Sitting at my “Real Radio Guy” desk here at KMAS Headquarters in the city by the bay, I see my collection of “Media Guides” from the Major League Baseball teams lining one wall. Every year as Opening Day at Safeco Field gets closer I can feel the excitement building within me.
In my mind I can see the fresh turf, hear the crack of the bat hitting the ball, taste a hot dog in the Press Box, and soak up the sound of thousands of loyal Mariner fans bursting with anticipation. This year, though, something feels different. There’s a “ho-hum” spirit in the air about Baseball season. Could it be that the Seattle fan base is experiencing a little Super Bowl Hangover?
The atmosphere in New Jersey was insane. Seattle’s “12th man” owned the day and should have taken the MVP award. The second play of the game saw the 12ers throw such pandemonium down on the Denver Broncos that Peyton’s offensive line couldn’t hear his commands leading to a bad snap and the fastest two points in Super Bowl History. In my seat in the Media Section behind the end zone a few feet away, I lost my professionalism for a moment and broke the cardinal press rule not to celebrate during the game by jumping to my feet letting out a “whoop”. A few days later hundreds of thousands of fans descended on Seattle to welcome home their conquering heroes in their victory parade.
Meanwhile, lots of exciting things have been shaping up for the Mariners while the fans have been focused on the Seahawks. A new manager has come to the ball club. We already have one of the best pitching teams in Baseball. And it looks like our young team is maturing at the plate so that we might expect more consistency on the stick. This could be a year that our boys surprise everyone with a serious bid for a pennant.
So why isn’t everyone talking about Baseball? Perhaps the disappointing performances in recent years have left the faithful feeling pensive. Having tasted a World Championship the crowds just don’t want to invest only to be let down. The Seattle Mariners have all the tools in their box. If they can show up in Houston with the resounding message that they “came to play” then I suspect the crowd at Safeco on April 8th might just show up to play too.
March 24, 2014/G.E. Cummings, KMAS News Radio