Psycho for Soccer

Thirty years ago in Seattle Weekly.

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This is one of a series looking back at Seattle Weekly's first year.

30th Anniversary

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The Weekly showed its class roots in its seventh issue (May 12, 1976), in devoting its cover and four full inside pages to "Soccermania!" According to editor Patrick Douglas' lead story, the brand-new Seattle Sounders (most of them borrowed during the off-season from Canadian teams) were going to be the nucleus for a U.S. invasion by the world's most popular sport. Didn't happen, unfortunately. Soccer remains the adolescent yuppie field sport of choice, but U.S. soccer is still a pretty penny-ante player, and as for the World Cup, forget it.

Issue seven also fielded another flopped phenomenon: the Weekly society spread. Bob Peterson spent an evening at PONCHO's 14th annual fund-raising party and auction, and the flash pictures of dressed-up people with money standing pointlessly about were just as dull as you might expect, except for an inexplicable shot of Slick Watts (Seattle SuperSonics) patting a pony over a chain-link fence.

On the lighter side of things, Lars Henry Ringseth found an honest-to-God Burgundian restaurant on the edge of Bothell, Gerard's Relais de Lyon. It lasted a lot longer than the Sounders, serving authentic French cuisine (will I ever forget that lobster bisque with star anise?) until owner GĂ©rard Parrat decided to get a life and settled down to prosperously smoking salmon with his restaurant pal Dominique Place, available at an upscale fish counter near you.

The most historically significant item in the issue could easily be overlooked. An unsigned item on p. 4 noted that the Seattle City Council and mayor were dithering about investing in a couple of nuclear-power-generation plants, the so-called WPPSS 4 and 5. Despite predictions of severe power shortages within a decade if the plants weren't built, Seattle ultimately agreed to buy into the construction plan for only 10 percent, then 5 percent of the cost. On third thought, after a blue-ribbon panel study, Seattle City Light pulled out completely, thereby avoiding the fiscal catastrophe that hit those who did buy in: the interest and payback on $2.5 billion in defaulted bonds for two plants that were never built.

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