To Kingdom Come

March 27, 2000

When mount Saint Helens blew its top in 1980, the eruption
caught the citizenry of the state of Washington off-guard. This
Sunday at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time there will be an implosion, of
the Kingdome, that has been so eagerly anticipated by
Washingtonians that they have been scrutinizing the proceedings
more extensively than the feds did Bill Gates's E-mail. It's as
if that state's fans, in trying to come to terms with the loss
of Ken Griffey Jr. and his moon-shot homers have grown giddy
over the prospect of one last blast.

--ESPN Classic
Beginning at 11 a.m. Kent, Wash., native Kenny Mayne will host
Classic's first live event. Mayne, who will be joined by former
SuperSonics Jack Sikma and Slick Watts as well as former
Seahawks quarterback Dave Krieg, was in the Kingdome for a Billy
Graham crusade in 1976, the year the dome opened. "I don't want
to see it [go], to be honest," says Mayne, one of the few people
who remember the dome fondly. "I'm hoping that some anarchists
are still in town from the WTO conference, and that they'll
chain themselves to the building."

This could be the most-watched live sports-related implosion
since Al Campanis appeared on Nightline, and in the wired, weird
world of the Pacific Northwest, TV isn't the only medium
covering the event. Numerous Web sites devoted to the event have
sprung up in recent weeks. Here are a few of our favorites:

--www.martinidesign.com
The trivia page on this site asks which Seattle landmark would
fit inside the dome (answer: the 605-foot-tall Space Needle).
Better yet is the Imploder, which invites you to "blow your own
dome." You can drop and drag five bundles of dynamite on a
diagram of the dome and then press DETONATE. A 100% destruction
elicits cheers louder than any heard by a Mariners pitcher last
season.

--www.susandennis.com
This "former Microsoft employee" lives across the street from
the ill-fated dome. Inspired by the Harvey Keitel character in
the 1995 film Smoke, she has taken a photo of the Kingdome every
Sunday at 9 a.m. for the past three years. Since January, Dennis
has been posting another of her prints each day.

--www.windowsmedia.com/preview/kingdome
This Microsoft-sponsored site offers 3-D glasses for the 3-D
images of the destruction it will post. It will also have a
Webcast of the implosion and has footage of other famous
implosions.

If you must witness the big bang in person, call the Providence
Mount Saint Vincent Foundation (206-938-8994). From its
11th-floor offices, you can enjoy a good view of the
goings-down--and a champagne brunch--for $250. Two small
conference rooms can each be had for $5,000. All proceeds go to
charity. The foundation's director, Susan Clark, isn't planning
to serve afternoon tea. "People get a charge out of seeing big
structures fall down," Clark says, "but once the dust settles,
they'll be ready to leave."

--John Walters

COLOR PHOTO: OTTO GREULE

THEY'VE GOT SPIRIT
A nationwide network of eager (and unpaid) correspondents puts
high school sports on-line

"All high school sports," says Jonathan Segal, paraphrasing
fellow Bay Stater Tip O'Neill, "are local. So when I created a
Web site devoted to prep athletics, I wanted to see it covered
nationally but at a grassroots level." Last September, Segal, a
former high school sports beat writer for The New Haven (Conn.)
Register, launched Schoolsports.com (www.schoolsports.com). His
unpaid student correspondents cover their schools while a crew
of staffers maintains the site and edits copy. Segal's empire
has grown to 1,000 schools in 20 metropolitan areas, and his
staff, housed above a Boston muffler shop, has increased from
five to 50. "The idea seemed like a no-brainer," says Segal, 31.
"Teenage jocks get a thrill from seeing their name in print, and
retailers love teens."

The site has rosters, schedules, results and articles, and even
lists coaching vacancies. (Last week Riverwood High in Atlanta
was seeking a varsity football coach, and Burlington [Mass.]
High needed a cheerleading coach.) A page called "The Big Thumb"
provides the only commentary: Recently it opposed a Maryland
high school rule invoked to DQ a runner at the state meet
because his plaid boxers were visible (solid colored underwear
would have been permissible).

The majority of the articles are too homer-ish. Segal concedes
that "we're trying to do positive stories," but that translates
into dull reading. Memo to Segal's adolescent scribes: Just
because you're unpaid doesn't mean you can't be unbiased.

--J.W.

WEBWORDS

"Does the NBA realize how many exhibitionists there are in the
locker rooms around the league? Is that what we want America,
along with the rest of the world, tuning in for? I'm sorry, did
I miss something? Did Hugh Hefner put in a bid to buy a
franchise?"

Lakers forward RICK FOX, on AthletesDirect.com, commenting on
the NBA's plan to allow TV cameras in the locker room

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)