It comes down to ownership
As I sit to write this, the Mariners just finished off their second series win in a row, and against a pretty good Baltimore team to boot.
But this isn’t just about wins.
Winning is contagious, or so I’ve been told, but last time I looked at the papers, Seattle was not Boston.
The Seahawks were on the scene first here in town, and for the most part, have had the better crowds.
But comparing sell outs between baseball and football is like comparing apples and oranges, it just doesn’t add up. Especially since the Mariners have played thousands more games than the Seahawks have. 5,094 to be exact, prior to first pitch in 2013.
The M’s currently own the only record breaking year of any Seattle sports team, while the Seahawks have seen more success in getting deeper into the playoffs.
The real difference lies in the ownership parties
At about the same time the Mariners were beginning their run as the darlings of the city, the Seahawks were not too far from getting the boot from the city.
The M’s faced the same adversity, but instead of relying on billionaire owners to save them, they got around to doing it themselves, by winning.
We still have yet to see another run quite like the one the M’s gave us between the years of ’95-’01, but we lost a lot of talent along the way too.
But, as soon as the M’s began their decline to the basement of the American League, the Seahawks came along and filled that winning void very nicely.
Microsoft trumps Nintendo
As the history of cutting edge businessmen in the area who like to spend their billions on our sports teams continued to add up, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allan came to the rescue for the football fans of this town.
Not only did he save the team from relocation, he set in motion the idea to build a new stadium right in the spot of the old Kingdome.
Alas, we would have outdoor football in Seattle.
Constructed adjacent to the Mariners Safeco Field, Seahawks Stadium would be the turning point in this city’s football legacy.
Mr. Allan went out and spent the money to hire the best football brain in the world, at the time. Mike Holmgren turned this team from a pretender, into a contender.
He brought in winning teams, and a winning attitude, and even brought us all the way to the Super Bowl.
Paul Allan made that become a reality for the fans in Seattle. And even when Holmgren stepped away, Allan went back to work trying to find the next best thing.
The real difference between the M’s and Hawks
Sure, the M’s had their own super-manager in Lou Piniella. And he did get us as far as the ALCS, along with the modern era record for most wins.
Neither team’s high caliber coach’s brought us a championship, but they did bring us the glory of being called a winner.
But the difference that seems to be more than a trend between these two neighbors is, the Seahawks are not okay with losing.
While the Mariners are now on season 12 of their rebuild, the Seahawks are on season two, and are poised for a shot at the Super Bowl this next year.
The Mariners will sit back for another 3 years, (Jack Z’s implication), while the Seahawks will go out and make their own destiny.
Who will win a championship first? Only time will tell.
But if I were a betting man, I would take my next paycheck down to the local bookie and put it all down on the Seahawks.
Maybe the Mariners will be there by the time my Niece starts working in another 12 years.
(By the way, it pains me to speak such harsh words on my beloved Mariners).