Look for strange twists in 2012 Seattle sports scene
Here's what's coming in 2012 — titles for the Storm and Sounders, a new look for Ichiro
2012: A look ahead
Seattle Times reporters take a look at what to expect from local teams in 2012.
Some things we think ... well, we're pretty sure ... OK, they might happen in 2012 ...
Jan. 20: Huskies are first to be assessed a technical foul under new NCAA rule that teams may no longer waste everyone's time by slapping hands with a teammate who has just missed a free throw.
Feb. 19: Ichiro, who claimed Jay Buhner told him there was a mandatory, organization-wide offseason mustache contest, arrives at spring training sporting a bushy handlebar 'stache. Mariners manager Eric Wedge describes it as "a look that really doesn't work," and drops Ichiro to seventh in the batting order.
March 3: Scandal rocks the state basketball tournaments, with allegations of cold, overpriced hot dogs.
March 10: Washington wins the Pac-12 men's basketball tournament. Unfortunately for the Huskies, the NCAA tournament committee issues a one-year postseason ban on teams that lost by 19 points at home to South Dakota State.
March 14: "It's impossible to replace a goalkeeper as great as Kasey Keller," Sounders FC general manager Adrian Hanauer says.
March 15: Playing without a goalkeeper, Sounders drop their MLS season opener, 34-1.
May 4: Mariners are sold to a group of rich guys from Oklahoma led by Clay Bennett. Bennett turns the balloon-filled news conference into a real downer by yanking the microphone from the Mariner Moose to announce a deadline for fixing up Safeco Field, the team's "unacceptable" ballpark. "I'm a man possessed," Bennett squeals.
June 8: NBA announces that a Seattle group's planned $500 million arena is better than the $500 million arenas proposed by competing groups in Bellevue, Granite Falls and Cle Elum. Seattle's bid to bring the NBA back to town will go to the NBA's relocation committee, whose chairman is — uh oh, is this right — Clay Bennett.
July 5: Wenatchee native Tyler Farrar wins a sprint stage at the Tour de France, passing Mark Cavendish when the Manx Missile mistimes his showboating routine, autographing photos of himself before crossing the finish line.
July 12: The great documentary "Seattle Pilots: Short Flight into History" is rereleased to include a section on Seattle's other former major-league team, the Mariners.
Aug. 5: Seafair hydroplane races are held because no one has the heart to tell the drivers not to bother.
Aug. 6: Seahawks coach Pete Carroll suffers minor injuries after being stuffed into a trash can by a lineman, who had been punk'd by Carroll and Renton cops in a ruse about unpaid parking tickets. Police restore order by tasing the player, who mumbles "Win forever" as he convulses on the floor of the team meeting room.
Aug. 9: Reality TV star Hope Solo decides to give soccer a try and leads U.S. team to Olympic gold, although she receives a red card from referee Bruno Tonioli.
Sept. 1: Minutes after Washington State's season-opening victory at Brigham Young, coach Mike Leach high-tails it to Texas to support the U.S. Senate campaign of Whoever is Running Against Craig James.
Oct. 14: During a victory at CenturyLink Field, Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch suffers an eye injury after being pelted with Skittles after scoring on a classic, 41-yard Beast Mode run. Somewhere, somebody's mom says, "How many times have I told you kids about throwing Skittles ... " Golden Tate complains after game of being "all sticky" after he was showered with maple bars following a third-quarter TD catch.
Oct. 22: WNBA Finals MVP Tanisha Wright leads Storm to championship, patiently answers postgame questions about how great it is to play with Sue, Lauren and Swin.
Nov. 15: Mariners ace Felix Hernandez finishes second in American League Cy Young voting. The award goes to Royals middle reliever Aaron Crow, who was 3-6 with a 4.59 ERA but posted superior BABIP, xFIP and dERA numbers. In not-really-related-but-weird-and-kind-of-unsettling news, Pirates ace Erik Bedard captures the National League Cy Young.
Nov. 19: Sounders, who rebounded nicely after deciding to use goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, win the MLS Cup. The victory qualifies the Sounders for a two-game aggregate CONCACAF semifinal matchup in 2015, gives them a first-round bye in 2019 U.S. Open Cup and retroactively awards them the 1987 Stanley Cup.
Dec. 2: Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott announces that Nebraska will leave the Legends Division of the 12-team Big Ten to join the conference in 2013, for football, women's basketball and intramural lacrosse only. Scott says Colorado, "which isn't really good at most sports, as it turns out," will be returned to the 10-team Big 12 to make room for the Cornhuskers.
Dec. 29: Keith Price, Kasen Williams lead Huskies' offensive juggernaut in record-setting display against Texas in Holiday Bowl — a 73-66 UW loss.
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