Baseball fans know well the hoary bromide that player payroll does not automatically convey success. But those in Seattle, with considerable justification, ask: We've tried it one way for 47 years, and remain the only team in MLB never to have made the World Series; can we try it the other way once?
By now, even rookie fans have learned that playoff hockey is like no other postseason in sports, and that seventh games are the acme of the sports orgasm. In their 47 years, the Sonics had only seven such games, and the Kraken now have two.
Simply put, the talent level of the NFC West leaders was notably above Seattle's last year. The Seahawks pursued the mantra of Best Players Available, instead of drafting to fill needier positions. If closing the gap on the 49ers and regaining NFC West supremacy is the 2023 prime directive, the only way to do it is with game-changing, rare-earth materials.
Since seeding began in 1979, this is the first time that none among the No. 1, 2 or 3 seeds advanced to the tourney's final weekend. In its 34-year hoops history, Florida Atlantic has never won a tourney game until this month.
Many sports fans indulge the reverie that teams most of the time share an overarching camaraderie and purpose. That's often true. But it's just about as often that managers and laborers would be thrilled to step out into the street and settle things.
Two things prioritize what seems the mandatory minimum for sustained offensive success these days in a business with both high personnel turnover and a ruthless consumer demand for instant gratification (making it identical to nearly every other aspect of 21st-century life).