If you’re not from Seattle, this post will not mean that much, but for those of us in the great Northwest and specifically the Seattle area, this post may hit home. In light of the big news yesterday/today, I thought I’d create a ‘3-for’ that listed my top three sad days in Seattle Sports news from my perspective.
- The Passing of Dave Niehaus. As Buzz and I were on the freeway heading out of San Diego from our YMV lunch and a great day and half in the San Diego area Buzz received a text, “Did you hear about Dave Niehaus?” We immediately got online (love you iPhone) and discovered Dave Niehaus had passed. Dave Niehaus is the voice of summer in Seattle. I grew up listening to Dave’s poetic voice and overdramatized pop-fly calls, “Swung on and belted” could mean a “Grand Salami” or may have been a “can of corn” (especially as Dave grew older his judgement on such fly-balls grew a little less discerning). We, the Seattle fans, would show much grace in these situations, in fact, we will grow to miss that more than we would have ever admitted before his untimely death. In his death, I realize more that his name and voice are more important to Seattle than the names of Steve Largent, Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez, Gary Payton or any other famous Seattle sports-figure. I am literally teary-eyed as I type and think about turning on the radio early in the spring knowing it will not be Dave’s voice I will hear.
- Sonics leave. Though I’d only go to a couple games a year and a handful at most, I miss the buzz of having an NBA team. The other night the “Fake Sonics” game from Awkwardhoma City to play against the Porland Trailblazers. That used to be our rivalry. Now it was nothing different than a regular season NBA game. No hype in PDX about that game. It was a sad day when Mr. Starbucks (Howard Schultz) sold the Sonics to an OKC businessman. We knew how the script was going to be manipulated and how the city was going to be blamed for not providing a new $500 million arena.
- Washington Husky Football disciplined. The power-house that was the Washington Football program has not yet recovered from yesteryear. When the Husky-program self-disciplined and subsequently was disciplined by the Pac-10, they began a downturn that they have yet to recover from. Yes, there have been some glory days since, but there have not been glory years yet. Losing Don James (the “Dog-Father”) as the face of UW Football was a much greater loss than we could have known then. Interesting to look at now in light of the things programs have and are getting away with now compared to the accusations and smaller infractions we self-disciplined our own program for.
Because I call this blog “Three-for-Thursday” I listed three items today. But if it were any other day the list would not include numbers 2 and 3. I do believe losing the Sonics was huge. I also believe that the Husky team being discplined put us on a down-turn that we’ve yet to recover from. But those two items, to me, do not compare to the loss of Dave Niehaus as our voice in the NW! The economic down turn for our region in losing the Sonics and temporarily losing the Husky football prominence is far greater than losing one voice, but I will say this, for today, I’d easily trade the Sonics and 10-15 years of inconsistent Husky football play for one more call of Edgar’s Double and Griffey’s slide into home. My-oh-My Dave, you will be missed! Thank you for being our voice.