A GRIP ON SPORTS
Sunday mornings are the best mornings, no doubt about it. Oh sure, Saturdays are great, especially for those of us who grew up in the 1960s and 70s and 80s and still have memories of being parked in front of the TV, cartoons blaring, a bowl of sugar-infused cereal in our lap. But Sundays, well Sunday mornings mean football, on the tube and on the Net. Sunday is great synonym for lazy, a euphemism for lolling around. To help, we searched the web and came up with 729 stories for you to read. OK, that's an exaggeration, but there is quite a few. Read on.
• We're not going to write much today – it is a lazy Sunday after all – but we wanted to pass along our thoughts after watching an intense, competitive, physical women's basketball game yesterday. Yes, when Washington State met Gonzaga in McCarthey and came away with a 57-51 victory, Kim and I were in our usual seats. But what we saw wasn't all that usual. There was an intensity on the court (especially in the second half) that isn't always prevalent. And it made for a great game. If you enjoy watching athletes dig deep and do whatever it takes to win a game, you would have enjoyed Saturday afternoon's contest. It wasn't about skill as much as it was desire. It wasn't as much about athleticism as it was energy. And, most of the second half, it wasn't about finesse at all. It was about effort. And it was fun to watch.
• Washington State: The women's victory at the Kennel is one of the best of the June Daugherty era, what with how hard it is for visiting teams in the Bulldogs' packed arena. Chris Derrick was in the house and filed this story. Dan Pelle also has this photo package. … The WSU men were able to get everyone some time in the final tuneup before conference play, routing Idaho State before a nice crowd in Kennewick. Christian Caple was in the Toyota Center and has this story. He also had an interesting pregame post, a tale of the tape, some video of the postgame interviews and a morning post today. … The women's matchup of No. 1 Stanford and No. 2 Connecticut at Stanford wasn't close. Yep, Connecticut took the Cardinal to the woodshed.
• Gonzaga: Jim Meehan took time yesterday to look back at the win over Baylor with this blog post. He also had a story and blog post on the newest member of next year's team. This season's Bulldogs are now en route to Stillwater, Oklahoma for their New Year's Eve matchup with the Cowboys. It's not an easy trip – I have personally knowledge of that – and it won't be an easy matchup in the old building. … Santa Clara had an even tougher trip this weekend, traveling to Durham, N.C., to take on No. 1 Duke. The Broncos hung tough, actually leading in the second half, before falling 90-77. … USD held off Morgan State at home. … BYU routed Virginia Tech behind Tyler Haws' career-high 42 points.
• Idaho: The WAC season opened for the Vandals in a new spot: Key Arena, home of Seattle U. Seattle was making its WAC debut last night and the Vandals made it an unhappy one with a 71-64 victory. Josh Wright has a blog post on the win and we have this story along with one from the Seattle Times. … Utah State also ruined UT San Antonio's WAC opener (pictured). … San Jose State did the same to Texas State.
• Chiefs: Talk about the Christmas break being over. The WHL delves back into league play with a fury right after the holiday, with just about everyone playing on back-to-back nights. The Chiefs forgot to win on back-to-back nights, however, even though they were playing one of the league's poorest teams. Chris Derrick has the story. … Portland and Everett pulled the trick of winning twice in a row.
• Seahawks: I have never agreed with a column more than I agree with this one from Danny O'Neil. The one rule in all sports officials should follow is this: If you are not sure, don't make a call. The NFL doesn't agree. O'Neil also has his power rankings for the final week of the regular season. … In reality, the chances of the Hawks improving their playoff seeding isn't all that great today, what with the 49ers hosting the lowly Cardinals, with Arizona having to win for Seattle to move up. But there is still meaning to every NFL game and today's matchup with the Rams is no different. … The Hawks' great year was crucial for the Northwest sports fan and we can thank folks like Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson and John Schneider for it. … There is only one Seahawk team to compare with this season's.
• That's it. Enjoy your lazy Sunday. Until later …