erik lundegaard

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Monday January 19, 2015

The Most Seattle Moment Ever

Michael Bennett on a bike

Announcer: Hey Michael Bennett! You and the Seattle Seahawks just won the NFC Championship Game! What do you plan to do now?
Michael Bennett: I'm gonna ride my bike!

Although not his, apparently. Apparently it was a bike cop's. He just took it. He said when you go to the Super Bowl in Seattle you get to do what you want, and that's pretty much right. 

The game yesterday was the craziest, most unbelievable, most beautiful game I've ever seen. I can't remember a great team looking so bad for 55 minutes and so invincible for six. Everyone today in Seattle feels like they just won something. We're all hoisting Oscars aloft. We all want to thank our parents, and God, and Marshawn Lynch.  

I grew up in Minneapolis and became a football fan in the early 1970s when Gary Cuozzo was the Vikings quarterback, before we got Fran Tarkenton back. That was a great team that lost three Super Bowls in four years but the toughest loss from was the year we didn't go to the Super Bowl, 1975, when we lost in the first round to the Dallas Cowboys and the “Hail Mary” pass from Roger Staubach to Drew Pearson. No flag? What was that orange thing flying across the screen? (Turns out it was an orange peel.) But surely, surely offensive interference. Nope. Nothing. Just stunned silence. Just an awful emptiness inside. I remember afterwards walking down 54th street in the cold and dim light of late December to Salk Drugs and just staring at the candy counter, and hearing some guy nonchalantly mentioning the Vikings loss, like it was no big deal, and hating, hating, hating. 

I stopped watching football before I graduated high school in 1981 (the Super Bowl now and again) but I've been keeping track of the Seahawks this year. To me, yesterday's game, the impossble come-from-behind victory, almost had the feeling of catharsis.

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Posted at 08:49 AM on Jan 19, 2015 in category Sports
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Sunday January 19, 2014

A Pre-Game Anecdote

I was walking in downtown Seattle yesterday on my way to Nordstrom to buy a dress shirt when I saw a hubub in front of the Grand Hyatt on 7th, between Pike and Pine. There were several chartered buses in front of the hotel and people, in groups, were rushing forward and then standing with smart phones held aloft for pictures and/or vidoes. “What's going on?” I asked the guy next to me. He nodded his head contempuously in the direction of the commotion. “Fucking Niners,” he said.

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Posted at 01:20 PM on Jan 19, 2014 in category Sports
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Saturday January 11, 2014

The 7 Millionth Man

I'm not a huge football fan but it's tough to live in Seattle and not know that the Seahawks are in the playoffs today against the New Orlean Saints at CenturyLink Field, 1:35 start. In honor, a recently digitized slide photo from my childhood. That's my older brother Chris on the left, me on the right, little sister Karen with the ball. I think this was the toughest I've ever looked. 

Karen with football, Chris and I not amused

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Posted at 08:25 AM on Jan 11, 2014 in category Sports
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Sunday August 05, 2012

What the Olympics Needs

A ninth lane, where someone like me swims.

Seriously. Here, for example, are the results from the Men's 50m Freestyle on Friday:

1 07 France MANAUDOU Florent 21.34 - +
2 05 United States of America JONES Cullen 21.54 +0.20 +
3 04 Brazil CIELO Cesar 21.59 +0.25 +
4 06 Brazil FRATUS Bruno 21.61 +0.27 +
5 03 United States of America ERVIN Anthony 21.78 +0.44 +
6 08 South Africa SCHOEMAN Roland 21.80 +0.46 +
7 02 Trinidad and Tobago BOVELL George Richard 21.82 +0.48 +
8 01 Australia SULLIVAN Eamon 21.98 +0.64 +

First place was 21.34. Eighth place was 21.98. Not even a second's difference. A sixth of a second. Boom.

There's no perspective to that. We may sense, a bit, how fast they're going, but we don't see it because they're all racing against the other seven fastest swimmers in the world.

People at home, slumping on their couches, look at Eamon Sulivan and think he's the worst when he's the 8th best in the world. And he'd be the best, the fastest in the world, but for .65 of a second.

With me in lane 9, probably doing the sidestroke, suggesting, as George Orwell once wrote of an outdated missile, “nothing so much as a man riding along on a bicycle and whistling,”you'd see how fast all of these athletes really are. You'd get results like this:

1 07 France MANAUDOU Florent 21.34 - +
2 05 United States of America JONES Cullen 21.54 +0.20 +
3 04 Brazil CIELO Cesar 21.59 +0.25 +
4 06 Brazil FRATUS Bruno 21.61 +0.27 +
5 03 United States of America ERVIN Anthony 21.78 +0.44 +
6 08 South Africa SCHOEMAN Roland 21.80 +0.46 +
7 02 Trinidad and Tobago BOVELL George Richard 21.82 +0.48 +
8 01 Australia SULLIVAN Eamon 21.98 +0.64 +
9 09 United States of America LUNDEGAARD Erik 1.01.99 +40.65 +

We'll all have a greater appreciation for Eamon Sullivan in lane 1.

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Posted at 08:47 AM on Aug 05, 2012 in category Sports
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Monday November 28, 2011

LinkedIn to the Heavyweight Champ

Perks of the job.

In 2005, I wrote a profile of entertainment attorney Henry Holmes, whose clients included Michelle Rodriguez, Robert Evans, and, in particular, George Foreman. In 1994, Holmes helped clear the way for Foreman's title bout, at the age of 45, with Michael Moore, which Foreman won, as well as “The George Foreman Grill,” for which Holmes convinced his client to forgo an upfront salary for a joint venture that ultimately made Foreman upwards of $100 million. I interviewed Foreman for the piece, by phone, with maybe a follow-up by email. Apparently his email system never deleted me. A few days ago, this arrived in my in box:

LinkedIn to George Foreman

I accepted, of course. I have a job at the moment but nothing's forever; and if you're going to have someone in your corner, why not the heavyweight champion of the world?

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Posted at 06:44 AM on Nov 28, 2011 in category Sports
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