Commentary

Ultimate Standings 2009: No. 40

Seattle Seahawks

Updated: July 1, 2009, 11:45 AM ET
By Brian Kamenetzky | ESPN The Magazine

Last Year's Rank: 18
Title Track: 54
Ownership: 23
Coaching: 63
Players: 31
Fan Relations: 40
Affordability: 71
Stadium Experience: 8
Bang for the Buck: 65

An injury-riddled 4–12 prompted a 22-place drop from our 2008 Standings -- perhaps because the on-field tumble was accompanied by a 14.3% increase in game costs per season ($942.83 vs. $825.23 in 2007). An average ticket of $61.25, 15% below league average, seems less of a deal when the team is struggling. Still, although the team's streak of four straight NFC West titles was snapped, fans maintained perspective. "We have a committed ownership that wants to put forth a winning product year in and year out," writes Misfit74 at fieldgulls.com. "It's not like we're the Lions or Bengals." Touché. And there's nothing like rebuilding at a killer stadium where the 12th Man flag honoring Seattle's raucous fans has been raised by Seahawk greats (Ricky Watters! Dave Krieg!) and Washington legends (Ichiro! Kenny Mayne!) alike. It was even raised atop of the Space Needle by Seattle native Jim Whittaker, the first American to scale Everest. That fervor builds a hunger, satisfied by swank concessions featuring local favorites such as a two-foot salmon sausage ($28, serves four, or a hungry OT), courtesy of Uli's, a mainstay at Pike Place Market. It ain't a return to the Super Bowl, but it is a spectacle -- and pretty tasty, too.