U.S. Open facts hard, cold and slippery, like a fish
Rabid enthusiasm – or at least a polite golf tournament clap – continues to build for the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, aka John Ladenburg’s sandbox for rich guys.
It’ll be the first time the prestigious golf event is played in the Northwest. The first time on a Links-style course, with 100-percent fescue grass strong enough to reach up and break an ankle, as some spectators learned at the 2010 U.S. Amateur.
Near as we can tell, it also will mark the first time the U.S. Open is played next door to a sewage treatment plant. Its methane flame will burn brightly on the hillside, like a beacon of hope – Pierce County’s version of the Olympic torch.
But before you go too far over the moon, county poobahs want you to understand a few realities.
First, this isn’t the Super Bowl; the impact, such as it is, will be spread over a week.
Also, golfers and their posse will be wiped out after long days on the fairways. Don’t expect them to blow their ample wads at the Tacoma Mall or the Farmers Market.
Deputy County Executive Kevin Phelps calls this “managing public expectations.” He met with Tacoma City Council members this week to do just that.
What a buzz kill! Next thing you know, Phelps will announce a ban on toilet flushing for the summer of 2015. To keep smells from wafting down from the sewer plant.
The 253 is ready for our close-up:
And dadgummit, we plan to keep the lens locked on us.
When the TV networks arrive four Junes from now, the last thing any of us homers wants to see is the cameras getting drawn away to the northlands.
By that we mean Seattle in general, and the cliché shots of fishmongers mongering their fish at Pike Place Market in particular.
Tacoma City Councilman Marty Campbell spoke truth to power at Tuesday’s city economic development meeting, where Phelps gave a U.S. Open presentation.
“Tacoma really needs to define what is that shot when (the networks) come back from commercial,” Campbell said. “Whenever there’s national TV of a Mariners game, it’s always the throwing of fish.”
Right on, Marty. (Except the part about national TV caring about the Mariners. Have you been smoking fescue?)
Phelps joined right in: “How many times have we seen the fish being thrown?”
The greater T-Town area has plenty of its own personality to throw around, they said. Museums! A hot shop cone! Glass art!
Careful, boys. The networks might indeed do a segment on the glass art of native son Dale Chihuly – shot exclusively at his new exhibition space at Seattle Center. We don’t mean to be party poopers. Just managing public expectations.
Our own scene-stealing moments:
Surely government honchos will pay consultants to come up with alternatives to Seattle fish flinging. Here are a few free ideas for capturing the local essence:
A family vacation to remember:
- Beautiful sunset waterfront shots of the Kalakala.
- Brown & Haley workers flinging logs of Almond Roca.
- A Prius falling into a pothole.
- Tourists stuck in a University Place roundabout.
- Flash mob of citizens wearing 253 hoodies in Tollefson Plaza.
- Behind-the-scenes tour of the wastewater treatment plant.
- Empty historic churches. Lots of empty historic churches.
It’s not exactly a dude ranch, but a WSU professor this summer will offer a three-day cattle artificial insemination class in Pullman for folks young and old and of all experience levels. Contact the Department of Animal Sciences if this is on your bucket list.
Can’t imagine any Wazzu fraternity members will show up, because they tend to enjoy their cattle the old-fashioned way.
Angry screed of the week:
People of Pierce County, stop leaving your toddlers in motel rooms while you gamble! If it happens a third time, it won’t be newsworthy anymore.
Casinos, you have the power to cure this epidemic! You could even build a marketing campaign around it. We can envision the obnoxious freeway billboards already: “Come try our 24-hour buffet and child-care center!”
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