Can You Spell "Cheney"?

.NET Guest Columnist Les Norton shares his thoughts on what makes training camp a special experience.

If you're not a complete dyed-in-the-wool sports fan, who lives everyday for any sport anywhere, then June & July are not for you. No I'm not referring to the 2 neighbor ladies, but the lack of a REAL sport.

Remember that we out here in the Northwest don't have as many pro sports venues to choose from as other areas of the country. I'll give you some examples:

Baseball. For many, many seasons we had a distant relative of a baseball team. They would win some games, but not many. Then for the last few years we have had a killer group that tried but couldn't reach greatness. But in one season, our Mariners “management” have managed to return us to the past. So…baseball season is once again over for us in June.

Basketball. Can Starbucks brings us back from the doldrums? One would doubt it until the mighty mini Wally Walker is replaced. Again, a front office turned a competitive team into also-rans in almost record time.

So with the fall of the mini-Lakers, thankfully, basketball season is over too. But one redeeming thing happened. When Shaq and his minions fell on their roundball they flattened it into a ovoid with pointed ends. In other words, IT’S ALMOST FOOTBALL SEASON!

So lets talk of Cheney, Washington and Seahawks training camp.

First off, it’s “ChEney”, not ”ChAney”. Between the Cascades of Washington and the small city of Spokane lies a desert. That's a hint, folks. As Robin Williams said in Good Morning Vietnam, "It’s hot, damn hot. What's for tomorrow??? ‘Hot, damn hot.’”

The Training Camp facility is great at Eastern Washington University. Two huge well kept fields and a great staff to help with the NFL Experience. If you have kids, be sure and give that a try. The City of Cheney is a quiet shady place with several very nice parks. Unfortunately, none of which are within a quarter of a mile of training camp.

Its going to be hot folks, damn hot! Bring sunblock in big numbers. That being #50. The numbers on sunblock just refer to how long it will last...15 is an hour and a half, 50 is 5 hours. Use it in the morning and again at the afternoon break. Don't worry about being a sissy, guys - bring umbrellas. Bring your 10-gallon western and large Australian hats. Bring water, there’s no oasis handy to the training fields.

Well, we've covered June, July, and spelling. About the smell...

At Training Camp you have unique smells. Not just sweaty bodies, smelly uniforms and stinky sox (and that's just the fans!). The sound and smell of water rapidly evaporating off of the fields. Grass turning brown from heat, heat, heat. Brick buildings you could cook on. Tennis shoes so hot you can smell the vulcanizing process. The players coming off the field into the buildings on the asphalt, hurrying so their feet won't burn.

Oh, one smell you won't have to worry about. There are no concession places to get a burger or whatever. Bring your lunch!

Training Camp in Cheney can truly be a miserable experience if you allow it to be.


I can hardly wait.

Guest Columnist Les Norton is an administrator for the Seahawks.NET Fan Forums. Feel free to contact him at Top Stories