A GRIP ON SPORTS
If you watched the second half of the Monday Night Football game, I have only one question for you: why? After all, with the Chargers up 24-0 at halftime the result was obvious. And there were better things to watch, like re-runs of "Friends" on Nick at Nite. So why would you stick around. Heck, I heard Mike Tirico headed over to the Coronado Hotel for a mimosa and a cigar on the beach and never came back (not really), so why did you? Read on.
• The reason I'm asking is because I didn't. When I watched Peyton Manning run off the field at halftime, narrowly avoiding the pack of camera guys that tried to cut him off, I figured that it was OK to run too. So I flipped off the TV, turned on the light and delved back into my biography of Abraham Lincoln (I'm to 1863, so it's kind of important; thanks to a poor education, I'm still not exactly sure who won the Civil War – no, not the football game in Oregon – and it doesn't look good for the Union side). My goal was to turn on the game late and see the final score, but I was engrossed in what I was reading and just plain forgot. But when a loud noise woke me at 3 a.m. and I couldn't get back to sleep, I fired up the smart phone and checked out the news. Holy comeback Batman, the Broncos won! The San Diego Chargers took the whole notion of another up-and-down season and condensed it into a single game. Talk about a time saver. Not only did they melt down after halftime, they did it in style. Not content to just blow a 24-point lead, they lost by 11 points. Hecks bells, did they come back after intermission or did they join Tirico at the hotel bar? Which brings me back to my original question: Why did you watch the second half? Did you have an inkling this would happen? No other viable alternative? Do you always stick games out to the end, no matter how bad they are? Fall asleep in front of the TV and wake up when the Broncos scored? Why would you stick around?
• Washington State: We've all seen and heard it. A quick slant, a perfect strike, a frying pan noise and an incompletion. It's happened all too often for the Cougars this year and coach Mike Leach finally had enough. He called out his receiving corps Monday, telling them to catch the dang ball. Those comments were part of his weekly press conference, caught on video by the WSU athletic department and passed along to you as part of Christian Caple's numerous blog posts from yesterday afternoon. He had nearly as many posts as Phillip Rivers had turnovers. ... Christian also had a post this morning – Rivers may have had a turnover as well – and a story in today's paper. ... Though the Cougars have a bye (as does UCLA), the rest of the Pac-12 is playing this weekend. Here's ESPN.com's quick look. The blog also has a midseason report on the Cougars. ... I'm not going to pass along every Golden State Warrior game story, but as a sophomore slump was a subject not too long ago here, just thought I would point out Klay Thompson had 21 points last night.
• Gonzaga: The connection between Canada and Gonzaga basketball developed another layer over the summer as Steve Nash now has zero degrees of separation with Robert Sacre and Kevin Pangos. Jim Meehan has the story.
• EWU: Cue the Eastern fans: "We're No. 1! We're No. 1!" Yep, Eastern is atop the FCS rankings. Jim Allen has the story. He also has links. ... John Blanchette has a "Then and Now" story on former Eagle linebacker Derek Strey (pictured from back in the day at Eastern).
• Preps: We round up Monday's high school action.
• Chiefs: The Chiefs made a trade yesterday, sending goalie Mac Engel to Prince George. They also have a big weekend ahead.
• Seahawks: Russell Wilson's outstanding fourth quarter, not to mention his ability to avoid a rush and make a play throughout the game, have made it official: He's the No. 1 quarterback in Seattle right now. That's just one of the things we learned from the Hawks' 24-23 win over New England. ... A short week – Seattle is at the 49ers on Thursday night – makes it unlikely an injured player will return.
• Sounders: The U.S. plays a World Cup qualifier Tuesday night – as do a lot of nations – so it means Real Salt Lake and the Sounders will have to scramble to get some players back for Wednesday's MLS game in Seattle. But the Salt Lake team is doing Seattle a big favor, though it hopes it will be rewarded by some supernatural force.
• NBA: The proposed arena can go forward. All the government entities that had to say yes have done so. Now if the lawsuits don't derail it, maybe an NBA team – and possibly an NHL one – will be in the area within a few years.
• That's what we have this morning. We'll be back on the radio for an hour today before the Tigers take on the Yankees. You can listen at 3 p.m. if you would like. Until then ...