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Big Lo is Seattle’s bigger sports fan, both figuratively (local food advertise his Super Fan activity figure) and actually (he stands 6-foot-8 and has advised as abundant as 500 pounds). In fact, he is so big a fan that the abandoned acumen he has never exhausted a Mariners replica jersey is because the aggregation has never fabricated one ample abundant to fit him.

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Scott Cohen/US Presswire

Lorin Sandretzky’s aboriginal anaplasty in May laid him so low, acquaintance Bryan Murphy says, “It was like it wasn’t actually him — it was a shell. There was none of his enthusiasm, none of his personality. We’re so acclimated to seeing Lo so complete and auspicious everyone.”

At the moment, however, he is in Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center and his affectionate face is askance in pain. Afterward two emergency surgeries in the able three weeks, IV all-overs prick Lo’s massive biceps, while bristles abscessed abscesses, including a alarming one that is 6½ inches long, 4 inches advanced and 4 inches deep, blemish his bloated larboard leg. He has astringent Type I diabetes, but no job and no medical insurance. But he does accept hope. Amid all this ache (will he lose his leg?), one anticipation keeps Big Lo focused on the positive, one anticipation keeps him motivated to activity through the affliction and anguish: The Mariners are due aback from a alley trip.

“My anticipation throughout it was to go to a Mariners bold and to do what I had to do to get better,” he says. “That kept me going. That I could go to a Mariners game.”

You apperceive a burghal is accepting a bad year aback its bigger fan is affected to draw afflatus from the achievability of watching Jose Vidro, Willie Bloomquist and Richie Sexson comedy the last-place Washington Nationals.

The affair is, though, Seattle’s sports year isn’t alike that bad yet as Big Lo lies in the hospital with summer approaching. The Mariners aren’t alike center to acceptable the aboriginal aggregation to lose 100 amateur with a amount of added than $100 million, nor accept they accursed their aboriginal administrator of the season, let abandoned their second. The Washington Huskies accept yet to ache a distinct one of their acclaimed 12 losses or blaze their drillmaster or get alleged for adjournment of bold on their aboriginal comedy from scrimmage. (Delay of bold on your aboriginal abhorrent comedy of a bold — how is that possible? What, did Kenny G comedy the civic anthem?) The preseason magazines hitting the newsstands are acrimonious the Seahawks to win the NFC West for the fifth beeline year, not lose 11 amateur (and counting) on the way to adage goodbye to their coach, Mike Holmgren. And best importantly, the SuperSonics balloon over their charter has yet to begin, so there still is achievement they will abide in Seattle rather than move to Oklahoma @$&%ing City.

So it’s apparently best Big Lo finds himself in the hospital in June afore the year actually gets bad for Seattle, afore the year again reduces him to tears and afore he starts commonly asking, “Did we do article wrong?”

It’s additionally apparently best that he doesn’t apperceive the Mariners will appear home and get swept by the Nationals.

Rod Mar for ESPN.com

As Seattle’s bigger sports fan, Big Lo has had his adherence activated in 2008 — but he’s not about to carelessness his teams.

Worse, even, than Cleveland

“This is what I alarm the ‘What the Hell?’ season,” Big Lo will say months later. “Everything that happens is ‘What the Hell?.’ The Sonics are moving. What the Hell? The Mariners are losing. What the Hell? The Seahawks are 2-8. What THE HELL?'”

My, oh, my. What the hell did Seattle do to deserve 2008 anyway?

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

In happier times, Big Lo and his pals acclaimed Seattle’s Super Bowl run in January 2006. Aloof don’t ask them about what happened in Detroit.

Has any burghal anytime endured a year in sports like the one the Emerald Burghal is aloof completing? A 101-loss, last-place baseball season, admitting a amount of $117 million; a 62-loss, last-place NBA season; a 12-loss, last-place academy football division (the aboriginal 0-12 division in the history of the Pac-10); an 11-loss (and counting) NFL season; four coaching/managerial changes; one accustomed administrator dismissal; and, of course, the hijacking of its basketball aggregation to Oklahoma @$&%ing City. Sure, added cities accept absent their teams or endured ballsy accident seasons, but for it all to appear in one agenda year? To end December afterwards a distinct arch drillmaster or administrator who was alive in January abiding for the abutting year? It’s abundant to accomplish Seattle admirers feel as if Cleveland admirers accept had it good. As bad as it was for Cleveland aback it absent the Browns in 1995, at atomic the Indians able the Apple Series that year.

And this is the thing. We’re not talking about a burghal such as Boston or New York or Los Angeles adored with assorted championships in assorted sports over the years. The Mariners are the abandoned alive aggregation which has been in one burghal to accept never able the Apple Series. The Seahawks accept been to one Super Bowl (beaten in 2006 by the Steelers — and, as Big Lo will acquaint you, by the refs). The Sonics were the city’s abandoned aggregation to win a above pro appellation (1979) and accept able the NBA Finals three times, but now they’re gone.

The abyss of this year’s ache addled a acquaintance in the gut best acutely aback ESPN ranked the cities that accept suffered the longest aback acceptable a above pro championship and larboard Seattle off the list. He was about to accuse aback he noticed the able print: “The rankings were abandoned for cities with at atomic three big alliance teams.”

Yeah, but Seattle HAS three teams. Oh, wait. Yeah. That’s right. … Aw, #%@& — never mind.

Rod Mar for ESPN.com

As Captain Husky, Barry Erickson spelled out a lot of “L’s” during Washington’s winless season.

What was the year’s everyman moment? Was it aback the Mariners — best by some to win the Apple Series — acclimated a third-string catcher as a bullpen with the bold angry (or aback he was about as able as Carlos Silva, the bullpen they active for $44 million)? Was it aback the Cowboys sacked Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck seven times on Thanksgiving Day? Was it aback an e-mail from Clay Bennett was fabricated accessible in which the new Sonics buyer wrote he was “a man possessed” with affective the aggregation to Oklahoma? Was it aback the refs flagged Husky quarterback Jake Locker 15 yards for caitiff conduct afterwards he tossed the football in the air to bless a last-second touchdown adjoin BYU in aboriginal September and the arthritic UW article absent the afterwards extra-point attack that would’ve angry the game?

The complete everyman moment? Hell, Barry Erickson, aka, Captain Husky, says he’s had four or bristles complete everyman moments — and that’s aloof with UW football.

“It is aberrant to anticipate how baby we were aback we were winning,” says Erickson, who has performed a aggregation spell-out while cutting his Captain Husky superhero apparel at every UW home football bold for the able 23 years. “Maybe I took it for accustomed then, too. Now, if we exhausted Oregon State or Arizona, I’m activity to appetite that win. … Did you anytime anticipate you would appetite a win over Oregon State or Arizona?”

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And buck in mind, Erickson was adage that afore the Huskies somehow blew a advance with the brawl and a minute actual and absent to 1-10 Washington State in the anniversary Apple Cup, the one bold Husky admirers had acquainted assured they would win.

“It’s a mystifying year for Seattle,” Big Lo says.

Getty Images

The 2008 division has stunk for the Seahawks, who were baffled by injuries and are currently 4-11.

Blue, busted and tattooed

Months accept anesthetized aback Big Lo arrested out of the hospital but on a brilliant, brilliant November afternoon, he is activity addition aggravate in the flesh: He is accepting tattoos of Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and fullback Leonard Weaver to accompany the one of assurance Jordan Babineaux.

Rod Mar for ESPN.com

Big Lo says he would like to about-face his memorabilia accumulating into Seattle’s official sports Hall of Fame.

As he text-messages above Sonic/current Thunder adeptness advanced Nick Collison from the Derm F/X boom boutique south of Seattle, the catechism is not why a 42-year-old man who already had a cannibal virus and whose abscesses are still healing on his lower larboard leg would get tattoos of three Seahawks on his lower appropriate leg. No, the catechism is why it took Big Lo this connected to do so. It’s not as if he is boom shy. In fact, the UPC barcode for his activity amount is tattooed beyond the aback of his broad, ample neck. “I had the woman in the abundance browse me to see if it works,” he says. “And it did. She scanned it, and it came up $12.95. I assumption that’s what I’m worth.”

The Seahawks are accurately in the average of a six-game accident bandage and their second-worst division ever, but aback you are Seattle’s bigger sports fan, that’s all the added acumen to get the tattoos now. Anyone can appearance abutment aback the aggregation is winning. The mark of accurate admirers is assuming abutment aback their teams are losing. And, boy, has this division provided that opportunity. Indeed, while Lo is accepting tattooed, the Mariners are introducing their third administrator of 2008.

What will appear aback the three players leave the Seahawks, as they accordingly must? Not to worry. Big Lo is uncompromisingly loyal. Unlike all those Seattle admirers who angry adjoin Shaun Alexander aback he went from NFL MVP to the most-heckled amateur in Seattle in beneath than two years, Lo never gives up on a player. He is like a dog. Treat him as ailing as you appetite — bang him, stop agriculture him, abstract Robert Swift in the aboriginal annular — it doesn’t matter. Already Big Lo is your fan, he’s your fan for life. “You appear to Seattle, you’re allotment of us,” he says. “Once you drain Seattle colors you’re a affiliate of the family.” So it doesn’t amount if the players leave Seattle; Big Lo’s adherence is as abiding as the boom ink artisan Cody Hart is anxiously applying to his able-bodied leg.

“When a amateur leaves, it’s not like they’re abandonment on you, they’re aloof demography a business opportunity,” Big Lo says. “It’s the business of actuality a fan.”

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Seahawks assurance Jordan Babineaux got a lift from Big Lo afterward Seattle’s win over St. Louis in September. Babineaux’s affinity has been active assuredly on Lo’s flesh.

And Big Lo takes the business of actuality a fan actual actively indeed. He says he hasn’t absent a Seahawks bold in 18 years and absent beneath than a dozen Sonics amateur in their final 17. He estimates he absent 20 Mariners amateur this year, but he had a acceptable acumen — he was in the hospital for many. His sports memorabilia accumulating is a actual Seattle sports Hall of Fame, bushing about every accessible inch of his home from carpeting and floor-to-ceiling with aggregate from Sedale Threat’s game-worn shoes to the goalpost added from the old Kingdome. He rarely goes out in accessible afterwards a baseball cap on his arch and at atomic one added allotment of accouterment with a bounded aggregation logo.

His adherence doesn’t end there, though. Oh, no. He additionally acclimated to drive to the airport to accost the teams aback they alternating from a alley trip, aperture doors and blasting snow from their cars if charge be. One night he was cat-and-mouse for the Sonics alike … and cat-and-mouse … and waiting. Adage he would delay “only a few account longer,” he nodded off about 4 in the morning and awoke to abettor drillmaster Dwayne Casey animadversion on his window. “It’s OK, Big Lo,” Casey told him. “You can go home now. We’re safe.”

There are banned to alike Big Lo’s loyalty, however. It doesn’t extend to watching the Thunder comedy on TV.

Big Lo reviews all the big lows from 2008 and offers a bout of his Seattle sports memorabilia collection.

“I told Nick I do, but I aloof can’t,” he says. “The Thunder arrive me bottomward to Oklahoma for their opener, but it aloof doesn’t feel right. I’m Seattle’s bigger sports fan. I can’t go about and basis for a aggregation that isn’t abundance anymore.”

That’s the botheration with able sports, though. You can basis for a aggregation all your life, absence so few home amateur you can calculation them on your fingers, accost the aggregation at the airport and advertise snow from their cars, but the aggregation isn’t actually yours. Oh, the aggregation relies on your loyalty; in fact, it demands your loyalty, reaps amazing profits from your adherence — $149 for a Jose Vidro alternating jersey? — but it is consistently endemic by some billionaire who seems to accept abandoned the Sonics’ 1979 championship array through burghal (say, Starbucks buyer Howard Schultz) but buys the aggregation abandoned to advertise it a brace years afterwards for a absurd $150 actor accumulation to some added billionaire with actually no adapter to the aggregation or the burghal (say, Clay Bennett) who anon demands taxpayers anatomy him a new $500 actor amphitheatre alike admitting the burghal already has rebuilt the accustomed amphitheatre to a antecedent owner’s exact blueprint about a decade ago. He and the league’s abettor (say, David Stern) altercate the aggregation is so important to the city’s image, its citizens and its alimentation that the new buyer deserves a half-billion dollar amphitheatre to accumulate the authorization in the burghal area it won a championship, area it played Michael Jordan’s Bulls in addition NBA Finals, area it has alleged home your absolute existence. And aback the new buyer doesn’t get the new arena, he’ll go to cloister to breach his lease, testifying that what he actually meant afore is that the aggregation doesn’t beggarly abundant to the burghal or you at all, that your affection of activity doesn’t articulation on a dozen basketball players and that he should be able to move the aggregation to Oklahoma admitting a arrangement he active that accurately states he cannot. And the city’s ambassador (say, Greg Nickels), who admits during the balloon over the charter that he has abounding abandoned one bold in his seven years in office, works out some incomprehensible adjustment that allows the buyer to move the aggregation for $45 million, not one cent of which goes to you or any of the added admirers who invested your money and your hearts into the authorization beneath the aboveboard abstraction that accomplishing so fabricated it yours.

“There were 41 years of bequest and attitude here,” says anchorperson Kevin Calabro, the articulation of the Sonics for added than two decades, “and it was aloof ripped out of the city’s throat.”

So, no, it’s not hasty at all that Big Lo is tattooing three Seahawks into his flesh, behindhand of the bloom considerations (“My doctor wasn’t absolute crazy about the idea”). These tattoos are absolutely his and an buyer will backpack them abandoned over Big Lo’s asleep body.

And the aforementioned applies to the Mariners gift miniature alternation set in his home with the J.J. Putz car and the Mariner Moose caboose.

AP photos

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When Howard Schultz awash the aggregation to Clay Bennett (from left, top larboard photo), and Seattle ambassador Greg Nickels (top appropriate photo) eventually accustomed a adjustment offer, it larboard Sonics admirers apprehensive what had hit them.

Despite all the losing, a convalescent addiction

It’s the Sunday afore Thanksgiving, and the Seahawks are aloof demography the acreage adjoin Washington — a bold that will aftereffect in their fifth afterwards loss. Big Lo (who, as usual, accustomed several hours beforehand than the team) is area he is every game, appropriate abaft the south end zone, Section 122, Row A, Bench 1, awkward in amid Sea Pimp (the fan cutting the abominable blooming clothing and hat) and Bam-Bam (the fan with the waist-length beard who aeroembolism bottomward throughout the absolute bold to accurately the added — Bam! Bam! — lining the amphitheater wall). Lo is banging calm his D-[FENCE] clappers and shouting advance to the players. “You’re activity to win!” he hollers with the acceptance and artlessness of a adolescent autograph to Santa Claus. “This is your big day!” He is Seattle’s quarter-ton pick-me-up.

“He’s consistently there. Always,” Weaver says. “No amount what, ups or downs, bro, he’s in his seat, agreeable for us at the top of his lungs, giving us his all. He’s the best cheerful, loving, big teddy buck I’ve anytime seen. I can’t name a time that I’ve apparent him down. And if he anytime is down, I apperceive he’ll be up aback he comes to the Seahawk game, because he’ll be auspicious us on.”

Just how bad was the sports year in Seattle? In a Page 2 parody, artisan Grey Blackwell and biographer Jim Caple accommodate the “autopsy.”

Big Lo’s division admission set him aback $650, which is a lot for an unemployed man who lives in his father’s basement. He has formed as a bouncer at a bandage club and a bartender at a sports bar but a near-fatal activity with a cannibal virus in 1998 chewed up his savings, and the accustomed activity with diabetes has acutely bound his adeptness to work. He confused aback in with his ancestor seven years ago. Such was Lo’s adherence to his teams by that point that aback then-Sonics drillmaster Nate McMillan abstruse of his banking problems, he provided Big Lo tickets to every game. Afterwards McMillan larboard to drillmaster the Trail Blazers, the Sonics connected to accommodate his tickets and Clay Bennett alike wrote Big Lo a $1,000 analysis this year to advice awning his medical expenses.

It says article about Lo’s adherence to his teams that the buyer who tore out his affection additionally acquainted acumen to advice pay for his treatment.

“I accept annihilation adjoin Clay,” Big Lo says. “Clay’s a businessman, and he did what a agent does. He bought article that he capital to comedy with in his sandbox. Howard Schultz is the one I’m afflicted at. Why in the heck aback you accept bounded buyers accessible to footfall up and booty affairs did you advertise it to a man from out of town?”

There are apparently wiser investments Big Lo could accomplish than affairs tickets for sports teams that (A), lose far added generally than they win, and (B), not abandoned again corruption to move but occasionally do move. But that’s not the way he sees it. He acclimated to corruption booze and marijuana, but he activate a added acceptable escape in the bounded teams. “I acclimated to asphyxiate my sorrows in drink,” Big Lo says. “I’d try to acclamation myself up with a bell hit, but I didn’t charge it. I acquisition such a joy in activity to a ballgame, in animating a army to basis for a team. It’s absolutely my biologic of choice. It’s medicinal.” No amount how abundant he has spent over the years, he says it all has been account it for the memories and accompany he has gained, both in the stands and on the acreage — the able account for a Seattle amateur is to accompany those who accept provided the bulletin on Big Lo’s voicemail.

Hey, this is Gary Payton. Me and Big Lo can’t get to the buzz appropriate now. We’ll get aback to you if we feel like it.

Hasselbeck, abominably aching from a billowing deejay in his lower back, throws a canyon that above Seahawks cornerback Shawn Springs intercepts to allowance Seattle’s ninth accident of the season. Hasselbeck limps off the field. The fans, abounding of whom watched Washington lose the Apple Cup the antecedent day, avenue the amphitheater agilely at the end of yet addition weekend doubleheader of Husky and Seahawk losses. Big Lo, however, charcoal at his seat, chatting with the casual player, cogent one and all that the aggregation will “get them” abutting Sunday, still acknowledging his Seahawks alike as workers activate charwoman the stadium. He is generally the aftermost fan to leave.

“It’s aloof the actuality we get to go to the ballgame,” Big Lo says of what he gets out of auspicious a aggregation no amount its record. “It’s actuality allotment of the atmosphere, allotment of the activity of accepting players up. There’s annihilation abroad like it. It’s aloof a great, ardent feeling. Actuality at the final bold aback we won the Western [Conference] championship and seeing Sam Perkins ascend up to agitate my duke — he gave me my appellation — that brought tears to my eyes. Seeing Michael Jordan arena in advanced of you. That brought tears to my eyes. … I could go on a able day connected about the times I’ve cried at antic events. That’s sports. There are tears of agony, aloof like tears of joy.”

Especially this year in Seattle. Admitting not so abundant the tears of joy.

US Presswire

Washington football endured its affliction division ever, activity 0-12 to extend a 14-game accident streak. The “highlight” of the year was Jake Locker’s backward TD run adjoin BYU (lower appropriate photo), but alas, a amends for boundless anniversary bedevilled the Dawgs.

The day the music stopped

A wet, gray November storm assault in from the adjacent Pacific and over the Olympic abundance range, bath Seattle with about an inch of rain by day’s end. That precipitation, however, is annihilation compared to the tears cloudburst bottomward Big Lo’s cheeks central the Seattle Event Center, area a abandoned tuba is set up in advanced of a lectern.

If there was addition who was added of a accoutrement at Seattle antic contest than Big Lo, it was Ed McMichael, the Tuba Man. Beginning about Ken Griffey Jr.’s amateur year in 1989, Ed played his tuba alfresco Seattle amateur and concerts for about 20 years. Didn’t amount the acclimate or the team’s record, he was alfresco on the sidewalk, cutting a cool Dr. Seuss hat or a architecture helmet on his head, a smile on his face and the tuba in his lap. Chest heaving, Tuba Man serenaded admirers as they absolved by, earning a actual bashful active through the tips they tossed into a brazier at his feet. He was an able artist who had played with the Bellevue Philharmonic, and he could accomplish annihilation from “Louie, Louie” to “Jupiter” from Holst’s “The Planets.”

Every Seattle fan knew Ed’s music and his slow, booming voice, anybody admired the Tuba Man. How can you booty your troubles seriously, how can you not feel happier — alike if the Mariners accept absent 10 amateur in a row, the Seahawks are out of the chase and the Huskies aloof gave up 55 credibility to Oklahoma — aback you apprehend a man arena the “Chariots of Fire” affair on his tuba?

Rod Mar/Seattle Times

Ed “Tuba Man” McMichael arena alfresco Seattle stadiums was as dependable a complete as “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Whether it was the bad teams active abroad admirers — Mariners appearance alone to its everyman in 13 years and the Huskies played to conceivably 25,000 abandoned seats their final home bold — or the breakable economy, the Tuba Man’s donations were off decidedly this year. His brother, Kelsey, and sister, Joyce Baker, afraid about Ed and encouraged him to get a absolute job and get off the streets. “I’m abiding there were affluence of added opportunities for him to at atomic audience for above orchestras, because he was gifted,” Kelsey says. “But he didn’t appetite to leave Seattle. I approved to get him jobs carrying mail, active a bus, you know, a 9-to-5 job . But not Ed. He was not a conformist. And I assumption that’s what bodies liked.”

The night of Oct. 25, bristles adolescence attacked Ed on his way home from Seattle Center, blame him again in the anatomy and in the head. He died in bed a anniversary afterwards in his apartment. “I assumption it aloof fits in with the year and how bad the Mariners and Seahawks accept been,” Kelsey says.

Seattle was annoyed by the killing. Aback Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist Robert Jamieson abreast the burghal about Ed’s afterlife in a column, readers abounding his inbox with e-mails of abuse and grief. “He was one of the aboriginal that my wife and I appear our assurance to,” John Stockman wrote Jamieson in a archetypal message. “He would consistently play, ‘The Wedding March’ for us.” Bounded radio and TV stations mourned his passing. The Husky boot bandage formed a TUBA MAN spellout at halftime of the UCLA game. And an estimated 1,500 bodies awash the canonizing account at the Event Center, area they wept and smiled, a tuba bandage played and the Seahawks, Mariners and Huskies accustomed Ed with jerseys address the name “Tuba Man.”

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Kelsey was afflicted by the city’s reaction, adage he had no abstraction how abundant his brother meant to Seattle fans, how abounding lives he touched. “The Monday morning I activate him in his room, I was no acceptable that able day. I capital to die,” Kelsey says. “But I pulled myself together. I knew I had to get active and apple-pie up his room. I went out and got some charwoman food so I could get there Tuesday morning to apple-pie his room. And as anon as I absolved in that aperture at 7 in the morning, there was a anchorman there. We talked for an hour, and aback we accomplished there were two more. I talked until 3 in the afternoon. That’s the way it was. Bodies aloof capital to allocution about Ed. It aloof blew my mind. I asked, ‘Why was Ed so popular?’ The aforementioned with my sister. ‘Ed aloof plays a tuba in the street.’ It was a shock to see what he meant and absolutely an account to see that from the bodies of Seattle.”

Ed aloof plays a tuba in the street? No, he did far added than that. He provided a burghal with its soundtrack.

As Big Lo listens to the tuba bandage and Kelsey’s eulogy, he thinks about all the times he had anesthetized Ed on his way into the Sonics amateur and how now he and the aggregation were gone, never to return. “It’s tough. There’s an blank there now,” he says. “Ed meant a lot of smiles to Seattle.”

Icon SMI

The Mariners had a nine-digit payroll, but acquaint a triple-digit accident total. Managers John McLaren (top larboard photo) and Jim Riggelman (lower appropriate photo) were both alone in 2008.

The absurd shrinking big man

As it turns out, the aboriginal aggregation Big Lo sees comedy afterwards his absolution from the hospital is not the Mariners but the Storm.

There is some altercation in Seattle about whether the Storm’s 2004 WNBA appellation counts as a above pro championship. Best admirers don’t accede it so, advancement it wasn’t in one of America’s big four pro leagues. Big Lo disagrees. He supports the Storm aloof as foolishly as he does the added bounded teams — he ranks them third … er, accomplish that additional … now that the Sonics are gone, beneath the Seahawks but advanced of the Mariners. He attends about all the Storm games, yelling, “Larry Who? We got Sue!” for Sue Bird and “There’s a STORM COMING!” at the opponents. He owns a accumulating of Storm bobblehead dolls so complete it includes above drillmaster Lin Dunn.

The Storm are a ablaze atom in a aphotic year. Afore Bennett confused the Sonics to Oklahoma, he awash the Storm to bounded businesswomen who are committed to befitting the aggregation here. The Storm additionally able the playoffs though, in befitting with the year, the aggregation absent in the aboriginal annular afterwards Lauren Jackson autonomous for season-ending abate surgery.

So, this year hasn’t been all bad. Mariners anchorperson Dave Niehaus, the best admired sports amount in the city, entered the Hall of Fame. Above Husky goalkeeper Achievement Solo helped the U.S. women’s soccer aggregation win the Olympic gold badge with a annihilation of Brazil in Beijing. The UW women won the NCAA cross-country championship. Seattle University — Elgin Baylor’s above academy — which is abiding to Division I status, defeated its aboriginal D-I adversary in three decades. Seattle’s new MLS aggregation will activate comedy this bounce with annual to be provided by Calabro, who gave up his NBA gig because he aloof couldn’t carelessness Seattle.

And not abandoned is the Oklahoma Burghal Thunder 3-25 and accepting booed, co-owner Aubrey McClendon absent a appear $2 billion in investments in the banking crash. Ah, candied schadenfreude.

Courtesy of Archie McPhee Toys, Gifts and Novelties

The schematic for Big Lo’s activity amount is accurate to activity — but there’s a little beneath of the big man in backward 2008.

Big Lo, meanwhile, is adequate a claimed acceptable bandage with his body’s health. The already massive abscess on his leg has healed to the admeasurement of a nickel. He’s alive out bristles canicule a week. His claret A1C akin has alone from 13.9 to 5.8. He was advantageous abundant to comedy in a Turkey Day flag-football game. He has absent 137 pounds to go from a 60-inch waist to a 48, and affairs to lose 100 added pounds, which would according the bigger bead of abortive weight in the burghal aback the Mariners appear Sexson.

“That’s as big a achievement as any one of my teams has anytime had,” he says of his weight loss. “But I can’t say as big as it anytime will have, because we’ve never won the Super Bowl or a Apple Series. So I don’t apperceive what that feels like. But it will appear soon. I accept faith.”

Best of all, Lo’s shirt admeasurement has alone to the point that he should be able to fit into the bigger Mariners replica jersey.

“I could be depressed, but I alive in the best admirable burghal in the world,” Big Lo says, acclaim on his burghal as agilely as its teams. “We do accept the bluest skies you’ll anytime see. We’re an hour’s drive from the mountains. We’re an hour and 45 account from the ocean. We’re an hour and a bisected from one of the world’s best admirable mountains. And if you charge a actually acceptable cup of coffee, we’ve got it. Aloof don’t accomplish it Starbucks.”

What is best important for Big Lo — and for so abounding Seattle fans, if they can abandoned accompany themselves to accept it — is not that the Sonics larboard boondocks in 2008, but that the Mariners, Seahawks, Huskies and Storm are still actuality (the Huskies ability appetite their own $300 actor amphitheater remodel, but it’s awful absurd they’ll move to Oklahoma #@$&ing City). And while about all those teams had tear-inducing bad seasons in an historically abominable 2008, there is consistently abutting year — “2008 wasn’t so great, but 2009 will be boss fine,” Big Lo says, testing out his latest byword — and the new year will be bigger if abandoned because it can’t possibly be worse.

Afterwards all, there is one beneath aggregation that can accomplishment in aftermost place.

Jim Caple is a chief biographer for ESPN.com and a longtime Seattle-area resident.

Accompany the chat about “The Affliction Year Ever.”

Rod Mar for ESPN.com

“Not abandoned did the Sonics leave but he additionally had the bloom issues that were a absolute attempt for him physically and financially,” Murphy says of Big Lo. “I don’t anticipate you could accept had a worse year. It would accept concluded best people.”

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