reading this as this town is rapidly turning into a soccer town in the summer months to go along with our wonderful outdoor activity, but for those who are I feel your pain. I’m going to take a drive down to Portland this week and be like the guy from Lookout Landing and just comment on the Mariners from afar , maybe that will be a little less dismal … Go Mariners!http://jeffsmariners.com
Tags: Eric Wedge and Jack Z. Hotseat, Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong cancer, Jeremy Bonderman, Lookout Landing Portland, Mariner Blog, Mariners Ownership, Mike Zunino debut, Nick Franklin three hits, Seattle Mariners dismal, Tom Wilhelmsen Drunk Bartender, Uncategorized
The Seattle Mariners continued to roll today down in Peoria thumping the Texas Rangers 8- 6, putting on another wonderful display of power today for the fans down in Peoria. Today’s heroes on the offense side were Jason Bay who hit his second homer of the year, Mike Morse who broke out for his first dinger, the lanky Michael Saunders who clobbered one and none other than Carlos Peguero who hit his third home run in two days down in the desert. As you can see by the clip above the Seattle Mariners are starting to create a little buzz down in Peoria as Eric Wedge in the final year of his contract seems to have been finally given some offensive tools to go along with the Mariners strong defense and pitching from the last couple years.
Carlos Peguero is a guy that people love to hate, the local media and bloggers have all but written off the big kid due to his weak plate discipline over the past couple years. But it looks as if Carlos has a better approach this year and is being a little bit more selective of the pitches he is seeing as evidenced by his three home runs in two days. As for Jason Bay the aging veteran, his second home run of the spring certainly doesn’t hurt his chances to make the club as the crowded outfield competition continues down in the land of sun and dreams. It was good to see Mike Morse get his first home run of the spring as well along with Michael Saunders who appears to have tweaked his swing once again in the off-season thanks to his personal batting coach.
Young Brandon Maurer got the win today pitching two innings of two hit ball to keep his earned run average at zeros for the young spring. Maurer is a guy to keep your eyes on as despite all the hoopla around Hultzen, Paxton and Walker people down in Peoria are saying that Maurer perhaps has the best chance to crack the starting rotation of any of the youngsters when the club breaks camp.
After today’s home run derby down in Peoria, coupled with the fact that the fences are moving in at Safeco Field this year I’m starting to get a little hope that maybe we can indeed put some runs on the board this year. Of course it is hard to tell what is really happening down there as I get my news from listening to the games, talking to my friend Rob who is down there and promises to send some photos up, and whatever else I can pick up on the Internet. But rest assured if this new offenses rejuvenation is for real I will be paying a lot more attention in 2013 to our Seattle Mariners and will bring you the latest here at this Mariners blog. If you haven’t subscribed via email now is your chance to do that or follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Go Mariners! http://jeffsmariners.com
Tags: Brandon Maurer starting rotation, Carlos Peguero third Home Run, Eric Wedge Mariners, Jason Bay Home Run, Mariners Beat Rangers 8-6, Mariners Blog, Mike Morse home run, Seattle Mariners Peoria, Spring 2013, Uncategorized
Today was Blue Friday all over Seahawks Nation including right here in Fremont in the heart of Seattle. While many of my neighbors are progressive and creative types that are not as crazed about the Hawks as our 12th Man cousins outside of the city limits, many of us including myself represented today by wearing our Seahawks gear. I have posted a sign in my back window that says : “Fremont the Left Wing Of the 12th Man” in order to help build community spirit around the team that is representing us this weekend back in Atlanta.
In today’s modern world of free agents, mass media hype and players who have taken on the roles of Rock Stars it is so wonderful to see and feel our community responding to the Seahawks crew of undersized giants and cast-aways in such a positive way. There was a time when sports teams actually felt connected to the city they played for and knew they were representing us as well as themselves when they took the field. And strangely enough this years squad with Pete Carroll at the helm seems to feed off of us as much as we do them in a healthy symbiotic way. No matter what happens the rest of the way Russell Wilson and his cohorts have awakened a sense of pride in our region in the middle of this long cold winter.
For the record I have begun budgeting for a trip to New Orleans if we make it that far ,and I’m going out on a limb and making flight and hotel reservations Sunday afternoon if (when) we win. Last time I went to the Super Bowl it cost me close to four grand total for the trip and I figure it’s going to take five thousand this year for the whole deal. Anyone else going? Let me know and we can create a little team to figure out tickets, hotels etc….I know I’m getting ahead of myself but I have allowed myself to start dreaming again thanks to Marshawn Lynch (who missed a couple practices this week due to a foot injury) and crew…
One more thing, Id love to see anyone elses photos from Blue Friday so send an attachment with your photos and I’ll post them here for the world to see your hometown pride. Go Hawks!
I was 18 years old and would be headed to the University of Washington come autumn. I had a job working retail at the mall, but my concerns rarely lent themselves to selling shoes or folding t-shirts. I’d rather hang out, watch baseball, listen to music, go to movies, impress the opposite sex, or work out — all of this according to my AOL Instant Messenger profile, of course.
I was still very much a kid back then, one who had never really emerged from the cocoon that seems to envelop the Greater Seattle suburbs. I was naive, goofy, quiet, innocent, and all the things you tend to be before you settle into adulthood.
In that final summer before college commenced, I just wanted to hang out with all the other kids that I’d grown up with. Kids who would move on to different schools in different towns. Kids I might never see again. Kids that I enjoyed being around. I think we knew back then that life would never really be the same for any of us. And for the final few months of our adolescence, it was important that we embrace the memories we had in our past, as well as those we would create over the following weeks.
So it was that on a warm evening in late June, my friend Danny and I found ourselves in the stands at Everett Memorial Stadium, watching as the Mariners’ Single-A affiliate played before a modest crowd of onlookers.
We had no intentions for the evening, other than to watch baseball, enjoy the weather, and kick back for a few hours. Danny and I had been buddies since fourth grade. We’d been to elementary school, middle school, and high school together. His friends were my friends and vice-versa. Our parents knew each other. We’d been in one another’s company for nearly half of our respective lives, but in one month Danny would be headed to USC. It was that inkling we had, knowing things would be changing very shortly, that took us to Everett that night. And so we sat along the third base line and, very simply, watched.
I won’t ever forget what we paid witness to that night. It wasn’t an event, per se, but another kid. He was tall, lanky, had a dark tan, and wore long sleeves in spite of the mild conditions. The program told me he was only 17 years of age — “He’s younger than us!” I recall remarking — and a native of Venezuela.
But it wasn’t who he was, so much as what he was doing, that really caught our attention.
Perched along the stadium’s outfield wall was a rather inconspicuous speed pitch display, free of advertisements, gaudy lighting, or anything you’d find in a big league ballpark. And with each fastball this 17-year-old kid blew past opposing batters, the incandescent display on that electronic board flashed numbers like 95, 94, and 96.
He didn’t pitch more than a few innings, this kid. In his brief appearance, however, he wowed us.
We left the ballpark that night in awe of what we’d seen: a Mariners prospect the same age as most high school juniors mowing down the opposition with relative ease. His name wasn’t important at the time — how often do you consider the names of low-A-ball prospects, anyway? — but his actions were memorable. Only later on would we realize that this teenage phenom we had the fortune of witnessing was, in fact, the esteemed Felix Hernandez.
Nine summers have passed since I first watched Felix throw a baseball. He’s a king now, or so they say. He’s evolved from a skinny, teenaged prodigy into a polished, 26-year-old All-Star. He’s enjoyed the equivalent of seven full seasons in the major leagues. He’s gone from an über-prospect, to a pudgy mainstay, to an American League Cy Young Award winner.
He has only earned paychecks from one organization throughout his entire professional career. And to date, it has been more than a decade — he signed his first pro contract on July 4, 2002 — since Felix became a Mariner.
The Seattle fan base has embraced Felix Hernandez like few other athletes before him. No other ballplayer in this city’s history has absolved himself of criticism the way Felix has. Wrong? Felix can do none of it. We’re known for running our heroes out of town around here. So far, Felix has proven to be the exception to that rule.
As Felix has grown up, so have his supporters.
Looking back on that summer evening I spent gawking at Felix’s youthful greatness-in-the-making, I realize that all my suspicions about life and the mercurial horizon awaiting me were spot-on. Weeks after that get-together, Danny would take off for Southern California and it’d be a few years before we reconnected. Like so many friends bound for distant colleges, we began to head our separate ways. To this day, though, we stay in touch. And not one month ago, when we met up for the first time in two summers (in Las Vegas, of all places), the conversation turned to sports, baseball, the Mariners, and yes, even Felix.
When you’re a diehard sports fan, you tend to recall your past in conjunction with great seasons, great plays, and other feats of athletic glory. For example, I can tell you all about everything that happened to me in 1995, when I was 10, thanks in large part to the memories I’ve held onto from one miracle playoff run. So it should really come as no surprise that the summer of 2003 is still synonymous with that moment I first watched a young Felix Hernandez baffle hapless hitters.
Since then, however, few moments of notoriety have emerged for your typical Seattle sports fan to cling to. While I’m acutely aware that most of this drought is the product of a decade’s worth of losing, part of me wonders if the sobering reality of my own adulthood has jettisoned prospective memories from claiming real estate in my mind.
You see, when you’re a kid, you tend to attach even the most meaningless events to the coattails of the meaningful. One impactful occurrence can trigger a slew of nostalgia for the remainder of your existence.
When you grow up — or age, at least, since I’m fairly convinced I’ll never grow up — those moments become fewer and farther between. You tend to forget what it’s like to joyously celebrate even the most seemingly inconsequential circumstances. Adulthood has its perks, sure. That carefree manifesto you unwittingly lived by when you were younger, though? It’s long since decomposed.
But then there are days like Wednesday, August 15th, 2012. Days that serve as reminders of foolish, unadulterated bliss. That interrupt the trials and tribulations of the everyday to cathartically grant you a lasting reverie that will attach itself to this very point in your life and never let go.
Felix Hernandez was 17 years old the last time he bestowed upon me a lasting reverie. He’s 26 now. I’m 27. We have never met each other, not once, yet have grown up together in the same city, in completely different environments.
I’ve lived in and around Seattle my whole life. By comparison, Felix may as well be a world traveler. In all my years residing here, there are only a handful of times that the Mariners — Felix’s Mariners — have made me tremendously happy. In 1995, it happened. In 2001, it happened. And on Wednesday, it happened once again.
Felix Hernandez went out and threw a perfect game. It was the 23rd perfect game in the history of Major League Baseball. It was, without a doubt, one of the greatest pitching performances the world has ever seen.
More importantly, for me, for you, for us, it was a memory that can never be taken away. Regardless of our ages, our places in this world, our pasts, our presents, or our futures, this is something we will never forget.
With each pitch, we held our breath. With each out, our hearts leapt. And when that final strike zoomed across the zone, as home plate umpire Rob Drake made the decisive call on a game that would go down in history, as Felix Hernandez looked to the sky and let out every ounce of emotion he’d contained for nearly two-and-a-half hours, and as every man clothed in the Mariners’ home whites made a beeline for the pitcher’s mound, we smiled. Or cheered. Or laughed. Or cried. Or shrieked, screamed, yelled, gasped, squealed, you name it.
We rejoiced. Because on this particular day, Felix Hernandez gave us a reason to.
We will never forget this.
I will never forget this.
From an eternal Seattle sports fan, to an eternal Seattle sports icon, thank you. Thank you, Felix. You did great.
*Image courtesy The Everett Herald. For more rare Felix images, go here.
Filed under: Mariners, Uncategorized
As you may know, I am not a huge soccer fan. Running for 90 minutes is not my idea of fun. Kicking is not my idea of fun. Taking balls to the face is not my idea of fun. But that’s just me. I respect those of you who do find soccer to be fun. I do enjoy winning, and as the Sounders have made it a point to win quite often since their inception, that, to me, is fun.
With all that said, I have been fortunate enough to receive a pair of tickets to next Wednesday’s Sounders-Chelsea match thanks to Allstate Insurance. They told me to do with these tickets as I wish, so long as I passed along a little info about an event preceding the contest. Here are the details:
Before the game, new World Football Challenge sponsor Allstate Insurance is giving Sounders fans the chance to meet former Major League Soccer star and recent Soccer Hall of Fame inductee Tony Meola as part of the Allstate Fan Zone, an interactive display just outside of the stadium. The Allstate Fan Zone will be open from 4:30-6:30 p.m., and the Tony Meola meet-and-greet autograph session will run from 5:00-6:15 p.m. While there, Allstate is also giving fans the chance to register on-site to win tickets to future Sounders home games.
I encourage you to check out the Meola event, if for no other reason than because Allstate was kind enough to give me these tickets.
Oh, and yeah, you probably want a chance to win these tickets. To do that, just follow me on Twitter (@alexssn) and tweet me with the hashtag #alexssnTIX. That’s all you gotta do. I’ll pick a winner at random by Monday morning, at which point the tickets are yours. Good luck!
Filed under: Uncategorized
On Saturday, call your hot dog a tube steak and everyone will think you’re hip. Turn Back the Clock tix: atmlb.com/LbdEGd
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) May 21, 2012
Back in the 1950s, the cool kids apparently used to refer to hot dogs as “tube steaks.” Fun.
These days, the term “tube steak” is largely understood by anyone under age 60 to refer to a dude’s penis. So what we have here is quite the conundrum.
I know we’ve all questioned how out of touch the M’s organization may very well be with their fan base, but this has to be a new comedic high (or low, depending on your viewpoint). Sure, Chuck Armstrong and Howard Lincoln may be quite fond of the tube steak, but the average fan? I don’t know about that.
Regardless, I encourage anyone attending Saturday’s Turn-Back-The-Clock game to order up tube steak after tube steak and induce giggles from concession stand workers who otherwise might not get a laugh in during their shift.
Can I get a foot-long tube steak? Tonight, sir, you can.
Filed under: Uncategorized
In the middle of doing work — actual work for my real-life job — the urge to write overwhelmed me. Such an urge doesn’t often poke and prod at my consciousness the way it once did, so I figured I’d better act on the impulse.
Every few months I sit down and reevaluate where I’m at with my writing. And every time I do this, it seems my life has changed a bit more drastically than the last time I did this reflection thing.
So where are we at right now? At this precise moment, it’s 10:45 p.m. on a beautiful Saturday evening and I’m sitting on my deck listening to what more or less amounts to the entire Britney Spears discography. There’s an explanation here. You see, my girlfriend (@danceral on Twitter; follow her) was teaching a dance class last week and needed a Britney Spears mix. So I downloaded the songs onto my laptop and… you know what, never mind. Excuses are for the weak. Just know that this is really happening. I’m very comfortable with my place in this world. Even right this second, as I bump Anticipating through the headphones. I imagine this is not what Andre Young had in mind when he got his Ph.D in rapology and dropped his Beats on the universe. Sorry, Dre.
I’ve been working a lot lately. My job has consumed my everyday. It happens. You get sucked into that thing that pays your bills and let it dictate your existence every now and then. We’ve all been there. I guess it’s fairly obvious, if I’m sitting here on a Saturday night doing work. Or at least I was. Until this started happening.
Work is neither bad or good. It just is. When I’m fortunate enough to meet the people who read my stuff, they’re often surprised to find I have a job that isn’t media-related, but alas, ’tis true. SSN is my hobby, nothing more. Like any hobby, I fit it in where I can. Which is why for the better part of the past year, I haven’t written nearly as much as I once did. Work has kept me busy during the day, while my free time has been devoted to spending moments with the people who bring me the most joy. I realize there’s a certain selfishness to the direction my life has taken.
I mention this often, but from Day One — November 12, 2008; I’ll never forget the date — the mission behind my website was to bring people together. I really can’t tell you why I saw that as my mission. But at the time, I had this feeling that sports fans in Seattle needed some sort of unifying thing to rally around. That year, 2008, was epically horrible. The Mariners lost 100-plus games, the Husky and Cougar football teams were a combined 2-23, the Seahawks finished 4-12 and had their streak of four consecutive NFC West championships snapped, and we watched helplessly as our Sonics were stolen from us. It was bad.
On the flip side, what did I really know? I was a 24-year-old kid who had never written professionally. I just had this desire to talk to people about sports. And I needed a new hobby in my life. I was bored. Boredom, it turns out, is an exceptional motivator.
We’re going on four years of this now. Every week, I wonder if this is the week I’ll give it all up. But then I look at the people who have found value, however minimal, in what I’ve done here. I can’t give it up. I like doing this for them, for us. Nothing — no amount of money, no job, absolutely nothing — could replace the satisfaction of achieving the mission I set out for myself.
I’m a completely different person than when I started this website. It seems so foolishly stupid. My life has been entirely altered by a domain name. Think about that. Twenty years ago, this wouldn’t even be possible. That boggles my mind. Without one single act of buying a URL and filling its end result with words, I’m not anywhere near the same person. Crazy.
I played in a softball game earlier today. At one point in that game, I realized every single person I was there with I had only met because of my website. I have another softball team I play on, too. I don’t play ball with those guys if I don’t start this site, either.
Rec softball is just an example. Some of my best friends in the whole freakin’ world are people I would never have had the chance to get to know without this site existing. Opportunities I’ve been granted come as a result of these pages. The people who hired me at my job — my career, my recent temporal burden — once told me the thing that gave me the edge over all the other applicants was the initiative I had taken to run a site of my own creation.
I had no confidence before I started writing on these pages. People should know that. I was reserved and had no idea who I was. My self-worth was non-existent. And perhaps that’s different than confidence. Because one can always exude confidence, even if it’s false bravado. We always like to think we have shit figured out. But at the end of the day, when the world has shut itself off around you and you’re left with only your thoughts, you know your true value. I had none that I could see. No value. I wanted that. I went in search of value through writing. I’ve found some things, but mostly I’ve come to the realization that a) we never actually figure shit out, and b) our self-worth can’t be determined by any audience, only by oneself.
I’ve been up and down over the past forty-two months. You can look back at anything I’ve ever written and sense the emotion from that point in time. I’m incredibly reactive. Compared to most sports fans, I’m probably a little more even-keel. But my heart is on my sleeve. If I’m feeling something, you’ll see it in the writing. I’ve never been blessed with the ability to disguise my passion.
I guess no matter what has happened to me since November 12, 2008, I’ve always had this website to keep my life in perspective. It is the one constant that has guided me. And it’s not just the website, really. It’s the people who’ve made the website possible, the readers. I’ve found value in the people as they’ve found value in my words. It’s kind of hard to explain, but the reality of that relationship gives me a ton of energy. I brought people together, just like I wanted to. And at the same time, all those people have brought me a great deal of satisfaction.
A few months ago, readers of my website started trying to hook me up with this girl. She was all about sports and whatnot. She had a job in sports, she was a Seattle sports fan, a fellow UW grad, all things that would undoubtedly appeal to me. She had a Twitter account. We happened to “follow” each other. Every now and then, she’d mention me in a tweet (tweet…even as I’ve embraced Twitter, I still hate that word in its modern-day form) and I’d get a little excited since she was pretty and seemed to agree with my otherwise outlandish opinions of society. But we didn’t really interact much. We just happened to acknowledge one another’s presence in the spectrum of the internet.
I went to the Alamo Bowl in December to watch the Huskies play football. We all know what happened there. No need to go into much detail. It’s not that important. But the setting is important. Because on the early morning of New Year’s Eve, my friends and I were camped out in the middle of the Houston airport, having spent the entire night awake in the most uncomfortable of venues. We slept on a hard floor. Except we didn’t really sleep. Two of us were sick, another one puked from the overconsumption of adult beverages. Our misery was a testament to sports fanaticism, I guess you could argue. But mostly, we were just being idiots. When you’re single and in your late-twenties, you can do that sort of thing and get away with it. Might as well enjoy it while it lasts, right?
Anyway, there we were when I took to my Twitter account and began chronicling the events taking place before me. This was at about 3:00 a.m. Seattle time, bear in mind. I expected no one to read my posts. I just wanted a record of the memorable evening occurring in my midst. But then this girl, Andrea, the one people had mentioned to me in passing, responded. And then she kept responding. And we started conversing back and forth in 140-character bursts. And pretty soon she hinted at a date. I told my friends who were with me on the trip about this turn of events. They just laughed at me, and ultimately my conversation with this girl ended when I boarded a plane bound for home.
A couple days later I told her I wanted to take her up on the date offer, if it still stood. She caught me off-guard when she invited me to an event that wouldn’t be taking place for a month — a month!!! I didn’t really know what to think, so I just said yes. We agreed to go on a date on February 2nd. This was in the first week of January.
Over the next thirty days or so, we would communicate from time to time. We texted and tweeted (the past tense of “tweet” is just as bad as the present tense) and little else. I liked her, but I tried to ignore her. There’s nothing worse than going on a first date and having nothing to talk about because you’ve already exhausted your conversation. I didn’t get my hopes up. I had incredibly high standards for dating. My friends would make fun of me for those standards. But I never wavered. When you know what you want, there’s no reason to settle for less than that.
February 2nd finally came. I wasn’t nervous. I’m always nervous for this sort of thing, but I was oddly calm on this particular evening. We met at the Seahawks’ practice facility. Sports. My life always comes back to sports. The event was for the Sea Gals. She was a Sea Gal. We were going to watch a dance dress rehearsal together. I didn’t even know what to expect.
She was beautiful. There are times when someone in your presence can make you question everything about yourself because of who they are or what they look like. At that instant I first saw her, I questioned everything from my choice of attire to my haircut to the deodorant I had put on to whatever cool, funny thing I was planning on rattling off. Everything. I questioned everything.
We sat next to each other watching a dance team on a stage. I made her laugh a few times. She made me laugh a few times. The rest of the night was a blur, but went amazingly. We didn’t get tired of each other once. We figured we should keep hanging out. It’s been 100 days. We’ve been making each other laugh for 100 days.
She has changed who I am in a positive way. I measure myself by how many times each day I can make her smile. I’m better with her. She makes me better.
And yes, she’s also the reason I am still, nearly two hours later, listening to Britney Spears sing. No one ever accused me of having good taste in music. And I’m easily impressionable. Let’s be honest here.
I would be remiss if I didn’t devote a significant portion of this article to my girlfriend. Over the last hundred days, she has made me happy. There are lots of things in my life that have changed since I started this website, and this is one of those things that’s slightly more important than the rest.
I had that mission to bring people together. I’ve been fulfilling that mission. I’ve benefited from that mission in a number of ways. Perhaps the best example of how I’ve benefited from my own mission can be personified, very simply, in the beautiful girl who makes me happy.
I’m in a good place. We’re in a good place. I’d like to give you, the reader — and if you’re still reading this, good lord, you impress me — my words every single day, but I can’t always do that. In the grand scheme of things, my words are unimportant. We’re fulfilling a mission together. We’re figuring things out together. We depend upon one another in ways neither of us will ever fully comprehend. I owe you so much. And where I’m at now, a lot of that has to do with you. We might not be connected personally, but if you’ve ever read anything here, then you’ve impacted me.
This week won’t be the week I give it all up. Next week likely won’t be either. In fact, I’m guessing that week might not ever arrive. I won’t ever stop all of this. When life gets a little hectic, I like to think I’d be able to sacrifice writing if I had to. But it’s not a realistic thought at all. This is part of figuring life out, yet never having it all figured out. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, exactly, but I know I love doing this one thing. So I’ll keep doing it. And life will keep evolving around it. Because for three-and-a-half years, that’s what life’s done.
We’re here together. I like that.
Filed under: Uncategorized
The Mariners don’t want Chris Hansen to build a multi-purpose, state-of-the-art arena — an arena that is ultimately destined to house both an NBA and an NHL team — in their backyard. Unfortunately for the Mariners, Hansen has already purchased land immediately south of Safeco Field, in the heart of Seattle’s SODO district. Hansen also has the blessing of the City of Seattle and King County in building his arena, as well as public backing from Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and County Executive Dow Constantine. So to say the odds are stacked against the Mariners wouldn’t be inaccurate.
Why the Mariners have chosen to issue a letter to the aforementioned parties expressing concern over the proposed site of the arena makes sense from a business perspective, but is absolutely idiotic from a marketing and positioning (i.e. Public Relations) standpoint. Why? Good question. I’ll do my best to answer that.
But first, let me just state the obvious. The Mariners are f**king dickheads. They’ve been dickheads for quite some time. It’s evident in the way they’ve treated their fan base for so many years. For every positive, there are two negatives. “Hey, guess what, guys?! Instead of landing that free agent that would put us over the top, we reinvested in our Nintendo gaming stations and promotional bobbleheads. Enjoy the crap out of that shit!” F**king f**ks. We’re not f**king short-bus riders, you douchebags. Stop treating us like we lack the mental capacity to understand what you’re doing. It’s cheaper to pour a couple thousand dollars into a tiny wooden statue built in Ichiro’s likeness than it is to go out and sign Prince F**kin’ Fielder, we f**kin’ get it. Don’t f**kin’ lie to us to make up for it. F**k.
That said, the M’s organization is full of good businessmen. The thing about good businessmen is that they’re savvy. The Mariners are savvy enough to have put a fence around the SODO area and absolutely owned that shit since moving to Safeco Field in 1999. You know why there aren’t too many bars in SODO? Because of the Mariners. You know why restaurants aren’t zoned in SODO? The Mariners. You know why SODO is still a boring-as-shit neighborhood? The motherf**king Mariners. And do you know why the Mariners have made SODO that way? Because they want fans to focus solely on the concessions inside their own venue. They don’t want people going over to Pyramid, for example, and spending money. No, they want fans to drop $9 on a domestic light beer in The ‘Pen. It’s a business move. A short-sighted business move, but a business move nonetheless.
You can see why, from a business perspective, the Mariners’ thinking isn’t too stupid. If fans have nowhere else to go, they’ll end up inside the gates of Safeco two hours before first pitch pounding costly Bud Lights. Makes sense, right? Well, it WOULD make sense if the team were winning and had an absolute foothold in the area, but that isn’t happening. Which is why I say this line of thinking is so ridiculously short-sighted.
Take a look at a city like Boston, for example. The area around Fenway Park is thriving with establishments that have no affiliation with the Red Sox organization. These establishments essentially profit off the Red Sox, however, because of all the fans who frequent the area for games. Aside from having a winning product on the field, why do fans come to games and in turn frequent the area? Because of the gameday experience. The gameday experience in Boston is second-to-none, which is why people go. Even if fans can’t get a ticket into Fenway, they’ll head to Yawkey Way to absorb the ambiance and enjoy life. Worst case scenario, they pony up at a bar one Kevin Youkilis home run away from the Green Monster. Not a bad consolation prize, right?
The Mariners don’t see it that way, though. They see competing establishments as a gigantic threat to their revenue. Have they even considered the gameday experience outside their gates? Not really. They lack that intuition. They’re naive. But do we really expect anything different? This is an organization that has mitigated the future for failed playoff runs time and time again. Their lack of commitment to the gameday experience surrounding Safeco is essentially the short-sighted equivalent of dealing Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek for Heathcliff Slocumb. To them, fans are only worth a damn if they’re locked up inside the palatial prison that Safeco Field has become. As soon as fans step outside those turnstiles? F**k ‘em.
So what does all this have to do with their concerns over Hansen’s new arena? Frankly, they don’t want a competitor like Hansen (et al) to have any say in what goes on in SODO. This isn’t a parking concern, or a traffic concern, or any of the other bullshit outlined in that letter you all had the pleasure of reading. This is a concern over another influencer in the vicinity. It’s like when motherf**king Kirk McCray moved in on Winnie Cooper and Kevin Arnold had his influence on that smokin’ hot babe reduced as a result. Before Kirk McCray, Kevin was the man. THE MAN! After Kirk McCray? Well, Kevin wasn’t nearly as important as he used to be. The Mariners don’t want Chris Hansen and his arena to be their Kirk McCray. And SODO is their Winnie. They own that shit right now. They want to keep it that way.
(Side note: That’s a Wonder Years reference for those of you completely in the dark on that analogy.)
If you’re a Seattle sports fan, this is some bullshit. The Mariners are trying to control your destiny for their own sake. They’ve owned you for 35 years and they want to keep owning you from now until forever. I love that team, but I hate the organization. You can separate one entity from the other. It’s okay to do that. Don’t be blinded by their rhetoric. They’re messing with you, me, and every other fan out there. For the first time, they just happened to cross a line of common decency (a line they were always treading, by the way) in threatening an arena that would all but guarantee the return of the Sonics — OUR SONICS! — to their rightful place in this world of ours.
We could handle it before. The zoning BS. The lack of bars, restaurants, and any discernible gameday experience. The losing product that has plagued us for more than a decade (with two decades of collateral from their conception to back that, no less). But trying to block a do-gooder from doing good for all of us fans? You’re just slapping us in the f**king face at this point, you jerks. You just tore up our schedule, kicked us out of History, and sent us straight to the Ridgemont High principal’s office. In the paraphrased words of Jeff Spicoli, You dicks. You loathsome, jackass, worthless, unsuccessful dicks.
Leave us the hell alone. Back the f**k off. And let Chris Hansen build his arena. For us. The fans. The people you should be looking out for.
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My heart doesn’t always have the capacity to communicate words in the way I’d like to communicate them. It doesn’t matter what the words are, really. They can be about sports, about life, about culture, about something funny, about an experience, about a moment. The words are there, in my head, and I can sense them, but the desire to convey them, to share them with the world, that doesn’t always align.
It is never easy to do the things that you truly love. And there’s a reason for that. When you truly love something, you give it your all. You don’t cut corners on the things you love. You put your entire being into the things you love. You sacrifice for the things you love. You place the things you love on a pedestal above your own self. The things you love, they are what define you, they are your legacy.
We can only love so many things in our lives. There is only so much time in the day, so much time in our very existence, so much time in any sense that you’d measure it, to give ourselves to these things. So, not everybody has the ability or the opportunity to love something. Those who do are fortunate. I’m fortunate.
I write not because I have to, but because I want to. I write because my heart tells me it needs a release. I didn’t realize when I was younger that this was the case. I just thought it was a hobby, something I liked to do from time to time. I thought writing would come to pass. I thought it might just be a phase, like the phases I had with musical instruments, or video games, or other outlets for my energy. I didn’t realize that it would follow me wherever I went, that it would consume me, that it would be my traveling companion wherever life happened to take me. The thing about writing, it is always available. You don’t need much to write. Just the willingness and a means to transcribe.
I often close my eyes and feel a keyboard beneath my fingertips and channel thoughts and think to myself, amidst it all, that this probably isn’t how everyone else does it. I whisper the things that I write as I write them. Sometimes my voice gets ahead of the prose. Sometimes I’ll go back and look at what I’ve written and realize I’ve left out entire sentences worth of thought, a result of my brain outpacing my motor skills. I just talk. I say the words that come to me and turn them into characters on a screen. I could do this all day if I wanted to I suppose, but again, it’s about desire.
There is a demand. There is an expectation. And unfortunately, I cannot always bend to demands and expectations. I’ll write things from time to time because I feel compelled to. Not because anyone else tells me I have to, but because I know in my own mind that it’s time, that it’s been too long since I’ve last said something. But I guarantee you if you ask anyone who writes for a living if everything they wrote came freely, as a result of their own desire, they’d tell you that wasn’t the case. There is always some demand to write. It just depends on who happens to be issuing those demands. I’m no different than anyone else in that regard. Except that I create my own schedule. That may be the one unique facet of my calendar compared to others’. I don’t acquiesce to the demands of a boss, a readership, a company, money, or anything else. The demands are my own.
I don’t do it the right way. I craft paragraphs all wrong. I end my pieces abruptly. I use whatever word most articulates the message in that moment, even if that word happens to come with a parental advisory. I don’t write about the things people always want to hear about. This, for example, this article, this is selfish, this is about me, this is about my life. I should be writing about the Huskies or the Seahawks or the Mariners or something like that but I can’t, I just can’t, and that’s frustrating. And it’s not that I’m incapable, it’s that I’m incredibly unwilling right now. Because I don’t care. My desire to romanticize the Husky Basketball team, or the signing of Marshawn Lynch, or the fast-approaching baseball season is not there. I wish it was, but it isn’t.
I understand the ramifications of everything I write. I don’t always care for those ramifications or heed them in any way, but I comprehend them. I know there are certain topics I can write about that will bring in ridiculous traffic. I know what it takes to get linked on the most prestigious pages on the internet. I don’t really care for that attention, though. Maybe I’m foolish to act that way, to think that my craft is above that if I want it to be. But when you love something, you don’t always act rationally in the heat of your passion. I love to write. Rationality died when I came to grips with that.
Why am I writing this? Because it’s been two weeks since I’ve written anything of substance and that demand I mentioned kicked in. I need to get back to writing. I’ve taken breaks from writing before, but never have I gone this long without releasing my words. Problem is, I don’t know where to begin. I’ve started and stopped so many articles in the last few days that I just needed to emote for a minute. This is the end result of that. It’s a holdover. It’s a pledge to you that I’ll be back with something that matters, that fits the bill of this website’s name, soon. I will. Because I know that desire will return. It always does. Sometimes it takes longer than other times, but it never fully goes away.
There is a prevalent belief in this world that when you love a craft, you should perform that craft as often as you possibly can to get the most out of it. I think that belief is garbage. When you love something, you cannot force it. Love is natural. It speaks to your soul and causes you to react, not the other way around. So because I love to write, and because I enjoy interacting with all of you who like what I love, I give you this placeholder for now and the promise of a return, hopefully sooner rather than later. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow, maybe a week from now, maybe longer. You can’t place a deadline on the heart, as it turns out.
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