Commentary: Seattle’s newest sports theme is ‘take no prisoners, make no excuses’

There’s a refreshing new theme slowly being infused into our local sports scene.

We’re seeing it with the Seahawks, and now the quest for an NBA team.

I call it, “Take no prisoners and make no excuses” and I love every bit of it.

The Seahawks aren’t apologizing for beating down their opponents. In both games and free agency, they’re not making excuses for dominating efforts. Fifty-eight point wins aren’t excessive and the relentless pursuit of free agents doesn’t end with Percy Harvin, but extends to Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, and Antoine Winfield.

John Schneider and Pete Carroll see blood and they’re showing no mercy.

The word is “relentless”, an aggressive attitude rarely seen in these parts, and the rest of the world is taking notice. That little, polite, somewhat sleepy city called Seattle isn’t playing nice anymore. And I don’t mind it one bit.

That same uncompromising theme is on display with Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer’s quest for an NBA team. There is zero quit, zero apologizes, and a silent relentlessness that fires me up. We all understand the emotions involved, but we’ve also learned that it’s simply a business. The NBA had made it clear to this point that expansion is not an option. We want the NBA, and Hansen’s investment group is doing everything it can to get it for us.

There is nothing disrespectful about Hansen’s venture. There’s only a quiet confidence with a bulldog-like approach, going for the kill, with actions rather than words.

As I said before, “They’re taking no prisoners, and making no excuses, letting their wealth and business acumen speak for themselves”.

I can understand how some might feel uncomfortable. We haven’t seen this kind or amount of hubris and ruthlessness in the Seattle sports world in awhile. It’s new. It’s different. It might be foreign to the ho-hum, happy-go-lucky personality this city is often pegged with from both the outside and within.

But let me ask the question. How many Super Bowls has Seattle won? How many World Series has it won? And does it still have an NBA team?

Maybe, just maybe, it’s the unforgiving, ruthless attitude we need to get what we want.

I’ll shake your hand after the game, but until it’s over, anything’s fair game.

And thanks to Carroll, Schneider, Hansen and Ballmer, Seattle is showing no remorse, and personally, I can’t get enough of it.

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14 comments

  • Rob

    Ypu can tell a new sonic team will be well run by Hansen and Balmer. Are we on the verge of dominance by seattle sports teams? I don't know if I can dare to dream.

  • SeattleRising

    Aaron is spot on. But the defect in the past civil sports ethos was that "playing to win" was somehow degrading; that competition was somehow below us. That attitude reflected an arrogance based on a self-ascribed moral superiority. It is based on the presumption that Seattle was morally superior to other communities and thus it really didn't matter if our sports teams were successful because our poop didn't stink. Thus, we could claim that we had "more important things" to do (than sports competition), but never give an accounting of (a) what those "more important things" were; or (b) what those people with "more important things to do" had actually accomplished. The reality, of course, is that only competition creates solutions to problems (technological or otherwise) and "more important things to do" is only a salve for laziness and complacency. The guiding principle of Coach Carroll and the Hansen group is that COMPETITION IS GOOD; IF YOU ARE GOING TO PLAY YOU MUST PLAY TO WIN. As Coach Carroll noted in his We Day speeches, competition inspires all of us can get off our backsides and make this world a better place. Ruthless? Unforgiving? I don't think we should use words with negative connotations to describe the processes that landed Neil Armstrong on the moon or created software, computers and cell phones. Its simply COMPETITION: the single most important force improving human life.

  • robertstime

    Wow! There is so much wrong with your story where to start. Frist Ask Enron, Worldcom,G.W.Bush,and Lance Armstrong, And by playing that game one day the shoe will be on the other foot. Everyone plays to Win. but it sounds like your ready to sell your soul for the title or team. Why can't you see the Hawks for the team they are. A young football team lead by 3 guys with hearts of gold "GM,HC,QB" its better to be the good guys then the Bully. all Bullys get theres in the end. You do not have to be like that to win. look at Coach K, Or maybe, for the first time you feel like a man when you talk about Seattle sports. Look I'm all for whatever,But Seattle Fans are Bright,smart,funny,and,proud. Not Cut throat. Its Never been the soul of Seattle to push you down to win,look at the laws here we are not about pushing people down but pulling them up.

  • glad_b

    As SeattleRising stated, Aaron is spot on. I also agree with the rest of SeattleRising’s commentary. This city needs to get a grip of reality and quit being freakin’ “out there.” Back to Aaron’s commentary, however, sports is now all about money. Decades ago capitalizing individuals what a potential money maker existed in all of sports, I think about the time I was a child watching the likes of Vin Scully, Howard Cosell, Dick Enberg, Curt Gowdy, Pat Sumerall and others legendary figures announce games on network TV and radio from my parents’ San Diego home. In those days sports was still competitive. MLB had a National League and an American League. There were divisions, no wild cards, no enhanced bats or baseballs, no preoccupation for homeruns, to draw bigger crowd following. Watching Sandy Koufax battle Juan Marichal or Johnny Podres battle Bob Veale in a scoreless pitcher’s duel was as exciting as a freakin’ homerun. To be continued in accompanying comments.

    • glad_b

      Watching Bill Mazeroski, Cesar Cedeno or Jesus Alou hit line drive two-baggers was as exciting as a freakin’ homeruns. And outfield dimensions were immense to enable more plays on the bases. Enough with the blasted homeruns that make real-life baseball more like a freakin’ computer game! I hate the homerun fan infatuation that has induced other matters like PEDs. I love purist baseball and succeeded enough myself to play a short stint in semi-pro baseball. I love watching an outfielder study a batter as much as the pitcher, such that he positioned himself in the correct position to field a line drive and place a throw on a base to get a runner out, but you don’t see that much anymore. To be continued in accompanying comments.

      • glad_b

        You don’t see much of any aspect of purist baseball anymore. It’s all about money and winner takes all. It drives me crazy when I see Root Sports and the Mariners Ball Club highlight moments from past seasons such as 1995. Do you think fans in Philly, Boston, New York, Chicago, Arlington (Dallas) etc. would settle for highlights from 1995 or 2000? In other cities it’s “what have you done for me lately” and lately was yesterday’s game. If a player does not produce they are out of that city as soon as possible monetarily and strategically for the ball club. In those cities finishing second is as bad as finishing last; fans won’t accept it, which then affects ball club profits in diminishing gate sales and the like. To be continued in accompanying comments. To be continued in accompanying comments.

        • glad_b

          Apparently a wise money cruncher or statistician at some time in the past for the Mariners discovered that, for the ball club owner and those in the administration’s “inner circle,” a club can do just enough in player acquisition, promotions, etc., to draw enough fans at the gates, in merchandise sales, etc., for the ball club to be as profitable, or more so, than the ball club that wins the championship. Last year I researched online and found that the Mariners were the tenth most profitable Major League team for the 2011 season. Other perennial bottom feeders in the standings such as Kansas City and Milwaukee also realized similar profits. To be continued in accompanying comments.

  • glad_b

    Meanwhile, most of the teams such as the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Rays, Phillies, Reds, and Rangers were toward of the bottom as the least profitable teams. As I recall, the Yankees were very near the last position. So, when savvy club ownership such as with the Mariners enjoys such comfortable success in the pocket book, do you really expect frustration for the fans will ever change. To be continued in accompanying comments. You fans who play into Mariner ownership’s tactful marketing schemes and buy tickets to continual promotions such as Felix Hernandez Night or bobblehead nights, you drive me crazy. To be continued in accompanying comments.

    • glad_b

      The Mariner Ownership will never become a part of Aaron’s proposed new sports “theme” in Seattle as long you allow yourselves to be led like lemmings to the Safeco Field gates. Sports fans in this city have to develop the same mentality as fans in the perennial championship cities, and accept nothing less, or else things will never change. Even with that, it may be too late, in that network and cable television, other media and the marketing industry, big business advertising are now so in bed with the perennial winning and champion teams in the Eastern, Midwest and Southern regions of the U.S., the Northwest is not a winning proposition for television and advertising contracts. To be continued in accompanying comments.

      • glad_b

        Population density in the Eastern, Midwest and Southern regions together with time zones had a great deal to do with the gravitation of television broadcasting in those regions but I believe contracting between college and professional sports entities may be so entrenched on an annual basis with “big money” network media and sponsors in this country, in every sport, professional level to college, even high school now, to enable change and penetration by northwest sports entities beyond an occasional sports event now and then. To be continued in accompanying comments. A few teams in the West, such as the Angels, Rangers, S.F. Giants, Lakers, Clippers, Trojans, Stanford Cardinal, Ducks, Bruins and Golden Bears have bucked the anti-west bias, but all you have to do is observe the daily and weekly network sports broadcasts (including ESPN), regardless of the sport, and you can see that sports at all levels from professional to high school, are not true sporting events anymore. To be continued in accompanying comments.

        • glad_b

          The perennial winning teams get the most talented players year after year while the also-rans are just that year after year with mediocre, sub-par talent and athleticism. Sometimes it even seems season schedule matchups and traveling seem to favor the perennial winners season after season. How is it that a team in the west may be outplaying the rest of the league in a given season in any given sport, but the “game of the week” almost always seems to be a Yankees-Red Sox matchup or a Penguins-Flyers matchup or a Rays-Yankees matchup or a Miami Heat-Brooklyn matchup, etc., except for that handful of western teams such as the Lakers or Trojans? To be continued in accompanying comments. To be continued in accompanying comments.

          • glad_b

            It’s all about television contracts, time zone difference for maximum potential TV audience and revenue with advertisers. Perhaps recent Seahawks and possibly an NBA franchise can penetrate an impasse with media coverage, and it’s hugely influencing partner in advertising contracts, on a more routine occasion. To be continued in accompanying comments. It’s all about money, profit and whatever advantage money can but to enjoy a nice profit, I believe even if it means big money television and advertising contracts “influencing” the outcome of a sports event. Do you really think the Seahawks ever had a chance of winning the Super Bowl game against Pittsburgh, what a financial loss that posed in television audience in the second half of that game? Certain referee calls tailored that game to the only outcome that could have happened, for money’s sake. Wake up Seattle.


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