The Seattle sports scene has not been on the national forefront since the Seahawks played in Super Bowl XL. Even then, it seemed like all the attention was on the Pittsburgh Steelers - Jerome "the Bus" Bettis and his homecoming, and the Seahawks were thrown onto the back-burner.
I spend an inordinate amount of my life watching ESPN's SportsCenter. However, sometimes it seems like ESPN does not know that the city of Seattle even has professional sports franchises. The running joke is to refer to the Pacific Northwest as "South Alaska" because in terms of coverage, this area seems remote and/or ignored.
If everything pans out for Seattle sports this March, the Emerald City could potentially, finally, see some permanent and prominent national sports coverage that puts this area on the map.
Imagine a world where Seattle has professional teams in all five major sports: The National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, and Major League Soccer. The WNBA adds to that total as well, as does, really, the University of Washington football program, which is nationally known and followed (though technically not a professional team, the amount of revenue and attention they garner bears mention). Honorable mention goes to the Husky men's hoops program.
Imagine the buzz that would surround the Seahawks if Peyton Manning, the future Hall of Famer, held the keys to the Seattle offense.
The Indianapolis Colts owe Peyton Manning a $28 million dollar option bonus by March 8. Should the Colts pay Manning then they would be essentially locking him up for the rest of his career because it would activate the final four years of his $90 million dollar contract. If Peyton Manning is indeed released by the Colts, then the Seahawks are certainly in the discussion to obtain the future Hall of Fame quarterback. They're one of probably four or five teams that have the means to land him and would be potentially attractive enough to Manning to warrant consideration.
The consensus among Seahawks fans is that they have everything in place to become a serious Super Bowl contender except for the quarterback position. Assuming he is healthy, Peyton Manning would immediately bring legitimacy to the Seahawks aerial attack to go along with Marshawn Lynch and the punishing ground game.
If the Sacramento Kings cannot come up with $400 million dollars by the NBA imposed March 1st deadline, then the Kings organization would be free to pursue moving to another market, which would potentially bring them to Seattle.
While the Kings do not have an impressive record this season of 10-17, they have young talent and seem to be heading the right direction. In the game coined the 'Seattle NBA Bowl' last Thursday, the Kings (hopefully future Sonics) defeated one of the best teams in the NBA, the Oklahoma City Thunder (ex-Sonics) 106-101 in front of a national television audience.
The Kings have DeMarcus Cousins, who was the #5 overall pick in the 2010 draft and is one of the best young centers in the NBA. They also have an explosive young guard in Tyreke Evans who was the 09-10 NBA Rookie of the Year. With Cousins and Evans, Sacramento has a nucleus in place that could develop into a perennial playoff team. I have to admit, when I was watching their victory over the Thunder, I got wildly excited about the possibility of seeing the Kings become the Seattle SuperSonics.
If the Kings start to look for a new destination, one would have to believe that this would inspire or at least give the city of Seattle momentum to build a new first-class multi-purpose arena that would be suitable for the NBA, NHL, concerts and other events.
If Seattle can get the ball rolling on the construction of a new arena, it could not only lure the NBA to Seattle, but it could attract the NHL to Seattle. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is on the record saying that Seattle is a possible destination city for the league. The NHL owns the Phoenix Coyotes and it is realistic to see them landing in Seattle. The only obstacle would be the arena. The NHL has a desire to increase their footprint on the West Coast and moving a team to Seattle seems ideal. Their would undoubtedly be a natural rivalry between a Seattle NHL team and the Vancouver Canucks because of the close proximity. Also, after seeing the wild fan support that the MLS' Seattle Sounders quickly garnered, I would presume that the NHL would immediately have an intense following in this city as well.
I know this is a lot of "ifs" and "hopefullys" but if everything comes together this March, the Seattle sports scene could finally become what we are all hoping it could be.