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A special Monday. Why? It’s warm

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Every Monday starts with a goal: Finding one sports-related story that's off the beaten track for you. We did that today. Read on.


••••••••••

• Reaching our goal can be hard this time of year. Real hard. But we wanted to call attention to this Associated Press piece that ran in the Washington Post. After losing everything in the earthquake and tsunami last year, this Japanese man will be getting something back. A soccer ball with his name on it. It traveled all the way across the Pacific Ocean. And now it's coming home. His happiness in the discovery speaks to the connections we sports fans and athletes make with our athletic equipment. It also speaks to the devastation that occurred after the earthquake and how just a piece of the past can make all the difference. Now, if someone can return the baseball glove my then five-year-old son left in the rest area just west of Moses Lake years ago, he would be happy.

• The newest craze in college football: Bull in the Ring. After Ohio State did it prior to its spring game, the drill gained buzz among football fans around the nation. It's been out there for years, of course, and has many different forms and names. But Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes do it before their spring game and now people are talking. Well, if you attended one of Mike Leach's spring practices at WSU, you've seen it before. The Cougars have been starting each practice with it. Heck, if you attended any of Paul Wulff's Cougar practices, you might have seen it. His first year in Pullman they did it off and on. If you want to know more, check out this piece on CougCenter.

•••

• Washington State: Even though it's a Monday, Christian Caple has a bit of something for you in his morning post, including Pac-12 links. … Christian has a couple links on WSU's baseball team finishing off a road series win over No. 6 Oregon. To that, we add this one. … With the NFL draft on tap for the end of this week, Stanford could make some conference history.

• Mariners: The buzz around Philip Humber's perfect game started to settle down, though Humber won't be out of the spotlight right away. … The White Sox rallied against Kevin Millwood and the M's to finish off the series sweep, 7-4, on Sunday. The Sox have won eight consecutive Safeco games. … Steve Kelley thinks it's time for all these M's kids to grow up and contribute. … A tough road trip awaits the Mariners now.

• Seahawks: Seattle needs linebackers. There will be some available this week.

• Sounders: One year after his devastating injury, Steve Zakuani talks about his broken leg – and suffers a setback.

• Triathletes: Hey, we found one other unique story and we didn't have to travel any farther than the S-R to find it. Dave Trimmer has this feature on a local triathlete battling through a tough time.

•••

• That's our Monday morning report. Until later …


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Jim Allen (@srjimallen) Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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John Blanchette (@SRjblanchette) John Blanchette is a freelance writer who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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