A GRIP ON SPORTS
It's Christmas morning and the stockings are hung on the mantle with care (the reason this is a bit late; that had to come first). But we also have a few stocking stuffers for you. Read on.
• One Christmas Eve not too long ago my boys were giving me crap – a typical occurrence in the Grippi household – about wanting the day to end so "the jolly fat man" could show up. My response? "There is only one fat man in this house and he's not too damn jolly right now." They got it. And went to bed. Well, this Christmas morning I'm pretty damn jolly. And I wanted to share some Christmas wishes to each of you. With so few links to pass along, it seemed like the perfect time. So I've come up with a Christmas list for fans of each of the teams covered here, have passed it along to Santa with the hope you'll be able to open it sometime next year.
• Washington State: There are lot of things Cougar fans ask Santa for each year but one they haven't received in a decade: A bowl game. And, as a New Year's Day (or later) bowl game after next season seems a bit greedy, we'll ask them a Maaco Bowl (or the like) as their 2013 present. Don't waste it. ... Oh, and Christian Caple has a blog post.
• Gonzaga: This is really simple. Despite all the success the basketball programs (and I say programs because the women's team has been money the past few years) have enjoyed, there is one place they have yet to visit. The Final Four. This year's festival of college hoops is in Atlanta and, as the gift to you Bulldog fans, we're asking Santa to send you – and your team – there in April. Enjoy.
• EWU: As the Eagles don't need an SMU transfer quarterback this year (Santa has brought a couple over the past few years), we had to think of something else. How about a big donor stepping forward and making the Gateway Project a reality. Ya, that'll do it. Merry Christmas.
• Idaho: Talk about simple. An FBS conference that wants the Vandals. We'll ask Santa to grant that wish and make it the Mountain West just to be nice. You're welcome.
• Whitworth: This is a gift that's hard to deliver. We've asked Santa that, for one calendar year, the NCAA shouldn't be allowed to screw over any of your teams. Not basketball, not baseball, not swimming. Of all the wishes Santa has to fulfill this year, this is the toughest.
• Chiefs: Another easy one. We want Santa to ban the WHL ban Portland from the playoffs. We know Santa doesn't like cheaters. They go on his naughty list. So he should open a path to the WHL finals for Spokane and call it good.
• Preps: No championships or titles here. Too easy. Happens all the time around this area. Instead, we're going to ask the big guy to ensure every kid who plays high school sports in this area – everyone – enjoys their experience. I'm not sure even Santa can make this wish come true, but he'll try.
• Seahawks: A Super Bowl title. And just to make it extra special, another beatdown of Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers in the NFC title game and a win over Peyton Manning, who shunned Seattle in the offseason, and the Broncos in the Super Bowl. If the latter happens, Santa might just pick up a few extra bucks from his long-time friend. Call it a win-win. ... Just to add some spice to this morning, we can pass along a couple of Richard Sherman-themed Seahawks stories (he's pictured). Be advised, they concern a bodily function. If he can play, I'm sure the Hawks fans will make some noise.
• Mariners: New ownership committed to winning and the Puget Sound. Is that too hard? ... The current group is still looking for players.
• Sounders: We'll end on a simple one. A major title. Either win the Champions League or the MLS. We're sure Santa's not picky.
• In all seriousness, I want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays, whichever you prefer. You know, I try to get up each morning and give you a present in the form of this blog post. I hope it is received in the manner it is sent, with a goal of making each day a bit nicer for each of you. As always, until later ...