MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It was 1979. Music was funky, Jack Sikma’s hair was shaggy, and the Seattle SuperSonics were NBA champions.
“Seattle was really a young sports town then,” Sikma said, a member of that championship team and now a Timberwolves assistant coach. “So we were kind of the first big successful team in town and the response was overwhelming.”
Thirty-four years later, the city’s only “big four” professional sports championship still belongs to a team that no longer exists. Sikma hopes that changes on Sunday.
“No, it’s not like the champagne in Miami,” he said, referencing the undefeated 1974 Dolphins players’ annual celebration when the last of the NFL unbeatens finally loses.
If there’s one city that knows what it’s like to be a Minnesota sports fan, it’s Seattle. And if there’s one man who understands both, it’s Sikma — a legend in Seattle, where his No. 43 is retired. And he sees a lot of similarities between the Sonics’ glory days and this season’s Seahawks.
“It was very loud in the coliseum where we played,” Sikma said. “The configuration was such that the fans were really right on top of the court. Much like now in Century Link Field with the Seahawks.”
There’s a family connection, too. His niece, Emily, works for the Seahawks as a sales rep and will be at the Super Bowl. She was also a big reason he got to raise the “12th Man Flag” before the Seahawks Week 3 game earlier this season, a huge honor.
“To be up on top of that stadium, and to just look around and see how crazy everybody was and wave the towel,” Sikma said, “it was a really fun experience.”
So if his favorite football team wins on Sunday, Sikma will have been a part of both of Seattle’s championships.
“It’s a fun team to root for,” he said. “And I’ll be glued to the TV on Sunday afternoon.”