The Seattle Report
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 26 Jul 96 22:03:42 -0700
Subject: The Seattle Report
Forwarded-by: Keith Bostic <email@example.com>
Forwarded-by: Keith Sullivan <KSullivan@worldnet.att.net>
After journeying from my native Washington State to Georgia, I anxiously
searched for an espresso stand at a large shopping mall. Finally I spied
a small booth, and at the counter I blurted, "Single, short, non-fat, foamy,
one Equal, latte."
With a bemused expression, the clerk said, "You're from Seattle, aren't you?"
THE YEAR OF THE RAT: A TRIBUTE TO KEN BEHRING?
By Don Hannula, Seattle Times Editorial Columnist
Welcome to The Year of The Rat. Some of you may suspect this year in the
Chinese zodiac is a tribute to Seahawks owner Ken Behring. It is not. But
it very well could be.
Actually, Behring was born in The Year of The Dragon, circa 1928. Dragons
take strange delight in everything bizarre and for this reason sometimes
incur the distrust of others. Dragons want power but instead of attacking
goals head on, they go around the block and use a flank attack (such as
moving vans rolling to Southern California).
Behring, as a dragon, likes rats. He has traits of a rat, who in Chinese
New Year legend are sometimes small-minded and easily angered and,
therefore, seldom have lasting friendships.
What inspired this intellectual essay was Executive Editor Mike Fancher's
"Inside The Times" column Feb. 11. He lamented media cheap shots taken at
Behring. He called for constructive coverage, not name-calling.
That's fine. But, with all due respect, I must dissent about bad-mouthing
Behring. It should not be intellectualized. He is a rat, a snake and a
boar. He is a lying sack of road apples. He is Seattle's Saddam Hussein.
There. Now I feel better.
We have a division here between news and editorial. That's good. We
shouldn't -- and don't -- tell them what and how to cover things. They
shouldn't -- and don't -- tell us what our opinions should be.
News-side's job is to be unbiased. Ours is to be opinionated. In my
opinion, Behring deserves no mercy. He has attracted name-calling the
old-fashioned way. He's earned it.
He has no credibility. Behring broke our most golden rule: giving your
word and keeping it. He said he was committed to stay. He wasn't. He
signed an agreement with other National Football League owners that filling
the vacant Los Angeles market would be a league decision. Then he broke
that promise and acted unilaterally.
Behring says he's misunderstood. Not really. He is a certified liar.
His mouth watered for the TV-rich, NFL-less Los Angeles area. His seismic
concerns about the Kingdome are phonier than a three-dollar bill.
Let us consider the matter of so-called photo-assassination -- running
unfavorable pictures of people. Fancher thought Behring got the short end
in one Times photo. It's a proper concern. News-side should make sure
their pictures are fair.
I happen to like the accompanying photo of Behring eating a donut. He does
it well -- much better than running a football franchise. So as not to make
it unflattering, I asked that the other five donuts on his plate be cropped out.
On news-side, it's a no-no to call him Bubba. Out of respect to that side
of our operation, I will call him Kenneth E.
And I will not look again at the cover of the Feb. 14 issue of Eastsideweek,
which shows a caricature of Behring in a Mickey Mouse hat, towing a wagon
with a Seahawk helmet down I-5, under the headline" Bubba blows town."
Some sports-talk shows fittingly set aside certain time slots just to berate
Behring. It is good for the soul.
Behring must be shedding torrential tears for leaving behind what he seemed
to hold nearest and dearest -- the SeaGals.
Any Kingdom fan who ever trained binoculars on Behring on the sidelines
couldn't help but notice the inordinate amount of time he spent watching
them. When a SeaGal hugged him in victory, he looked like a linebacker who
just swallowed a quarterback. Behring's departure to Southern California
put the SeaGals on hold. It's not the kind of hold Behring appeared to
treasure. He's probably anxiously waiting to audition the Anaheim
This is a football town. Seahawks fans filled the Kingdome until Behring
came along. There was a 30,000-seat waiting list for season tickets when
the Nordstroms owned the team. Behring wiped out the waiting list and
produced empty seats with a second-class product while bellyaching about the
Kingdome not being a first-class facility.
King County Executive Gary Locke, Prosecutor Norm Maleng and state Attorney
General Christine Gregoire took the right action. They sued Behring's sock
off. The Kingdome lease is a tight one. They've got a solid case.
They've made Southern California suitors nervous. Behring may wind up with
no other choice but selling to local owners. Or he may win this gamble.
If he does, put an asterisk and his name after The Year of The Rat.
From The Seattle Times, Thursday, February 22, 1996.
© 1996 Peter Langston