A GRIP ON SPORTS
Really, we were going to bide our time on this subject. Wait until next week to vent. But you can't always control the news cycle. Sometimes your hand is forced by an outside entity. So you have to move before you're ready. Read on.
• Over the years, yours truly covered a lot of Pac-10 Conference basketball tournaments. And, it seemed, they all had one thing in common: Washington State, the team I covered, always figured out a way to play in the final game each night. Last year's outstanding, down-to-the-wire, Klay Thompson explosion was a good example. It started late, it ended even later (duh) and our coverage was not nearly as good because of it. (For the last three years, WSU has played the last game of the first day it was involved in; just saying.) But far be it for me to complain (more than about 24-hundred times). We bit our tongue and moved on. Now I'm semi-retired. Just living the good life. Calm, cool, collected. I then I see Christian Caple's post about the Pac-12 Tournament. The Cougars are locked into, what is it, oh yeah, the eight/nine game. That starts at noon. What the he … OK, I won't cuss. But really? The noon game? I would have given my left pinkie for that game. Watch the game. Do your interviews. Return to your spot on press row and write. Have a hot dog. Rewrite. Send. Go out to dinner. Relax. Go back, watch the late game and laugh as all the other suckers try to beat deadline. (By the way, this rant was scheduled for next week, but SpectreCoug noticed the ironic scheduling yesterday and posted a comment, forcing me to move the venting up a few days.) Not going to happen. Darn it.
• Did you watch the rain-delayed Daytona 500 yesterday? Me neither. But it is one of the bigger sporting events of the year – and this year, one of the most spectacular, especially if you are a fan of big fires. Because we are a full-service blog, we wanted to pass along news from the race, which includes one spectacular photo. … But enough of that. On to the local news. Wait, we have video …
• Gonzaga: The Zags sold out McCarthey once again though it probably wasn't for the opponent, an overmatched Longwood team that went down to a 92-60 defeat. No, it was Senior Night and Robert Sacre and Marquise Carter were honored before the game and played a part in the easy win. Jim Meehan has all the details in his story and will have more today in his day-after post. He also had a blog post yesterday with some news. Now the second-seeded Zags wait to find out who they'll play in Saturday's semifinals of the WCC tournament. … More than likely that will be BYU, who has the third seed. One Utah writer hands out his WCC awards. The official ones are scheduled to be released today. … Waiting in the championship game more than likely will be St. Mary's and junior guard Matthew Dellavedova. … Jay Paris, who I used to work with many long years ago in Orange County, has the odd idea USD can make noise in the tournament. … Jess Brown had some notes about the GU women on the blog yesterday. … BYU's women have to regroup before the WCC tournament after the loss at Gonzaga last Saturday.
• Washington State: The way-too-lucky Christian Caple (noon, really?) has all the Pac-12 news on his morning blog post. … The Wyoming football coaching staff has more WSU roots today, thanks to the hire of former Cougar linebacker Robin Ross to coach the linebackers. In another Kevin Bacon moment, I worked a few months for Robin's brother Terry in Long Beach State's sports information office even before I worked with Jay Paris at the OC Register. And no, we're not going to have any more personal recollections today. Hey, I heard that snide remark.
• Preps: With the state basketball tournaments on the horizon, there is a lot of news. We'll start with Greg Lee's attempt to delve the depths of your support for local teams with two polls, one on the bigger schools headed to the Washington state tourneys, one on the smaller schools. Greg also has a couple stories in today's S-R, the first on the Gonzaga Prep girls and their bid for a state 4A title, the other on Marcus Colbert and the Post Falls boys and their bid for an Idaho 5A title. I've spent a lot of time with Colbert the past few summers and believe he's a Pac-12 caliber point guard. But no coaches on that level agreed with me and they have a lot more experience at this than a lowly sports writer. … Though Washington's state championship games won't be televised this year, there is still hope for the future.
• Eastern Washington: The Eagles host Idaho State tonight with a big reward on the line: the chance to host Idaho State again Saturday. Yep, the Big Sky playoffs are right around the corner and EWU wants to avoid another trip to Pocatello. Jim Allen has all the particulars in this story. … The conference title is on the line tonight in Missoula.
• Whitworth: There was talk Sunday about the Pirates hosting an NCAA tournament game or two. The innocence of youth. Whitworth will always get hosed by the NCAA. Jim Allen has the news about the Pirates opening the Division III tournament in Texas.
• Chiefs: Nothing from Spokane, but the Portland Winterhawks begin a big stretch run at home.
• NBA: With this news out of Orlando yesterday, it looks as if the Sacramento Kings are off the table as possible tenant for a new Seattle arena. But as you delve deeper into the agreement, it's hard to figure how the city of Sacramento will approve using so much in the way of public funds considering how cash-strapped it is.
• Mariners: Not a good day for the M's as they lost one of their own, scout Frank Mattox, who died Sunday night at 49. … The team, according to manager Eric Wedge, will be ready when the season starts. … Ryan Braun will be playing, but Bill Dwyre is, for some reason, a little skeptical of the circumstances behind his recent “exoneration.”
• That's our report to start off the week. We're on the radio today – and the rest of the week – so you can listen here at 3 p.m. As for the blog, as we always say, until later …