Did you vote? No, not in that election. The one that allowed Sounders FC season ticket holders to decide whether the club’s general manager, Adrian Hanauer, gets to keep his job. The one that ends December 7. The only one of its kind in pro sports. Hanauer is safe—winning three U.S. Open Cups doesn’t hurt—but what if we could control the fate of other local team leaders?
The shiny-pated onetime scout became the Mariners’ GM in 2008, after the team’s worst season in nearly 15 years. He had a reputation for spotting young talent, but sure-thing acquisitions like weak-hitting Justin Smoak went bust. Z’s future will hinge on the success of highly touted pitching prospects Danny Hultzen and Taijuan Walker.
Verdict One more year
It’s hard to knock an 85-year-old, but here goes: The Mariners’ longtime majority owner (and chairman of Nintendo) has never seen his team play in person. He put one of his lieutenants from Nintendo—Howard Lincoln, who’d never had a position in baseball—in charge of the team. And in the 20 years he’s owned the M’s, they’ve had just nine winning seasons.
Verdict Game over
Almost three years ago, when the -Seahawks GM started his tenure with the team by picking up one no-name player after another (cornerback Brandon Browner came from the Canadian Football League), fans thought he was nuts, desperate, or a little of both. But he’s turned the Hawks’ defense into one of the most-feared in the NFL.
Verdict Three more years
The Seahawks coach’s rah-rah style has never fit in on the NFL sidelines. The team has fared better under him than it did in Jim Mora’s one disastrous season, but Pom-Pom Pete’s future rests on the shoulders of Russell Wilson, the untested rookie QB who Carroll chose as a starter this season over the more experienced Matt Flynn.
Verdict One more year
The University of Washington athletic director oversees all school sports, but Woodward’s tenure, which began in 2008, will be remembered for the turnaround of Husky football and his ability to find funding for the $260 million renovation of the team’s stadium in tough economic times.
Verdict Four more years