Pretty much the best day ever on Tuesday. I was lucky enough to be invited by a friend to attend a special "Media Preview Day" for the 2015 US Open Golf Championship at Chambers Bay Golf Course. The event was hosted by the USGA with all the local tournament directors and national media representatives. We started the morning with a continental breakfast and an informational presentation by Danny Sink who is the US Open Tournament Director here at Chambers Bay.
After the presentation we all headed out to the course for a guided tour. We hit six or seven points on the course to learn about changes being made, special viewing locations, and inside information about how tournament preperations are coming along. One of the highlights was seeing the US Open Tournament Trophy being placed throughout the course for photo opportunities. Well, I though that was the highlight until what happened after lunch.
From the tour we headed up for a finishing presentation and a very nice lunch in the tent overlooking the Golf Course and the beautiful Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains. At lunch we were told to hang out for a special surprise on it's way. That surprise turned out to be the real Super Bowl Trophy from the recent Seattle Seahawks victory in Super Bowl 48! Wow! Now we're talking…How cool is this? I was lucky enough to attend the Super Bowl and I've seen pictures of some of my friends holding the trophy but I haven't yet been able to be in it's presence. It's cooler than I thought it would be.
An old buddy of mine from my time working for the team Lane Gammel of the Seahawks Media Department was the "Lombardi Keeper". He was pretty good at his job. We followed the thing all over the course for photo ops w/ the maintenance staff, the USGA guys, and most of the media there. One thing stayed consistent….Nobody touched the trophy. I got a few great shots with both trophies but the one I wanted hadn't happened. I had to have it in my hands! Like I said earlier, I'd seen too many of my friends in position to hold it. I had to make it happen.
So, cut to the finish. The day was coming to and end and we headed up to the Clubhouse. When most people moved along I nicely asked my old friend if I could "hold the trophy". He said I could and showed me where to touch it so my grubby hands didn't mess it up. I grabbed it and perched it up and had another friend take what will no be my favorite picture ever!
It was a great day out at Chambers Bay. I was able to connect with some old friends and make some new ones. I had opportunity to talk about chambersbayhousing.com and what we are doing with private home rentals for the tournament. Special thanks to Chris Johnson for the invite. I'll be your caddy any day. Also, a big thanks to Lane Gammel…Thanks for allowing me the chance to hold that iconic trophy… Wow!
In 1997 I started working in ticket sales for the Seattle Seahawks. It was my dream job (at the time) and everything about it was pretty much awesome. One of the coolest coincidences was the Seahawks acquisition of Jon Kitna from Tacoma's Lincoln High School. Jon had starred at baseball and football at Lincoln then went on to a great career at Central Washington University. If not for a chance meeting with Coach Dennis Erickson, whose son was also a student at CWU, that would have been the end of it and Jon would have gone on to a teaching career with some football coaching on the side.
That wasn't the end of it though. Coach "E" saw Jon play and decided he needed a "shot" at the NFL. He had an NFL body and the mind of a mathematician. That combination is rare, so a chance he got. First the practice squad, then the NFL Europe where he ripped it up for the Barcelona Dragons. From there, Jon made the active Seahawks roster and actually started quite a few games while battling Hall of Famer (and Husky Legend) Warren Moon for playing time.
One of my favorite things about working for the Seahawks was the fun interaction I experienced with Jon. I was sales guy and he was a practice squad player turned NFL starter….That didn't matter though. We were both kids from Tacoma walking through NFL halls and absolutely loving it. There were more than a few times when we talked about the old neighborhood and how cool it was to represent our home town together. Jon knew that he could have been making ticket sales calls like the other former college athletes that were in my department. He was living the dream…And I was happy to be witnessing it first hand.
Then came Mike Holmgren and the fit for Jon wasn't right. Jon signed with Cincinnati and went on to play with Detroit and Dallas….15 years in the NFL! While playing pro football Jon never lost sight of his first dream….Teaching math and coaching high school football. Last year, when his career finally came to end, Jon immediately jumped into the "dream" career he always wanted. A month into his "retirement" Jon started teaching and coaching at his alma mater, Lincoln High School.
It really is a story worthy of front page news. He doesn't have to be there. He doesn't need to be there. He's chosen to be there with intent to make a true difference. It's great when pro athletes make appearances at schools and hospitals to lift spirits and sign autographs. What Jon is doing at Lincoln is amazing, inspiring, and absolutely fantastic. It's more than an appearance, it's immersion in the community. To him, it's what seems right.
There have been nice articles written locally but this national one I've linked below really tells the story well. There is a lot more to be written about Jon's journey but the start is something pretty legendary already. Coach Kitna is doing things right. Stay tuned…
Here are the schedules for our favorite football teams… Get 'em on your calendar…Football season is HERE!!!
So, this is pretty much the coolest picture ever. You can pan all the way around Husky Stadium just before kickoff of the last game before the remodel.
The GigaPixel FanCam image consists of more than 20 billion pixels, allowing you to zoom in and explore every corner of Husky Stadium. If you were there, be sure to tag yourself in the FanCam to prove it! If not, you can still tag anything
cool you find.
Enjoy the Husky Stadium Farewell Game FanCam, and share it with your friends!
Here’s the fan and stadium tribute video that was played on the big screen. It was very well done. I have so many great memories in that Stadium. Excited for the new and will fondly remember the old! Go Dawgs!