Whammy in Miami – 20 years ago today

24 Sep

Sept. 24, 1994

Cover - Mia-UW


ENDING ‘CANES’ STREAK AT 58 – Seattle Times headline

Mia - UW ticket


A re-print from The Seattle Times (www.seattletimes.com)


MIAMI – They came back onto the field to take a piece of what they thought belonged to them.

Blades of grass. The grass of the Orange Bowl.

Most of the Washington Huskies lingered on the field, whether to pray, hug coaches or rip out chunks of turf. Cameras, microphones and notepads tried to record the spreading pandemonium.

Players and coaches were soaked with some combination of sweat, water and tears. Judging by the magnitude of the celebration, the Huskies got their bowl game after all.

Washington beat No. 6 Miami 38-20 and broke the longest home winning streak in college football history, an accomplishment befitting a champion, though Washington will likely be champion of none this season.

They won’t take any trophies, just the grass. Some went back after showering, just to stare at that field one more time. The mystique of the Orange Bowl. The magic of playing here. For so many games, so many years, it worked for the Hurricanes. But yesterday, the voodoo ended.

The victory brought Athletic Director Barbara Hedges out on the field looking for high-fives. She scheduled this game three years ago against the better judgment of some.

“Do I look like a genius?” she asked after the question was posed. “Oh, my God.”

Young Hurricane fans leaned over the railing, turn-coated by the accomplishment of these strange purple-wearing players they had scarcely heard of. Teenagers, too young to remember the last time Miami lost in the Orange Bowl, were asking Huskies for their wristbands and gloves, cheering them on.

Word got out among the Huskies that Miami Coach Dennis Erickson had jokingly suggested the losers of this game relinquish their national championship rings from 1991, when both teams finished undefeated.

“Take the rings back,” safety Lawyer Milloy shouted into the air as he walked off the field.

The No. 17 Huskies (2-1) turned a perception upside down.

Told by oddsmakers they would lose by 14, they won by 18 and broke Miami’s 58-game winning streak at the Orange Bowl.The Hurricanes hadn’t lost here since September of 1985.

Ahead 14-3 at halftime, they appeared to be on their way to another clobber job. With 13 seconds left in the half, UM quarterback Frank Costa had thrown a 51-yard touchdown pass to Yatil Green.

But the Huskies, in a span of about four minutes early in the third quarter, scored 22 points.

“I let the team down,” said cornerback Russell Hairston, beaten badly on Green’s touchdown catch. “I told everyone (at halftime) it was my fault. But that things were going to change.”

They did quickly. Fullback Richard Thomas turned a quick outlet pass into a 75-yard touchdown on the second play of the half.

Forced to drop back deep, quarterback Damon Huard found Thomas floating near the line of scrimmage. Thomas drew the defenders outside, cut inside and was clear to the end zone.

Thomas’ touchdown, teammates said, changed the momentum of the game.

“We planned to run that play in pressure situations,” UW offensive coordinator Bill Diedrick said.

The 75-yard pass was the longest of Huard’s career and the longest against Miami during the 58-game winning streak.

Three plays into Miami’s next drive, Hairston made up for the past, returning an interception 34 yards for a touchdown after Costa’s intended receiver, Jammi German, slipped and fell.

Then, after recovering a fumble on the kickoff, the Huskies scored, but not before fumbling, themselves.

Huard almost took it in from 7 yards out, but lost the ball two yards from the goal line. In a frenzied scramble, backup tackle Bob Sapp recovered the ball and pulled it into the end zone. Referees investigated for several seconds before declaring the touchdown.

“It was crazy,” Sapp said.

The game was as quirky as any played at the Orange Bowl.

No one Husky’s statistics were spectacular, yet the Huskies scored more points than they had in their past nine games, dating back to last season. Miami outgained Washington (369-338) and had more first downs (21-16). But the Huskies were better when it counted. With Huard hitting crucial pass after crucial pass, the Huskies converted 12 of 19 third downs. Miami converted four of 12.

Mark Bruener caught five passes for 42 yards, all for first downs.

“That’s my job,” Bruener stated simply.

Though Miami contained tailback Napoleon Kaufman, the Heisman candidate still gained 80 yards, enough to make him Washington’s all-time rushing leader with 3,094 carer yards.

Though the weather – 86 degrees and humid – was supposed to favor Miami, it was the Huskies who looked more physical, more punishing. By the fourth quarter the Hurricanes were on their knees between plays, with their lips stuck on water bottles. Several spent significant time on the ground. That just gave the Huskies more time to catch their breath.

And because of a Miami mixup on the coin toss, Washington got the ball to start both halves.

The Huskies did not have a perfect game. Their defensive backs were beaten several times. Huard and Kaufman collided on a handoff.

And Huard bungled a pitch to Kaufman in the first quarter.

But in the end, the Huskies hit harder and came up with more big plays.

It was Huard who said last week that people would talk about this game forever if the Huskies won. The first person Huard heard from after the game was his younger brother Brock, a coveted quarterback who is being recruited by Washington.

As Brock congratulated his older brother on television, Damon said, “Thanks Brock, and remember it’s great to be a Husky.”





23 Sep

Emerald Downs will come to a close this weekend for the 19th time.

Sunday will be a big day as Trackattacker is scheduled to make his 5th start at the meet in the Gottstein Futurity.

The Frank Lucarelli-trained runner is a perfect 4-4 at the meet.

Which active trainers won the race?

JIM PENNEY 1967 – Pataha Prince 1973 – Chief Kamiakin 2005 – Schoolin You

LEN KASMERSKI 1979 – Loto Canada

CLIFF BALCOM 1980 – Question

BILL TOLLETT 1984 – Table Express

RICHARD WRIGHT 1993 – G L Junior

RAY TRACY, JR. 1995 – Knights Image

TERRY GILLIHAN 1998 – Vino Rossi

FRANK LUCARELLI 1999 – No Curfew 2008 – Gallant Son

DAVE FORSTER 2001 – Horatio

TIM McCANNA 2004 – Positive Prize  

DORIS HARWOOD 2007 – Smarty Deb (F) 2009 – Koala Beach 2012 – Music of My Soul 2013 – Del Rio Harbor

BONNIE JENNE 2010 – Couldabenthewhisky

CHRIS STENSLIE 2011 – Talk to My Lawyer (F)

Mile Week in the Northwest

18 Aug

The Longacres Mile will be contested for the 79th time this Sunday at Emerald Downs.


The Mile has been held at:

Emerald Downs – 18 times (1996-2013)

Yakima Meadows – 3 times (1993-1995)

Longacres – 57 times (1935-1942, 1944-1992) 


Lets go back in time – 50 years ago – The 1964 “MAGICAL MILE”



Viking Spirit, the big, red Thoroughbred was the only invader of the 11 shipping in to run in the 29th running of the Mile.

Longden pix

And he got the money with Hall of Fame rider Johnny Longden sitting in the saddle. Viking Spirit, the 7-5 betting favorite, tied the track record (1:34-2) and won by 1 1/2 lengths over Doctor Spark.

“We figured Smogy (Dew) had to set the early pace,” owner T.E. Brittingham III said. “We thought our horse was bigger and stronger. We didn’t want to hook up on the Clubhouse turn. I thought Johnny, who usually likes to go right to the front, showed remarkable patience.”Viking pix










1964-Smogy Dew pix


The splendid filly Smogy Dew, who the talk of the town, disappointed the 10,526 fans at the Renton oval after sprinting clear and leading for a 1/2-mile before Viking Spirit but a bit of pressure on the Washington-bred 3-year-old. She finished 6th after winning the Longacres Derby just a week prior.

The handle on the Mile was $115K – the most bet on a single race at the Longacres racetrack.







Viking Spirit returned eight days later to win the $33,700 Del Mar Handicap  by 2 lengths.

In 1965 as a 5-year-old he collected victories all over the country – The San Francisco Mile (Golden Gate), Premiere and the Californian (Hollywood Park), Carter (Aqueduct) and the Bing Crosby (Del Mar).

He knocked off Native Diver on two occasions in 1965 – The San Francisco Mile and the Premiere. They would meet one last time in the 7 F Los Angeles Handicap at Hollywood Park. They dueled head-and-head throughout the stretch with Native Diver winning by a Neck. The fractions: :22-1, :44, 1:07-4 and 1:20 for 7/8ths. The time equaled the world record.



Remembering Mr. Muncey & the Atlas run: 1977-1981

30 Jul

It’s been awhile, some 30+ years ago when the “Blue Blaster” and Bill Muncey ruled this week in

the city of Seattle.

Seafair in Seattle = First weekend in August.

Time to party on the Lake and  watch and respect The hydroplane and the “Roostertail” that

made Seattle proud for so many years!


This Atlas Van Lines, which has been re-built and will run this weekend during the Seafair celebration, had one impeccable run on the water.

Atlas Van Lines-1980

1977 – Won 6 of 9 events including wins in the Tri-Cities and Seattle. Finished second in national points to the Miss Budweiser.

1978 – Won 6 of 7 regattas, only lost was in the Tri-Cities. Won the national-high point championship.

1979 – Won 7 of 9 races, swept the Washington races. Won the national-high point championship.

1980 – Won 4 of 10 races and took the checker at both Washington races for the second consecutive year. Finished second in national points to the Miss Budweiser.

1981 – Won one race of eight and was destroyed in the Oct. 18 race in Acapulco, Mexico.

Atlas-Bud pix



That would be 24 wins from 43 starts for the Blue Blaster with Mr. Muncey rounding the buoys.


1981 Program cover




Seafair week in Seattle

29 Jul

This was The week for many decades for Seattleites.

The hydroplanes were returning for another Sunday festival on Lake Washington.

1951 – The Slo-mo-Shun V wins the inaugural race.

1957 – The 50th Gold Cup takes place on Lake Washington. Bill Muncey gets his first win in Seattle while driving the Miss Thriftway.


1957 Program Cover






















1957 Crowd







Hydros returning to the Tri-Cities. Remember 1984? The last Gold Cup.

23 Jul

The Unlimited Hydroplanes return to the Columbia River this weekend for the 49th time!

The Gold Cup was run in Detroit two weeks ago as the Oberto got the checker.

The APBA Gold Cup – the biggest race in boat racing – was run in the Tri-Cities back in the day. The special event was held in 1973, 1975, 1977 and for the final time in 1984.

Lets go back 30 years and remember the 1984 race.

The race was held on July 29 over a 2 1/2-mile course.

Each boat had to run in three heat sections and the final. Every heat was 6-laps (15 miles) = 60 miles.


All the big-shots were on hand:

Atlas Van Lines, Chip Hanauer

Miss Budweiser, Jim Kropfeld

The Squire Shop, Mickey Remund

Miss Tosti Asti, Steve Reynolds

TC GC 84 qualifying


It was the sixth race of the year and the Miss Budweiser had won three of the prior races, while The Squire Shop and the Atlas Van Lines each had one victory.

This was the first turbine-powered Atlas Van Lines. During qualifying, the Atlas set a world record by running one lap in 145.867 mph before slowing to a crawl just after the finish line as an ominous plume of back smoke was gushing out of the turbine.

The Squire Shop was the top qualifier but encountered a bunch of hull damage Saturday afternoon. A crewman was using a torch, trying to break some glue loose so they could repair some damage brought about by the propeller as told to the media. The Squire Shop, owned by Bob Steil, had to be worked on all night Saturday and Sunday morning.

The Seattle Times headline on Monday:

Dream race just another nightmare

The championship final was basically determined before the starting clock hit zero.

Here’s an excerpt from The Seattle Times’ Glenn Nelson….In the shape-up for the start of yesterday’s grand finale, the Miss Tosti Asti, driven by Seattleite Steve Reynolds, was washed down by the Bud’s roostertail. The Tosti went airborne for about five terrorizing seconds, its control panel destroyed and its turbine engine wheezing to a halt.

Jim Kropfeld and Miss Budweiser were disqualified by race officials. “The officials said we were DQ’d, so we must have deserved it,” said owner Bernie Little.

Then the Squire Shop, the field’s fastest qualifier and owner of a convincing lead over Atlas for one lap, sputtered to a halt after Mickey Remund detected a dangerously low oil level during the middle of the third lap.

Chip Hanauer would go on an easily win his third Gold Cup.

Hanauer 84 GC

This last Gold Cup held in Seattle was in 1985 – Miller American (Hanauer).

The last Gold Cup not held in Detroit was in 1989 – Miss Budweiser (Tom D’Eath).















Yankees in town tonight…Remember the first time?

10 Jun

The Seattle Mariners first season was in 1977 and the Bronx Bombers made their first appearance in the Kingdome on May 11, 1977.

The M’s beat the Yanks that evening 5-2 in front of 23,978 spectators. It was the third biggest crowd in Mariner history at the time.

Reggie Jackson in his first plate appearance knocked a 2-run Home Run off Glenn Abbott.

Leroy Stanton’s 6th inning single pushed across Jose Baez putting the M’s ahead 3-2.

Baez contributed a 2-run double off Sparky Lyle in the 7th to make the final score 5-2.

Seattle improved to 10-24, while New York dropped to 16-11.




They played the following night and once again Seattle was victorious – an 8-6 slugfest win.

Over 42,000 made their way to the Dome!

Danny Meyer and Bill Stein hit back-to-back Home Runs in the first inning for the M’s off Catfish Hunter.


Billy Martin managed the Yankees in 1977 and they would go on and beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4 games to 2 in the World Series.













What a day it was, 35 years ago today

13 May

The Seattle SuperSonics tackled the Phoenix Suns in the 1979 NBA Western Conference Championship series.

On May 13, the Sonics were playing for their lives, trailing the best-of-7 series 3 games to 2. Phoenix had won the prior three games in the match-up.

The Sonics held on for a dramatic 106-105 win, forcing a Game 7

Sikma photo - Suns


The game was played in front of 12,660 at the Phoenix Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The Supes escaped in dramatic style, winning 106-105 to force a Game 7 at the Kingdome four days later.

Seattle rallied from EIGHT points down in the fourth quarter to snap the Suns 16-game win streak at home.

What happened in that all important fourth quarter

4:22 remaining: Walter Davis drills a 9-footer. Phoenix 101, Seattle 96.

1:33 remaining: Paul Westphal swishes 2 free throws. Phoenix 105, Seattle 102.

1:22 remaining: Gus Williams makes two of three free-throws. Phoenix 105, Seattle 104.

The Wizard with coach Wilkens






52 seconds left: Williams converts 17-foot jumper after a Suns turnover for the final basket of the game. Seattle 106, Phoenix 105.

41 seconds left: Davis travels.

20 seconds remaining: Williams doesn’t connect on a 12-footer from the lane.

5 seconds left: Davis misses an 18-footer.

1 second left: Gar Heard shoots an air-ball from 15-feet away. The city of Seattle could now take a deep breathe.

This win by Seattle allowed them to play a Game 7 and go on and defeat the Washington Bullets in the NBA Finals.








Dayton’s win brings back sad memories

28 Mar

Dayton took down Stanford Thursday night 82-72 to advance to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament.

Seeing Dayton playing in the Sweet 16, brought back March Madness memories of 1984.

30 years ago – this week (March 23, 1984)

The Washington Huskies faced the Dayton Flyers in a NCAA Sweet 16 matchup played in Los Angeles.

Dayton beat UW 64-58 behind the 22 points and nine rebounds by Roosevelt Chapman.

Dayton pix

The Huskies led at halftime 22-21 but were outscored 43-36 in the second 20 minutes. Dayton made 24 of 35 free throws, while UW was just 4 for 13.

Scoring for the Huskies were Detlef Schrempf (18), Paul Fortier (8), Chris Welp (7), Alvin Vaughn (7), Shag Williams (6), Reggie Rogers (6), Clay Damon (2), Tim Kuyper (2), and Gary Gardner (2).


Washington beat Duke in the Round of 32 to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since the early 1950s.



Seahawks tackle the Broncos for the ultimate prize

2 Feb


Super Bowl XLVIII

Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos

Biggest wins in Seattle Sports History

Seattle Metropolitans

The 1917 Stanley Cup Final was contested by the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) champion Seattle Metropolitans and the National Hockey Association (NHA) champion Montreal Canadiens. Seattle defeated Montreal three games to one in a best-of-five game series to become the first United States-based team to win the Cup. Seattle won Game 4 on March 26, 1917.

Slo-mo-Shun IV

Stanley Sayres’ record-breaking Slo-mo-Shun IV, made an impressive debut in American Speedboat competition as she won the 90-mile Gold Cup race on the Detroit River (July 22, 1950). That win would live on in Seattle history as the city of Seattle used that win to have a hydroplane race in Seattle starting in 1951. Seafair would never be the same and the city’s summer celebration climaxed each August with the hydros racing on Lake Washington.

Seattle SuperSonics

The Sonics defeated the Washington Bullets 4-games-to-1 to win the NBA Finals. Seattle won Game 5 97-93 on June 1, 1979.

Washington Huskies

1960 – The Huskies beat #1 Minnesota in the Jan. 2, 1961 Rose Bowl 17-7 to finish the season 10-1 and was declared National Champions by the Helms Athletic Foundation.

1991 – The Don James-led team completed their season 12-0 with a 34-14 victory over the Michigan Wolverines in the Jan. 1, 1992 Rose Bowl.