Bye Bye Chuck Armstrong

by A.J. Coltrane

Chuck Armstrong has retired from his position as President of the Mariners. I think there are more than a few fans who feel that the M’s leadership has been … lacking … for many, many years. They feel that the M’s have been more interested in profits than in putting a strongly competitive team on the field. The M’s have only won more than half of their games twice in the last ten years. Their record over that period is 718-902 (72-90 on an average year.) As a result, more than a few fans are happy to see him go.

I lean that way somewhat. It seems to me that over the last decade the M’s could have cared more about results and less about appearances. It felt a bit like that – so long as the attendance didn’t crater everything was cool with them. I think to some degree the glow of the new stadium, the residual goodwill from the 116 win season, and the “Ichiro Suzuki thing” made leadership complacent about improving the product on the field. (Cubs fans will accuse their team of much the same thing — that Wrigley Field is a money printing machine, and that historically their ownership has been content to cash the checks.) I’m fine with Armstrong leaving, though hopefully that replacement won’t be even worse. Turmoil can be a very bad thing…

I’ve been asked recently about both Sigi Schmid (Sounders) and Steve Sarkisian (UW football) and their futures in Seattle. “Is it time for so-and-so to go?” It looks like a lot of the two fan bases feel like the teams should be accomplishing more than they are.

One at a time:

Sigi Schmid — The Sounders have made the playoffs every year of their existence. Sigi has more wins than any other coach is MLS history. Who do people think the Sounders will replace him with that will be an improvement?

Steve Sarkisian — UW fans seem to believe that the Huskies are still relevant nationally and that they’re somehow entitled to winning teams. UW’s last championship was in 1991, which is well before any current recruits were born. From 2003-2008 the team failed to make a bowl game, compiling a record of 18-53. *That’s* what potential recruits are seeing when they consider destinations — and it takes a loooong time for that stink to wear off. Even in a best case scenario it’s 3-4 years before college football teams can go from bad to good, it takes that  long for the new recruits to develop. Hey UW fans: You are aware that the Huskies have now lost ten straight games to Oregon, right? It’s a new era – the top three teams in the Pac 12 are Oregon, Stanford, and USC, and it’ll likely stay that way for a while.


Playoffs every year for the Sounders? Great! I’ll take it!

Seven or eight wins and a bowl game every year for the Huskies, with the potential for even better results ahead? Awesome!

Sounders fans and Husky fans — Shut up and say thank you.

2 thoughts on “Bye Bye Chuck Armstrong

  1. I was thinking about writing a post about Sark. Basically 7-5 or 8-4 is not going to cut it these days for a big time FB program. Considering all of the talent the Huskies have had over the last few years, they have shown little, if any, improvement in the W-L column. If the Huskies lose the Apple Cup again, I can almost guarantee that Sark is gone. If he doesn’t bolt for USC at the end of this season, I think they give him 1 more year to prove that he can take the team to the next level. If he stays coach and goes less than 9-3 in the regular season next year, he will be gone.

    As for Sigi, I think it isn’t a question of finding a better coach as much as it is finding a coach that can take them to the next level. There is so much parity in the MLS (and such a high percentage chance of making the playoffs) that it comes down to playoff perfomance and frankly, the Sounders have been a big dud in the playoffs especially when you consider they have the 3rd highest payroll in the league.


  2. Sarkisian bailed. Let’s see what happens the next 2-4 years.

    I think it’s interesting that the last two UW football coaches with winning records wound up in California. (Though Neuheisel took a sidetrip with the Ravens before landing at UCLA, then in the media.)


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