A GRIP ON SPORTS
Talk about scary. Received an email yesterday telling me my iMac had been recalled. Something about if another computer rear-ends it doing more than 5 miles an hour, it can explode in flames. At least that's how I read the notice. I'm not sure it actually had anything in writing comparing the iMac's faulty hard drive to a Pinto gas tank, but I'm not taking any chances. Today, I'm writing this blog post on a typewriter. Read on.
• Of course I'm not writing on a typewriter. It's impossible to get a ribbon these days, let alone interface the Royal with the S-R's front-end system, though god knows I've tried. Nope, I have a backup computer to use in emergencies, utilizing WordPerfect and MacDraw for the graphics. As you can tell, I like to live in the past. Only not in sports. Though I love reminiscing about, say, the 1968 World Series (and there will be a lot of that coming if the Cardinals can squash the Giants just once in San Francisco), I'm not one of those guys who say sports was better back in the day. Heck, look at about any unchanging metric (swim times, track results, weight-lifting records, etc.) and it's obvious today's athletes are bigger, stronger, faster. But there are also other signs, not so obvious. One of them popped up Thursday night in Spokane, when Austin Rehkow (pictured) connected on a 67-yard field goal at Albi Stadium. Now Rehkow's near-national record kick has garnered a lot of attention, thanks in large part because KXLY's Ben Kaplan stayed to the bitter end and caught video of it, allowing the ESPNs of the world to broadcast it to, well, to the world. But I want to concentrate a bit on Rehkow as a high school athlete. Though Rehkow is another in a long line of exceptional Spokane-area kickers, no one has ever kicked a field goal even close to that long before. And don't get an idea it's because Austin spends all his time kicking, or lifting weights to improve his kicking or attending camps to get better at kicking. Besides playing wide receiver on the Bear team, he is also one of the two or three best basketball players in the Greater Spokane League, a point guard whose clutch play helped the Bears to state last season. Shooting as well as Rehkow does takes practice too. So here is a multi-sport athlete doing something athletes 20, 30, 40 years ago would never have thought of even attempting. One thing sports teach is nearly anything is possible (the 1969 Mets everyone). And thank goodness athletes today keep trying to prove it every day.
• Washington State: Not a lot from Pullman – with the bye, there was no practice yesterday – but Christian had a blog post on a new basketball commit and a morning post today with links. We can supplement that this morning with our usual Saturday link to ESPN.com's Pac-12 mailbag.
• EWU: The Eagles are hosting Sacramento State today in a big Big Sky Conference contest – actually, when you are No. 1 in the nation, every contest is a big one. Jim Allen has an advance of the game along with a post this morning with links. … One more link for you, with Weber State still looking for its first win.
• Idaho: The Vandals yesterday presented their first football schedule as an independent. That will be next season as the WAC drops football. UI will stay in the conference for other sports next school year, then move to the Big Sky in 2014. As for football, the independent scenario will cover at least two seasons, though the 2014 schedule is still up-in-the-air. Josh Wright has more with this blog post and story. … Josh also has an advance of today's game at Louisiana Tech, smarting after a tough defeat to Texas A&M last week. … Win today against lowly New Mexico State and Utah State will be able to play in a bowl game. … San Jose State needs to bounce back.
• Whitworth: The Whits host last-place Puget Sound today in the Pine Bowl. Jim Meehan has an advance.
• Preps: Nothing quite as spectacular as a 67-yard field goal or a 577-yard passing game last night, though Gonzaga Prep did clinch a share of the GSL title. Dave Trimmer has the story. … Out at Albi, Mead got past Rogers and Lewis and Clark rallied past North Central. Greg Lee was there and has this story. … Mike Vlahovich was at U-Hi's shutout of Ferris. … A lot of double duty yesterday, with Jim Meehan covering Coeur d'Alene's 21-7 win over Lake City – clinching the 5A IEL title – and Post Falls boys' 5A state soccer semifinal win. … Steve Christilaw was at the Post Falls and Lake City girls' semifinal wins. … Mike also covered two events, getting to the District 7 2A cross country meet. … Mt. Spokane's girls are the undefeated GSL soccer champions. … Cheney upset West Valley in GNL football action. That's the lead to our football roundup.
• Chiefs: A big home weekend began with a 2-1 win for the Chiefs over Seattle. Jess Brown has the story.
• Seahawks: The Hawks have a formula for winning. It's just when they run into teams that use the same formula, they struggle. It's just one of the lessons from Thursday night. … Jerry Brewer has things he likes and dislikes from the game. … Sidney Rice (pictured with Golden Tate) wasn't much of a factor. … There is quite awhile until Seattle's next game.
• Sounders: Speaking the truth for an on-line columnist is OK, even encouraged. Speaking the truth as a MLS coach can be expensive – and cost you a game. Such is the case for Seattle's Sigi Schmid. … The Cascadia Cup will be settled this weekend.
• Mariners: It's been two years since Dave Niehaus' death, so the M's have decided it's time to replace him in the radio booth permanently.
• No WSU game today, so no post-game radio call-in show. Instead I'm off to a musical – hey, it's manly, it's Jersey Boys, which also makes it a cultural experience for this Italian kid – with Kim. So you will have to fill me in concerning the football games today (though with the WatchESPN app and a pair of headphones, I'm golden). Until later …