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Pacific Northwest Icon Times Out…

November 8th, 2018 · No Comments

Ah, once again your humble el Senor Sportyblog Scribe Touchdown Tommy’s running; Err more like Stumblin’ along in first gear; But I Digress.

As surely by now, Y’all have heard the news that Paul G. Allen has Died at the Age of 65 from Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma disease.

Microsoft Co-founder Paul Allen Dies at Age 65

Mr. Allen, whom many of you in the Sporting World will know was the owner of the Seattle Seahawks NFL Franchise, for which Allen saved the team from the ruinous Ken “bubbah” Bearing, who’d actually tried moving it to “Thee City of Angels,” aka Los Angeles, California early in 1996, before Allen bought the team for $194 million.

As part of Allen’s condition for buying the team and keeping it in Seattle was the passing of a local Bill for Taxpayers to Approve Funding of a New Stadium to replace the aging Kingdome, which first was known as Seahawks Stadium, then QWest Field, when the Hawks’ were in Quest of a Championship! And ultimately as today’s Der Clink’, nee Century Link Field.

But more about those Championship winning Seahawks shortly, since ironically I’m poondin’ out another riveting Sportyblog story right now upon a product of Mr. Allen’s legacy, albeit I’m using a very outdated, retired copy of Microsoft’s Office 2007, which is causing me Fits ‘O Agony right now, but Who Bloody Cares, Righto?

As it seems to me in Motor Racing parlance, Wayback in the Good ‘Ol Dayzes’, when you were either an A.J. Foyt or Mario Andretti Fan, when I was being introduced to the world of Personal Computers you were either a Microsoft Devotee or a MAC’ User, with Apple users Despising the world of MS!

Yet Microsoft’s not been All Shiny, Bunnies ‘N Rainbows for Mwah, as they tried unsuccessfully to Cram their All Digital, Touch screen, Colour Coded “Tiles” Technobabble Down our Throats; Uhm, under our Thumbs? With that Abomination known as Windows 8! For which I specifically had the very Confuzer’ I’m typing on now custom built to utilize Windows 7 instead.

Microsoft Wins the Race!

But back to the world of Stick ‘N Ball Sports since that’s what Y’all are here for presumably, Eh? As I suppose it’s somewhat symbiotic that Paul, Hey Paul really is Dead! As that’s an ‘Ol Beatles line; Hya! Uhm, that Paul’s Left the Building as the Mighty Legion of Boom’s dissipated and the Hawks are in rebuilding mode.

As we All know that under Allen’s watch, the Hawks went to all three of their Super Bowl appearances, Circa 2006, 2014-15 and were victorious in Super Bowl XLVIII when Thrashing some dude named Payton Manning and the Denver Broncos 43-8; YEEHAW!

While Devotees of Roundball, nee Basketball, will know that When at the youthful age of 35, Paul bought the Portland Trail Blazers National Basketball Association Franchise Wayback in 1988 for $70 million “Sawbucks.”

As I tend to recall hearing the story that Allen had a regulation sized NBA Full court “Playground” installed underneath his house upon Mercer Island, or was it Medina?

And when I think of who my good friend Carpets’ likes reminding me of being known as the Jail Blazers, when I think of the Portland Trail Blazers of that era, I immediately think of Clyde “the glide” Drexler, Kevin Duckworth, Terry Porter and Jerome Kersey.

Although I’d forgotten about Head Coach Rick Adelman who led the Blazers to their final two NBA Finals appearances in 1990 and ‘92. When Portland also won their final two of three overall Western Conference Finals, ultimately losing to the Detroit Pistons and Chicago bulls respectively.

According to Folklore, the Blazers a la the Chicago Bears infamous “Icky Shuffle” and accompanying Dance Song wrote two songs of their own, with the Hit Rip City Rhapsody being used during their run-up against those Pesky Detroit Pistons ‘90 Championship Showdown.

VIDEO: Rip City Rhapsody

And whilst rehashing Portland’s History, somehow I’ve totally forgotten that the Seattle superSonics only NBA Finals winning Head Coach and Hall of Fame inductee, thou Great Lenny Wilkens also patrolled the Blazers Bench between 1974-76.

As Wilkens finished his playing career at Portland during the 1974-75 season before solely being Head Coach the following season before subsequently taking over the reins of the SuperSonics.

With Portland’s last nebulous tie-in to Roundball being that current Indiana Pacers Head Coach Nate McMillan was Portland’s leader from 2005-2012. While ironically Nate played Guard during the SuperSonics latter Glory Days for Bernie Bickerstaff and George Karl, where he played his entire NBA career.

And Don’t forget Allen’s Yes Man “Trader Bob,” aka Bob Whitsitt who was General Manager of both of Allen’s Professional Sports Teams, with Whitsitt being instrumental in the building of Seahawks Stadium, hiring Mike “The Walrus” Holmgren and returning the Seahawks to the NFC.

Yet Allen had other interests, or passions, for which I know a little about a few of them, since they’re all related to my former Home, thee Emerald City or Jet City, nee Seattle.

As Allen’s (FHC) Flying Heritage Collection based at Paine Field in Everett, WA boasts a fantastic collection of flying World War II Aeroplanes, for which I used to be able to hear flying overhead towards Lake Washington during Seafair weekend and other times during the year.

And I also know vaguely of his Stratolaunch Systems venture in the Mohave Desert, as Allen’s formerly known Vulcan Aerospace venture, One Small Step; Err part of his
Vulcan Incorporated “Holding” company was building a humungous twin fuselage 747 sized Aircraft to launch Satellites into Space.

Officially known as the Model 351, the World’s largest aircraft sports a wingspan of 385-386 feet, which is longer than either the legendary Spruce Goose’s or a Saturn V rocket!

A Day of Infamy, 75 Years ago…

While the last time I noticed Paul’s name in the news was when recently he Spearheaded a scientific research team that discovered the World War II Battle Cruiser USS Indianapolis in the Philippines at a depth of 18,000 feet during August, 2017.

As the USS Indianapolis was sunk by the Japanese late in the war,
on July 30, 1945. After delivering components of the weapons used for one of the two Atom Bombs subsequently Dropped upon Japan on August 6th and 9th respectively. And was the U.S. Navy’s largest single loss of life during the war.

While on another tangent Allen briefly? Dabbled in exotic cars, since I’ve got zero clue if he was a “Car Guy” or not? With the vehicle in question being one of the Uber Rare Porsche 959’s, for which a scant total of 345 were produced.

As the Ultimate 911 has a storied past here in the Pacific Northwest, as some chap named Gates, perhaps Y’all have heard of him? As in a one Mr. Bill Gates of Microsoft fame along with company co-founder Paul Allen tried importing a pair of the non-U.S. Emissions legal chassis into the country with both cars being immediately scooped up by customs Agents upon a pier in San Francisco I believe.

Then Mr. Gates, and presumably Mr. Allen’s Porsche’s sat impounded for 13yrs prior to the pair getting a “Show & Display” law successfully passed in order to allow them the ability to drive their Porsche 959’s in the United States…

Another relic from Microsoft’s Dustbin…

And if Yuhs haven’t guessed already, Messer Allen’s fingerprints are all over Seattle in multiple guises, one such being the futuristic Frank Gehry designed building at the Seattle Center, for which the Monorail briefly passes thru. Which were built for the World’s Fair in 1962!

The multi-coloured building, which has been described as looking like a smashed guitar to Mwah, will forever be known by its original name, the Experience Music Project, or simply EMP.

although it’s undergone a multitude ‘O name changes since it’s Y2k debut, and now sports the moniker Museum of Pop Culture, or simply “moPOP.”

Having visited EMP last a long, long time ago, specifically to see Jimi Hendrix’s guitars that Paul Allen bought, and much later he’d also acquire Captain Kirk’s commanders chair from the Enterprise! Which makes it easy to see where his company’s name Vulcan Inc comes from, eh?

Not to mention renovating another Seattle Landmark, the legendary Cinerama movie theater in Downtown Seattle, where as a Wee lad, I attended the premiere engagement of the first Star Wars movie Wayback in 1978; YIKES!

Yet how many people know that Allen actually brought two championships to date to Seattle? The latest being for the raucous Rave Green Sounders FC Fanatics. As Allen was a part owner of the Major League Soccer’s Seattle sounders FC Franchise which won the MLS Cup in 2016…

Tags: Misc · NFL Football · NBA Basketball · Uncategorized

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