Seattle has never been able to bill itself as the city of champions, given its anemic sports history, notwithstanding an NBA championship in 1979 that has become less a fond memory than a painful reminder. In 2008, the Sonics left town for Oklahoma City and became the Thunder, contributing to the city's athletic gloom.
Its baseball teams, first the Pilots and then the Mariners, have never played in a World Series and the Mariners have one of the worst records in the Major Leagues this year. Its football team, the Seahawks, has never won a Super Bowl, though it did play in one, in 2006 (the 2005 season), when it lost to Pittsburgh, 21-10. Meanwhile, the state's two NCAA Division I football teams, Washington and Washington State, were a collective 8-41 the last two seasons.
Then there's Fred Couples, favorite son, who grew up in the Beacon Hill neighborhood near downtown Seattle. Couples shot a five-under par 65 on Saturday to take a share of the lead in the U.S. Senior Open being played at Sahalee Country Club, on the outskirts of Seattle.
On Sunday, Couples has a chance to give the city something it longs for (though never expects). He can give them a champion.
-- John Strege