Years ago, I was talking to friend of mine, who asked me, "Do you want to hear my theory about why Seattle's pro sports teams can't quite pull off any championships?" Not able to answer no, I said, "Yes, but afterwards, shut up!"
He said, "I used to study psychology in college, and it is a widely accepted truth that the human psyche and spirit is, in varying intensity, directly affected by the weather. Now consider that Seattle has the rightful reputation as one of the wettest cities in the U.S., I think Seattle sports, as with their people, have been getting rained on far too much. It's killing their desire, their drive, their very outlook on life." Being the pragmatic type that I am, I couldn't respond right away, mulling over what he had said. Then it came to me. "Yep! You're right! Now shut up and watch the game." The Seahawks went on to lose that game. In Seattle. And yes, it was raining.
But one thing he missed: People who are affected by such things as weather, and moping about, bewailing their miserable team, will experience a more powerful lifting of spirits when the sun does shine. So it came about in Seattle when Mike Holmgren came to town. The Seahawks were in the midst of sheer mediocrity in '99, and needed a spark, a lift, a ray of sunshine. Holmgren brought with him a Superbowl ring and a reputation of high standards and requiring high performance from his players, or they were on the bench--or out the door. His persona was exactly the thing for Seattle to get a taste of success. It had been a long time since the days of Craig, Largent, Warner, Warren, et. al., and the rain just poured down mercilessly for more than a decade.
Granted, Holmgren's desire to both manage and coach initially looked headed for disaster, but then he dropped the managerial duties and the Seahawks were headed in the right direction. Today we can look back at the last 5 years and smile. Those of us who are 'Hawks fans know. We flirted with success, only to fall short in the late '80s. But now, we're in the playoffs every year, and the near future looks bright for us. We can thank Mike Holmgren for that. He brought some sunshine to Seattle sports fans, and the rumors are flying that Mike is nearing the end of his career. I, for one, won't panick if he does retire, but I will be saddened.
So if Holmgren leaves soon, Seahawks fans, who do YOU think would be a good choice as head coach? Keep in mind that Paul Allen is the man with deep pockets, and more than willing to reach into them. Do you think it's too late for Ditka to come out of retirement? Do you think I should be drawn and quartered for thinking it? It looks like the Big Tuna is committed. Do you think I should be put in front of the firing squad for bringing it up? My point is that I would rather see a veteran coach than to take a chance at someone who may or may not be a future great like Ditka and Parcells.
Since I had that talk with my rainy friend years ago, I have learned that New York City sees fewer sunny days than Seattle does in the course of a calendar year. I have lived in Seattle, and can honestly say that the sun does indeed shine. I think it's just all in our heads. As for the rain, well, do we not need rain to live?