As Nordstrom prepares to plant its long-awaited flag in Manhattan, the retailer’s new chief marketing officer Brian Dennehy was revealed to be embroiled in a nationwide game of tag played by adult men. The Wall Street Journal broke the news today with an investigation of the ten-player, 23-years-running game. A variation on the schoolyard game, it began when Dennehy was a student Gonzaga Preparatory School in Spokane, Washington, although it is now only active during the month of February each year. Other implicated players include Spokane high school teacher Joe Tombari, Montana priest Sean Raftis, tech-company manager Mike Konesky, and lawyer Patrick Schultheis.
So far, at least one person has been injured.
One February day in the mid-1990s, Mr. Tombari and his wife, then living in California, got a knock on the door from a friend. “Hey, Joe, you’ve got to check this out. You wouldn’t believe what I just bought,” he said, as he led the two out to his car. What they didn’t know was Sean Raftis, who was “It,” had flown in from Seattle and was folded in the trunk of the Honda Accord. When the trunk was opened he leapt out and tagged Mr. Tombari, whose wife was so startled she fell backward off the curb and tore a ligament in her knee.
It’s unclear whether the game was played in Nordstrom’s Seattle headquarters, although Dennehy has reportedly made inquiries about its security. As of this writing, the scandal has not had a notable impact on Nordstrom share prices.