The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

November 19, 2008

Not-So-Great Moments in Seattle Sports History

Filed under: History, Sports — Tags: , , , — Brian Lutz @ 6:58 pm

As you might be aware, this weekend, the annual Apple Cup game between the University of Washington Huskies and the Washington State University Cougars will be taking place in Pullman.  As one of the storied rivalries in college football, this game often attracts national attention.  This year’s game is no exception, although the attention it is attracting this year is for an entirely different reason than usual.  Going into this year’s Apple cup game, these two rivals have a total of one win between them.  The Huskies go into this game with an 0-10 record, and a lame duck coach. The Cougs are barely any better off right now with a 1-10 record, that one win coming against a lower division school earlier in the season.  At least College Football fans (if there are any left at this point) can take solace in the fact that barring some catastrophe (I wouldn’t discount the possibility at this point) someone is going to have to win the game.  You know it’s getting bad out there when you start hearing the obligatory “How many Cougs/Huskies does it take to change a light bulb” jokes from your own fans. 

In honor of the Apple Cup (not to mention the Seahawks’ current 2-8 record, the Mariner’s 61-101 season in spite of a $116 million payroll and the Sonics skipping town,) I present an article that I came across in a 1977 edition of the Journal American which seems oddly appropriate about now to remind Seattle sports fans that things can always be worse (albeit not by much.)  The Seahawks, at that point in their second season of existence, managed to scrape out a 30-23 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (also a recent expansion team at that point,) but did not appear to win much respect in the process:

"Tampa Bay Outloses Seahawks 30-23", Journal American, October 17 1977

After losing the first four games of the season, this win improved (if you could call it that) the Seahawks’ record to 1-4.  Tampa Bay, on the other hand, had yet to win a single game at this point, having gone 0-14 in their inaugural season, and 0-5 to this point after this game.  Ultimately, the Seahawks would finish with a 5-9 record, and Tampa Bay would manage to win the last two games of the season to end a 28-game losing streak (an NFL record that still stands) for a 2-12 record overall.  How’s that for futility?

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September 3, 2008

All Right, Who Sacked the Cookie Jar Again?

Filed under: Random Stuff — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 12:44 am

For all the time I seem to spend in malls these days, I never have been a big fan of actually going out and shopping for stuff, especially clothing.  When the need arises for new clothes, I tend to go to the nearest convenient place that doesn’t cost a fortune, grab a few items off the rack, buy them, and get out.  As long as the basic requirements of modesty and not looking like I stole my wardrobe from a 1970s game show host are fulfilled, I’m not particularly picky about what I end up wearing most of the time.  If my wardrobe is in really bad shape, I might even go so far as to make a trip out to the outlet mall in North Bend, but for some reason there’s something that’s oddly depressing about the place, and there’s only two or three stores there I’ll even consider buying stuff at anyway, so I don’t go there all that often.  I figure as long as I’m not getting nagged about my choice of clothing by my mother I should be OK for a while.  If I am getting nagged about clothing by my mother, then it’s probably time to either go buy some new stuff or lay low for a while.  In theory if I ever manage to get married this role would be taken over by whatever future spouse I end up with, but that’s another post for another time. 

Even if I’m not out shopping for clothing, for some reason I seem to end up at the various closeout stores in the area (e.g. Marshall’s, TJMaxx and Ross) every so often, just to look around.  Because these stores get their inventory as closeout items from other stores, the selection at these places can oftentimes include some of the most completely random items.  Between the off-brand yoga mats and the rackfuls of vaguely designer clothing (that apparently was designed when the designer had the day off,) sometimes you’ll run into some of the most off-the-wall items.  Case in point:

Through the magic of runaway product licensing, a typical (albeit somewhat kitschy) cookie jar is magically transformed into a “premium” collectible by the completely random addition of an Oakland Raiders logo.  Sure, they’ll stick professional sports logos on pretty much anything these days, but even by those low standards this seems like just a bit of a stretch.  In general, Oakland Raiders fans tend to be notorious for their outlandish outfits and face painting that would make Gene Simmons jealous, and are very rarely noted for their prowess with baked goods.  A group once described by Hunter S. Thompson as “The sleaziest and rudest and most sinister mob of thugs and wackos ever assembled” (and given Mr. Thompson’s tendencies toward general misanthropy, that’s really saying something) doesn’t seem like the type of audience you’d want to be trying to sell cookie jars to.  That fact probably has something to do with explaining how these things ended up on a shelf of random ceramics in a closeout store a thousand miles away from Oakland, with a half-off price tag. 

Of course, given the natural tendency for these fan swag peddlers to milk a questionable idea for all it’s worth, it appears that similar cookie jars exist for a number of other NFL teams as well (presumably teams with fans who are more likely to use a cookie jar to store cookies than they are to use it for target practice.)  On the other hand, if you don’t want to pay the half-off bargain basement price they’re trying to flog these things off at up here, you’re always welcome to pay the full price (plus shipping) to grab one from the Raiders online store.

January 25, 2008

A Not-So-Super Bowl

Filed under: Random Stuff — Tags: , — Brian Lutz @ 1:28 am

Well, the Big Game That Nobody is Supposed to Name Without Paying Outrageous Licensing Fees(TM) is just a little bit more than a week away now, and if you believe some of the ads that the various electronics stores are running lately, FCC rules mean that it is now illegal to watch said game on any TV smaller than 47 inches.  Surprisingly, in spite of the ever increasing tendency for the various stores to merchandise the heck out of pretty much everything, football related stuff seems to be in relatively short supply.  A few bits of merchandise have made it through the cracks though, including this:

It’s a football-shaped snack bowl, which opens up automatically by pressing the “cleverly disguised” button on the side, and plays the Fox NFL Sunday theme (licensing fees paid in full, I’m sure) before closing itself.  In spite of the relatively voluminous football shape, the interior snack-holding cavity of this thing has roughly enough capacity to hold about ten pretzels at a time, which is about eight more times than the people you’re watching the game with will tolerate this being opened before someone punts it out the window.  Oh, and did I mention that the thing costs $25?  If you can live without gratuitous random fanfare, you can grab a couple of these for $1.60 a pop and actually be able to put a decent amount of snacks into them, and possibly save yourself from being uninvited to next year’s party in the process.

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