A GRIP ON SPORTS
As the pause button on the major league baseball season is still stuck – Tuesday's All-Star game was the lowest-rated ever – for another day, there is little in the way of in-depth Mariners coverage today. But that's OK. There is a professional team in the Northwest that is winning. Read on.
• For the fourth consecutive year, the Seattle Sounders have a chance to be U.S. Open Cup champions. Now if that news was met with a large yawn, think about this for a second: No U.S. soccer team has ever done that before. And the U.S. Open Cup has been contested since the year World War I started. No think about all the things a Northwest sports team has done that no other team in the nation has been able to accomplish. After racking my brain for a while – it screamed by the way – I haven't been able to think of one. So even if soccer isn't your sport of choice, you still should be able to appreciate and celebrate the Sounders' accomplishments. And if they are able to travel to Sporting Kansas City (the 2004 U.S. Open Cup champion) in early August and win another crown, you should be able to crow a bit. That's always a good thing.
• Washington State: More preseason watch lists for college football awards were released this morning and WSU's Travis Long was on the Bronco Nagurski list. That comes on the heels of kicker Andrew Furney making the Lou Groza list. ... Speaking of kicking, ESPN.com's Ted Miller sees the Cougars as being in great shape at the position. ... I debated where to put this link, as it's not really about anything WSU or Pac-12-related, but there is a college football aspect to it, so here it is. Former FBI director Louis Freeh released his report on the Penn State situation today. It isn't pretty.
• Gonzaga: Yesterday we mentioned the Zags hosting West Virginia in ESPN's opening-day basketball extravaganza. Today we have more links, with Jim Meehan's story on the game and a blog post. ... If Australia makes a bit of noise in the Olympics, blame St. Mary's (and WSU, if Aron Baynes plays well). The Gaels' point guard, Matthew Dellavedova is shown above.
• Shock: Jim also was at Shock practice yesterday and has this notebook. It answers one of the big questions looming over the team as this playoff-less season winds down. Owner Brady Nelson wants coach Andy Olson (right) back.
• Indians: The trend lines for the Spokane Indians are not good, as Jessica Brown's story shows.
• Preps: The American Legion would like to have one artificial-turf infield for high school age athletes in Spokane. The organization is raising money to put the turf in at Al K. Jackson Field (above). Mike Vlahovich has the story.
• Mariners: Though the M's don't get back on the field until Friday, there are a couple of stories to pass along, mainly dealing with the team's youth and rebuilding process. ... Jerry Brewer doesn't see Felix Hernandez as a superstar. In fact, the Times columnist doesn't see any Seattle athlete or coach as a superstar, which wasn't the norm in the city a few short years ago.
• Sounders: Chivas USA was no match for Seattle on Wednesday night as the Sounders used a big second half to propel them to a 4-1 victory and another trip to the U.S. Open Cup finals. And they want to win that final.
• It's going to be another warm one here in Spokane, so enjoy it while you can. Come December, you'll be lamenting sitting around and doing nothing. Until later ...