Not that there’s necessarily a competition here. Not that fans across the Puget Sound region can’t own a Julio Rodriguez and DK Metcalf jersey. Not that the entire state of Washington doesn’t benefit from a successful NFL and MLB franchise (or winning teams from every league and level). 

But I gotta say — and maybe I’m a prisoner of the moment — Seattle still feels like a Seahawks town. 

It sure didn’t seem like that would be a feasible sentence a month ago, when the Mariners clinched their first playoff berth in 21 years and the Seahawks were 1-2 after a home loss to the Falcons. 

A big fly from Cal Raleigh and a goodbye from Russell Wilson seemed to encapsulate the local sports scene. And then the M’s shocked the Blue Jays in Game 2 of the wild-card series, played tight with the Astros in the American League Division Series and signaled to the nation that this was just the beginning for them. 

Seemed like the city’s scepter was ripe for the Mariners’ taking … until the Seahawks (5-3) jumped into first place and defied the predictions of just about anybody not employed by the organization. 

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll acknowledged the skeptics’ prevalence Sunday after they downed the now 6-2 Giants 27-13. He downplayed the idea that ubiquitous doubt served as a primary motivator for his players, but …


“You know, I mean, we’re human. We know how that was all passed about,” said Carroll, whose team has won its past three games. “It’s fun. We have fun with it. [Wide receiver Tyler Lockett] said something today — he reminded the guys that nobody thought we’d be here.” 

And why would they? The Seahawks were 7-10 last year before parting ways with a nine-time Pro Bowler in Wilson and an eight-time Pro Bowler in linebacker Bobby Wagner. Their rookie class has played more snaps than any team in the NFL, and their starting quarterback, Geno Smith, was a backup in his previous seven seasons. 

And yet here they are, on top of the NFC West with a defense that has allowed just 45 points over the past three games and a quarterback who has played like one of the NFL’s five most valuable players. That’s not a hometown exaggeration. In fact, had Lockett and Marquise Goodwin not dropped two would-be touchdowns Sunday, Smith might have the best passer rating in the league instead of being third behind Tua Tagovailoa and Patrick Mahomes. 

But this isn’t just about Geno and Co. exceeding local and national prognostications. It’s about the Seahawks reinvigorating fans and restoring their fervor to glory-day heights. 

Said Carroll on Sunday, “We look like we used to look, and the stadium is rocking like it used to rock.”

Safety Quandre Diggs couldn’t help but agree. “It’s always loud, but I think these few home games — it’s been crazy loud,” he said. 


That’s the sound of rebirth. That’s the sound of 12s who felt spurned by Wilson suddenly feeling stirred by a franchise taking a sledgehammer to expectations. 

The TV viewership numbers seem to back that up. Fox 13’s sports director, Aaron Levine, tweeted that the Seahawks-Chargers game two Sundays ago drew a 25.0 rating/72 share — including an 80 share for 25- to 54-year-olds. He compared this with the Mariners’ 18-inning playoff game eight days earlier, which drew a 14.9 rating/51 share. 

There are two reasonable counters to this, of course: One is that the Seahawks were on network TV (Fox) while the Mariners were on cable (TBS). And the other is that a weekly event is better suited to draw more eyeballs than one game in a series. 

Still, one was a playoff contest on the heels of a 21-year postseason drought. The other was Week 7 of the regular season. 

Again, I’m not trying to spur an intracity rivalry between two teams that seem to have the utmost respect for each other. And to be sure — Mariners stories crushed it on The Seattle Times website during the team’s playoff run. The M’s captured the city’s hearts with everyday players such as Rodriguez and pitchers such as Luis Castillo and Logan Gilbert. But while the M’s have J-Rod and the aces, the Seahawks still feel like kings. 

Late in the game Sunday, Carroll drew a penalty when he bumped into an official while celebrating a win-sealing first down. Then, referee Jerome Boger addressed the crowd and said, “Sideline interference — the coaching staff of the Seattle Mariners.” 

Hey, the M’s are on a lot of people’s minds these days — and deservedly so. Could be their town soon. It’s just not their town yet.