A GRIP ON SPORTS
There is just something different in our lives right now. Maybe it's the weather. Maybe it's the Christmas spirit. Maybe it's the fact the region's professional football team is playing so well the main argument each Monday morning is about whether the coach ran the score up or not. Read on.
• Kind of odd, isn't it? After another year of watching the Mariners lose game after game, another year without an NBA team to call our own, it's just strange when the local pro team is this good. Hard to get used to? Hardly. It's fun to watch the Seahawks take the ball down the field time after time and score. Or the defense force turnovers, make big stops, score itself. And the past couple weeks we've been able to see that. Heck, the past three weeks have all been at least pretty good, starting with the overtime win in Chicago. That's been followed by back-to-back weeks with 50 or more points, the first time a team has done that in the NFL since 1950. Wow, I wasn't even born yet. It's fun to revel in the excitement, isn't it? But being a Pacific Northwest sports fan means we can't enjoy it. The lack of success does that to you. Our first thoughts turn to what's bad ahead and that makes us look back and see the shortcomings. The future is colored by the fact even if the Hawks handle San Francisco at home next week, they are going to need the 49ers to lose at home to Arizona the week after to win the NFC West. There is little chance of that, even though the Cardinals won on Sunday. That reality forces us to look back at four losses this season that now seem inexplicable. Arizona, St. Louis, Detroit and Miami. None have a winning record. All were on the road, sure, but all still should have been wins. Heck, if any one of them had been a touchdown different, Sunday night's game with the 49ers would have been for all the NFL West chips. No, we're not going to let ourselves get caught up in that game. Today. Today we're just celebrating another big win. Today we're marveling at Russell Wilson's maturity. Today we're marveling at Bobby Wagner's maturity. Today is about winning. Tomorrow is soon enough to think about what might-have-beens. Don't even get me started with the New England Patriots.
• Washington State: Christian Caple is saying goodbye to his Pullman apartment today – he's found another place to live in a quieter part of the city – so he's going to fight the rain, snow and wind while trying to move his possessions across town (pictured). I sympathize. I moved out of the same apartment about this time last year, dealing with nasty weather and then the slow drive up U.S. 195 to Spokane. I liked that apartment though, even if the guy upstairs seemed to weigh 649 pounds and the guy downstairs liked to play video games until 4 in the morning, yelling into his headset something about watching his six. But it was close to campus, it was quiet in the morning when I wrote and all the appliances worked. What else did I need? Anyhow, Christian has a morning post to pass along.
• Gonzaga: The Zag women host 20th-ranked Ohio State this evening and Chris Derrick has an advance. The Buckeyes lost over the weekend at WSU, so they'll be highly motivated tonight. ... Jim Meehan had more on the Battle in Seattle win yesterday in this blog post.
• EWU: Nothing on the Eagles the day after their football season ended, but we can pass along something as the Big Sky basketball season begins tonight.
• Chiefs: The Chiefs are in the midst of a really good season, but Portland is having a great one.
• Seahawks: Other than a bit of a lull at the end of the first half, the Hawks dominated this one in every aspect. And other than a fake punt while leading by way too many points – even Pete Carroll thought it was inappropriate and took the blame afterward – the Hawks acted like they had been here before (of course they had, just the week before against Arizona). But the biggest thing I got out of Sunday was they won handily over a bad team on the road. They hadn't done that yet this season. They had beaten some really good teams at home, but their road games against the bottom feeders had all been close. Not Sunday. Now they sit in the driver's seat in the wild card race even if their NFC West title chances are slim. ... Meanwhile, the folks in Buffalo are hard-pressed to find answers.
• What an ugly day outside. The wind is blowing, the rain is falling and the roads look to be a mess. Glad I'm not going anywhere for a while. Until later ...