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Originally published October 24, 2012 at 8:02 PM | Page modified October 24, 2012 at 8:05 PM

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Walsh chats up Goodwill, Madness

Longtime Seattle sports promoter Bob Wash, who helped bring the Goodwill Games to Seattle in 1990, stopped by for a live chat Wednesday...

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Longtime Seattle sports promoter Bob Wash, who helped bring the Goodwill Games to Seattle in 1990, stopped by for a live chat Wednesday with Seattle Times readers.

Q: You're credited with coming up with the name "March Madness" — how did that come about?

Walsh: The City of Seattle is credited with starting the March Madness celebration in 1984 when we had the Final Four. The name hadn't been used before, but the term had been invented back in the 1920s. What we did was reinvent the name and reinvent it as a celebration.

Q: In your Los Angeles days, who was your favorite television personality to work with?

Walsh: You can't be a young person to know all these names, but I would say Bill Shatner, Irene Ryan from "The Beverly Hillbillies," and Keith Jackson.

Q: Do you consider the Goodwill Games a success, and are you disappointed it didn't last?

Walsh: I thought the Goodwill Games were a fantastic success. Not because I was involved, but because the whole city was involved. So was the entire Soviet Union. The U.S. State Department and the Russian Parliament have named the 1990 Goodwill Games as one of the primary reasons for the end of the Cold War.

Q: I'm old enough to remember Irene Ryan. Any good Granny (Clampett) stories?

Walsh: Granny loved to drink Scotch. She lived alone in L.A. and would call me occasionally. I would go over and we'd have quite a bit of Scotch. She was a lovely lady. She died several years ago on stage during the show "Pippin." She was one of the most loved actresses in Hollywood.

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