The Washington Huskies are 4-0 for the first time since 2001. The Seattle Seahawks are 4-0 for the first time ever, and meanwhile, the Seattle Sounders have the best American soccer player on their roster and sit atop the MLS Western Conference. Whether it be football or fútbol, Seattle is garnering national attention like it never has before.
In 2008, the Huskies went 0-12, the Seahawks went 4-12, and the Sounders weren’t an MLS team yet. Five years later, the Huskies find themselves on the front page on ESPN.com, the Seahawks are on Sunday Night Football, and the Sounders are averaging more than 40,000 fans per game.
How did the most ignored corner of the country become the most talked about in just five years? Steve Sarkisian started it all when he took the job at Washington and turned an 0-12 team into a 5-7 one in just a season. USC then gave the Northwest another gift when Pete Carroll was named head coach of the Seahawks.
Since then, the Seahawks have had some of the best drafts in the NFL and the Huskies have had some of the best recruiting classes in the country. The influx of talent coming to Seattle was nothing like we’d seen before. Now, the Huskies are the No. 15 team in the NCAA and the Seahawks consistently top NFL power rankings.
The spotlight is now on Seattle, and they can’t disappoint or else it may not come back for a long time. How is such a task accomplished? By winning a championship.
The city of Seattle hasn’t seen a major sports championship since the Sonics won the 1978-1979 NBA Championship. Unfortuntely, much of the country doesn’t count soccer as a major sport, though that is slowly changing – mostly due to the large crowds the Sounders draw, putting soccer on a national landscape.
That puts the task on the Seahawks and Huskies. Both teams have come a long way since 2008, but are either ready to take the next step? That’s to be determined, but both are looking the part so far. The Seahawks are Super Bowl favorites this year, while the Huskies could be there next season if nobody enters the NFL Draft early.
It’s a weird feeling to get as much coverage as an SEC team, or East Coast team. It may be foreign, but it’s nice. Bask in the limelight, it may not be here long.