What If …

Some things to ponder on a Saturday afternoon:

What if the Seahawks had opted to match the seven-year, $49 million offer sheet on Steve Hutchinson that allowed the all-pro guard to go to the Minnesota Vikings following the 2005-06 season?

Losing Hutchinson was the start of the decline of the Seahawks. Their running game, with a healthy Shaun Alexander or not, has never been the same. It did free up some money to sign outside linebacker Julian Peterson, a playmaker who’s certainly earned his money. But the Hawks, with Hutchinson, might still be a playoff-calibre team. He’s that valuable.

What if International Speedway Corporation had built an 80,000-seat speedway on 950 acres south of Bremerton National Airport.?

Construction on what would have been a $250,000 million track would have likely started this year, and we’d be looking forward to an opening in 2009 or ’10. With the downturn in our economy, the jobs created would have been a good thing. But with NASCAR experiencing a decline in popularity, you wonder if ISC would have been able to produce a major NASCAR race or lure an IndyCar-type race to the facility.

What if Willie Bloomquist came to the ballpark and the manager wrote his name in the lineup every day. What kind of statistics would he produce?

I’m convinced, and I’ve written this before, that if he was on the right team, the current free agent infielder/outfielder would have the same sort of impact David Eckstein has had for all these years. He’s a better athlete than Eckstein. He runs better, throws better, and with steady at-bats, I think he’d hit .290-.300 with 45 stolen bases. Because of the way he plays, however, I do wonder if his body would hold up for a full season.

What if the Seattle SuperSonics were still playing at KeyArena? Would you really care about this team?

Have you checked out the Oklahoma City Thunder roster? Johan Petro, Mouhamad Sene, Earl Watson, Chris Wilcox, Damien Wilkins, Robert Swift. All of those guys are still on the roster. By the way, the Thunder’s had five homes games, and two weren’t sellouts.

What if you wanted to check out some live music in the Kitsap area and didn’t know where to go or who to listen to?

Stop by MD’s Sports Bar at the North Perry Avenue Mall (formerly Ammiratto’s Air Show Pub) on Wednesday night to catch K.W. Miller, one of the best secrets around. If you like the blues and southern rock, you’ll like K.W. and partner Jack Parker (the Dubs also play in the Rocky Point All Stars and Tumbleweed, the group formed by MxPx’s Mike Herrera).

What if you only had three television channels available? What would you pick?

For me, it would be CNN, ESPN and HBO.

What if Jake Locker never lives up to the potential he has shown?

With two years left, and and a new coaching staff coming in — the fifth in 10 years for the Huskies — and a new system to learn, it’s possible we might not ever see the quarterback we thought he’d become. It’s a real possibility. Man, wouldn’t that be a shame.

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