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Seattle is selling hockey tickets the way Starbucks sells coffee

Seattle is selling hockey tickets the way Starbucks sells coffee

So all of a sudden, Seattle is a hockey town? Seriously?

I must admit, I'm shocked. Deposits for season tickets for a potential NHL expansion team were taken for the first time Thursday at 10 a.m. online and in just 12 minutes 10,000 commitments -- at either $1,000 or $500 -- were recorded.  That crashed the system, but within an hour, it's been said that 25,000 commitments were received.

It took the latest NHL expansion franchise, in Las Vegas, about six weeks to sell 10,000 season tickets. Of course, ultimately the tickets are going to cost a whole lot more than those deposits and refunds will be given to those who aren't serious buyers or who aren't satisifed with ticket locations. And of course, there won't actually be 25,000 season tickets available. The renovated Key Arena won't be that big. To an extent, this was more a test of hockey interest in Seattle than it was an actual ticket sale. And to a greater degree, it was a publicity stunt.

I'm hearing it was done to help the team acquire a list of possible ticket buyers because the expansion team is going to be granted to Seattle as soon as next week. We shall see.

All I know is what I've heard from my friends in and around the NHL -- league commissioner Gary Bettman is nuts about getting a team in Seattle, even though Portland has been a better hockey town than Seattle for only about the last 50 years. You can talk about the professional WHL and the Buckaroos vs. the Totems or the junior WHL with the Winterhawks vs. the Thunderbirds.

In fact, I think I've figured out how all those ticket deposits came in so fast.

About half of them probably came from Portland.

Poppycock! Legislators uneasy with losses in Oregon's sports betting app

Poppycock! Legislators uneasy with losses in Oregon's sports betting app

Apparently, it seems, some of our state legislators are upset and surprised about the sums of money people are wagering – and losing -- in the state’s new online sports betting app, "Scoreboard." State Representative Paul Evans (D-Monmouth) is one of them:

But since then, the lottery established a limit that Evans and other critics think is no limit at all: $250,000.

Evans says that's irresponsible. "I think that's absolute poppycock," he says. "Two hundred fifty thousand dollars is the price of a low-end home. I think that's a joke."

The limit has the attention of other legislators, too.

"That's way beyond what we should be letting people bet," says Sen. Chuck Riley (D-Hillsboro).

Lottery officials say Scoreboard is exceeding expectations: More than 30,000 players signed up in the first month, betting more than $13 million. The largest single bet so far is $10,000, and one player bet a total of $234,015, losing $12,750.

I think our elected folks in Salem must be just a little on the naïve side. Yes, if you legalize betting and put it on an app you can use on your phone, more people will gamble. And those people may just bet substantial sums of money because it’s so easy.

But if a player wagered a total of $234,015 since this thing began, it’s not a huge sum – nor is his percentage of losses, at $12,750. In the world of sports betting, people tend to wager with their hearts as well as their minds. They get carried away. I’m not a fan of that and don’t wager on sports. But a $250,000 limit? It's usually only going to impact somebody with enough money to lose $250,000.

But I will say this, they’ve probably been betting illegally, anyway, and now, at least, the state gets a portion of it. And there is a control, in that you make bets based on how much money is in your account and when that money runs out, you can’t bet. So, at least in that scenario, nobody is going to get his or her leg broken because they didn’t pay their bookie.

The outcry in the legislature amuses me. I mean, did they think people wouldn’t lose? Did they think they could stop people from becoming addicated to gambling any more than they can stop them from becoming addicted to alcohol?

That’s so Oregon. Next thing you know, the state will attempt to pay them all back for their losses.

And that, of course, would be poppycock.

Headstrong: Seattle Sounders Stefan Frei emphasizes that everyone should find their passion

Headstrong: Seattle Sounders Stefan Frei emphasizes that everyone should find their passion

The month of November is Men's Health Awareness Month. ‘The Movember Foundation’ uses November to bring awareness to various men’s physical and mental health issues, as well as support to those tackling prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health, and more.

Throughout this month, NBC Sports will be releasing numerous videos that feature sports superstars discussing the importance of mental health as well as how they approach the subject. Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei, who recently hoisted the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy over his head as an MLS Champion, was one such athlete that participated in the nationwide project.

The mental side of prepping as a goalie— you will have nerves, butterflies. It’s a good thing you have butterflies. It means you care, you’re engaged. Mentally, it’s not a turn on, turn off deal. It’s a constant battle. I think that’s why if you don’t deal with it properly, it can add up, and  it can destroy you if you don’t deal with it.

Frei recently shared his love for art and uses it to express himself, but also, decompress. 

“It’s always been a passion of mine, growing up. It’s always been something I’ve enjoyed doing. As a goalkeeper, I don’t get to enjoy being creative, too much.”

And while a mistake on the soccer pitch can be costly, Frei opens himself up to making mistakes on a canvas. 

“For me, art, as difficult it is to surrender, if I do make mistakes, it can actually lead to something beautiful. It’s kind of like an exploration, and there is no wrong."

Frei emphasizes that finding something you’re passionate about is paramount to a happier and healthier life.

“When you have an injury, you get treatment. But, we do so many things beforehand to prevent injuries. Mentally, there needs to be something there, as well.”

You can watch the full video above.

Social Media reacts: Seattle Sounders win the MLS Cup

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USATI

Social Media reacts: Seattle Sounders win the MLS Cup

It's time to celebrate in Seattle.

For the second time in four seasons, the Seattle Sounders have won the MLS Cup. This time in front of a franchise record 69,274 fans in the franchise's first final played at CenturyLink Field. After an ugly first half, the Sounders owned the second half to win the game 3-1. 

You can read our instant analysis here.

Let’s take you through the game and how social media reacted.

Kelvin Leerdam (57’)

To end the scoreless tie, Kelvin Leerdam’s shot ricocheted off a Toronto FC defender into the back of the net. It would have been the fourth own goal in MLS history, but the league deemed it not one. Watch below and see for yourself.

Here’s how the Seattle faithful reacted to Leerdam breaking through.

Victor Rodríguez (76’)

To break the game wide open, Rodríguez would fire a laser into the bottom right corner of the net to create a two-goal advantage.

Social media could sense the championship.

Raúl Ruidíaz (90’)

Not to be outdone, the Sounders' star would get a goal of his own to add to the sheet.

Now Seattle knew it was over. Here’s how they celebrated.

Instant Analysis: the Seattle Sounders win their second MLS Cup

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USATI

Instant Analysis: the Seattle Sounders win their second MLS Cup

The Seattle Sounders are the MLS Champions for the second time in four seasons after defeating Toronto FC 3-1 in front of a franchise-record 69,274 fans at CenturyLink Field. 

In the 57th minute, Seattle became the first Western Conference team to score a live goal in the MLS Cup since 2014 when Kelvin Leerdam’s shot bounced off a Toronto defender into the net. It was the fourth own goal in MLS Cup history. 

Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore played through a quad strain when he entered the game in the 66th minute to try and equalize the game. It was his first action of the playoffs after suffering the injury on Decision Day. 

However, Seattle put the game away in the 75th minute when Víctor Rodríguez shot a rocket into the bottom right corner to gain a two-goal advantage.  For the icing on the cake, Raúl Ruidíaz also scored in the 90th minute after he collected a deep ball. 

Altidore would put one in the back of the net in stoppage time to put Toronto on the scoreboard.

Tough pill to swallow for Toronto

The first half was dominated by Toronto who had 65 percent possession with the Sounders dropping back looking to score on a counter. Toronto FC passed circles around Seattle in the midfield but couldn’t finish in the last third of the field. 

When Seattle got on the counter they also had multiple blown opportunities where shots either sailed over the net or right at the keeper. Additionally, Toronto CB Michael Bradley also had three different goal-saving tackles in the first half to prevent his team from going down a goal. 

Of all the players to be upset, Bradley should be the most affected. If Toronto had won the game, a clause in his contract would have added another guaranteed year at $6.5 million for winning the MLS Cup. 

Familiar Final

This was the third time in four years that Seattle and Toronto matched up in the league final with the teams splitting the previous matchups. However, this was the first time the MLS Cup was held at CenturyLink Field. In 2016, the Sounders infamously won the game in penalty kicks after not achieving a single shot on goal during the 120 minutes of play. The following year, Toronto got their revenge defeating Seattle 2-0 in a final that was never in doubt. 

 

Eight things to know about Sunday's MLS Cup Final

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USATI

Eight things to know about Sunday's MLS Cup Final

The Seattle Sounders (34-16-8) will host Toronto FC (34-13-14) at CenturyLink Field at 12:00pm, with only one team leaving happy. 

Here are eight things to know ahead of the game.

  1. A Familiar Matchup

This will be the third MLS Cup in four years that’s played between the Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC. The two teams have split the series so far. Seattle upset a record-setting Toronto FC team in the first matchup, despite not registering a shot on goal. The next season, Toronto FC would get revenge winning the match 2-0. 

  1. Expect a great atmosphere

Although, this matchup of familiar foes will feature a new location: CenturyLink Field. The first two MLS cup matchups took place in Toronto, and the Seattle faithful will be hungry for another championship. The Emerald City Supporters create one of the league’s best home field advantages and this game sold out in a mere twenty minutes. It’s also expected to set a new Seattle Sounders attendance record, surpassing the previous record of 67, 385 by over 2,000 people. 

  1. Both teams were lower seeds

With the new knockout rules for the MLS postseason, it’s not surprising to see a lower seeded team in the MLS Cup. However, both Toronto and Seattle entered their conference championship games as heavy underdogs, and won. Seattle, the second seed, upset top-seeded LAFC and fourth-seeded Toronto FC upset second-seeded Atlanta FC. With just one game left, anything can happen.

  1. Can Seattle break the curse?

Remember when I told you that Seattle won an MLS Cup without a shot on goal? Well, they haven’t been the only Western Conference team to put up a poor offensive performance in the league final recently. In fact, the last time a western conference player scored a non-penalty kick goal in the MLS Cup was in 2015 when then-Portland Timbers forward Rodney Wallace scored a championship-winning goal.

  1. Will Altidore play?

Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore hasn’t suited up since injuring his quad on Decision Day, October 6th, 2019. Despite playing without him the entire postseason, his team has made the league final. The USMNT player said it would take a miracle for him to suit up but the Sounders are preparing as if he will play.

  1. Some homegrown talent

Sunday afternoon will be special for all players, but for Seattle’s homegrown talent it’ll just mean more to play in a league final in their home state. Midfielder Handwalla Bwana grew up in Seattle and forward Jordan Morris was born there before growing up in Mercer Island, WA. Morris’ ten goals is good for second on the team. 

  1. Lots of Experience

Not only have the Sounders played in three of the four previous MLS Cups, but they have made the postseason each season for the past decade. This is a club that expects to find success and will play Sunday looking for a second championship.

  1. Only one matchup between them this season

While they have played in the postseason frequently and recently, the two teams only played once in the regular season: a 3-2 Sounders victory in Seattle. Will Bruin scored two goals and Christian Roldan added one more in the victory for the Sounders. The lone scorer for Toronto was Jozy Altidore who will most likely miss the MLS Cup Final. 

 

Social media reacts and remembers the great Gert Boyle

Social media reacts and remembers the great Gert Boyle

Media, politicians, and fans alike share their thoughts on the passing of Gert Boyle who famously took Columbia Sportswear to new heights. 

Also, here is a great look that our friends at KGW did:

Remembering and Celebrating Gert Boyle of Columbia Sportswear

Remembering and Celebrating Gert Boyle of Columbia Sportswear

"It's the Boyles and Phil Knight. Those are the two biggest names in this area in terms of sports business and what they were able to bring to this state and this area," Nigel Burton said eloquently on Rip City Drive this morning in reference to the passing of Gert Boyle, famed leader of Columbia Sportswear who passed away yesterday at age 95

In the clip above, Nigel describes his interactions with the Boyle family referencing a recent event he was at with Gert Boyle's son, Tim: 

They had a little video about Columbia Sportswear and how it started and everything and it brought people to tears. It was very old-school, her father started Columbia, and of course...passed it to her daughter's husband. Then when he (Neal Boyle, Gert's husband) passed away...she was just like screw it, this is our life...we're just going to have to go ahead and do this. We're going to have to figure this out.

Nigel talks about how he was able to meet Gert and her son Tim a couple of times and describes the family:

They are just kind of these salt of the earth people. It is really sad, but true to form for the Boyles, she passes away and they're like 'Oh no, don't send flowers. Make a donation to cancer research and we're going to have a party.' That's like the most Gert thing of all-time!

Gert was also the star of her famous line of of "One Tough Mother" commercial ads. One of her classics can be seen below:

 

Gert Boyle of Columbia Sportswear passes away

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KGW Photos

Gert Boyle of Columbia Sportswear passes away

Gert Boyle passed away today at the age of 95.

Boyle's father started Columbia Sportswear, which has a headquarters in Portland, OR. 

In 1964, Boyle's father passed away and her husband Neal became president of Columbia Sportswear. 

Just a few years later in 1970, Neal Boyle passed away unexpectedly at the age of 47 and Gert would take over as president of Columbia and lead it to great success and a more diversified offering of products. 

As of 2013, she began working as chairman of the company. Gert was know for her philanthropy with Special Olympics and the Knight Cancer Institute. 

A press release from the company said:

"Boyle's pioneering role as a woman in what was then a male-dominated industry is a testament to her strength of character and ability to persevere through difficult situations,"

The industry and world has lost an important icon and contributor today. 

XFL draft: Five former Seahawks return to Seattle

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USA Today Images

XFL draft: Five former Seahawks return to Seattle

The Seattle Dragons may be the Emerald City’s new XFL team, but soon many familiar faces with grace the turf at CenturyLink Field.

In the skill, offensive line, and defensive front 7 phases of the 2019 XFL Draft on Tuesday, the Dragons selected five former Seattle Seahawks: wide receiver Keenan Reynolds, wide receiver Kasen Williams, offensive tackle Isaiah Battle, guard Robert Myers and tackle Taniela Tupou.

Perhaps the most recognizable player selected in Day 1 is Kasen Williams, who was taken in the seventh round. Williams spent most of his career in the Seattle area, starting with Skyline High School in Sammamish, where he was a USA Today High School first team All-American. He played for University of Washington in college, earning All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention in 2012. 

Williams first signed with the Seahawks in 2015 following an impressive showing during rookie mini-camp. He had reoccurring  stints on Seattle's practice squad and active roster, but was released in 2017. Most recently, Williams played for the Indianapolis Colts and Cleveland Browns. 

Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright and former backup QB Jake Heaps were happy to see Williams get another shot. 

The XFL draft will resume Wednesday with the defensive backfield players and an open draft, which includes all remaining players after positional drafts.