A GRIP ON SPORTS
I was thinking of changing the name of today's blog post to Highway 195 Revisited, but as this feature already skews really old, we skipped the Dylan reference atop the page. But we couldn't resist mixing it in somewhere. Read on.
• As we have to hit the road soon, today's blog post won't be all that long. Though the number of links is pretty typical. There is not a lot to delve into, anyway, because we're going to steer clear of commenting on Ryan Leaf's troubles – the Associated Press story posted on the S-R's website yesterday garnered almost 30 comments, many of them not worth mentioning – as our interactions with Leaf have colored our perceptions. We'll just leave it at that. After that, the local sports scene is now in full-fledged spring mode, which means attention is scattered and so is our report.
• Yes, Kentucky is the national champion. And yes, John Calipari is a national championship winning coach. We have stories. But we're not all that excited about it (unlike the Wildcat faithful). But we pass them along because it is our duty. That is all.
• Washington State: The Cougars will return to the practice field today – hey, we'll be the there – and Christian Caple looks forward to that in his morning blog post – as well as passing along the winners of his bracket contest. I know I said I was going to claim the winner's moniker was actually mine, but after a quick review of my high school ethics textbook, decided that wasn't the best course of action. Christian also has video from running back Marcus Mason from an earlier spring practice. … As for Leaf, Christian put together this in-depth story on his second arrest in the past few days. We also pass along this Great Falls Tribune story. … In news from other former Cougars, last year's cornerbacks coach – not co-defensive coordinator as some stories seem to like to reference – Jody Sears was officially named defensive coordinator at Weber State yesterday – the first work day after his WSU contract expired. The same timing is inherent in the announcement of Mike Levenseller joining Idaho's staff. Here is Josh Wright's blog post about that.
• Eastern Washington: Former Eagle quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell is hoping to get a shot at the NFL. Jim Allen talked with Mitchell and passes along this story. … The Eagles open spring practice today and Jim will be there. … Weber State star guard Damian Lillard looks to be headed to the NBA.
• Idaho: Other than the Levenseller announcement, the Vandals were quiet yesterday.
• Chiefs: The WHL playoffs' second round don't begin for Spokane until Friday in the Tri-Cities, but the league handed out an award for last week.
• Shock: After last week's big defeat, Spokane makes some roster changes.
• Preps: It's softball season and Jessica Brown covers the bases with this look at Lake City and the area teams overall. … Dave Trimmer has a Then and Now story on a former U-Hi basketball player who is trying to break into the NBA using a different path.
• Mariners: King Felix emulated the Rockies' starting pitcher in some ways yesterday in the M's 7-2 win over Colorado. Sure, the Jamie Moyer homage was nice, but the lack of hop on the fastball was noticed, though downplayed by everyone. … Jesus Montero (right) is OK after being hit in the head with a pitch. … Another beaning between former teammates resulted in a well-deserved suspension as the season nears.
• Seahawks: Seattle unveils its new uniforms today – as will the rest of the league – with a new color thanks to Nike. Marshawn Lynch has been busy recently with a new profession – or hobby, if you will.
• Sounders: One man's opinion on the current ratings of the MLS.
• That's our abbreviated report as we prepare to leave Spokane. We'll be back later with more thoughts. Until then …