The Mariners and the Seahawks: For some reason, professional football seems to have taken the place of professional baseball in defining part of who a city is. Growing up in New York City, it was the Brooklyn Dodgers (when they were still playing at the old Ebbits Field in Brooklyn, or the New York Yankees who defined the essence of being from New York. Kids lived or died on the daily batting averages of their heroes. Mickey Mantle was one of my childhood heroes.
In the movie “A Bronx Tale” (written by Chazz Palminteri – who also plays Sonny, the lead mobster character) Sonny is talking to the young kid he takes under his wing. The kid, nicknamed “C” by Sonny, is talking about how great Mickey Mantle is.
Sonny told C, “What’s so great about Mickey Mantle. He doesn’t care about you or your family. If your father lost his job, see if Mickey Mantle will write a check to your family.”
Poor C, you could see the idolatry drain out of his face as he realized that sports heroes were just well paid people who wouldn’t or couldn’t really help the ordinary working folk. But let your team get into the Super Bowl or the World Series and suddenly the entire city comes together and becomes one with the team.