A GRIP ON SPORTS
One thing I like to do before falling asleep at night is play solitaire on my iPhone. While I was somehow missing the opportunity to put the red eight on the black nine around midnight last evening (I blame fatigue), I began to wonder at the marvel that is the touchscreen. I mean, really, it's sort of like magic, isn't it? You touch one card and it actually looks as if it's turning over. But there really isn't a card and it's just a bunch of lights, isn't it? How odd. I feel as surprised as the Polynesian guy in the Gilligan's Island episode, who looked stunned when the Professor pulled out a lighter, clicked it and fire appeared. The guy had to be thinking, "He's stuck on a desert island; just where does he get his lighter fluid, anyway?" Read on.
• In Christian Caple's morning blog post today, he reflects on how Washington State is still playing basketball on March 30. He asks if the outcome of tonight's CBI championship game will color your perception of the Cougars' season. He even has a poll. (Not to be out done, we have a poll as well, though ours below asks which team you think will win.) I've recently documented my thoughts on the season in depth, so we won't get into it anymore. Other than to say I'm still amazed WSU has gotten this far in the CBI with its two best offensive players sidelined. Whatever happens this evening (4 p.m. on the Cougar radio network and on TV on HDNet), the last couple weeks have been pretty fun if you are a Washington State fan.
• The big news in these parts yesterday came from three hours down the road in Missoula, where the University of Montana – the gold standard of Big Sky football – parted ways with its athletic director and football coach. The news was shocking in the sense on-the-field success wasn't a problem – the Grizzlies reached the FCS championship game last fall. The reason behind the dismissals is still not all that clear (school president Royce Engstrom released a one-paragraph statement that didn't say much of anything), though off-the-field problems seem to be behind the changes. We have links in the Eastern Washington section below.
• Washington State: Want to know what's going on in Pullman? Look no further than Christian Caple's blog posts – he had one last night after day four of spring football and had another this morning. Of course, you can also check out his stories in the S-R, with his piece on linebacker Daryl Monroe (a guy who wears a smile everyday) along with his advance of tonight's CBI title matchup. ... For more on the game in Pittsburgh, we pass along this preview from the Steel City. ... For more on spring football, we pass along this blog post from Brian Floyd on CougCenter that relays the news about Spokane's Aaron Dunn. ... Former Cougar quarterback Mark Rypien is a big part of a player lawsuit against the NFL. ... WSU has finalized its schedule for Spokane Week, leading up to the spring scrimmage at Albi on April 21. ... The Pac-12 has already earned one postseason basketball title. ... ESPN.com's Ted Miller summarizes his online chat from yesterday.
• Gonzaga: Christian has also assumed my mantle as college baseball reporter, filing this notebook that leads with the Zags and their early success.
• Eastern Washington: I'm sure the mood around the Big Sky Conference is similar to the one around major league baseball back in the day when the Yankees used to fire their manager about once a month. Yep, I just compared the Griz to the Yankees. ... The Missoulian has an in-depth story that covers all the ins-and-outs of what's been going on at Montana the past few months along with a look at the effect the changes may have on the program. From Billings, we found a couple of columns about yesterday's events. And there is more, including a wire story.
• Chiefs: Though the rest of the WHL playoff first-round series seem to be about over (Portland swept Kelowna last night), the Chiefs' matchup with Vancouver is tied at two. Spokane travels north of the border for tonight's game and Jessica Brown has all the information in this story.
• Preps: Nice weather for spring sports, huh? The rain has played havoc with the baseball schedule, as Mike Vlahovich reports. ... Local basketball players had a presence on Washington's all-state teams.
• Mariners: It's back to spring training for the M's (something Steve Kelley celebrates) with a 1-1 record. The consensus seems to be the trip to Japan was well worth it, though Art Thiel wishes the offense had joined the traveling party. (A totally made up caption for the photo at left ... Eric Wedge: "Hey, which one of you guys can get a hit?")
• Seahawks: Ready for a different looking uniform? How about a different logo? Well, even if you are not, you might be getting them.
• NBA: There is trouble in Sacramento, which could bode well for Seattle's hopes.
• That's what we have today, though, for the first time in more than a week, we'll be back on the radio airwaves this afternoon at 3 (for an hour-and-a-half). You can listen to Rick Lukens and I by clicking this link. Until later ...