‘Optimism: Hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.’ – Oxford Dictionary

Safeco Field
Safeco Field

As a long-suffering Seattle sports fan, it’s hard to be optimistic about our chances of winning. Anything. We’ve been burned too many times.

So, it is with only a mild case of trepidation that I say, there is reason for optimism this year.

After the Seahawks won the Super Bowl in February, suddenly my eyes are open. There is a bit of confidence. And lots of hope.


1) The Seattle Mariners are 7 games over .500 and the 5th best team in the American League. They beat the best team 2 out of 3 games going into the All-Star break. Say what? Optimism has set in.

2) The Seattle Sounders FC are far and away the best team in Major League Soccer (MLS) so far, at 10 points clear of the 2nd best team. They’ve outclassed everyone. They look unbeatable. Optimism.

3) The new women’s soccer team, Seattle Reign, is 13-1-3 (42 points) and 9 points clear of 2nd place. Although I’ve never watched a game, optimism.

4) The Washington Huskies football team has a new coach, a new stadium and a new attitude. Win. And for the first time in a long time, I believe it. Optimism.

5) And the Seattle Seahawks are again projected to be one of the best teams in the NFL. I say they win the Super Bowl again. Confidence.


P.S. If you don’t care about sports, I’m also optimistic for other reasons. You just wouldn’t know from this post!


Five Random Photos Shared in June ’14

There went June! Later!

Let’s take a moment of silence…


My first round of CSA veggies. Bok choy and some random stuff.
My first round of CSA veggies. Bok choy and some random stuff.


Having a beer before the Mariners game in Seattle.
Having a beer before the Mariners game in Seattle.


Having another beer in Seatle just before...nothing really.
Having another beer in Seattle just before…nothing really.


Random purple bike at Firefly Music Festival in Delaware.
Random purple bike at Firefly Music Festival in Delaware.


Tailgating before the Sounders game in DC.
Tailgating before the Sounders game in DC.

Speaking of soccer…USA will beat Belgium in the World Cup!



2012: A Sport By Any Other Name Would Not Smell As Sweaty

Welcome to a round-up of my favorite sports teams.

I rank the success of each team’s season and how many shots I needed to survive the ups and downs. At the end I also include teams that I played on this year.

Seattle Mariners (ML B – baseball)

The Mariners finished 75-87. Better than last year, but still not good. The only really noteworthy news was the trade of Ichiro Suzuki to the New York Yankees. I’m bummed (especially since it’s the hated Yankees) but hopefully he’s happy and can be productive at the end of his career. At a Mariners-Orioles game in Baltimore, I scrambled for a Dustin Ackley foul ball. First ball I’ve ever got at a game!

Success Indicator: 4/10. Whiskey shots: 3

Seattle Seahawks (NFL – football)

After some strange losses (and a controversial win against Green Bay) early in the season, the Seahawks have found their stride. They’ve rattled off 5 consecutive wins. They outscored their opponents 150-30 in three consecutive games. Second best in the history of the NFL. They are 11-5 and the #5 seed in the playoffs with good momentum. With the emergence of Russell Wilson as the starting quarterback (and maybe Rookie of Year?) and one of the best defenses, it looks like an exciting playoff run is in store. I also got to attend three games in Seattle, including the 42-13 schellacking of the 49ers.

Success Indicator: 8/10. (10 if they win the Super Bowl) Whiskey shots: 0

University of Washington Huskies (College football)

The Huskies treaded water this year. They had a couple good upset victories (Stanford and Oregon St.) but also had some serious head scratching losses (blown-out by Arizona and an overtime loss to WSU, among others). They lost to the teams they should have, but got crushed. With a 7-5 regular season, they got a bid to the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl against Boise St. Not the best bowl, but better than nothing. It was a close game, but the referees gifted the Broncos a first down and Boise St. won 28-26 on a field goal at the end. Then as usual, Keith Price threw a terrible interception to seal the win for Boise St. Overall, a disappointing season.

Success Indicator: 6/10. Whiskey shots: 4 (1 for the season and 3 for Couging it against the WSU Cougers.)

Seattle Sounders FC (MLS – soccer)

The Sounders were among the best teams in the league this season. They finished 15-8-11 (56 points). They went to their fourth consecutive US Open Cup tournament final, but lost on penalty kicks to Sporting Kansas City. They won their first playoff series (home and away games) in the MLS (1-0 aggregate goals against Real Salt Lake) but then lost 2-4 aggregate to the eventual champions, Los Angeles Galaxy. Finally, they kicked butt in the CONCACAF Champions League tournament. They finished the group stage at 4-0 (12 points) and moved on to the eight team knock-out stage, which starts again in March 2013. Go Sounders!

Success Indicator: 8/10. Whiskey shots: 2 (for losing to the LA Galaxy)


Other teams I follow:

Washington Nationals (MLB – baseball)

The Nationals were amazing this year (98-64). Best season ever and a playoff berth. But they lost the most crushing, crappy game in history…Game 5 of the NL Division Series against St. Louis Cardinals. Drew Storen gave up 4 runs in the top of the 9th and the Nats fall 9-7 (St. Louis wins series 3-2). Worst. Baseball. Game. Ever. Stephen Strasburg was amazing in 2012. Bryce Harper was great in his MLB debut. The Nationals will be an exciting team in 2013.

Success Indicator: 8/10. Whiskey shots: 4 (1 for each run in Game 5)

University of Washington Huskies (College basketball – men’s and women’s)

The men’s team were the regular season champions of PAC-12 (24-11) but failed to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. WTF? Instead they went to the NIT and lost by 1 point to Minnesota in the semi-finals.

The women’s team finished 20-14 (8-10 in the PAC-12).

Success Indicator: 5/10

Chelsea Blues (English Premier League – soccer)

The 2011-2012 Chelsea team (64 points) finished 6th in the Premier League. Not good for them and out of the Champions League qualifying for 2013. BUT.. they won the 2012 Champions League!!! So should get an automatic bid to next year’s tournament. Go Blue!

Success Indicator: 8/10. Whiskey shots: 2 (for 6th place)

Washington Capitals (NHL – hockey)

The Capitals had 92 points for the 2011-2012 season. They lost in the second round of the playoffs to the New York Rangers. With the NHL locked-out this season, not much to look forward to.

Success Indicator: 6/10. Whiskey shots: 2 (1 for losing in the playoffs and 1 for the lock-out)

DC United (MLS – soccer)

DC United finished 17-10-7 (58 points). They won in the first round of the playoffs but lost to Houston 2-4 aggregate in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

Success Indicator: 7/10. Whiskey shots: 0 (Enough drinking for one day)

Other teams I play on:

DC Chapter  – University of Washington Alumni (Capital Alumni Network – co-ed flag football)

The third season for the DC Dawgs flag football team was a good one. We finished 6-4 in the regular season (and all of the losses were close games that could have gone either way). Then we won the first two playoff games to reach the Sweet 16 of the CAN tournament. But we lost to last year’s champion, Michigan, in the third round.

Success Indicator: 7/10.

DC Chapter  – University of Washington Alumni (Capital Alumni Network – co-ed volleyball)

The DC Dawgs played our first CAN volleyball season in 2012. We finished 3-5 in the regular season. We lost to the eventual champions, Delaware, in the first round of the playoffs.

DC Chapter  – University of Washington Alumni (Capital Alumni Network – co-ed softball)

The DC Dawgs also played our first CAN softball season in 2012. It was a learning year. We finished 1-13 and went 0-3 in the group stage of the playoffs. Next year we will definitely win much more.

DC Dawgs (Metro Sports League – co-ed volleyball)

I also played in Spring, Summer and Fall volleyball leagues. We came in 2nd in Spring and won the championship in Summer!


Finally, I was voted to be the Sports Chair of the UW Alumni – DC chapter Board. That means I continue to organize the flag football and volleyball teams and act as point of contact for new sports we play.

Peace and may the sports be with you.

2011: Can’t Get Anymore Blue

Welcome. Here, lovingly crafted for your enjoyment (or dismissal), I present my blue mood towards my favorite sports teams.

This also is a tell-tale sign that the end of 2011 is nigh, and I could be writing a bunch of end-of-year reviews. Or something. May be time for you to go on vacation. I am.

2011 was a blue year. Very blue indeed for Seattle sports. Blue is the prominent color of many Seattle sports teams, but that is not the blue I refer to. I mean blue as is melancholy. Blue as in sing the blues. Blue as in break out a bottle of Jack Daniel’s and curl up in front of reruns of Hill Street Blues. Get your shot glasses ready.

Seattle Mariners (ML B – baseball)

The Mariners are hard to root for. They can’t score runs. They trade all their good pitchers for hitters that never produce. They do nothing. It’s depressing. Ichiro’s numbers declined. King Felix didn’t match his Cy Young season of 2010. We traded away Doug Fister right when he was pitching well. You can’t finish much worse than 67-95. And no good prospects for next year.

Success Indicator: 2/10. Whiskey shots: 4

Seattle Seahawks (NFL – football)

After improbably winning their division last season (with a NFL history worst 7-9 record), and then miraculously beating the Saints in the playoffs (only to lose to the Bears), the Seahawks looked like they were back in the business of sucking for 2011. They started 2-6. They lost to Cleveland 6-3. Enough said. Yet, somehow they seem to have poured spinach on their Wheaties, because they are kicking butt, winning five of their last six games. At 7-7, they have a very small chance at the playoffs. But small is better than zero, so let’s see if they can pull off another miracle in their final two games.

Success Indicator: 6/10. Whiskey shots: 3 (5 if they don’t make they playoffs)

University of Washington Huskies (College football)

The Dawgs started strong at 5-1. Then they started playing good teams. And they got crushed three out of four games. Then they lost to Oregon St. (WTF?) and it looked like the wheels had fallen off. To just salvage the season, they had to whip the Cougars in the Apple Cup. They finished with a 7-5 record, good enough to get a bid to the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas against #15 ranked Baylor. Robert Griffin III, Baylor’s QB, won the Heisman Trophy, so it should add a bit of heightened excitement to the game on December 29. But they should have been better.

Success Indicator: 6/10. Whiskey shots: 6 (One for every loss, and two for losing to OSU)

Seattle Sounders FC (MLS – soccer)

The Sounders had their best season ever. That’s why it’s also the worst. Expectations were high. But not fulfilled. They finished 18-7-9 (63 points), 2nd best in the league. Yet they lost again in the first round of the playoffs. Three years in a row. Erg! There was a silver lining. They won the US Open Cup tournament for a 3rd straight time, tying a record for most consecutive times a team has done this and the first MLS team to do it. They also played extremely well in the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions league tournament (24 of the top club teams in North America, Central America and Caribbean) and have a spot in the knock-out stage that starts next April.

Success Indicator: 7/10. Whiskey shots: 5 (would have been 6, but for the secondary tourneys)


Other teams I follow:

Washington Nationals (MLB – baseball)

The Nationals had the 2nd best season since they’ve moved to Washington, D.C. (80-81). I managed to attend 10 games (two doubleheaders) while eating lots of nachos and Shake Shack burgers. Teddy Roosevelt continued to lose in epic ways in the 4th inning President’s race.

Success Indicator: 7/10. Whiskey shots: 1 (for Teddy)

University of Washington Huskies (College basketball – men’s and women’s)

The men’s team was solid (24-11) and won the Pac-10 Tournament Championship for the 2nd straight year. They beat Georgia in the first round of the NCAA Tournament but then lost a close one to North Carolina.

The women’s team (11-17) continued to suck.

Success Indicator: 7/10

Chelsea Blues (English Premier League – soccer)

The 2010-2011 Chelsea team (71 points) was up and down all year. And finally they were too far behind Manchester United and finished in 2nd place 9 points clear of 1st.

Success Indicator: 7/10. Whiskey shots: 2 (for letting Man U win)

Seattle Storm (WNBA – women’s basketball)

Yep, they still play professional women’s basketball. Seattle finished 21-13 and got bounced from the playoffs in the first round. Blah.

Success Indicator: 6/10. Whiskey shots: 0 (no reason to waste any here)

Washington Capitals (NHL – hockey)

The Capitals continue to be an enigma. In 2010-2011 they were again the best team in the Eastern Conference (107 points). They beat the New York Rangers in the first round of the playoffs, but lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning four games to zero. Another season wasted.

Success Indicator: 6/10. Whiskey shots: 4 (one for every loss to Tampa Bay)

DC United (MLS – soccer)

DC United played better this year, finishing 9-13-12 (39 points). But they failed to make the playoffs despite a weak Eastern Conference.

Success Indicator: 4/10. Whiskey shots: 0 (Can’t. Drink. Any. More.)

University of Washington Huskies (Capital Alumni Network – co-ed flag football)

Year two of DC Dawgs’ (UW Alumni) participation in flag football went better. We finished 4-6 (playoff seed #34 out of 58 total schools). Our division was stacked with a few of the best schools in the league so in a different division, we would have done even better. We played #31 Cornell in the playoffs, but lost a close game 20-12. They stopped us on the goal line at the end of the game. Also, we were shorthanded as many of our players were in NYC for a UW vs. Duke basketball game. There’s always next year…

Peace and may the sports be with you.

Things I Rely On (Bitter Frozen Edition)

Boy, is it sure arctic cold outside! My dog has become a wiener popsicle.

It’s been hovering below the 20’s (Farenheit of course) here in DC the past few days, although today it is a balmy 37° F.

In honor of this bitter and pointless cold, what I am reliant on to survive? Indeed, read:

…piping hot mochas (while seated as far away from the coffee shop entrance as possible. Read: avoiding blasts of frigid air).

…my huge and warm Seattle Sounders FC scarf (it’s pretty too).

…draft beer (obvious).

…my rocking red Washington Nationals beanie.

…hot toddies.

…my blue 12th Man Seattle Seahawks gloves (lovingly sent to me because I am a non-living in Seattle Season Ticket Holder).

…thick black socks (holes not included).

…my Washington Nationals scarf (for covering my face on boldly, bitter bike rides).

…central heating (for a nice 70° F cocoon of warmth).

…my Columbia winter jacket (combined with all of the above clothing accessories, and suddenly I am a force to reckoned with – or avoided).

…warmed up and savory Dangerously Delicious Pies.

2010: Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing

Welcome to, what has apparently become, my annual wrap-up on my favorite sports teams. I am a victim of routine, so expect to be liberally doused with many end of year lists over the next few weeks.

2010 can be categorized as ‘another’ year for Seattle sports. No riot-in-the-streets championships (although one oh-ok-here’s-a-high-five championship). No plane crashes in the Cascades where the survivors subsisted on the ‘hide of the game ball’. No Lebron James style shenanigans (although one team in particular had its share of drama). There were a few heart-stopping and heart-breaking moments, but nothing that Seattle hasn’t become quite used to by now. 

In other words, just another year.

Seattle Mariners (ML B – baseball)

To say that the M’s were terrible this year (with a woeful 61-101 record), would do the word ‘terrible’ a disservice. The M’s had lofty and immediate expectations for success in 2010. They were coming off of an 85 win campaign in 2009, and acquired the brilliant Cliff Lee in the offseason (who ended up pitching for the World Series losers, Texas) and added a couple of solid hitters. Then the wheels fell off. And they sunk into a sinkhole so deep, I still don’t think they can see the way out. Brutal. Drama. I don’t even want to talk about it. Only two highlights to mention, and they were both brilliant. First, Ichiro hit 200+ hits in his 10th consecutive season, breaking the Major League record. Dude is going to the Hall of Fame. Second, Felix Hernandez won the American League Cy Young Award despite only winning 13 games. He was the best pitcher in baseball this year and won the award despite everything his team did to prevent it, like not scoring any runs during his starts. Take that New York.

Success Indicator: 0/10 for the M’s as a team. 10/10 for Ichiro and Felix Hernandez

Seattle Seahawks (NFL – football)

After two dismal seasons, the Seahawks are again in contention to win the NFC West division and a ticket to the playoffs. Under their new coach, Pete Carroll (from USC), they have become more competitive overall, but still have played some head-scratching games (explain losing two consecutive games by a combined 10-74 score?!?). At 6-6 (with four games to play), they are not a good team, but they just might be good enough for the bad NFC West. They play their bitter rivals, the St. Louis Rams (6-6), the last game of the season on January 2. Expect that game to decide the division champion. Expect elation or heart-break. I choose elation!

Success Indicator: 6/10 (I’d up it to 7 if they make the playoffs)

University of Washington Huskies (College football)

The Dawgs are going bowling!! After 8 seasons without a bowl game, the Huskies finished with a 6-6 record, winning their last three in convincing fashion, to qualify for a bowl game. They will play Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl. This is an unfortunate re-match since Nebraska crushed the Huskies early in the season. There were multiple heart-stopping, last second victories for the Huskies and after all the stress they put us through, we are finally vindicated with a bowl appearance. Jake Locker, the QB, passed up an opportunity to play in the NFL last year to give the Huskies one final chance to do something good. And it paid off.

Success Indicator: 8/10

Seattle Sounders FC (MLS – soccer)

The Sounders started the year with high hopes, but didn’t perform well out of the gates. They pulled themselves together and finished strong with a 14-10-6 record (48 points), good enough for a 6th seed in the playoffs. Sadly, they lost in the first round. They also participated in the CONCACAF Champions League tournament (this hemisphere’s equivalent to the European Champions League) with other North and Central American and Caribbean countries, but fared poorly in the group stage, only winning one game (1-5, 3 points). The bright spot for the Sounders was winning their second consecutive US Open Cup championship (a domestic tournament for all levels of professional soccer). Go Sounders!

Success Indicator: 8/10


Other teams I follow:

University of Washington Huskies (College basketball – men’s and women’s)

The men’s team (26-10) was the best of the Pac-10. They won the conference championship and went into the NCAA Tournament with high expectations. Two victories later, they were in the Sweet Sixteen. But alas, they lost to West Virginia, 69-56.

The women’s team (13-18) was not good.

Success Indicator: 8/10

Chelsea Blues (English Premier League – soccer).

Chelsea (86 points) managed to break Manchester United’s three-year strangle-hold on the EPL championship in the 2009-2010 season. Finishing just a mere 1 point clear of the damn United, they are rightfully the new champions! They have started strong again for 2010-2011.

Success Indicator: 10/10

Seattle Storm (WNBA – women’s basketball)

The WNBA is a league few people care about. It struggles with attendance and it seems like one team folds every other year. Despite that, the Storm were by far and away the best team this year. They finished with a 28-6 record and basically could not be stopped and easily won their 2nd championship (the 1st was in 2004). High five!

Success Indicator: 10/10

Washington Capitals (NHL – hockey)

I’ve never been a huge NHL fan since Seattle didn’t have a team, but I can adopt the Capitals. The Caps were the best team in the 2009-2010 regular season (121 points) but inexplicably lost in the first round of the playoffs to Montreal. WTF? Another huge build-up of high expectations, only to be dashed in traumatic fashion.

Success Indicator: 7/10

DC United (MLS – soccer)

They sucked. The worst season in franchise history at 6-20-4 (21 points).

Success Indicator: 2/10

University of Washington Huskies (Capital Alumni Network – co-ed flag football)

I have started playing flag football this year with the UW Alumni in DC. (And as fate would have it, I ended up being the ‘coach’…hmmm). This was the Huskies expansion season (1-9)  into the Capital Alumni Network (CAN) league. With 51 other schools playing flag football, we didn’t expect to win right away. And we didn’t. All teams qualify for the playoffs – we put up a strong effort against Delaware but fell in the end. It’s on for next year!

Peace and may the sports be with you.

2009: A Better Year

Last year I shat out a blog about the complete ineptitude of Seattle sports teams (see 2008: The Worst Year Ever). It came out sideways and it hurt.

This year, I’m happy to report, has been a bit rosier. Not brilliant, mind you, but definitely encouraging going into 2010.

Let’s see what happened:

Seattle SuperSonics (NBA – basketball)

errrgg…they are gone to the sorry, pointless city of Oklahoma City. Yes, you heard me. Sorry and pointless. I predict public interest in the team will precipitously drop after about 3-4 years and the NBA will look to move the team somewhere else, with egg all over their face. Bastards.

Do I Care Indicator: 0 out of 10

Seattle Mariners (MLB – baseball)

Finishing with a respectable 85-77 record, the Mariners improved on last year’s dismal season by 24 wins. It wasn’t quite enough to make the playoffs, but it bodes well for next year. 2009 also saw the return of Ken Griffey, Jr., and the Kid brought some serious energy to the clubhouse. And he got into tickle fights with Ichiro. Don’t try that at home, kids. Also, King Felix Hernández had a Cy Young worthy season (19-5, 2.49 ERA), but lost to Zack Greinke (16-8, 2.16 ERA) in the voting. The Mariners do need some more hitting to compliment Ichiro’s standard brilliance, so we shall see how that goes in the off-season.

Success Indicator: 7/10

Seattle Seahawks (NFL – football)

The Seahawks are strange this year. Sometimes they are listless, sometimes they are world beaters. But mostly they are underachievers. So far they’ve only managed a 5-7 record. It’s almost assured a playoff berth is out of the question this year, but they are doing better than the apathetic 4-12 team that didn’t bother to suit up last year. Now if they can only find a good running back and keep Matt Hasselbeck healthy, they might stand a chance.

Success Indicator: 5/10

Seattle Sounders FC (MLS – soccer)

The expansion Sounders FC* made their debut in 2009 and took Major League Soccer and the USA by storm! They did indeed do quite well, finishing with a 12-7-11 record (47 pts). That was good enough for 4th best in the league and a spot in the playoffs. They lost in the first round, but we can forgive them that because during the season they won the US Open Cup championship against DC United. I was there! Winning this domestic tournament also qualifies the Sounders to play in next year’s CONCACAF Champions League tournament with 24 other clubs in North and Central America. Very nice. Finally, the Sounders set MLS attendance records by averaging a stellar 30,897 fans per match in Qwest Field.

Success Indicator: 9/10

University of Washington Huskies (College Football)

Let the Steve Sarkisian years begin! With exciting wins over #3 USC, #19 California and an Arizona team that finished ranked #20, the Huskies played well at times and pulled off a 5-7 record (4-5 Pac-10), a vast improvement over 0-12. They lost a couple heartbreakers (I hate Notre Dame), but they also crushed the hapless Washington State Cougars 30-0 in the Apple Cup. Oh yeah, watch out for next year!

Success Indicator: 7/10

University of Washington Huskies (College Basketball – Men’s and Women’s)

The men’s team went 24-7 (14-4 Pac-10) and won the Pac-10 Conference regular season crown for the first time. They lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament and finished with a #16 ranking in the nation.

The women’s team went 8-22 (3-15 Pac-10) and pretty much sucked.

Success Indicator: 8/10

University of Washington Huskies (College Softball – Women’s)

They won the National Championship, baby! Woo hoo!

Success Indicator: 10/10

A. Better. Year.

*FC refers to Fully Cocked. Or Fans Crying. Or Football Club. I can never remember.