The blog will be dark for Thanksgiving week as I will, indeed, be on my honeymoon. Now, I know what you might be thinking: who in their right mind would get married to this jaded, bitter Seattle sports fan with all of his rational and irrational sports insecurities and delusions? Well, it helps that she’s not much of a sports fan! She doesn’t get to enjoy all of the mood swings and obsessiveness of my sports mania, which frankly is probably the best for all involved.
As a result, though, I’m going to miss writing about a pretty pivotal stretch in Seattle sports. The Huskies will play two football games in that span, against a Top 10 Oregon State team, and in a potentially all-important final Apple Cup as a member of the Pac-12 conference. As I wrote about previously, this game against the Beavers – while important, as all college football games are this time of year – isn’t necessarily a Must Win. That being said, you have to win ONE of these next two, to at least guarantee a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Not to mention the fact that, as we saw in the latest playoff rankings, the Huskies don’t necessarily command the respect of the top four teams (the top four, as we all know, advance to those playoffs). If Florida State runs the table, if Alabama beats Georgia, and/or if the Ohio State/Michigan game is close, a 1-loss Husky team could find itself on the outside looking in, even if we manage to beat the Ducks a second time. So, you know, it’s tough to say. Maybe this Beavers game IS a Must Win affair. I don’t know if I’ll be able to watch it from the cruise ship we’ll be on, but I’m going to try my damnedest.
I will also miss a couple of huge Seahawks games. You could argue – though they lack the importance of either of the Husky games – that these too are Must Win. The Rams, while not likely to be playoff-bound, still are a divisional and conference opponent, which makes it important for tiebreaking purposes. Then, there’s the 49ers on Thanksgiving night; it’s always fun to play on Thanksgiving, and obviously they’re our direct rivals for the divisional crown. I’ll try to at least watch that one, but again, I can make no promises.
There will be a number of Kraken and Husky basketball games going on – two teams I’ve written nothing about in the early going of their respective seasons – during pivotal seasons for their future growth. The Kraken seem to be swirling down the toilet bowl fast and furiously, and it’s fair to wonder where they’ll be by the time I get back. Will Dave Hakstol still have a job? Seems like, the way they’re playing – after an inspirational playoff run last season – he has to be on the hottest of seats. As for Mike Hopkins, his seat has been on fire for the last few years, and this thing feels as hopeless as it’s ever been. Feels like more than anything, we’re just waiting and riding out this string of seasons until it’s less prohibitive to shit-can him and pay off the remainder of his fully-guaranteed salary. With the way this squad turns over every year, there’s really no joy or fun to be had by Washington college basketball – let alone college basketball in general – so I’m hard pressed to say I’ll be missing it, Bob.
And you just know – what with me being on vacation and away from my computer – that the Mariners are poised to make a big move or two, that will rattle this region to its core. The Mariners are always interesting to think about, especially in the offseason, but even moreso when you factor in how they underperformed in 2023.
And that’s not even mentioning how much my fantasy teams affect my day-to-day life. I’ve got some humongous matchups coming up! In one of my leagues, I started out 0-4, biding my time until my studs got healthy (Jonathan Taylor, Cooper Kupp, Breece Hall), then I won 3 straight, before dropping the subsequent 3, putting me in a position where I pretty much have to win my last five games (and catch some breaks along the way) just to crack the playoffs. In another league, I’m in pretty good shape – having scored the second most points in the league – but I’m still only in third place at 6-4, and can ill afford to drop too many more winnable games. And, in my main league – that I write about on a weekly basis – I’ve fallen into the Consolation Bracket realm, and am in serious danger of suffering yet another lost season, with no end in sight to my quarterback woes (VERY serious woes when you consider it’s a 2-QB dynasty league).
So, yeah, my mind will still be here, at least in part. But, I’m not going on this honeymoon to try to recreate my sports life. It’s a chance to get away! A chance to be alone with the woman I love! If anything bad happens, so what?! I’m in a Caribbean paradise! But, if anything great happens with the teams I follow, it’ll be all the sweeter.
Until I get back home and am smacked in the face with stupid reality.
Have fun while I’m away. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. Or, you know, do it anyway! Let me know how it goes, maybe I’ll join you.