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Original Issue

Giving Seattle The Needle

Okay, Seattle,grab a grande, skinny, no-foam, half-caf Espresso Macchiato and let me explainwhy the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to grind you up like a Sumatra blend inSuper Bowl XL.

You suck atsports.

You always have.You make nice motherboards, but you're dweebier than Frasier Crane's wine club.You've had the big three pro sports for 30 years now--almost 40 for theNBA--and you have one lousy championship to show for it. Uno. The 1978 SeattleSuperSonics. My God, you people have fewer parades than Venice.

What's amazingis, you do college sports even worse. In the 70 years that a mythical nationalchampionship has been awarded in college football, the University of Washingtonhas one half of one title: in 1991 (with Miami). Zippo in basketball, baseball,track or field. O.K., the Huskies are good at crew (three women's titles, onemen's). Wonderful. Somewhere, three salmon cheer.

Your most famousathlete is a horse, Seattle Slew. Your most famous athletic moment was BoJackson's turning the Boz's chest into a welcome mat on Monday Night Football.Your greatest contribution to sports was the Wave, the fan-participation stuntthat screams to the world, "We have no idea what the score is!"

And do you knowwhy you stink, Seattle? Because ...

1. You're toodamn nice.

Look at yourSeahawks. Your MVP halfback, Shaun Alexander, teaches kids chess. Your scariestplayer is named Pork Chop. My God, last week, you offered valet parking serviceto reporters at Seahawks headquarters. (Seattle fans: If you see valet parkingat Detroit's Ford Field this week, they're trying to steal your car.)

Nearly everyfive-dollar-steak-tough athlete who comes to Seattle leaves--Gary Payton andRandy Johnson for instance. Consider Seattle's two favorite athletes--SteveLargent and Fred Couples. Those guys wouldn't complain if somebody extinguisheda Cohiba in their ears. Your sportswriters are more forgiving than HillaryClinton. If they covered Jeffrey Dahmer, they'd refer to him as "a peopleperson."

You Seattle fansdon't just accept mediocrity. You crave it. You support your boys come hell orlow water. You show up at the rate of three million a year for the Mariners,who never fail to let you down. Even the stadium sounds cuddly: Safeco Field.You pack the house for the underachieving SuperSonics, led by the NBA's nicestloser, Ray Allen. Your Seahawks went 21 years without a playoff win, and thefans didn't so much as clear their throats. Everybody just goes, "Well,that was fun. Let's kayak!" Hey, you can't spell Seattle withoutsettle.

The whole town is100% June Cleaver. I once walked into Nordstrom, the Seattle-based departmentstore, and sheepishly asked if I could bring back a shirt I'd bought a monthbefore in another town. The clerk said, "Sir, this is Nordstrom. You couldwear it for 10 years, throw up on it and roll down a mountain in it and we'dtake it back." Ask that at Neiman Marcus and they call security.

It ain'thappening. Walruses don't do triple Salchows, and Seattle teams don't wintitles.

2. You're toodamn geeky.

Your owner,Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen, looks like the kid in high school who alwaysgot taped to the goalposts. If Allen wins, will he call all his friends fromband camp? Throw his slide rule into the air? Plot his joy on a scatterchart?

Look, youraverage Seahawks fan drives a Prius. Your average Steelers fan drives a FordExcursion, which has Priuses in its tire treads. Seahawks fans own poodles.Steelers fans eat them.

3. You're toodamn wet.

Seattle is agreat place if you happen to be mold. It just rained 27 straight days and itwasn't even a record. Seattle is basically a lot of guys waiting for a bus withrain starting to seep into their socks. Most kids are seven years old beforethey realize the umbrella is not an extension of the right arm. No wonder mostgreat athletes leave. Ken Griffey Jr. left, basically saying, "I want mykid to be able to play outside once in a while."

In short, youpeople are too damn peaceful and happy in your Emerald City. You ever knowanybody from Pittsburgh? You want this Super Bowl. Pittsburgh needs it. You'regoing to get smoked like a platter of smelt.

(But do you mindif we come live there?)

• If you have acomment for Rick Reilly, send it to

You make nice motherboards, Seattle, but you'redweebier than Frasier Crane's wine club. You've had pro sports for almost 40years and have one lousy title to show for it.