A GRIP ON SPORTS
Remember when Pete Carroll coached at USC? Remember when his Trojans were beating on Washington State so completely he had Mark Sanchez take a knee inside the 10-yard-line with time running out – in the first half? I thought about that yesterday when the Seahawks were pounding out their 58-0 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Read on.
• It's something I like about Carroll. He gets it. And by it, I mean the difference between college football and the professional variety. In that game in Pullman, the Trojans were so much better they could have named the score. So they did. But Carroll understood the opposing team was made up of a bunch of kids who, though overmatched, were working hard and giving it what they had. Most of them were not going to make football their career (as opposed to the USC guys). Why embarrass them? So he tried not to. It was an unexpected act of mercy. But yesterday was different. On the other sideline was another professional team – though it hardly looked like it. The guys in the white uniforms were being paid just as much as the guys in the dark ones. Just as much was expected out of them now and in the future. So if the score got out of hand, so be it. Show them the respect of giving them your best shot from the opening kickoff to the final seconds. Seattle did. Arizona just folded. Quit. Gave up. As Dennis Green once famously said while coaching the Cardinals, they are who you think they are. The final score, while inflated some, was the truth. The Hawks were 58 points better yesterday. That's not something you hear very often in the NFL. But it is the truth. The ugly truth.
• Washington State: The word ugly could have applied to the Cougars and Fresno State Bulldogs' first half yesterday. I watched it before setting the DVR on the Hawks and heading out for a college women's game, where I followed the play-by-play of the Cougar contest on my phone. Anyone, as Christian Caple's story shows, WSU played better after halftime and earned a much-needed win over Fresno State. Christian also has a bunch of blog posts here, with a pregame one, his tale of the tape, interviews and this morning's linked-filled post. ... Ted Miller picks his All-Pac-12 football team on ESPN.com and he included two WSU players: kicker Andrew Furney and safety Deone Bucannon.
• Gonzaga: The fallout from the Illinois loss continues, with Jim Meehan looking back at the game here yesterday. ... ESPN.com also looked back at the game. ... At the game I was attending, the GU women routed Cal State Fullerton (as an UC Irvine alum, just wanted to thank the Gonzaga women for bringing a smile to my face watching the arch-rivals go down in flames). Chris Derrick has the game story and this blog post. ... BYU's men may have had a former standout reemerge this weekend.
• EWU: Resilient is a word that seems to perfectly describe Eastern's football team this season, and that's not a bad word to have in your vocabulary. The Eagles always seem to be able to bounce back. Jim Allen examines that ability in his story from this morning.
• Whitworth: The Pirate women traveled south and lost to Eastern Oregon on Sunday.
• Seahawks: There probably isn't a better day to read about your local NFL team than today. After all, how often can you read about your team having eight takeaways and scoring touchdown after touchdown on both sides of the ball? Not very often, that's for sure. Richard Sherman, who may be headed to the sidelines thanks to alleged PED activity, played a huge hand in the rout, though his dance moves sure need work. There were stars on offense who haven't played much, there were stars on defense who have been coming through all year (and some newcomers as well). And there were Cardinals who hung their head in shame. Many Cardinals.
• That's it for this snow-covered Monday. Let's hope it warms up enough this morning to clear the roads. I have to drive today. By the way, I'll be on the radio Tuesday and Wednesday this week, filling in for Dennis Patchin on 700 ESPN. We'll pass along the link tomorrow. Until then ...