Sports & Recreation
Look here for shorthand references and slang for Seattle-area sports and recreation, including the Seattle Mariners, Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Supersonics, Washington Huskies, and more.
- AK-47: Anthony Kelly, one-time linebacker for the Huskies. A combination of his initials and his jersey number. One of two Seattle-area athletes to be named after a gun (Nate MacMillan, "Mac-10," being the other).
- The Angels: The Seattle Angels -- after the Boston Red Sox sold the Seattle Rainier franchise to the Los Angeles Angels, the team was renamed as the Angels to match the name of the parent club. The Angels played from 1965 to 1968, after which the Pilots came to town in 1969. For some history, pics, game programs, etc., see The Seattle Angels.
- The Apostle of Grief: . Also known as Gloomy Gil.
- The Apple Cup: Annual football game between U Dub and Wazzu, which gains its particular flavor from the fact that the Cougs hate the Dawgs worse than Hitler. Not to be confused with the unlimited hydroplane race of the same name that used to take place on Lake Chelan in Eastern Washington. (I earlier mistakenly said the Apple Cup was at Lake Couer d' Alene in Idaho--that was the Diamond Cup. Now, let's see, the President's Cup was on the Potomac, the Governor's Cup was on the Ohio at Madison, the Silver Cup was on the Detroit River...)
- A-Rod: Alex Rodriguez, ex-Mariners shortstop, who fled the breezy confines of Safeco Field for the Texas Rangers and a mountain of dough that the Mariners weren't willing to match, and who's now playing with the Yankees, the Mariners' main menace.
- Babs: Barbara Hedges, ex-UW Athletic Director. She announced her early retirement following the firing of Rick Neuheisel and the drug scandal involving UW's softball team.
- The Baron of Ballard: Ole Bardahl, who was owner of the Miss Bardahl hydroplanes and the Bardahl Oil Company. Crossing the Ballard Bridge into Ballard, the large Bardahl Oil neon sign is still clearly visible. See also "The Green Dragon" below.
- The Bay Area Strangler: Latrell Sprewell, ex-Golden State Warrior, who was suspended for a year from the NBA for attacking and trying to strangle his head coach, P. J. Carlissimo. Was traded to the New Jersey Nets at the start of the foreshortened '99 season. I originally read this reference in one of the local sports columns, but I believe that it originated in the Sporting News -- still, it is just too good to leave out, and considering the special animus Sonic fans tend to feel for any Warrior, ex or otherwise (dating back to the Rick Barry days), as well as just a general animus toward the Bay Area (residents of which tend to consider Seattleites as just a bunch of flannel-shirted hicks in the sticks), a sufficient local saliency, I believe, has been established.
- The Beer Wagons: Referred to two hydroplanes with suds sponsors, the Miss Budweiser and Miss Miller-Lite. Miller Beer dropped its sponsorship quite some time ago and Anheuser-Busch, following the death of Bernie Little, announced it will discontinue its hydroplane sponsorship of the Miss Budweiser after the 2004 seasson, leaving the unlimited hydros looking at a sudsless future. See also The Bud.
- The Big Fella: Jim Owens, UW head football coach from 1957 to 1974, who had played tight-end at Oklahoma under Bud Wilkinson and was a tad taller than the average at 6-4 or something.
- The Big Horse: Arnie Weinmeister, who starred as an end, fullback, and tackle at the U-Dub back in the early 1940s. After serving in the Army in World War II, he later went on to play pro football in the All-American Conference (New York Yankies) and the NFL (New York Giants) in the late 1940s and early 1950s. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1984. After retiring from pro football, he went on to have a long career as a leader for the Teamsters in the Western states.
- Big Kitna: A rather humorous tag that's been given to Ruben Wolkowyski, a substitute center from Argentina who played for the Supersonics sometime ago. His haircut and facial features really did make him look like a biggie-sized version of ex-Seahawks' quarterback, Jon Kitna.
- Big Smooth: Sam Perkins, reserve center for the Sonics during the George Karl era (although, on George's teams it wasn't who started that mattered, but who finished). Sam has since signed with the Pacers. The Sonics just aren't quite the same, or as cool, without him.
- The Big Unit: Randy Johnson, ex-Mariners' ace left hander, since a Houston Astro rent-a-player, and now an Arizona Diamondback. The reluctance of the Mariner's to sign him to a long-term deal, when they easily could have managed it, only goes to show that the front office of major league ball clubs are still not over-populated by genuises. One can only suspect that Johnson's trick back, and the fact that he was a looney toons space case of the first rank, must have scared the local brass off. As it was, they twiddled their thumbs and did nothing. As it turned out, however, the only team that really got burned was Houston, which ended up only getting Johnson as a rent-a-player for one year, but had to give up three pretty good players to the Mariners to get him, of which Freddy Garcia has since become the ace of the Mariners' staff. Last time I checked, Johnson's back seemed fine. The Mariners, it turned out, weren't much harmed by the loss of the Kid, the Big Unit, and A-Rod, which just shows that big-name stars are overrated when it comes to winning or even putting fannies in the seats -- they're absense is not responsible for the Mariners' current faceplant in the standings for the 2004 season (blame management for sitting on their hands and not adding sufficient new talent for that).
- Big W: Refers to both the Big W Alumni Club, a special interest group of UW alumnis consisting of UW letterwinners, and also to the letter blanket (sporting a big "W") awarded to alumni letterwinners. See also The Blanket Parade.
- Bill the Beer Man: Bill Scott, a beer hawker who became famous as an unofficial cheerleader at Seahawks games. At least until he asked to get paid, something the team owners didn't take too kindly to, after which he drifted back into relative anonymity. Still, nobody could get a crowd off their haunches quite like Bill the Beer Man. I knew him back when he used to tend bar at the Gaslight Tavern, many, many moons ago.
- Billy the Kid: Billy Schumacher, unlimited hydro driver, so named for his youth (early 20's) when most unlimited drivers were grizzled veterans in the 30's and 40's. Best known for his stints driving the Miss Bardahl and Pay 'n Pak hydroplanes.
- Black Sunday: June 19, 1966, when Ron Musson (Miss Bardahl), Rex Manchester (Notre Dame), and Don Wilson (Miss Budweiser) were all killed while racing at the President's Cup on the Potomac. Chuck Thompson (Miss Smirnoff) was killed just two weeks later.
- The Blanket Parade: At each year's homecoming football game, alumni letterwinners of former years form a tunnel from their "Big W" blankets through which the Husky team re-enters the field after half-time.
- Bleed Purple: What any dyed in the wool Husky fan will do when scratched. Jim Lambright, who spent his entire career at the UW, from player to assistant coach to head coach, is often mentioned as the prototypical case of someone who if scratched would bleed purple.
- Bone: Jay Buhner, Mariners right fielder. Due to their being best buds, it was rumored that Griffey's contract with the Mariners had a "No-Trade Buhner Clause" in it. (Too bad it wasn't the other way around.)
- Bones: Brent Barry, off-guard for the Sonics.
- The Boneyard: The right field stands in the King Dome, which was always full of Buhner fanatics. Not sure if the designation has carried over to Safeco Field. Buhner, following his elbow surgery, probably spent more time at first last year.
- The Boz: Brian Bosworth, one-time linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks. Arguably, the worst draft pick in the history of the Seahawk franchise (much worse than the Rick Mirer pick, in my opinion, which was itself pretty gawd awful). He's making action flicks in Hollywood these days, which is fitting, although, if anything, he's an even worse actor than he was a linebacker. Whenever he shows up on my screen, I instantly dive for the remote in a fit of utter revulsion (only exposure to Wunda Wunda evokes in me a more severe involuntary reaction).
- The Bremerton Bomber: Don Heinrich, star quarterback for the Washington Huskies in the early '50s.
- Bruiser: Steve Broussard, ex-Seahawks running back and a one-time Coug.
- The Bud: The Miss Budweiser hydroplane, which has dominated unlimited hydroplane racing for many years. Following on the death of Bernie Little, the owner of the Miss Budweiser, Anheuser-Busch has announced that it will cease its hydroplane sponsorship after the 2004 season. See Last call: Miss Bud out in '05 from the Seattle Times.
- Buhner Buzz Cut: Patented after Jay Buhner's hair cut, which is the next best thing to a shaven head. The Mariner's once held a "Buhner Buzz Cut Night" once a year, letting any fans get in free who were willing to submit themselves to a Buhner Buzz Cut in the Kingdome's parking lot. Hundreds would show up, including many females, to get shaved. After moving to Safeco Field, the Mariner brass regrettably decided not to continue the tradition, except for a one-time revival in the 2001 season (when 6,246 fans, including 112 women, went under the shears).
- The Bank: Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmondson Pavilion ("Hec Ed"). Something about Seattle's monikers for their sports arenas and fields. The Key, The Safe, and now, The Bank.
- Big Paper Daddy: Ricky Pierce, known for his clutch shooting as a Seattle Sonic.
- The Black Cats: The Aberdeen Black Cats, a professional baseball franchise in 1907, 1910, 1912, and 1918 in various "NW" leagues - notable for sporting as their name the symbol of the International Workers of the World (I.W.W. or "Wobblies"), which had its strongest support among N.W. loggers. A number of semi-pro teams in Aberdeen also later carried the moniker. It is quite possible that the "Bobcats" moniker for Aberdeen H.S. was derived from the Black Cats.
- The Cadaverliers: The Cleveland Cavaliers, referring to their frequent residency in the cellar (since Lenny Wilkins left as coach, anyway). Shawn Kemp spent a couple uneventful years there after leaving the Sonics, before dragging his bloated carcasse back to the West Coast to grace (if that's the word) the Jail Blazers' bench (who bought out his contract to get rid of him).
- Captain Husky: An enthusiastic UW supporter, seated in the West Endzone seats, became a sort of unofficial mascot -- decked out in purple aviator cap, cape, and an array of noise-making and other props, he's hard to miss.
- The Cardiac Kids: The 1959 and 1960 Husky football teams, featuring Schloredt, Fleming, McKeta, Folkins, McKassen, Claridge, Dicks, Allen, and others--so called due to their many come-from-behind wins in the fourth quarter. For an article on perhaps the most wonderful Husky team of any era, see Emmett Watson's article, Remembering a team that played 'from the heart'.
- The Chairman of the Boards: Paul Silas, who was a much more important player for the 1978-79 NBA Champion Seattle Supersonics than his status as a substitute forward would seem to indicate. Without him, there would have been no championship.
- The Checkerboard Comet: A moniker applied to the Miss Bardahl, which sported a yellow-and-black checkerboard paint scheme starting with the 1968 race season.
- The Chief: Freddy Garcia, once starting pitcher for the Seattle Mariners. He was part of the trade that sent the Big Unit to the Houston Rockets (John Halama and Carlos Guillen were the other parts, neither of which are with the Mariners now).
- The Chieftains: The former name of the Seattle University sports teams. The school administration, bowing to the campaign, it would seem, to get rid of team nicknames or mascots that characterize (or caricature) American Indians, recently changed the name of its sports teams to the Redbirds. Too bad, it seems to me. Seattle is named after Chief Sealth, who was the Tyee (Chief) of the Duwammish tribe hereabouts when Seattle was first settled. Thus, "the Chieftains" for Seattle U's teams. It's been a long time since the glory days of Seattle U basketball, when the likes of Elgin Baylor, the O'Brien Twins, and John Tresvant used to sport the Chieftain name (the Jesuits canned the basketball program after a couple of players were caught shaving points). The Seattle Times, when reporting this in May of '99, somewhat jocularly suggested several replacement names: The Running Rosaries, The Fighting Jesuits, and the Holy Waters. My own only slightly less tongue in cheek suggestion on this page was that they rename the SU sports teams as the Tyees (meaning "Chieftains," of course). Of course, since the sport has been de-emphasized at SU, nobody really cares anymore.
- Civic Field: After Dugdale Park burned down on the 4th of July, 1932, the Seattle Indians played their Pacific Coast League home games in Civic Field for five years, before Sick's Stadium was built on the old Dugdale Park site. It was essentially a high school football stadium that was hastily converted for baseball. It was located where today's Memorial Stadium stands. Civic Field had some interesting features for a baseball park, like no grass (just dirt) and wooden light standards bigger than telephone poles that were in play. The left field fence was only 265 feet from home plate. Both Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams, while still playing in the minors in the Pacific Coast League, played at Civic Field (where DiMaggio batted .411 for the San Francisco Seals, but Ted Williams could only manage .104 for the San Diego Padres). Even Babe Ruth, along with fellow Yankees Lou Gehrig and Lefty Gomez, played in an exhibition game at Civic Field in 1934, but could only manage one single in five at bats. After the Indians moved to Sick's Field and became the Rainiers, Civic Field, after living on for awhile, was torn down in 1945 and replaced by Memorial Stadium two years later.
- Crystal Chandelier: Chris Chandler, ex-Husky quarterback, who's played for several NBA teams, including leading the Atlanta Falcons to the Super Bowl. Refers to his frequent visits to the injury list.
- The Cougs: The Washington State University Cougars, haters of all things dawgy.
- Crimson and Grey: The Cougs' colors.
- The Cowboy: Desmond Mason, former Sonic small forward, who was sent to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Gary Payton/Ray Allen trade. The nickname comes from his having matriculated at Oklahoma State.
- The Curse of the Ex-Sonic: Since Dennis Johnson was traded to the Phoenix Suns following the 1979-80 season, no ex-Sonic has made more than a minor contribution toward winning an NBA championship, unless their last name was Johnson (Dennis Johnson/Celtics, Vinnie Johnson/Pistons, and Avery Johnson/Spurs). Two ex-Sonics not named Johnson have been on championship rosters (Jelani McCoy/Lakers and Ray Tolbert/Lakers), but only played 21 and 25 games respectively in those seasons and may not have even appeared in the playoffs. The last ex-Sonic to make more than just a minor contribution to an NBA Championship team was Spencer Haywood on the 1979-80 Lakers, which was the season before Dennis Johnson was traded to the Suns. The Sonics, of course, are also included in the curse, since any player who was on a previous Sonics roster counts as an ex-Sonic. What will it take to lift the curse? Maybe hiring Dennis Johnson as head coach of the Sonics, which would bring everything back full circle.
- The Dawgfather: Don James, former football coach of the Huskies who quit over Pac-10 imposed sanctions.
- The Dawgs: The University of Washington Huskies.
- Denny Field: Before there was Husky Stadium, there was Denny Field. It was located in the northeastern campus, just off of 45th. A grass field and tennis, volleyball, and basketball courts now occupy the location. The area is adjacent to Hutchinson Hall.
- D-Mase: Desmond Mason, former Sonic small forward who was traded to Milwaukee in the Gary Payton-Ray Allen trade. This sort of knickname is derived from a similar one for Sacramento's Chris Webber -- C-Webb. Personally, I'm hope that this sort of thing does not proliferate, although thankfully it really doesn't suit most players' names -- B-Barr (uh-uh), R-Lou (no-no), R-Al (huh?). Nope, just doesn't work, except in very limited circumstances. See also the Cowboy.
- Det: Detlef Shrempf, ex-Husky and and ex-Supersonic small forward (although a tall small forward, at 6'10"). In order to improve the team, the Sonics apparently felt the need to get rid of the "team players" (both Det and the Hawk). He played a couple of seasons with the Blazers, before retiring to the golf course. Apparently, in his own perfectionist German mind, he hardly ever, ever committed a foul, or missed a shot without being fouled.
- Disco: Danny Myers, who played for the Mariners in the late 70s/early 80s. The name originates, apparently, from the routine he used to go through before stepping into the batter's box, twisting his neck and shoulders to get loose, almost as though he were trying to get a crick out, as well as from the fact that it was the Disco era, of course.
- The Dome: The Kingdome. Alas, it is no more, having been imploded into a pile of concrete ruins on 8:30 a.m. on March 26th, 2000. The implosion is testimony I think to the runaway impact and influence of big money sports.
- The Dour Dane: Al Ulbrickson, legendary coach of UW's men's crew program from 1926 to 1958. Under him, UW won seven IRA championships (sweeping varsity, JV, and freshmen races four times) and competed in three Olympics, winning gold medals in 1936 and 1948 and a bronze medal in 1952. In 1958, his crew defeated the Soviet national crew in Moscow. Might have been a takeoff on "the Sad Scot," a nickname of UW's legendary football coach, Gil Dobie (a.k.a. "Gloomy Gil" and "the Apostle of Grief"). I've read that "the Dour Dane" was a nickname also applied to Gil Dobie, but that certainly has to be a mistake (he was Scottish in ancestry, not Danish.) Not to be confused with Hamlet or Kierkegaard, who earlier had had the sobriquet applied to them.
- Downtown: Freddy Brown, Supersonic guard from the 70's and one of the deadliest long-range jump shooters in the history of the NBA. To be fair, when referring to Freddy
Brown is seldom used by itself, but almost always in the form of "Downtown Freddy Brown." The name came about because whenever Fred Brown made one of his patented long-range jumpers (he specialized shooting the three-point shot back when it was only worth two-points), Bob Blackburn, the Sonic's announcer, would shout that he had shot it from "downtown," the point being that the Coliseum, being at the Center, was a fair distance from downtown Seattle. The term has now entered the national parlance, with three-point shots now routinely referred to as being from "downtown".
- Duck: Dick Snyder, ex-Seattle Sonics shooting guard.
- Dugdale Park: Home of Seattle's minor league baseball teams (the Siwashes and the Indians) from 1913 until it burned down on the 4th of July, 1932. In 1938, Sick's Stadium was built on the same grounds where Dugdale Park previously stood, to become home for the Seattle Rainiers. In 1924, Babe Ruth played in an exhibition game at Dugdale Park, batting twice in the line-up to give the fans maximum opportunity to see him hit, and hit four home runs in nine at bats. Ty Cobb played in an exhibition game there in 1928.
- Fearless Joe: Joe Jarzynka, walk-on wide receiver and punt returner who played for the Huskies sometime back. The moniker originates from Joe's tendency to deign the fair catch, even when surrounded by opposing tacklers. He's also sometimes referred to as Little Joe, due to his diminutive stature. The U.W. Daily supposedly held a vote on finding a new nickname for Joe, with "Mo Joe" coming out as the winner (ugh!). Of course, if he hadn't cut his flowing blonde locks, he might just as well have been referred to as "Gorgeous Joe."
- Flip: What happens when a hydroplane, simply obeying the laws of nature, takes off from the water and then crashes. What adds the suspense to hydro racing, without which it would pretty much just be boats driving in a circle. In the old days, when the boats had open cockpits located behind WWII fighter engines (Rolls Royce or Allison), flips were extremely hazardous. In the 1951 Gold Cup on Lake Washington, the Quicksilver flipped and sank. Both the driver and the onboard mechanic, Orth Mathiot and Thompson Whitaker, were securely belted in and went down with the boat. After that, no hydro driver would wear a seat belt, wanting to be thrown free in case of a flip. Since enclosed jet fighter cockpits were mandated for all hydros, while there have been some spectacular close calls, there have been no fatalities resulting from flips. Of flips, there are actually a number of different varieties, the two most common of which are the blow-over and the roll-over. Blow-overs are much more common these days, due to the width of modern hydros having expanded to the point of their being more like frisbies than torpedoes.
- The Flying Czech: Mira Slovak, driver of the hydros, Miss Wahoo, Miss Bardahl, and Tahoe Miss. As an airline pilot in Czechoslovakia, he flew his plane to freedom in 1953. Besides being a notorious lead-foot hydro jockey, Slovak also was a top-flight airplane racer. For the whole story, see Mira Slovak - "The Flying Czech" at the The Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum site.
- Gang Green: Refers to the defensive unit of the Oregon Ducks football team.
- The Ghost of the Palouse: Hugh Campbell, All-American receiver for Wazzu back in the early '60s. He still holds the record for most receptions (10) in the East-West Shrine Game, set in 1962. Coached Warren Moon's Grey Cup teams at Edmonton, as well as a season or two for the Houston Oilers after Moon signed with them.
- Gilby: Keith Gilbertson, who coached earlier under Don James, was head coach at Cal for four years, returned to coach under Rick Neuheisel, first as the offensive line coach and now as the Dawg's offensive coordinator, before being promoted to head coach following the firing of Neuheisel just before the 2003 season.
The Glove: Gary Payton, former point guard for the Supersonics, now reunited with his old coach, George Karl, and playing for the Milwaukee Bucks. He's a free agent at the end of the year, so he's likely just a Buck rent-a-player, but has already burned the bridge back to Seattle, saying he's not interested in coming back to play for the Sonics. Sonic fans, on the other hand, are falling in love with Ray Allen, who was received in return for sending Payton to Milwaukee, and who is actually helping his team to win some games.
- The Golden Boy: Originally referred to ex-Seahawk Rick Mirer, the second coming of Joe Montana (not!), but is also a moniker that Rick Neuheisel, the new Husky football coach, has brought along with him (referring to his youth and golden locks). See also "Slick Rick" below.
- Gloomy Gil: Gilmour Dobie, legendary UW head football coach, known for his dour pessimism in the face of victory. Under his tutelage, UW's football team went undefeated (58-0-3) over a nine-year period (an NCAA record). For an article on him at the Sporting News, see Gloom, doom, and domination. Also known as the Apostle of Grief.
- The Green Dragon: The original Miss Bardahl hydroplane. You'll find her displayed at Seattle's Goodwill store.
- The Hairbreath Husky: A cartoon character penned by P-I artist Bob McCausland starting in 1959 through 1981. It was published twice a week (both before and after that week's game) during the football season. More comically lovable than ferocious, McCausland's character tended to highlight the Huskies' status as frequent underdawgs, with the post-game characters (especially during the waning days to the Jim Owens era) as likely to inspire a groan as a laugh.
- The Hawk: Hersey Hawkins, who was starting off-guard for the Supersonics some years back. He was traded as part of a general youth movement to remake the Sonics roster.
- The Hawks: The Seattle Seahawks.
- Hec Ed: Hec Edmundson Pavilion, built in 1927 (originally named the Athletic Pavilion), home of the University of Washington men's and women's basketball teams. They are in the process of renovating the old gal, and in a move almost as insulting as the naming of the new Mariner ballpark after an insurance company (see below), they've sold the rights to the name to a bank, Seafirst. It'll be known, are you ready for this, as Seafirst Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. They gotta be kidding! Unfortunately, they're not. But here's betting that everybody just keeps on calling it "Hec Ed" anyway. If you want to see what it looked like when it was first built, here's a pic.
- The House: Howard Ballard, an offensive lineman who played for the Seattle Seahawks and who, as his moniker indicates, is no small man. He's retired this last year, due to injuries.
- The Human Eraser: Marvin Webster, Sonics center for all of one year. He abandoned the Sonics for the Knicks the year before the Sonics won the championship (the Sonics eventually were awarded Lonny Shelton in compensation, however).
- Hurryin' Hugh: Hugh McElhenny, All-American running back at U Dub in the 50s. See also The King.
- Husky Fever: A promotional program for raising funds to support Husky athletic programs. Started in 1977, retailers, food industry manufacturers, and food brokers pledge a portion of their case sales to the Husky Fever Committee.
- Husky Spirit: Located in the plaza between Husky Stadium and Hec Ed, a life-size bronze statue of a Husky dog that was dedicated in 1996. It was a gift of the Big W Alumni Club and was sculpted by Georgia Geiger (who also sculpted "Rachel the Pig," the bronze pig located at the Pike Place Market).
- The Huskies: The nickname of the UW sports teams, of course. The nickname was officially chosen in 1922 -- prior to that the sports teams were called the Sun Dodgers and, for one short year, the Vikings. See also The Sun Dodgers.
- Hutch: Referred to Fred Hutchinson back in his playing days with the Seattle Rainiers.
- Hydro: Short for hydroplane. The first three-point unlimited hydroplane was the Miss Slo-Mo-Shun IV.
Ichiro: Ichiro Suzuki, right-fielder for the Seattle Mariners who goes only by his first name. In his first year (2001) in the Major Leagues, Ichiro was a huge hit and won the American League MVP award, as well as making the Seattle Mariners the most popular baseball team in Japan. No Mariner home game was without a contingent of Japanese fans who'd flown over just to see Ichiro.
"Baseball Is Just Baseball": The Understated Ichiro: An Unauthorized Collection Compiled by David Shields / Paperback / Published 2001. Price: $9.00 (10% discount) at Amazon.com.
- The Indians: The Seattle Indians, the local franchise in the Pacific Coast League from 1919 to 1938, before Emil Sicks bought the team and renamed them as the Rainiers. Not to be confused with the Seattle Indians hockey team, in their 40th season as a senior men's hockey team (in the Northwest Amateur Hockey Association).
- The Inspector: Bill Caudill, ex-Mariners closer, who'd often inspect the batting rack, wearing full-Sherlock Holmes regalia, looking for missing hits. AKA, Cuffs, not only for tying up hitters, but for literally handcuffing unsuspecting victims to railings in the Kingdome, and then walking off and leaving them there.
- The Jail Blazers: Refers to the Portland Trail Blazers, although most of the players (J.R. Rider, Rasheed Wallace, among others) who earned them the sobriquet are now gone.
- The James Gang: A humorous term for the Huskies football team during the Don James era.
- Johnny O: Johnny O'Brien, All-American basketball player at Seattle U., along with his twin brother Eddie O'Brien. See The O'Brien Twins.
- Kemping it: A general term for being late, missing appointments, not catching your plane, and so on, derived from the master of such, Shawn Kemp, ex-Sonic, ex-Cleveland Cadaverlier, and ex-substitute blimp for the Jail Blazers.
- The Kid: Ken Griffey Jr. Also sometimes referred to as "Junior," to distinguish him from his dad, Ken Griffey "Senior." It will be interesting to see, however, if he will still be called "The Kid" once he's in his mid- to late-thirties. After spending his whole career in Seattle as a Mariner, he's since been traded to the Cincinatti Reds, rejoining his father who's a coach there. Facing an ultimatum, the Mariner's had to trade him or lose him. They didn't want a repeat of the Randy Johnson fiasco, so...
- The King: Hugh McElhenny, All-American running back from the U Dub. Not to be confused with Elvis.
- The Kings: What the Seahawks would have been called if the other ownership group, headed by the King, himself, had won the bid.
- Lambo: Jim Lambright, ex-head coach of the Huskies. The quintessential purple bleeder and, in my opinion, a highly misunderstood character. To understand Jim Lambright, you have to understand that his biggest influence was not Don James, but Jim Owens. You may recall that the death knell for the Owens' tenancy at Montlake was really sounded when virtually all the black players walked off the team after being told to swear what amounted to a loyalty oath to the team. Many of Lambright's most criticized actions--asking Rashaan Sheehee to lie about an off-field injury (he hurt his foot jumping out of a window at a party after gunshots were fired), suspending Andre DeSaussure from the his final senior game against Wazzu (after trash talking Pullman and the Palouse while explaining why he refused to take a recruiting visit to WSU)--are more easily understood if you realize that there has probably never been an individual with a deeper commitment and loyalty to Husky football than Jim Lambright (the quintessential purple bleeder). It was loyalty to the team, a perhaps inordinate desire to protect the image of Huskyville (so recently tarnished by sanctions), and not crass self-interest, I believe, that ultimately did him in. Since being fired, other than saying he was shocked, he has hardly said a peep, no doubt because he realizes that anything he might say would only harm the program. Rick Neuheisel, generously invited Lambright to join the Huskies on the sideline for the Rose Bowl, which was entirely fitting since most of the players who starred for the Huskies in beating Purdue had been recruited by Lambright.
- Lambo Ball: Refers primarily to Washington's signature eight-man front defensive style, dating back to when Jim Lambright was the defensive coordinator under Don James, and continued under his own hegemony as head coach. With Lambo now ingloriously given the boot, Neuheisel has also given the boot to Lambo Ball.
- Little Joe: Joe Jarzynka, dimunitive, walk-on wide receiver and punt returner who played for the U-Dub Huskies. Also known as Fearless Joe.
- Little Joey: Little Joey Cora, who endeared himself forever to Seattle baseball fans by crying openly on television after the M's lost in the '95 playoffs. Tears not withstanding, they traded him to Cleveland. Boo hoo.
- Longacres: Seattle's once classy and close-in horse racing venue, victim to Boeing's thirst for expansion. The new track, Emerald Downs, is neither as classy nor as close-in (you have to go almost to Tacoma to get to it).
- The M's: The Mariners. I like this name better then their official one, which I think is a great big yawn. Of course, I'd really prefer it if they were called the Rainiers. Then for short we could call them the R's. We'd also be the only team with a beer bottle as a mascot. Maybe they could hire Bill the Beerman to lead him around. I'd love it. R, R, R!
- The Mac Attack: Jim McIlvaine, starting (but never finishing), and now traded, center for the Sonics. A take-off on The Shaq Attack.
- Mac-10: Nate McMillan, veteran Sonics guard who retired after the '97-'98 season. The nickname is based on his jersey number, 10, and only obliquely references, I assume, the semi-automatic gun that is the darling of many of the street gangs. After Paul Westphal was fired, McMillan, who'd served as an assistant coach under Westphal, was appointed as the interim head coach. Since, the "interim" part has been removed from his job title, largely due to the startling improvement in the quality of the Sonics' play since he took over. Hopefully, we'll be watching Nate coaching the Sonics for quite some time into the future.
- The Man With the Golden Arm: Eddie Miles, a star basketball guard at Seattle University. Went on to play for Detroit in the NBA, where he played second fiddle to Dave Bing.
- The Metropolitans: The Seattle Metropolitans, in 1917, the first U.S. hockey team to win the Stanley Cup. They beat the Montreal Candadiens three games out of four.
- Microwave: Vinnie Johnson, ex-Seattle Sonic and Detroit Pistons guard who was reknowned for his "instant" offense. In one of the worst trades in Sonics history, he was traded to the Pistons in 1981 for Greg Kelser.
- Mighty Mouse: Damon Stoudamire, starting guard for the Jail Blazers.
- Mighty Mouth: Eugene Robinson, former Seattle Seahawk safety, later traded to the Packers, and now mouthing off for the Atlanta Falcons.
- The Mile: The Longacres Mile. Was previously the premier stakes race at the Longacres race track, and has since been carried over to Emerald Downs.
- The Moat: The ditch running along the outside of the track oval at Husky Stadium. Its original purpose was not to keep the crowd off the field, but to provide for drainage. While Husky Stadium hasn't sported a natural grass field for many years (not since the Junior Coffee days?), the Moat has remained. Through all the years, the Moat has only claimed one enemy victim, the Stanford Cardinal tree mascot, which fell into the Moat while gamboling about before the 1992 Halloween UW-Stanford match-up.
- The Mound of Sound: The late Wayne Cody, a rather rotund local radio sports talk show host and TV sports personality. I remember him when he hosted a sports talk show on the AM radio station, KTW, way back in the '70s. Cody somehow managed to totally alienate Bill Russell back when Russell was coach of the Sonics. Two things Russell absolutely refused to do: sign autographs and talk to Cody.
- Mr. Baseball: Edo Vanni, ex-Seattle Rainier legend.
- Mr. Mariner: Alvin Davis, ex-Mariner first baseman.
- Mr. Sonic: Nate McMillan, ex-guard who went on to become head coach of the Supersonics.
- Mr. Unlimited: Bill Muncey, driver of the Miss Thriftway, Miss Century-21, and Atlas Van Lines hydroplanes, and winner of 62 unlimited hydroplane races. He was killed in a racing accident in 1981.
- Mudbone: Dave Krieg, ex-Seahawk quarterback, who finished his career at Kansas City, Detroit, and Chicago.
- Nate the Great: Nate Robinson, former guard at the Rainier Beach High School Vikings and the Washington Huskies, now a New York Knick.
- Nate McMillions: What some local fans started calling Mr. Sonic after he bolted the Sonics to become head coach of the Jailblazers. Personally, I think he just wanted to get away from Wally Walker.
- The O'Brien Twins: Johnny and Eddie O'Brien, basketball and baseball stars who played for Seattle U's Chieftains back in the 50's. Johnny O'Brien, I believe, made the All-America team (basketball). Both played baseball (shortstop even sets of twins to ever play in the majors.
- The Old Lady: The Miss Slo-Mo-Shun IV, a name I assume was applied to her during the latter part of her racing career.
- The One-Eyed Quarterback: Bob Schloredt, starting Husky quarterback in the 1960 and 1961 Rose Bowl vistories and two-time Rose Bowl MVP. Schloredt was actually blind in one eye from a childhood accident. He was injured for most of the 1960 season with a broken collarbone--suffered while playing safety, not quarterback--they played both ways then. The injury followed shortly after Schloredt was pictured on the cover of Sports Illustrated (10/3/60). Bob Hivner filled in for him very capably until Schloredt was able to come back to start the 1961 Rose Bowl. Schloredt never played in the NFL, but did play briefly, I believe, in the CFL, and later coached in the WFL. Click the link for a picture of Schloredt and Husky coach Jim Owens.
- The Peanut Guy: A peanut hawker at Mariner games (and maybe Seahawks games, as well), renowned for his amazing accuracy. For a long distance toss, the peanuts are placed in a hollowed-out tennis ball, which is then tossed back with the payment inside. If only the members of the Mariner bullpen were as accurate.
- The Pilots: The Seattle Pilots, Seattle's first major league baseball team, which however absconded from town in 1969 after only a year, becoming the Brewers in Milwaukee (whose team, the Braves, had absconded to Atlanta). Immortalized in Jim Bouton's book, Ball Four. For more info, check out the Seattle Pilots Baseball Team home page.
Ball Four: by Jim Bouton / Paperback / Published 1990 (20th Aniversary Edition). Jim Bouton's hilarious book documenting the one-year history of the Seattle Pilots. Price: $12.00 (20% discount) at Amazon.com.
- The Pink Lady: One of Seattle's most famous unlimited hydroplanes, the Hawaii Kai III. The original Hawaii Kai (named after Kaiser's Waikiki Beach hotel) crashed in Honolulu's Keehi Lagoon while trying to beat the mile straightaway speed record and never raced in a single heat. The Hawaii Kai III was originally to be named the Hawaiian Village. The Hawaii Kai II was actually planned to be built at the same time as the Hawaiian Village, but although all the materials were bought and delivered, she never got off of the drawing board due to an accident to the boat builder. After the Hawaii Kai II project was shelved, the Hawaiian Village was renamed as the Hawaii Kai III. For the story behind the Pink Lady (and a nice pic), see
Hawaii Kai III, The Gold Cup Champion at The Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum web site. The Pink Lady was given a Viking funeral in the San Juans by its crew. Not to be confused with the replica Hawaii Kai III, which was originally a sister boat, the Tahoe Miss, I believe. For a pic of the real Hawaii Kai III, and other vintage hydros, see Leslie Field's Hydroplane History Gallery.
- The Pits: The Stan Sayres Memorial Hydroplane Pits down on the shores of Lake Washington.
Boatless in Seattle: Getting on the Water in Western Washington Without Owning a Boat by Sue Miller Hacking / Paperback / Published 1999. Price: $13.56 (20% discount) at Amazon.com.
- Purple and Gold: The Dawgs' colors. The colors were chosen by a vote of the UW student assembly in 1892, thus predating the Huskies moniker by a good 30 years. There was apparently a spirited minority who desired Red, White, and Blue as the school colors (due to the state and school being named after our first Prez), but the balance was tipped in favor of Purple and Gold by a young English instructor, Miss Frazier, who read the following lines from Lord Byron's "Destruction of Sennacherib":
The Assyrian come down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
And the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
The first action of Rick Neuheisel, the new husky head footbal coach, upon arriving in Seattle was to announce that the color of the Husky football helmets will be changed back to gold, with a stripe down the middle and purple W's on the side. Personally, I'd like to see them go back to the straight gold helmets, with no stripe or W's, such as were worn during most of the Jim Owens era, but that I suppose is too much to hope for. Just so they don't go back to the white helmets (ugh!) that were worn by McElhenny, Heinrich, and pals.
- Purple Bleeder: A diehard Dawg. Jim Lambright, ex-Husky head coach who played and coached under Jim Owens and coached under Don James, for instance, is the quintessential purple bleeder. If you see someone dressed from head to foot in purple on game day, you're undoubtedly looking at a purple bleeder (if it isn't game day, however, you might want to check to see if anyone is missing from the local lunatic asylum).
- The Purple Gang: A moniker that was first applied the Huskies football team starting with Jim Owens' first two Rose Bowl teams (1959-1960), largely due to their hard-nosed style of play. There have since been several variations on this, including "The James Gang" and "The Purple Reign."
- The Quack Attack: The Oregon Ducks' defense. The Ducks hate the Huskies almost as much as the Cougs hate the Huskies (hey, we're talking major league hate here). The Huskies, on the other hand, hardly even have Oregon on their radar screens (being more concerned with the likes of USC, UCLA, and the Cougs), perhaps helping to explain how such a grossly inferior team (with a sissy mascot name, to boot) is able to pull off the rare upset.
- The Quiet Man: Rashard Lewis, starting small forward for the Supersonics, due to his rather unexpressive demeanor while on the court. Also refers to the fact that one often looks at a game's scoresheet to see that Lewis had scored 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds, but without anybody noticing it during the game. Now teamed up with Ray ("Smooth Operator") Allen, Rashard's game is really blossoming.
- The Races: The hydroplane races on Lake Washington during Seafair.
- The Rainiers: The longest standing name of Seattle's minor league baseball team in the Pacific Coast League. It seems that every new owner of the Mariners muses about renaming the team back to the Rainiers, an idea that lasts just long enough for them to be informed that the Rainiers were themselves not named after the local Mountain, but after a local beer brand (Emil Sick owned the Rainier Beer Brewery and the Rainiers).
Back in the days when there were no major league teams west of the Mississippi, the Pacific Coast League and the Seattle Rainiers were a big deal around here. Among the Rainier players still fondly remembered here by many were Fred Hutchinson, Edo Vanni, Dusty Rhodes, Hal Turpin, Jo Jo White, Jimmy Rivera, Kewpie Dick Barrett, Vada Pinson, Gordy Coleman, and many others. Leo Lassen, the radio announcer of the Rainiers' games for many years, was as famous here as any major league announcer.
The Mariner's have renamed their Tacoma minor league franchise as the Rainiers now, but somehow, to my ears and heart, however, it just doesn't ring right. I mean the "Tacoma Rainiers"--ugh. The point is that there is a definite love-hate relation (with the emphasis on the "hate") between Tacoma and Seattle, they having been once rivals to see which was to become the chief city on the Sound. Due to her pulp mills and the now gone ASARCO copper smelter, the following references have long been attached to Tacoma's name: "The Smell by the Bay" and "The Aroma from Tacoma." For info on and pics of the Rainiers, see The Seattle Rainiers web site.
- Ray-Gun: Ray Allen, who came to the Sonics in exchange for shipping Gary Payton to George Karl (ex-Sonics' head coach) and the Milwaukee Bucks. I do hope we can come up with a better nickname than this, which implies that he's just a shooter -- since arriving, he's shown that he has a total game and is not just a one-dimensional shooter, which was the complaint at Milwaukee. If he keeps playing the way he has in his first half-dozen games for the Sonics, he's going to make Seattle forget all about Gary Payton. Payton's jersey number will undoubtedly go up in the rafters after he's retired, but Ray Allen's number could end up going up there as well, if he sticks with Seattle for the remainder of his career. See also Smooth Operator and Ray-Ray.
- Ray-Ray: Another moniker for Ray Allen.
- Reg-gie: Reggie Williams, All-American wide receiver for the Huskies. The nickname mimics the chant that often emanates from the stands when Reggie is in the game. Celebrity is when you are known by your first name alone. Not to be confused with Reggie Evans, power forward for the Sonics.
- The Reign: Was Seattle's entry in the ABL, the other women's basketball league. The ABL has since, however, gone tits up.
- The Reign Man: Shawn Kemp, former Supersonic and eternal malcontent who was unloaded to the Cleveland Cadaverliers before the '97 season, and then later traded to the Portland Jail Blazers. Maybe because I had heard this many times before seeing it in print, I had always thought of "The Rain Man" here, which was obviously the intended effect. The real "Rain Man," of course, was played by Dustin Hoffman. On the other hand, Kemp's penchant for forcing up shots against triple teams does sort of remind me of the Rain Man, after all.
- RN: Rick Neuheisel, ex-UW head football coach, fired for big-time bucks in a Final Four betting pool. See also Slick Rick.
- Rod the Rifle: Rod Derline, another star guard at Seattle University who went on to play in the NBA for the Sonics. Specialized in long-range sharpshooting, thus the name.
- Roostertail: The wall of water that a hydroplane shoots out behind it. Looks like a rooster's tail.
- RW: Reggie Williams, All-American wide receiver for the Huskies, now a Jacksonville Jaguar.
- The Safe: Short for Safeco Field, although as a name whether it is much of an improvement is open to debate -- somehow, I just can't help be visualize all of the cash strong-armed from the local citizens to build such commodious environs... Let's see, we have the Safe at one end of downtown and the Key at the other... You know things have fallen into a pretty sad state of affairs when they start naming baseball parks after insurance companies! A double triple yuck! (The Key, of course, is named after a bank!) What really hurts is that the poor suffering taxpayer, who is shelling out plenty for this new park, isn't going to see a dime of the money -- it all goes to the Mariners. I mean they could have named the stadium after Fred Hutchinson (except they already named a hospital after him), or after Royal Brougham (except they already named the street the stadium is on after him). Or, how about Dusty Rhodes Field, eh? (I'd love it!) Or Edo Vanni Park? Or Emmett Watson Stadium? The name Safeco Field is a huge globule of spit in the eye of every taxpayer, if you ask me. Hey, maybe we should start naming hospitals and streets after insurance companies too, for a suitably large cash contribution, of course -- how's Safeco Hospital or Safeco Way sound? How about the Safeco Library? After they've finally built a new city hall, how about Safeco City Hall?
- Sam, I Am: Sam Perkins, former Supersonic, later a Pacer. A center who specialized in shooting the three. See also Big Smooth.
- Schuster the Rooster: Bill Schuster, a shortstop for the Rainiers back in the 40s, I believe. Did a baseball clown act.
- The Sheriff: Norm Charlton, previously the Mariner's relief pitcher. He was one of the original "Nasty Boys," along with Randy Myers and Rob Dibble, at Cincinatti when Lou Piniella managed them to the 1990 World Series crown. For a story, see 1990 Reds a colorful cast of characters.
- Sick's: Sick's Stadium, which was the original home of the Seattle Rainiers and, for one year, the Seattle Pilots. Was torn down after the Dome was built. It was located in the Rainier Valley (an Eagles Hardware store now sits on the site). A great little ballpark. Watching a ball game in the Dome doesn't even come close. The new ballpark that is being built for the Mariners resembles Sick's only to the degree that it has grass--hopefully it will have even a quarter of the atmosphere. For a story and some pics, see Sick's Stadium: One of the Best Parks in Baseball.
- The Siwashes: A name of one of Seattle's original franchise in the PCL from 1902 to 1906. Came into being after Dan Dugdale, owner of the Seattle Chinooks franchise (previously known as the Clamdiggers) in the Northwestern League, refused to switch leagues. When the San Francisco earthquake forced dropping Seattle from the PCL, due to travel difficulties, Dugdale started a new franchise in the NW League, also named the Siwashes, along with the Aberdeen Black Cats, Tacoma Tigers, Butte Miners, and Spokane Indians. After 1908, the team became first the Turks and then the Giants in 1910, playing under the latter name through 1918, after which Seattle rejoined the PCL as the Rainiers (1919-21), the Indians (1922-37), then the Rainiers again (1938-1968). See: Wayback Machine: Seattle Struck Gold in Dugdale.
If you think that "the Indians" isn't exactly P.C., then "the Siwashes" is much, much worse, except that few people these days have any idea of the derivation of the word "Siwash." The term is actually the Chinook jargon pronunciation of the French word, sauvage (or "savage"). The team might have been named the Indians, instead, except for th3e Spokane Indians already being in the NW League. In practice, the terms "siwash" and "indian" were interchangeable. One of the players for the Siwashes was first baseman Fred McMullin, who was later one of the eight players, along with Shoeless Joe Jackson, who were banned from baseball in the 1919 Black Sox Scandal. Another player was named Ten Million (his mother named his sister Decillion Million).
- The Sky Pilot: Ruben Patterson, former Supersonics' forward, due to his above-the-rim aerobatics. After getting in trouble here over a certain escapade with a baby sitter, Ruben left town and is now playing, quite appropriately, for the Jail Blazers.
- Slick: Donald "Slick" Watts, ex-Sonics guard in the mid- to late-70's. The name came from his shaved pate, I presume. The original energizer bunny, he was instantly recognizable on the basketball court, not just due to his frenetic playing style, but also due to the ever-present cocked sweat band that he wore on his head while playing. He helped lead the Sonics to the play-offs for the first time in the 1974-75 season. He was named first-team on the NBA All-Defensive Team for the 1975-76 season. His son, Donald Watts, Jr., starred for the University of Washington Huskies.
- Slick Rick: A somewhat less than complimentary moniker that Rick Neuheisel, the new Husky football coach, was tabbed with while the head coach at Colorado. These days, no self-respecting Husky fan would use the term, considering it to be an insult -- only disgruntled Colorado fans and other enemies of the Husky program (such as Duck fans) continue to use it.
- The Slo-Mo: Miss Slo-mo-shun IV. See also The Old Lady. For a great site chronicling both the Slo-mo-shun IV and V (later the Miss Seattle) and Anchor Jensen's role in building and designing them, see the Slomoshun.com web site.
- Smooth Operator: My favorite nickname for Ray Allen, who plays so effortlessly it looks like he's playing without effort, until you look at the scorecard and notice that he's notched up a triple-double. Just think of Sade's song playing in the background as he glides to the basket.
- The Sonics: The Seattle Supersonics. Boeing's supersonic jet got cancelled, but the name lived on. The shortened name is thus fitting--has now been officially adopted as the moniker for the team.
- The Soops: The Seattle Supersonics. If they aren't hitting their jump shots, feel free to write "The Soups," instead.
- The Submarine: A tag given to the Scooter Too unlimited hydroplane, which sank twice in Lake Washington, twice in Lake Tahoe, and once in the Columbia River. For the soggy details (and a nice pic), see the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum's Scooter Too page.
- Spider: Robert "Spider" Gaines, who was on the receiving end of many of Warren Moon's passes while a Husky. Known especially in Husky lore for the tipped pass he snagged in the 1975 Apple Cup, resulting in a 78-yard winning TD score, which had been preceded by a 93-yard interception for a TD by Al Burleson, capping a comeback for victory from 13-down with three minutes to go (in just two plays). Gaines is reported to have become a pimp in Vancouver, after failing to make it in pro football, and was suspected of involvement in a cold-case double-homicide in the mid-80s.
- The Suds: An appelation that was often used in place of "the Rainiers" in newspaper story headlines from the 1930s to 1950s, reinforciong that the team name referred to the beer, not the mountain. If the two had not been so closely linked, Seattle's major league baseball team might have been named the Rainiers (using a "mountain" logo) instead of the Mariners. The thought of the "Suds" moniker sneaking its way back into print, however, probably put the cabosh on that, although the name does live on (as Seattle's Triple-A farm team, the Tacoma Rainiers). Granted that "Suds" is not as disreputable and politically incorrect as that earlier name for Seattle's baseball team, "Siwashes," but owners these days want their team monikers to be scrubbed clean as possible - just too bad that "Rainier" wasn't the brand of a local laundry detergent.
- The Sun Dodgers: Before they were known as the Huskies, the UW sports teams were known as the Sun Dodgers. Sun Dodgers was never an official moniker. The original meaning of "sun dodger" was akin to "party animal," designating someone who partied all night and slept all day. It was originally assumed by the student body in protest against the banning of a campus magazine named, coincidentally enough, "The Sun Dodger." The Sun Dodger era actually only ran from the 1919 through 1921 seasons. The students returned at the start of the 1922 season to find the name of the football team changed to the Vikings and immediately protested. One can only guess that the administration was determined to smudge out the "Sun Dodger" blot, if you will, but the students would have nothing of it. A committee was formed (undoubtedly including some student representaion) to come up with a less imperious choice, with the final choice being between the Malamutes and the Huskies. The rest is history, of course (although it is interesting that the actual Husky mascots have almost all been Malamutes). Other candidates that were considered: The Wolves, the Tyees, the Northmen, the Olympics, and the Vikings.
- Sunny Boy: A three-and-a-half foot wooden statue, a sculptured replica of a smiling cartoon character, Sunny, that appeared in the Sun Dodger campus mag, and which stood as the UW's unofficial mascot before the 1920s. The Sunny Boy statue was meant to represent "Joe College," with books under one arm and a football under the other. Once the official moniker for the UW sports teams was designated as the Huskies, however, the Sunny Boy statue disappeared (it was absconded from the trophy room of a university fraternity house as a prank), not to be rediscovered until 1946, in South Bend, Indiana, of all places. It was returned to UW officials at the UW-Notre Dame game in 1948 and has ever since resided with the UW Alumni Association.
- The Throwin' Samoan: Jack Tompson, All-American quarterback at Wazzu back in the '70s. Thompson was drafted in the first round by the Cincinatti Bengals, but did not have a particularly stellar pro career.
- Tightwad Hill: Referred to a grassy knoll behind Sick's Stadium's left field fence, where many a tightwad fan managed to watch the Rainiers play for free.
- The Totems: The Totems were the name of Seattle's entry in the Western Hockey League, which was a big deal back when the NHL had no franchises west of the Mississippi. The current hockey team, a minor league outfit called the Thunderbirds, is decidedly small potatoes in comparison. See Louis Chirillo's The Unofficial Seattle Totems Hockey Club Website for lots of nostalgic Totems stuff, including a brief Totems history and pages dedicated to ex-Totems stars Guyle Fielder, Bill MacFarland, and Don Head.
- Trader Bob: Bob Whitsitt, who heads both the Portland Trail Blazers and the Seattle Seahawks, both owned by Microsoft c-founder Paul Allen. The nickname originates from when Whitsitt was the general manager of the Sonics and refers to his penchant for making numerous trades (for Sam Perkins, Detlef Schrempf, Hersey Hawkins, Kendall Gill, and others).
- Tui: Marques Tuiasosopo, starting quarterback for the Washington Huskies. The only player in the history of Division I-A of the NCAA to pass for more than 300 yards and run for more than 200 yards.
- The Tunnel: The tunnel in the northeastern corner of Husky Stadium that leads to the home and visitors lockerrooms.
- Uncle Hec: Clarence "Hec" Edmundson, long-time basketball coach at the U Dub (way back when). Hec Edmunson Pavillion ("Hec Ed") is named after him.
- Wally's Folly: Jim McIlvaine, the recently traded center for the Sonics, a.k.a The Mac Attack.
- Washington Field: The original name of Husky Stadium, chosen in 1920 while the stadium was still under construction. Other candidates were the Crater and the Cascadium.
- The Wave: Regardless of claims to the contrary, the very first "Wave," whereby fans form a wave going around the stadium by standing up, then sitting down, occurred at Husky Stadium -- the October 31, 1981 UW-Stanford game, to be precise, which the UW won 42-31 after reeling off 28 straight points to come from behind. Rob Weller, then UW yell-leader and later co-host of Entertainment Tonight, claims that the Wave was his invention. The story is that thw Wave was originally planned to rise from the lowest to the highest seats in the student section and then back down again, but it was found that this was impractical to coordinate. Instead, a left-to-right (east to west) wave was substituted, with the wave then running around the stadium's horseshoe. I personally doubt that the wave all around the stadium was actually planned -- it is much more likely, it seems to me, that the initial plan was the have the wave go left-to-right and then right-to-left within the student section, since one could hardly expect the remainder of fans (in the horseshoe end) to automatically pick up on it. That they did anyway is a credit to the enthusiasm of the typical Husky fan. Since then, practically every other place in the USA has claimed that it invented the Wave. Sorry, we did.
- The Whammy at Miami: Every true Husky fan knows that this refers to the Huskies' 1994 defeat of the Miami Hurricanes (38-20) on their home turf, ending the 'Canes' 58 home game winning streak. Jim Lambright's biggest win as Husky head coach.
- Wild Bill: Bill Cantrell, pilot of the Gale hydros and leader of the Detroit contingent of hydro drivers back when the Seattle-Detroit unlimited rivalry was a really big thing around here (and in Detroit). Perhaps best known for parking his boat, after losing his rudder, in a front yard of a house on Lake Washington, scattering the guests of a garden party that had gathered to watch the race.
- The Wizard: Gus Williams, starting guard for the Sonics in the late 70's and early 80's. He still holds the Sonic's single quarter scoring record, 23 points.
- The World's Fastest Milkman: Bill Brow, a famous hydroplane pilot hereabouts who, starting in 1958, drove the Miss Burien, Miss Bardahl, Miss Exide (originally the Miss Wahoo), Miss Budweiser (he got Bernie his first victory). Brow worked during the week as a milkman (the limited hydro he had driven was named the Miss Vitamilk), thus the moniker. He was the first driver to qualify a hydroplane at more than 120 miles per hour. Leading in first heat of the 1967 Suncoast Cup in Tampa Bay, the Miss Budweiser flipped and Brow was killed, joining other Seattle-area hydro drivers who died driving (Rex Manchester, Ron Musson, Warner Gardner, Tommy Fults, Skip Walther, Jerry Bangs, Bill Muncey, and Dean Chenowith). Back when they used to race in open cockpits, hydro racing was undoubtedly the most dangerous sport in existence. Much safer these days, however -- since they switched to enclosed fighter cockpits for the drivers, while several have been seriously injured in spectacular flips (more often than not on Lake Washington), none have been killed.. For more info on Bill Brow, see Leslie Field's Bill Brow Memorial.
- The X-Man: Xavier McDaniel, a Sonics first round pick and probably the second scariest guy to ever don the Sonic green (the scariest was John Brisker). In one game he took exception to an opponent's play (Wes Matthews of the Lakers) and grabbed his throat in both hands and proceeded to throttle him. The look of utter terror on his face was something to behold when he realized that the X-Man really was trying to strangle him. Interestingly, the Sonic's passed up Detlef Schrempf to draft McDaniel. Schrempf retired after the 1999-2000 season, after playing two years as a Blazer, after several seasons as a Sonic, while McDaniel had been out of the league for quite some time before that.
- Yoda: Steve Largent, ex-Seahawks receiver.
For more info on Seattle's festivals, events, and celebrations, see A Seattle Directory.
The terms listed here range from the frequently to the seldomly used. Non-Nortwesterners should use these terms (in the vain hope of fitting in) only at the risk of being greeted by frequent blank stares. While some terms are known by virtually all Northwesterners, and actually spoken by many, others are known only to some or a few, while spoken by even fewer. However, if you hear one said, armed with this lexicon, you'll know what is meant.
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