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The Spooky Halloween Sports Scene in Seattle

Monday, October 26, 2015

 

The chill of late October has fallen upon the Emerald City here in the northwest quadrant of the country, impacting us early morning nude sun-bathers severely. My new pallor isn’t scary, as I re-introduce it every year around this time, but the soaring midday temperatures certainly have had an eerie impact. The ghoulish celebration of Halloween is almost here, lying in wait, snuggling between Friday and Sunday of next weekend, preparing to unleash its hoards of misread coincidences, fun–size Milky Ways, and scantily clad adults masquerading as sexy versions of your favorite fictional characters and historical figures.

Here in Seattle, this time of year has had a bit of a different meaning over the last few years. We’ve grown accustomed to the Mariners’ season ending as abruptly as a romantic tryst interrupted by Jason Voorhees wielding a large machete, and again this year, the hulking unstoppable entity has stopped our heroes dead in their tracks, leaving Jack Zdurenciek’s head spinning in the street. Now we refresh our rumors websites awaiting any casting news for the sequel that will be out early in spring of 2016. Franchise regulars Felix Hernandez, Kyle Seager, Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz will almost assuredly be back for another romp, but it remains to be seen who will be cast in pivotal roles, joining our stars in their unending quest to enter the shadowy world of the postseason. 

It’s fitting that many of the teams vying for the World Series this year are playoff zombies. The Kansas City Royals broke through last year, and this season the Blue Jays, Mets and Cubs all ended long postseason droughts, shuffling up the first baseline looking for brains and wins. With a little luck and a good screenplay, the Mariners will rise from the dead to terrorize teams looking for their own championship.

The uneasy feeling that hangs over the city is a newer one that residents haven’t felt in quite some time.  Usually this time of year the Seahawks are content cruising to victories en route to a deep run in the playoffs. This year, Seattle feels more like Haddonfield awaiting the return of Michael Myers representing the lost seasons that used to plague us back in the silver, green and blue days. We aren’t quite dreading Sundays yet as if they were the one night of anarchy the government allows in The Purge, but if things don’t start to turn around soon, we will probably find ourselves hunkering down behind armored windows and chained doors, hoping to ride out the violence and heartbreak of facing January without football. 
    

The antagonist in the Hawks’ storyline has revealed itself in the final frame of each their four losses. It’s almost as if head coach Pete Carroll was taking care of a cute little Mogwai for three quarters, obeying all the rules and doing everything by the book. Then the fourth quarter rolls around and he gets excited and dumps a giant cooler of Gatorade on the little guy, unleashing a small army of Gremlins to run amok on the field, opening running lanes for villainous QB Cam Newton and riding CB Cary Williams down the field making him grab the arms of hapless receivers, drawing the dreaded yellow flag and showering opponents in first downs. There is still time to save the season from stumbling into certain death in the hedge maze at the Overlook Hotel. With winnable games against the San Francisco 49ers twice in four weeks and the injury-decimated Dallas Cowboys on the horizon, the Hawks will certainly need to take care of business against more talented teams like the Vikings and Steelers who will more than likely have their quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, back from the MCL sprain that has kept him sidelined for the better part of a month. Roethlisberger is an old nemesis of Seattle, having stolen our innocence back in February of 2006, snatching away the Lombardi trophy in a devious fashion. The Seattle secondary will have to iron out the kinks that have been plaguing them before Pittsburgh comes to town at the end of November as their wide receiver corps is terrifying and they feature one of the best players in football in running back Le’Veon Bell. The window for a happy ending to this story is closing and it’s up to Pete Carroll and the team he’s assembled to throw it wide open. 
    
The frost in the grass and the leafless trees tell the tale of the season we find ourselves in, but the grim faces around the city paint a much more accurate portrait of the season we are experiencing. Next weekend we will gorge ourselves on sugary treats and indulging in ladle after ladle of the boozy potion lying in the cauldron at the party, smoking from dry ice. We will go through the motions trying to not remind ourselves that this time of year also marks the seventh anniversary of Kevin Durant getting kidnapped into the TV by an evil poltergeist. We can still see him in there. Please come home, Kevin; we haven’t touched your room. We’ll never stop trying to save you!

GoLocalPDX partner Oregon Sports News: Since 2011, Oregon Sports News has provided entertaining, hard-hitting local sports news & commentary every weekday. To read more from this author, check out Oregon Sports News by clicking here.

 

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