Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ken Griffey Jr. and the Making of a Superhero

junior

On November 15th, 2007, a man by the name of Barry Lamar Bonds was served an indictment by a federal grand jury. The indictment alleged counts of perjury and obstruction of justice against Bonds, who, four years earlier, had sworn under oath that he had never used illegal substances provided to him by a Bay Area pharmaceutical company called BALCO.

Had Bonds held any other occupation, the story may not have been nearly as widespread. Bonds, however, happened to be a Major League Baseball player. And at the time of the indictment, the 43-year-old outfielder was resoundingly considered one of the best players in the history of his sport. Bonds was alleged to be nothing short of a liar, and as a result, a criminal. He never played baseball again.

Eight weeks before Bonds found himself indicted, another baseball player, also an outfielder, was fielding his position when he collapsed to the turf.

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Top 11: Reasons America Hates Richard Sherman

Richard-Sherman-postgameRichard Sherman, meet America. America, Richard Sherman. Try your best to get along, you two.

11. He’s from Compton.

Compton. You’ve heard about this place. It’s a scary, scary little neighborhood. The concrete jungle, they call it. Jungles are frightening. Concrete is also frightening. They shoot people there, supposedly. Gangs run rampant through the alleyways. Wannabe rappers approach you on street corners, Discmans in hand, demanding you listen to their mixtapes. There is nothing more petrifying than that.

And Richard Sherman, he’s from there, he’s from Compton. California! Everyone there smokes marijuana! And carries an AK-47, just like Ice Cube said! How did Sherman escape? He must be some sort of magician, or worse, a wizard. Not the good kind of wizard, either. He’s like Voldemort. The Voldemort of Compton. What do we do? WHAT DO WE DO?!

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The Five-Year Plan

The five-year anniversary of the day I started this website came and went on Tuesday, November 12th, and as those 24 hours marking a half-decade elapsed, I tried to piece together the exact right words to explain what it all meant. The words are harder and harder to come by with each passing year. These moments of reflection aren’t just about the 12 months preceding a birthdate, if you will, but also about the bigger picture of this very thing that has come to define a significant portion of my life.

For starters, when I first launched the site in 2008, I really didn’t think I’d still be doing this in 2013. I figured by now I’d be consumed by a career, by a job that took my attention away from this hobby I partake in. In fact, that has occurred, at least somewhat. If you visit with any kind of regularity, you know I don’t write nearly as often as I once did. I have excuses – finding the requisite passion and energy to do any extracurricular activity is occasionally sapped by the reality of work, for one – but mostly it just sucks that I can’t write as much as I’d like. Writing makes me happy and who doesn’t want to do things that evoke happiness? At the same time, writing and the frequency with which I’ve done it in the past has entered the realm of rec sports and partying and all that other crap we leave behind as we quote-unquote grow up.

But the act of transcribing one’s thoughts is cathartic, to say the very least. And in experiencing all of this first-hand, I’ve come to realize how beneficial the brainstorming, the whispering, and the typing can be. Thinking, then speaking aloud, then tapping plastic squares on a laptop is more meaningful to me than almost anything else. I could never give it up. I need it.

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Every Seahawks Player, Anagrammed

russellwilsonGood news: The Seahawks are winning.

Bad news: All this winning doesn’t give us much to talk about.

Sure, we could nitpick middling flaws or break down plays one at a time. But you don’t come here for crap like that. That’s not us. So rather than go football nerd on you or wax overly-poetic about a season just four games old, we’ve done something much more juvenile and fitting. Yes, we’ve anagrammed the names of every single player, scrambling and unscrambling the letters to find the very best phrases among your 2013 Seattle Seahawks.

So without further digression, please enjoy the below findings. Special thanks to the internet for helping rearrange the words.

3 – Russell Wilson, QB

I sell slurs now.

For a nickel, he’ll cuss at you.

4 – Steven Hauschka, K

He shave nutsack.

Smooth as eggshells, baby.

7 – Tarvaris Jackson, QB

Sir Torn Java Sack.

The most unfortunate knight in all of England. Also, I’m sensing a theme here.

Continue reading Every Seahawks Player, Anagrammed

The Goddamn Clusterfuck of a Circus That Is Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong’s Mariners

wedgequittingGod damn it, Mariners. Your manager just quit on you. He quit! That doesn’t fucking happen! This is the major fucking leagues! What the hell are you doing? How on earth can you possibly explain this disaster? What. The. Fuck.

And he isn’t the first. Not at all. Not even the first this decade. Mike Hargrove quit on you in 2007. In the middle of the goddamn season. He just up and left. Got in a pickup truck and literally drove away. He was so aggravated by the crazy shit you pull that he took a road trip through the country and left Major League Baseball altogether.

Do you assholes even understand what is going on here? Major league managers DO NOT QUIT THEIR JOBS. Ever. It doesn’t happen. They’re making ridiculous amounts of money to babysit adults. This is their dream come true. They’re at the pinnacle of their profession. Why the hell would they ever quit? It would be foolish to quit. No one would do it. And yet…and yet…I can hardly believe this…you’ve had TWO managers quit on you in the PAST SIX YEARS! WHAT THE SHIT?!

Continue reading The Goddamn Clusterfuck of a Circus That Is Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong’s Mariners

Tossing A Reverie

In the summer of 2003, I was a proud high school graduate with little in the way of responsibility and all the time in the world to contemplate my future.

I was 18 years old and would be headed to the University of Washington come autumn. I had a job working retail at the mall, but my concerns rarely lent themselves to selling shoes or folding t-shirts. I’d rather hang out, watch baseball, listen to music, go to movies, impress the opposite sex, or work out — all of this according to my AOL Instant Messenger profile, of course.

I was still very much a kid back then, one who had never really emerged from the cocoon that seems to envelop the Greater Seattle suburbs. I was naive, goofy, quiet, innocent, and all the things you tend to be before you settle into adulthood.

In that final summer before college commenced, I just wanted to hang out with all the other kids that I’d grown up with. Kids who would move on to different schools in different towns. Kids I might never see again. Kids that I enjoyed being around. I think we knew back then that life would never really be the same for any of us. And for the final few months of our adolescence, it was important that we embrace the memories we had in our past, as well as those we would create over the following weeks.

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Win My Tickets to the Sounders FC vs. Chelsea FC Match!

As you may know, I am not a huge soccer fan. Running for 90 minutes is not my idea of fun. Kicking is not my idea of fun. Taking balls to the face is not my idea of fun. But that’s just me. I respect those of you who do find soccer to be fun. I do enjoy winning, and as the Sounders have made it a point to win quite often since their inception, that, to me, is fun.

With all that said, I have been fortunate enough to receive a pair of tickets to next Wednesday’s Sounders-Chelsea match thanks to Allstate Insurance. They told me to do with these tickets as I wish, so long as I passed along a little info about an event preceding the contest. Here are the details:

Before the game, new World Football Challenge sponsor Allstate Insurance is giving Sounders fans the chance to meet former Major League Soccer star and recent Soccer Hall of Fame inductee Tony Meola as part of the Allstate Fan Zone, an interactive display just outside of the stadium.  The Allstate Fan Zone will be open from 4:30-6:30 p.m., and the Tony Meola meet-and-greet autograph session will run from 5:00-6:15 p.m. While there, Allstate is also giving fans the chance to register on-site to win tickets to future Sounders home games.

I encourage you to check out the Meola event, if for no other reason than because Allstate was kind enough to give me these tickets.

Oh, and yeah, you probably want a chance to win these tickets. To do that, just follow me on Twitter (@alexssn) and tweet me with the hashtag #alexssnTIX. That’s all you gotta do. I’ll pick a winner at random by Monday morning, at which point the tickets are yours. Good luck!

The Mariners Would Like To Show You Their Tube Steaks This Saturday

 

Back in the 1950s, the cool kids apparently used to refer to hot dogs as “tube steaks.” Fun.

These days, the term “tube steak” is largely understood by anyone under age 60 to refer to a dude’s penis. So what we have here is quite the conundrum.

I know we’ve all questioned how out of touch the M’s organization may very well be with their fan base, but this has to be a new comedic high (or low, depending on your viewpoint). Sure, Chuck Armstrong and Howard Lincoln may be quite fond of the tube steak, but the average fan? I don’t know about that.

Regardless, I encourage anyone attending Saturday’s Turn-Back-The-Clock game to order up tube steak after tube steak and induce giggles from concession stand workers who otherwise might not get a laugh in during their shift.

Can I get a foot-long tube steak? Tonight, sir, you can.

The Reflection Article, Part Infinity

In the middle of doing work — actual work for my real-life job — the urge to write overwhelmed me. Such an urge doesn’t often poke and prod at my consciousness the way it once did, so I figured I’d better act on the impulse.

Every few months I sit down and reevaluate where I’m at with my writing. And every time I do this, it seems my life has changed a bit more drastically than the last time I did this reflection thing.

So where are we at right now? At this precise moment, it’s 10:45 p.m. on a beautiful Saturday evening and I’m sitting on my deck listening to what more or less amounts to the entire Britney Spears discography. There’s an explanation here. You see, my girlfriend (@danceral on Twitter; follow her) was teaching a dance class last week and needed a Britney Spears mix. So I downloaded the songs onto my laptop and… you know what, never mind. Excuses are for the weak. Just know that this is really happening. I’m very comfortable with my place in this world. Even right this second, as I bump Anticipating through the headphones. I imagine this is not what Andre Young had in mind when he got his Ph.D in rapology and dropped his Beats on the universe. Sorry, Dre.

I’ve been working a lot lately. My job has consumed my everyday. It happens. You get sucked into that thing that pays your bills and let it dictate your existence every now and then. We’ve all been there. I guess it’s fairly obvious, if I’m sitting here on a Saturday night doing work. Or at least I was. Until this started happening.

Work is neither bad or good. It just is. When I’m fortunate enough to meet the people who read my stuff, they’re often surprised to find I have a job that isn’t media-related, but alas, ’tis true. SSN is my hobby, nothing more. Like any hobby, I fit it in where I can. Which is why for the better part of the past year, I haven’t written nearly as much as I once did. Work has kept me busy during the day, while my free time has been devoted to spending moments with the people who bring me the most joy. I realize there’s a certain selfishness to the direction my life has taken.

Continue reading The Reflection Article, Part Infinity

Why The Mariners Are Being Dickheads About The New SODO Arena

Read the Mariners’ letter expressing concern over the new SODO arena.

The Mariners don’t want Chris Hansen to build a multi-purpose, state-of-the-art arena — an arena that is ultimately destined to house both an NBA and an NHL team — in their backyard. Unfortunately for the Mariners, Hansen has already purchased land immediately south of Safeco Field, in the heart of Seattle’s SODO district. Hansen also has the blessing of the City of Seattle and King County in building his arena, as well as public backing from Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and County Executive Dow Constantine. So to say the odds are stacked against the Mariners wouldn’t be inaccurate.

Why the Mariners have chosen to issue a letter to the aforementioned parties expressing concern over the proposed site of the arena makes sense from a business perspective, but is absolutely idiotic from a marketing and positioning (i.e. Public Relations) standpoint. Why? Good question. I’ll do my best to answer that.

But first, let me just state the obvious. The Mariners are f**king dickheads. They’ve been dickheads for quite some time. It’s evident in the way they’ve treated their fan base for so many years. For every positive, there are two negatives. “Hey, guess what, guys?! Instead of landing that free agent that would put us over the top, we reinvested in our Nintendo gaming stations and promotional bobbleheads. Enjoy the crap out of that shit!” F**king f**ks. We’re not f**king short-bus riders, you douchebags. Stop treating us like we lack the mental capacity to understand what you’re doing. It’s cheaper to pour a couple thousand dollars into a tiny wooden statue built in Ichiro’s likeness than it is to go out and sign Prince F**kin’ Fielder, we f**kin’ get it. Don’t f**kin’ lie to us to make up for it. F**k.

That said, the M’s organization is full of good businessmen. The thing about good businessmen is that they’re savvy. The Mariners are savvy enough to have put a fence around the SODO area and absolutely owned that shit since moving to Safeco Field in 1999. You know why there aren’t too many bars in SODO? Because of the Mariners. You know why restaurants aren’t zoned in SODO? The Mariners. You know why SODO is still a boring-as-shit neighborhood? The motherf**king Mariners. And do you know why the Mariners have made SODO that way? Because they want fans to focus solely on the concessions inside their own venue. They don’t want people going over to Pyramid, for example, and spending money. No, they want fans to drop $9 on a domestic light beer in The ‘Pen. It’s a business move. A short-sighted business move, but a business move nonetheless.

You can see why, from a business perspective, the Mariners’ thinking isn’t too stupid. If fans have nowhere else to go, they’ll end up inside the gates of Safeco two hours before first pitch pounding costly Bud Lights. Makes sense, right? Well, it WOULD make sense if the team were winning and had an absolute foothold in the area, but that isn’t happening. Which is why I say this line of thinking is so ridiculously short-sighted.

Take a look at a city like Boston, for example. The area around Fenway Park is thriving with establishments that have no affiliation with the Red Sox organization. These establishments essentially profit off the Red Sox, however, because of all the fans who frequent the area for games. Aside from having a winning product on the field, why do fans come to games and in turn frequent the area? Because of the gameday experience. The gameday experience in Boston is second-to-none, which is why people go. Even if fans can’t get a ticket into Fenway, they’ll head to Yawkey Way to absorb the ambiance and enjoy life. Worst case scenario, they pony up at a bar one Kevin Youkilis home run away from the Green Monster. Not a bad consolation prize, right?

The Mariners don’t see it that way, though. They see competing establishments as a gigantic threat to their revenue. Have they even considered the gameday experience outside their gates? Not really. They lack that intuition. They’re naive. But do we really expect anything different? This is an organization that has mitigated the future for failed playoff runs time and time again. Their lack of commitment to the gameday experience surrounding Safeco is essentially the short-sighted equivalent of dealing Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek for Heathcliff Slocumb. To them, fans are only worth a damn if they’re locked up inside the palatial prison that Safeco Field has become. As soon as fans step outside those turnstiles? F**k ’em.

So what does all this have to do with their concerns over Hansen’s new arena? Frankly, they don’t want a competitor like Hansen (et al) to have any say in what goes on in SODO. This isn’t a parking concern, or a traffic concern, or any of the other bullshit outlined in that letter you all had the pleasure of reading. This is a concern over another influencer in the vicinity. It’s like when motherf**king Kirk McCray moved in on Winnie Cooper and Kevin Arnold had his influence on that smokin’ hot babe reduced as a result. Before Kirk McCray, Kevin was the man. THE MAN! After Kirk McCray? Well, Kevin wasn’t nearly as important as he used to be. The Mariners don’t want Chris Hansen and his arena to be their Kirk McCray. And SODO is their Winnie. They own that shit right now. They want to keep it that way.

(Side note: That’s a Wonder Years reference for those of you completely in the dark on that analogy.)

If you’re a Seattle sports fan, this is some bullshit. The Mariners are trying to control your destiny for their own sake. They’ve owned you for 35 years and they want to keep owning you from now until forever. I love that team, but I hate the organization. You can separate one entity from the other. It’s okay to do that. Don’t be blinded by their rhetoric. They’re messing with you, me, and every other fan out there. For the first time, they just happened to cross a line of common decency (a line they were always treading, by the way) in threatening an arena that would all but guarantee the return of the Sonics — OUR SONICS! — to their rightful place in this world of ours.

We could handle it before. The zoning BS. The lack of bars, restaurants, and any discernible gameday experience. The losing product that has plagued us for more than a decade (with two decades of collateral from their conception to back that, no less). But trying to block a do-gooder from doing good for all of us fans? You’re just slapping us in the f**king face at this point, you jerks. You just tore up our schedule, kicked us out of History, and sent us straight to the Ridgemont High principal’s office. In the paraphrased words of Jeff Spicoli, You dicks. You loathsome, jackass, worthless, unsuccessful dicks.

Leave us the hell alone. Back the f**k off. And let Chris Hansen build his arena. For us. The fans. The people you should be looking out for.

A Pledge

My heart doesn’t always have the capacity to communicate words in the way I’d like to communicate them. It doesn’t matter what the words are, really. They can be about sports, about life, about culture, about something funny, about an experience, about a moment. The words are there, in my head, and I can sense them, but the desire to convey them, to share them with the world, that doesn’t always align.

It is never easy to do the things that you truly love. And there’s a reason for that. When you truly love something, you give it your all. You don’t cut corners on the things you love. You put your entire being into the things you love. You sacrifice for the things you love. You place the things you love on a pedestal above your own self. The things you love, they are what define you, they are your legacy.

We can only love so many things in our lives. There is only so much time in the day, so much time in our very existence, so much time in any sense that you’d measure it, to give ourselves to these things. So, not everybody has the ability or the opportunity to love something. Those who do are fortunate. I’m fortunate.

Continue reading A Pledge

Three Years Down

I’m sitting on an outdoor couch in a stunning villa overlooking a bay and the entire city of Acapulco. It’s probably 75 degrees out, 2:30 a.m. local time. In less than 24 hours, I’ll be back in Seattle. For now, however, I’m surrounded by the droning chirp of crickets, a bevy of urban lights in the distance, and the occasional mosquito looking to feast on me. The world, it appears, has gone to bed. I’m the last of my travel mates — all coworkers of mine — awake. And yet for now, I can’t sleep.

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Dawg Pack Dirt: Georgia State University

Dawg Pack Dirt: Georgia State University

Volume 8, Issue 2, November 12, 2011

Special to Seattle Sportsnet

Written by dedicated Dawg Pack members

The game:

-Georgia State Panthers @ Washington Huskies

-Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmunson Pavilion, Seattle, Wash.

-Saturday, November 12, 2011, 2:00 p.m. PST.

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Dawg Pack Dirt: Seattle Pacific University

*Editor’s note: Believe it or not, it’s that time of year again. College basketball season is underway and that can mean only one thing for Husky fans: Dawg Pack Dirt. I’m proud to announce that we’re in our eighth year of your favorite gameday info sheet, dating back to the 2004-2005 season when I skipped class and hunkered down in Suzzallo Library to write this thing up for the first time.

This year, we have a good blend of young and old contributing to DPD. Many of the veterans who brought you last year’s Dirt have returned for another go-round in their final years of undergraduate study. Additionally, many newcomers have joined in the fun. I was lucky enough to be a part of their kickoff meeting a couple weeks ago and am thrilled to pay witness to the evolution of this tradition.

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Last Day to Vote!

Today is the final day to vote in KING 5’s Best of Western Washington Poll. Voting closes at 6:59 p.m. tonight, so if you haven’t voted yet and you’d like to, make sure you do it soon! SSN is up for Best Sports Blog (and Best Parenting Blog, apparently, as well), and at last check, we were in a heated battle for first place. Every vote helps.

You can vote by clicking here, or just click on the blue banner to the right.

I really want to thank everyone for voting. It means a lot that anyone would think that much of the site to take time to do that. So for those of you who have voted or will vote, thank you. And for those of you who continue to support the site by reading every now and then, thank you, as well. Wouldn’t be here without all you guys.