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Back in 1996 a California land baron named Ken Behring tried to move the Seattle Seahawks to Anaheim, California. It ended poorly for Behring when he tried to strongarm the NFL. He was forced to sell the team and Bazillionaire Paul Allen of hometown Microsoft swooped in to save the day. As part of the sale conditions Allen paid for the running of a special statewide referendum in the building of a new football stadium. In a ploy devised to buy votes in the Spokane area a promise was made to hold Seahawks training camp in the heat of Eastern Washington University near Spokane. It worked. The state voted yes. A few years later and the Seahawks built their new practice facility in Lake Washington called the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. No more training camp on the east side of the state.

Okay. Why the Seahawks history lesson? I started working for a fantasy football information company called in 1999. I was commissioned to write up some training camp reports so I started attending training camp in Cheney each year. My buddy Brian went with me. The first couple of years we stayed in a dive Motel 8 just off interstate 90. Through the website I was working for I made contact with a dude named Doug (Dug, his fantasy football team name was UnderDug). He was as into fantasy football as I was and he was living near where we were staying in Cheney. Eventually Brian and I made the short trip to meet Dug in the sticks of Cheney. We all went to training camp together and have been good friends for almost 25 years. The Seahawks stopped going to the east side, but Brian and I kept it going to visit Dug each summer. We've made the late summer trip just about every year since. It's evolved into an annual golf trip for Brian and me. The last few years Tony and Steve have joined us. Dug also did some writing for fantasy football legend Bob Harris of the TFL report. This dates back so far we used to receive this report via fax. Yeah, that long ago.

When we first met Dug he was in a single wide trailer that had a "wall of TVs" for watching every Sunday football game. In 2010 Dug built a beautiful home closer to Spokane that he designed himself. Wall of TVs? Still has it, but has a larger sceeen that hangs down and cover the TVs most of the time now.

Dug incorporated some other cool aspects into his design.

  • A two sided fireplace that opens into his home and outside to his deck.

  • The two tiered entertainment area for hosting large crowds to watch football on Sundays.

  • A spiral staircase that leads to the lower floor (almost finished). Dug tells us it should be complete by next year.

  • A small shed outside his house for all his barbecue and smoking equipment.

  • An ingenious closet connecting his master bedroom to his laundry.

His master bedroom shares a wall with his laundry room. From the bedroom he can pass his clothes through a gate to the laundry. This connecting wall has doors on both sides of the wall. Do laundry and then hang them up inside the closet from the laundry side if the wall. The wall isn't really a "wall", it's his closet. Get up in the morning and the other side of the wall is your closet in your bedroom. My boy, he's wicked smaht.

Golf today was at Indian Canyon. The course is over 100 years old. The ancient clubhouse sits at the top of a steep canyon wall.

You play down the canyon and back up for each nine holes. You get spectacular views from on top and fun elevated tee shots. It's the sort of place you can pop a drive 350 yards. Super cool. This is the view from the clubhouse down the side of the canyon. You have to play down the two holes in the inside and up the two holes on the outside.

We played this same course last year as a foursome. Brian and Tony improved their scores from last year. Steve found the scorecard from last year in Tony's truck. Steve and I shot the exact same scores from last year. He shot a 77 and mine was a 79. Steve started terribly off the tee, but had great short game to recover. I was great off the tee smashing drives, but my putting was embarrassingly bad. If you're a golfer and want to improve your scores, work on your chipping and putting.

Dinner at Dug's place. He was a competitive barbecue guy for a bunch of years. We did Mexican tonight and watched a movie, Bad Words with Jason Bateman. I hit the couch and fell asleep. What do good friends do when you fall asleep and they're around? See for yourself...

Also of note today. We did breakfast at a place called Franks diner this morning. It's an old train car that's been converted into a restaurant.

Another fun day. Tomorrow we head back towards Bellingham and stop off in Yakima to play the Apple Tree golf course.

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Aug 07, 2023

At least they didn't draw something rude on your forehead in permanent marker. That would have been the really juvenile thing to do. (Hopefully they read this blog and can file that away for next time) 😁

On another note, you might want to be careful with statements like "over 100 years old. The ancient clubhouse". My mother is celebrating her 84th at my house today and wouldn't be at all overjoyed to hear you describing things as "ancient" which are approximately one high school student older than her. I suspect your mother might feel the same. 😁😁

In general, wow, what a fun trip. Glad you are enjoying yourself so much.

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