20 Reasons Why You Know You’re a Sports Fan From Seattle
20 Reasons You Know You're a Seattle Fan
The city of Seattle has a long history of being a great sports town, even if the rest of the country doesn’t realize it. Whether it’s the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL, the Seattle Mariners in MLB, the specter of the Seattle SuperSonics, or one of the many other sports franchises in the Emerald City, Seattle fans know how to come out for their teams. If you’re a Seattle fan, you know how to be loud and proud for your team.
But part of being a Seattle fan is also dealing with some disappointment. Whether it’s losing the Pilots to Milwaukee, losing the Sonics to Oklahoma City, or just having the Mariners lose in general, Seattle fans have become accustomed to loss. They have been tested by some trying times during their history but continue to show up and support their teams with unwavering passion. That’s one of the defining characteristics of Seattle fans: unquenchable passion for their clubs.
As you grow up and live as a Seattle sports fan, there are some undeniable moments that stick with you. They help to define young fans as they grow up into adults and forever fans and shape many of the long-time Seattleites’ ideas on opinions on life, love, and most importantly sports. They are unquestionable facts that define fans from the Emerald City and provide the foundation from which all their fandom is built upon.
With that said, here are 20 reasons why you know you’re one of the few and the proud; a sports fan from Seattle.
20. It is Impossible to Root for the Oklahoma City Thunder
Kevin Durant may have become a superstar as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder but he came into the league as a member of the Seattle SuperSonics. That makes it hard to watch the Thunder in all their success as Seattle fans think about how that should be their team. But through some nefarious deeds by Clay Bennett (more on that later), Seattle lost their basketball team to the Midwest and have yet to get another one. That makes it impossible to be happy for anything the Thunder accomplish.
19. Don James is one of the Best Coaches in College Football History
At one time, the Washington Huskies was perennially one of the best teams in college football and even won a share of the national title back in 1990. Much of that success was thanks to the late-great Don James, who is remembered by UW fans as one of the best coaches in the history of college football. In 18 seasons, James led UW to 15 bowl games and at one point won 22 consecutive games and went to three straight Rose Bowls before he abruptly retired in 1993. Since his departure, the program has never quite been the same.
18. The Oregon Ducks are UW’s Most-Hated Rival
While Washington and the Washington State Cougars play for a trophy in the Apple Cup every year, any fan in Seattle knows that the real heated rivalry is with the school down I-5 in Eugene. The Oregon Ducks are an upstart program that has taken control of the Pac-12 away from UW and the Huskies are none too pleased about it. While Washington still holds the edge in the overall series, the hatred for the Ducks is fueled by Oregon’s 10-game winning streak in the series by an average margin of victory of 25.9 points (and by no fewer than 17).
17. The New York Yankees are the Evil Empire
While this isn’t exclusive to Seattle fans, they do have a special place of disdain for the New York Yankees when they come to town. When Seattle tied the major-league record with 116 wins in the regular season, it was the Yankees who bounced the M’s from the ALCS in five games. They may not be a regular opponent for the M’s, but the Yankees are always one team that Seattle fans enjoy beating.
16. Championships are Worth Waiting For
While the city of Seattle hasn’t seen a championship in one of the four “major” sports (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL) since the 1979 SuperSonics, you won’t find too many Seattle fans moping about it. Every game, they bring all they’ve got to support their teams to try and propel them any way they can to bringing home some hardware. Their enthusiasm and passion will be unwavering from now until they do get that next taste of being a champion.
15. The 12th Man is Real and They Are Loud
The 12th Man has been key in the Seahawks’ recent run of success. Since Russell Wilson came into the league, the Hawks are a ridiculous 17-1 in front of the home crowd. Twice, the 12th Man has broken the Guinness world-record for loudest stadium (once to set the record and the second time to take it back from the Kansas City Chiefs). They are a force to be reckoned with that makes things very difficult for visitors to CenturyLink Field and gives the Seahawks a huge advantage at home.
14. Husky Stadium is one of the Best Stadiums to Watch College Football
Now newly renovated and looking better than ever, Husky Stadium is one of the best locations to watch a college football game. The open ended stadium looks out over scenic Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains, including Mount Rainier. It’s a view that is unmatched anywhere in the country and makes the game-day experience one of a kind for the Washington Huskies.
13. The Kingdome is Remembered Fondly
Sure, by the end of its run, the Kingdome was run down, dilapidated, and people inside were in constant danger of getting hit in the head by chunks of the ceiling, but this was also the place where many fandoms were born. Whether it was the Seahawks (1976-2000), Mariners (1977-1999), or SuperSonics (1978-1985), just about every Seattle fan born before the new millennium has spent their fair share of time in The Dome. While the new cathedrals of Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field are great spots to watch games now, the Kingdome will have a special place in Seattle fan’s hearts for the rest of time.
12. Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton were the Best Duo of the 90s
While there are arguments to be made for Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan or Karl Malone and John Stockton, Seattle fans will take the powerful dunks of Shawn Kemp and the quick hands of “The Glove” Gary Payton any day. The pair carried the Sonics back to the NBA Finals (though they couldn’t bring the title back to Seattle) with a style all their own and they will long be remembered for their talents in Seattle.
11. Alex Rodriguez was a Fraud Before Steroids
While the rest of the baseball world now knows that Alex Rodriguez is full of it thanks to his continuing steroid saga with MLB, Seattle fans knew he was a fraud long before that. A-Fraud was drafted by Seattle and broke into the majors with the M’s in 1994. When he became a free agent in 2000, he told the world that he wasn’t interested in money for his next deal, just the opportunity to compete. Then he signed the biggest contract in history with the Texas Rangers and completely hamstrung the club from competing for anything better than third place in the AL West.
10. Soccer is a Real Sport
Those who say that soccer can’t catch on in the States have never been to a Seattle Sounders FC match. A raucous crowd can always be counted on to come out and support their club, filling CenturyLink Field with chants and songs as they cheer their Sounders on. It’s an experience unlike any other and proof that the Pacific Northwest can support all their teams.
9. Ken Griffey Jr. was Only a Mariner
Let’s forget that ugly period between 2000 and 2009 when Ken Griffey, Jr., was absent from the Seattle lineup and only remember the glorious era of “The Kid.” After breaking into the league at just 19 years old in 1990, Griffey quickly became the face of the franchise and helped make Seattle into a baseball town with the incredible “Refuse to Lose” run of 1995. He was every Seattle fans favorite player as he tracked down every fly ball and hit home runs with one of the sweetest swings in history. The Kid will always be a Mariner and only a Mariner.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers had Help in Super Bowl XL
Seattle made their first appearance in the Super Bowl back in 2006 when the Seahawks lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers despite gaining more yards and committing fewer turnovers than Pittsburgh (the only team in history to do so). Every Seattle fan remembers the screw-job they got from the officiating crew in that game that handed the Steelers their title. It was so bad, the head referee sought out Mike Holmgren and apologized later for the job they did in the game.
7. Dave Niehaus is the Voice of Baseball
The Los Angeles Dodgers can have Vin Scully, Seattle fans will take Dave Niehaus. As the voice of the Mariners from 1977 to 2010, Niehaus provided the spark and the energy that ignited so many Seattle fans’ passion for their baseball team. His call of “The Double” in 1995 and countless “My, oh my!” exclamations during exciting plays is the stuff of legend for Seattle sports fans. He was the first to call Ken Griffey, Jr., “The Kid” and was always ready for grand salami time (“Get out the rye bread and mustard, Grandma”). Following his death in 2010, the team installed a bronze statue of Niehaus in Safeco Field where fans come in droves to remember the voice of baseball in the Pacific Northwest.
6. Felix Hernandez is the King Now and Always
Felix Hernandez is the face of the Mariners and all the reason fans need to pack Safeco Field every fifth day. King Felix is undoubtedly one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball and the foundation for pretty much any success that Seattle has on the diamond. And while every baseball pundit pegs Hernandez as a major trade target every season, the King will hold his court in Seattle for years to come.
5. Earthquakes Are Fan-Made
While many believe that earthquakes are the result of tectonic plates shifting beneath the Earth’s crust, Seattle fans know how to make their own. All they need is a big-time run out of Marshawn Lynch in Century Link and the Seattle fans will do the rest. On multiple occasions now, they’ve registered seismic activity during a game and they’ll be sure to keep the rumbling rolling for years to come.
4. Edgar Martinez Not Being in the Hall of Fame is a Travesty
The Seattle Mariners would not be in existence right now if not for the efforts of one of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball. Yet, somehow, Edgar Martinez hasn’t even gotten close to the baseball Hall of Fame. That’s an egregious oversight that no self-respecting Seattle fan can stomach. It’s a slap in the face of one of the greatest Mariners to ever play the game and a slight that M’s fans won’t let go anytime soon.
3. David Stern and Gary Bettman Always Get Booed
It’s hard to understand why the commissioners of the NBA and NHL hate the Emerald City so much but there’s no denying they aren’t big fans. David Stern was all too happy to fast-track the Sonics out of town and has made the NBA’s road back to Seattle as difficult and treacherous as possible. Gary Bettman has made every effort to expand the NHL into the states but somehow refuses to allow a team to relocate to the Pacific Northwest. Seattle fans know how to respond to them, though, with a hearty chorus of boos whenever they come up on the TV, the radio, or in print. Boo them forever!
2. Clay Bennett is Public Enemy No. 1
Speaking of people who deserve boos forever… Everyone remember where they were when the Seattle SuperSonics were stolen away. While the “official” story from Clay Bennett was that he just couldn’t work with the city of Seattle, every Sonics fan remembers it as out-right theft. To this day, Bennett’s name alone is enough to raise the blood-pressure of any Sonics fan to dangerous levels.
1. Skittles are a Must-Have at Every Tailgate Party
Thanks to Marshawn Lynch going “Beast Mode” and rewarding his efforts with a handful of Skittles, the colorful candy treat is now a staple for any Seahawks fan on game day. Lynch’s love for the “power pellets,” as his mom used to call them when he was a kid, has even been incorporated into the menu at CenturyLink field (the Beast Burger comes with a side of Skittles) and Lynch touchdowns result in a hail of candy to rain down on the field. Taste the rainbow!