Professional Sports Teams of Cascadia

If one considers Cascadia to be approximately the land currently governed as the State of Oregon, Washington State and the Province of British Columbia, which major professional sports teams would they have to cheer for?

Seattle Seahawks logoCascadians could cheer for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and even the CFL’s BC Lions.  The Seahawks joined the NFL in 1976, the year I was born.  They have yet to win the Superbowl but they have finally played in one.  Their team colors are now blue, white, and green the same colors as the proposed Cascadian flag.BC Lions logo

The BC Lions have been in operation since 1954 and have won their leagues championship, the Grey Cup on multiple occasions.  Their colors don’t match the proposed Cascadian flag, but if Toronto ever gets an NFL team that could spell the end of the CFL.  There is kinda a gentleman’s agreement not to expand the NFL North.  The Seahawks have many Canadian fans and each year designate one home game Canada Day in tribute to their Canadian fans.  The only NFL team with more Canadian season ticket holders is the Buffalo Bills.

Seattle Mariners LogoCurrently there is only one MLB team in what most people consider to be Cascadia, the Seattle Mariners.  There are however a number of minor league teams with long histories in the Pacific Northwest most notably the resurected Portland Beavers and the Vancouver Canadians. Once again the largest professional team’s colours closely match that of the proposed Cascadian flag.

The Mariners joined the big leagues a year after the Seahawks came into existence,  with both sharing the no longer standing Kingdome.  The Mariners are one of the only Major League Baseball teams never to even appear in their championship series.

The NBA at one time had three teams in Cascadia with the possibility of intense inter-region rivalries.  Alas the expansion Vancouver Grizzlies were mismanaged, denied the right to select first in the NBA draft, and even had top pick refuse to play for them due to the lack of African-Americans in Vancouver or some such excuse.  At the time Portland had the Trail Blazers and Seattle had the Sonics or Supersonics.Vancouver Grizzlies Logo

The Grizzlies had a very Cascadian name and appropriate color scheme.  Fan support started out strong, but years of losing, and revolts by professional athletes, I’m looking at you Steve Francis!  How did playing for the Beijing Ducks work out?  Lots of hot black women in Beijing?  I doubt it, in fact I know exactly what it is like to live in Beijing because I studied at Tsinghua University.  You would have liked Vancouver a lot more…  The weak Canadian dollar at the time hurt the Grizzlies but they would have done a lot better locally if they had drafted Steve Nash and Yao Ming instead of say Bryant Reeves and Steve Francis.

Instead of having three teams with which to generate fan interest and create inter-region rivalry the NBA now has just the Portland Trail Blazers as the Seattle Sonics also relocated out of Cascadia… New Johnny Canuck logo

Amazingly although it is June, it is still hockey season and the only NHL team in Cascadia, the Vancouver Canucks, is currently playing against the Boston Bruins for the Stanley Cup.  The Vancouver Canucks have never won this trophy, but twice played for it previously in 1982 and 1994.  The Canucks used to have team colours of black, orange, and yellow, but now have the familiar Cascadian blue, white, and green.  These were actually the original team colors prior to them joining the NHL.  The Johnny Canuck  logo also fits in well among the timbers of Cascadia.

Hockey is quite popular in Cascadia particularly North of the Canadian border but a number of major junior and AHL teams exist or have existed in Seattle and Portland such as: The Portland Winterhawks, and Seattle ThunderbirdsVancouver Whitecaps FC logo

Soccer is probably the most popular participation sport in Cascadia.  Pro soccer was big in the 70s and early 80s and with recent MLS expansion Cascadia is now the home of three professional teams.  The Vancouver Whitecaps, Seattle Sounders, and Portland Timbers all have rabid and non-traditional followings.  With the stands filled with tattoos and mohawks and chants of “Suck my Xbox”, or so the Wall Street Journal claims.  This year could be the start of golden era for professional soccer in Cascadia.  The teams can once again resume competition for the Cascadian Cup awarded to the best pro team in the bioregion.

The Whitecaps name has been used by a number of teams, with the latest being designated Vancouver Whitecaps FC.  They need a stadium to call their own, but currently play in the old BC Lions stadium (Empire Field) and BC Place when the roof gets replaced.  Although Toronto FC may be their biggest rival.  It is likely that their fellow Cascadian teams will consistently bring more away fans.  If the powers that be can ever get their asses together high speed rail between Portland, Vancouver, and Seattle would be a major boon to sports fans.

8 Responses to “Professional Sports Teams of Cascadia”
  1. eurobrat says:

    That passing reference to the Trailblazers is probably for the best. Ironically, the Timbers have been losing lately as well. Portland will not be the most successful part of Cascadia as far as sports is concerned….

    • muskie says:

      Thanks for stopping by. I remember as a kid when Portland lead by Clyde the Glide was a power or at least a perennial playoff team in the 80s. The Trail Blazers now are the only pro Basketball team in Cascadia which is pretty amazing when you consider both Seattle and Vancouver had teams and both have larger populations. Regional teams are something that the NFL started with the Carolina Panthers and the Tennessee Titans, even the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets were an attempt to look for large populations within so many hours drive of a central city.

      High speed rail would be such a boon to area sports fans.

      • eurobrat says:

        Yeah, I’ve heard tell stories about the golden age of the Blazers…that was before my time, here in Portland anyway. They have improved again–for a while they were known only as the Jail Blazers.

        And I do adore our light rail!

      • muskie says:

        Vancouver has Skytrain, the not quite Skytrain, and of course trolley buses. Our public transit has gotten a lot better, the Olympics helped in that regard. However there is still too many yuppies who have stopped rapid transit to the largest university in the Province and the car culture is pretty strong still here.

        What the governments of Cascadia have to get together on is rapid rail between Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver. This has long been discussed and should be feasible. It would enable among other things, sports fans to get up in the morning. Meet at the train station. Cruise to an away game in two hours, three tops. Then take public transit. Enjoy the game. Then return home all in the span of a day. They could make combo transit + rail passes for tourists. Germany and France have rapid rail between them. Japan even China is building high speed rail links between cities. It makes economic sense as the cost of oil/gas etc. is never going to go down, neither is jet fuel. Cascadia has the ability to generate a lot of hydro electricity among other cleaner sources of power.

        It is possible to take in a Seahawks game from Vancouver, whether you drive or for a while there was a fast ferry. The train system could use improvement though. Portland is almost a six hour drive from Vancouver. A day trip to Portland isn’t really feasible, I prefer to overnight when I go down to Seattle too.

  2. eurobrat says:

    Oh, I would love the rapid rail. Of course, I’m a huge fan of expanding the train system between cities, period. Let’s see how much of the funding for this actually gets through Congress, though….groan

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  2. […] Washington and Oregon state as we make frequent visits for shopping, camping, or concerts, or even pro sports games.  Game five of the Stanley Cup is about to start.  I’ve stayed away from the crowds as I […]

  3. […] In between all the hockey euphoria and the UFC fights, a little soccer got played in Cascadia over the weekend too.  Eric Hassli ties the game for the Whitecaps against the Seattle Sounders on Qwest field in the final moments with this amazing goal.  More relevant to this blog, note all the flag waving fans in the stands. […]

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