A GRIP ON SPORTS
I love sports. I hate sports. Read on.
• The reason for acting like Two-Face when it comes to sports is simple: What occurred in the final seconds of San Francisco's 20-17 NFC Championship-game defeat to the New York Giants, and the immediate aftermath. Because we didn't have a horse in the race – the Seahawks being all average and everything – we had to pick someone to root for in the NFL playoffs, right? After Tim Tebow was eliminated – if you need a Tebow fix, you can get one here – we decided to start rooting for an all-Harbaugh Super Bowl. That possibility went out the window earlier yesterday, when the Patriots somehow pulled out a 23-20 win when Baltimore's Billy Cundiff yanked a tying 32-yard field goal with 11 seconds left. So that left the 49ers to cheer for. Despite a punt that hit returner 49ers' returner Kyle Williams in the knee and led to a New York touchdown – and a 17-14 fourth-quarter lead – San Francisco had tied the game and were going to get the ball back in overtime with a chance to win on a field goal. Then Williams dropped the ball again and the Giants won on a Lawrence Tynes field goal. And that's why I love sports. Think about this: San Francisco had turned the ball over 10 times all year and never by its special teams. Then, boom, two in just a few minutes, costing it a trip to the Super Bowl. Though I was saddened to see the team I was rooting for lose, the way it happened, the unexpected nature of it, the odd confluence of events, seemed so typical. Then what happened over the next hour made me want to puke – or maybe it was the two huge chili cheese dogs I ate in the second half; I'm not sure. Anyhow, Williams was vilified throughout the Twitterverse, on blogs, anywhere idiots could find a forum. And that's why I hate sports. It's just a game. If it meant anything more than that to someone – say there was a bet on the line – that's your mistake, not Williams'. After all, what we all love about sports is the unexpected has to be expected, right? It happens every season, every week, every day. And it helps to bring us back every season, every week, every day.
• Washington State: The poll above wasn't my first choice today. I spent much of the evening last night putting together a list of candidates to replace Chip Kelly at Oregon – Christian Caple covers the twists and turns of the Kelly-to-Tampa-Bay saga in his morning blog post (along with a bunch of other links) – so I could be ready this morning. But it turned out to be moot when Kelly reportedly changed his mind. ... Besides what Christian linked for you today, we found a couple other items we wanted to pass along, including a former Cougar assistant helping UCLA's Jim Mora Jr., connect in Los Angeles and Kansas fighting WSU for a huge offensive lineman (last paragraph). ... The Cougar women fell at California 60-55 in a televised game Sunday.
• Chiefs: We said yesterday it seemed as if Spokane was heating up and the Chiefs made that seem true with a 6-1 win over Portland in the Arena on Sunday. Jessica Brown has this story and a blog post.
• NFL: We slipped in a few links above, but we tried to run down all the columns we could from San Francisco for you. Then, in this sentence, we have links to a few columns from Baltimore, as the Boston Globe is a pay site.
• Sounders: Seattle picked up a couple of midfielders with English accents and a desire to play in the Northwest.
• That's it for this morning. Until later ...