A GRIP ON SPORTS
I don't know how the Wimbledon men's final is going to turn out – it is going on as I write this – but you can be sure of one thing: I am rooting – hard – for Andy Murray. Read on.
• The British have been holding the Wimbledon tennis championships since 1877, the same year the phonograph was invented. Think about that. These championships have been going on since before any of our world wars, since before the World Series began, since before Washington State was a state and WSU was a college. So there is a bit of tradition there. Now think about this. The last time the British were able to cheer one of their own men winning the country's tennis title was in 1936, when Fred Perry was champion. That was so long ago, Jesse Owen hadn't won a gold medal yet, the Hoover Dam had just been built and I wasn't even alive. Which is why I am rooting for Murray (above). There are not many historical events that haven't occurred in my lifetime and this is one. I have never seen the Cubs win the World Series, never seen the Kings win an NBA title, never seen the Cougars win a Rose Bowl and I've never seen a Brit win the Wimbledon men's title. I would like to see at least one of those streaks end today.
• One other thing about the Wimbledon final before we move on. There has to be a tremendous amount of pressure on Andy Murray. How would you like to carry the hopes of an entire nation on your shoulders while you play a Grand Slam final? It would take a cargo ship full of Valium to get me through something like that. With that type of pressure, a win by Murray would be that much more impressive. ... Speaking of impressive, the way Serena Williams rallied to win the ladies' title yesterday was just that. After she lost the second set, I was almost sure Serena would struggle in the third. She didn't.
• Washington State: Not a lot from around Pullman or the Pac-12 today, but we can pass along the news baseball assistant coach Spencer Allen has left WSU for Creighton. ... Hank Frame continues to lead the Lilac Invitational but it's getting closer going into today's final round. Jim Meehan has the story.
• Shock: Slim and fat have the same meaning when it comes to chances of the Spokane Shock making the AFL playoffs. They both will leave town tonight if the Shock lose at Philadelphia. Jim Meehan has an advance.
• Indians: Spokane hasn't been swinging the bats all that well lately, and a return to the road didn't help Saturday night. The Indians were shut out 9-0 by Tri-Cities.
• Preps: Speaking of the Tri-Cities, two teams from that general area met in the finals of the Senior American legion baseball tournament yesterday. Greg Lee has the coverage.
• Mariners: Ever since I dismantled the Jason Vargas-for-Cy Young bandwagon, the lefthander has been pitching like, well like a Cy Young candidate. He turned in his third consecutive outstanding effort Saturday night and this time was supported by the M's bats in a 7-1 victory over Oakland. It's that offensive output that gains all the headlines and the pixels on line, but it's Vargas (above) and his complete game we're excited about. ... Eric Wedge moved Dustin Ackley back to the leadoff spot and dropped Ichiro to second in the lineup. ... It's Sunday, so Larry Stone has his weekly column, rankings and awards.
• Sounders: It's over. The nine-game winless streak is over. It ended at home on an emotional Saturday night. The 2-1 win over Colorado was an especially poignant way to end the winless streak, what with Steve Zakuani returning to an MLS game, shaking the hand of Brian Mullan, the guy who broke his leg. That, and a lot of other subjects, were covered in the post-match news conferences.
• Olympics: Don't want to be accused of being sexist (heaven forbid you have an opinion about women's athletics and sportsmanship someone doesn't agree with, they just throw the sexist argument out there), but we have a couple of different views of Jeneba Tarmoh's decision to pass along.
• We're headed to the big screen to enjoy a morning of watching tennis. I may mute the volume, though, as I have trouble listening to John McEnroe for two or three hours. Until later ...