Tom Glasgow: Is the time now for Seattle sports fans?

Tom Glasgow: Is the time now for Seattle sports fans?
Chris Petersen
During his recent introductory news conference at Safeco Field, new Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said, "This is the golden age of Mariners baseball," leaving many wondering if he'd actually seen much Mariners baseball since 2004.

It turns out his comment may have been a bit of an understatement. We may be witnessing the beginnings of the golden age of Seattle sports. Before calling me the naive Richie Cunningham of Seattle sports, consider the following with your glass half full. And no, I haven't been drinking.

The reported blockbuster contract with free agent Robinson Cano breathes some much needed life and momentum into the franchise and brand. As big as the deal is both in terms of value and length (10 years, $240 million dollars) it can't and won't be the only significant move for the M's this off-season. They know the addition of Cano alone won't take them to the top of the AL West, and that's why more headlines will be made within the next few days and weeks.

The news of the Cano agreement came shortly after word that Chris Petersen would be the new head coach of the Washington football program. It's a major coup for Athletic Director Scott Woodward, who did something other ADs, including those at UCLA and USC couldn't -- get Petersen to leave Boise State after compiling an astonishing record of 92-12.

It's a move that many believe gives the Huskies an incredible chance to move to the next level of winning and becoming a legitimate contender for Pac-12 championships. While the Huskies lost a talented and enthusiastic coach in Steve Sarkisian, the addition of Peterson appears to be an upgrade.

Meanwhile, fresh off their dominating performance against the Saints on Monday, the Seahawks will go after a 12th win in 13 games and an NFC West clinching win in San Francisco on Sunday. Barring any significant injuries or additional suspensions, the road to the Super Bowl will go through Seattle, and it's hard to imagine any team coming into Centurylink Field and denying Pete Carroll's club what appears to be a date with destiny.

But it's not just the M's making a critical move forward, the Huskies hiring an elite coach and the Seahawks playing at an elite level that may have us on the verge of a golden age for Seattle sports.

It's also the passionate fan base of SoundersFC. Their relentless support of the team is as impressive as any in American sports. While 2013 was a disappointment on the field, there's no reason to think 2014 can't be much better for the Rave Green. A march to a championship match is certainly within reach.

But there are even more factors to consider when it comes to a golden age. It includes what isn't here now but could be soon. A return of the NBA and the arrival of the National Hockey League and a new arena to house both teams. It would complete a trifecta of world class venues block to block to block in SODO.

Imagine watching the Seahawks and Sounders hanging championship banners at Centurylink Field. Safeco Field rocking the way it did in 2000 and 2001 as the M's return to contending form. A new arena packed with basketball and hockey fans supporting new teams while they build toward a future of success. And across town the Huskies hosting a Pac-12 Conference Championship game under the leadership of a coach no other school could pry away from Idaho.

I admit, the big picture vision is beyond optimistic, maybe even Pollyanna, but why not dream big and think big? The fan base in our city has been beaten down for too long and expected the worst for too long. So maybe Lloyd McClendon was on to something.

Maybe this is the start of the Golden age for his new club and maybe it's even more that than. Is it possible we'll spend the next decade living a dream Boston fans have lived over the previous ten years with championships celebrated by the Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins?

It's a longshot of massive proportions, but if there's a fan base that deserves a golden age, it's one that's ready to scrape away the thickening, corrosive rust of decades of close calls, missed chances and major disappointments.