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:
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.
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.
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."