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Jerry Brewer explains the thinking behind his columns and invites readers to express their views on the sports world.

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September 23, 2008 3:44 PM

The Agenda: Storm playoffs, Mariners infamy and a Husky must-win (again)

Posted by Jerry Brewer

I have a sportswriter friend on the East Coast who loves music. He would go to five concerts a week if he could. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of the industry that rivals his sports acumen.

Once, he flirted with pursuing a job at a music magazine. He decided against it. Shocked, I asked him why he would bypass such a sweet gig.

"Because I don't want to wind up hating music as much as I hate sports," he said.

Unfortunately, this business beats the joy out of some journalists. I've promised myself to never get to that point. If I ever hate sports, I will quit writing about them and move onto something else.

But there are moments when I must check myself. I have to remind myself of what a wonderful job this is. Because this is a job, I also go through periods of fatigue, so I have to pinpoint the things that make me most excited and wring out all the enjoyment.

Often, I find myself going to basketball for that joy.

Which brings me to the Storm.

Seattle's only pro basketball team (Sonics, RIP) plays a deciding Game 3 tonight at KeyArena against the star-studded Los Angeles Sparks.

It's not my day to write a column, but I'm excited to watch this game. I love basketball, and therefore I appreciate what this team has accomplished this season.

A couple of weeks ago, I was the moderator for a Title IX discussion sponsored by the Northwest Women's Law Center. Anne Levinson, one of the Storm's part owners, was a panel member. During this horrid sports year, the Storm has easily been the winningest pro team in town, so I asked Levinson if she felt her team was respected in that manner.

She grinned, asked if we were taping this discussion (um, yes) and then went into a very eloquent, balanced conversation about women's sports and media recognition.

Obviously, it's not where Levinson wants it to be, but at the same time, he understands how media organizations must feed the incessant desire for information that fans crave for the most popular team sports (college football, NFL, MLB, men's college hoops, NBA). She just wants to her team to get more coverage.

If the Storm owners continue to show this kind of commitment to winning, the Storm will carve a bigger place in the sports media landscape.

As I told you last week, this team is worthy of your attention. If they win tonight, they inch closer to a championship that would've seemed probable before the new owners took over in early January.

Before then, Clay Bennett still owned the Storm. Before then, it seemed like they would be collateral damage in the fight over the Sonics.

Now, they're in the playoffs with a roster of women's hoops legends. Now, they have a chance to give Seattle an unlikely label in this brutal sports year.

Champion.

I'll be watching. By paying attention, I'm guaranteed not to hate sports.

COUNTDOWN TO 100: Though I haven't written about the Mariners in quite some time, I've been following their meltdown from afar. Today, they can make history.

They can clinch their 100th loss of the season. If you've been boycotting them, then you should be warned that they will become the first MLB team to have a $100 million payroll and lose 100 games.

There's only one thing to say.

Congratulations.

No, really, it's quite an accomplishment to be this bad. The Mariners were actually trying to win this season. Something went wrong, eh?

I'm planning to write some kind of season-ending column this week. Maybe I'll look forward. Maybe I'll write one final report from the ditch this team has been in all season.

I'm just ready for the offseason drama to begin. New GM? New manager? More leadership changes?

It will be far more interesting than the regular season.

CRUCIAL GAME, PART IV: Another must-win game for the Husky football team? Considering the state of this 0-3 team right now, shouldn't we just stop using the must-win tag?

The truth is, even if the Huskies win against Stanford on Saturday, they have a lot of stabilizing left. They have a must-win Pac-10 season, basically.

I keep coming back to the wise words of a reader who e-mailed me earlier this season. Regarding Tyrone Willingham's job status, he said you must look at it like Willingham is already fired, and his job is to earn it back over the course of the season.

That's a great way of capturing the situation.

I will be covering Saturday's game. Against a manageable foe, we should learn for certain whether the Huskies are fatally flawed or victims of a rugged schedule.

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