FROM PULLMAN -- There must have been some other game yesterday that required most folks' attention, because Pac-12 reading material is scant on this Monday. Oh, well. We still found a couple stories, at least, so read on.
Assuming most readers of this space were tuned into the Super Bowl yesterday, as was I. Can't say I cared much about the outcome -- like most sporting events, I was simply rooting for a close finish. And we got one. Wouldn't it have been something if Rob Gronkowski could have hauled in that Hail Mary from Tom Brady? Sure, the Patriots aren't real popular outside of New England, and I'm sure most neutral observers didn't mind seeing them lose. But my view is this: if it makes no difference to me which team wins, I want to witness something people will be talking about in years to come. There's only one Super Bowl each year, so each one is going to be memorable, in that regard, by default. But very few come up in conversation some years later. So while certain moments will stick in our memory banks for a bit -- such as Mario Manningham's incredible catch that set up New York's game-winning score -- this game could have been a heck of a lot more memorable if Gronkowski had been able to reel in that last deflection. So I was disappointed he didn't, even though I didn't mind seeing the Giants celebrate the win. ... To me, the most interesting play of the game was Ahmad Bradshawn's final touchdown. You always wonder, as an observer, whether a team in the Patriots' situation might let the offense score in order to get the ball back sooner. But nobody ever does. I give Bill Belichick and the Patriots credit for at least trying. Hard to say it was the wrong move, since it got them the ball back with about 40 or so more seconds than they would have had otherwise. Though with the way kickers have performed in clutch situations at all levels of football this season, maybe they should have tried to force them to make a field goal. ... Anyone else think that post-game stroke-the-trophy slow-walk was intensely awkward? ... Sorry to say, but we just don't have much for you on the WSU front today. However, we do want to point you to one story that you should all read (and watch). Brian Floyd of SB Nation has a piece about former Cougar football player Steve Gleason and his fight against ALS, and we've embedded the video of NBC's pre-Super Bowl feature on Gleason below. The Times-Picayune in New Orleans also had a nice feature on Gleason on Sunday. ... The Cougars basketball team begins practice today in preparation for its trip to Oregon State and Oregon this weekend. Some things to consider as we head into the week: the health of Mike Ladd, who played 55 minutes in two games against USC and UCLA and appears on the mend after missing five games with a thumb injury ... the health of DaVonte Lacy, who turned his left ankle late against UCLA and had the ankle wrapped afterward ... where the offense is going to come from if teams make a concerted effort to deny Brock Motum the basketball ... whether Reggie Moore can pick up some of the scoring burden for this team the same way he did as a freshman ... the role of bigs D.J. Shelton and Charlie Enquist moving forward. Shelton didn't play against USC and played just three minutes against UCLA, while Enquist sat the entire game against the Bruins ... anyone else catch the WSU-UCLA replay on ROOT last night? Didn't realize how much contact the Bruins got away with down the stretch, when they went nearly six minutes without being whistled for a foul. Josh Smith sure was allowed to exert his mass with unusual frequency.
Around the Pac-12: Not much here, either. ... Arizona is looking for its first home sweep of the season with Colorado and Utah coming to town this weekend. ... Oregon's last-second loss to Colorado on Saturday put the Ducks in a tough spot. ... The Buffaloes are, surprisingly, still competing for the Pac-12 title. ... Percy Allen takes a look at the Pac-12 title race. ... Believe it or not, that's all I could find around the conference.
We'll be back as events merit.