We are in a good place when it comes to our regional sports. The Seahawks are inching closer to making the playoffs with four regular season games left and very doable victories in two of them (Arizona and San Francisco), Seattle just landed an NHL expansion franchise, the Sounders put on a fantastic spurt over the last half of the season and nearly completed a miracle comeback from a disastrous start and made the MLS playoffs for the 10th consecutive season, and the Washington Huskies have landed in the Rose Bowl.

Not bad.

Ah, don’t talk to me about the Mariners. I can’t stand a makeover of the roster every year. It’s stupid. I understand the underlying force that is at play here – cut payroll. But I have heard that old song and dance for many years (I covered the team for almost 30 years) and it’s disheartening. You can’t get an emotional grip on the team because just when you start to, the roster is torn apart and you have the old Abbott and Costello routine, “Who’s on first?”

I know baseball is a little different from other sports and I know the new trend is to go with younger guys and eliminate as many of the large-salary guys as possible, but this is getting ridiculous. I’ll never understand a team that tells its fan base that we are going to lose a lot of games. You don’t start out a season in any sport and say to your fans, “We are going to lose a lot of games, but c’mon on out anyway and watch us play.” If a team does that, it should also lower prices for tickets and its stadium food to meet the low standard they are putting on the field. They should at least pretend they are going to be good.

I’m kind of lukewarm on the Seahawks. Yes, they are getting better each week, but I also see a flaw. They give up a lot of yards, especially in the secondary. Even though they were playing last Sunday a 2-9 San Francisco team that was playing its’ second-string quarterback, the 49ers were able to accumulate over 400 yards passing on the Seahawks.

Actually, I thought the 49ers played the Seahawks fairly even despite losing 43-16. The 49ers made some bad plays, but overall put up a heroic effort against the Hawks. It could be a lot different Dec. 16 when the two teams clash again in Santa Clara, Calif.

It will be fun to see big-time hockey back in Seattle again. The team will begin play in the 2021-22 season at the remodeled KeyArena. I was an avid hockey fan while going to college in the 1960s as Hockey Night in Canada was always a joy to watch on TV, and this was then the NHL had just six teams – Montreal, Toronto, Boston, Chicago, Detroit and New York – and Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Alex Delvecchio, Phil Esposito, Jean Beliveau, Henri “Pocket Rocket” Richard, Maurice “Rocket” Richard and many others were skating.

I seldom missed a hockey game on TV during my college years. There was  a small pocket of us guys ‑ most of us were in a single car pool – that loved their hockey and bet each other on who was going to score a goal on Hockey Night in Canada.

I lost track of hockey after my college years, but resumed it last year with the Las Vegas Golden Knights’ unbelievable first year. Our youngest son would often visit our oldest son in Vegas and they got interested in the Knights, so I started watching their games on TV and rediscovered my hockey joy.

Then there are the Huskies. I started covering the Huskies in 1970 and for nearly 30 years wrote about them for the local daily. They underachieved this year, I thought. They were supposed to be a super power – a possible top four playoff team – but they never really gained the offensive explosiveness expected of them. They had to rally over the last weeks of the season, relying on superb defense, to climb back into contention for the Rose Bowl.

So now they are there, and meet a highly explosive Ohio State team led by its cannon armed quarterback Dwayne Haskins, a Heisman Trophy candidate. Ohio State opened as the favorite and got a boost, I think, when coach Urban Meyer announced he was retiring at the end of the Rose Bowl game.

It will take a minor miracle, in my estimation, for the Huskies to win this game. It’s been a nerve-whacking experience watching them this year, but if they can pull off the upset in the Rose Bowl it would put an exciting finish to what has been a good year for our regional sports, including an 89-win Mariner season.

So sit back, have a cocktail or two, have a great Christmas and keep your eye out on the Washington Huskies men’s basketball team that could use some outside shooters, a bigger shot-blocking presence inside and a true point guard as it tries to make some positive noise in the Pac-12.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.