Indelible memory. Summer of 1984. I was living and working in St. Louis. The football Cardinals held part of their training camp in Seattle that year because they had back-to-back preseason games on the West Coast. It was a nice gig for me, given relatively primitive 1984 tv technology. The team stayed in non-air conditioned dorm rooms at the University of Washington. I had a very nice—and very cool—hotel room. I’d get up and head to practice. My photographer Bob Bauer and I would shoot a story. We’d then drive to Sea-Tac Airport and put the raw tape and script on a jet-aeroplane and ship it to St. Louis, where it would arrive in time for the 6 p.m. KMOV-TV news. Afternoon? I’d swim in the gin-clear waters of Lake Washington for about an hour and then head back to my nicely chilled hotel room for a nap.
While we were in Seattle, the city was hit by a record heat wave. Triple digits, daily. This literally almost caused a mutiny among the players. Cardinal coach Jim Hanifan had his team in full pads for two-and-a-half hours twice a day, and the contact drills were brutal. This was back when NFL training camps were not Club Med. These guys were beating the hell out of each other.
The problem was that the players had no opportunity to cool their bodies. Those dorm rooms were like ovens.
Keep in mind that I was pretty much the same age as most of the players and was on friendly terms with them. Many of them knew I was staying in the cool lap of luxury.
So when I showed up for the afternoon practice looking cool as the other side of the pillow, the entire 85-man training camp roster would boo the hell out of me.
I just walked in front of them and yelled, “Y’all dumbasses ain’t very smart. I’m the only guy you know that has a room where you could come over and cool down for a while. But here you go pissin’ me off!”
It played well, as least as gallows humor.
And then the indelible moment. These exhausted, sore, despondent, depressed and seemingly hopeless football players lined up for pre-practice stretching and spontaneously started singing, “What’s love got to do…got to do with it?…” which had just hit the charts.
We’ll all miss you, Tina. You will always be Simply the Best.
That launch should have been scrubbed. DeSantis’ “announcement” blew up like an Elon SpaceX booster over Boca Chica Beach. Not ready for prime time.
This astronomical note. The planet Saturn is losing its rings faster than conventioneers in Vegas.
Remember, it’s the NBA Finals. But it’s the Stanley Cup Final. Watch your s.