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Mon., Sept. 3, 2012, 7:44 a.m.

Labor day is always a celebration

A GRIP ON SPORTS

If you look up the word "labor" in the dictionary, there are about six definitions. The sixth one, however, has particular meaning in our household. And as this is Labor Day, we wanted to pass along the story. Read on.

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• I may have passed this along before but after 28 years I still find it odd or ironic or some such thing. It was Labor Day, 1984 and the then Los Angeles Rams were opening Monday Night Football by hosting the Dallas Cowboys. Eric Dickerson, who would finish with 138 yards on 21 carries, burst into the end zone early and Mike Lansford added two field goals to help the Rams to a 13-0 first-quarter lead. In a little rental home in North Spokane, Kim and I were watching our favorite NFL team and cheering along. After all, three years earlier we were living in the shadow of Anaheim Stadium and never imagined where we would be so soon down the road. Spokane and Southern California were so different and so were we. Especially Kim, nine months pregnant with our first child. I joked as we set down to watch the Rams eviscerate the hated Cowboys that it would be funny if Kim's labor began on Labor Day. She laughed too. But just after Lansford's second field goal – and the ensuing high fives – Kim's water broke and the contractions began. My first thought: I'm going to miss the rest of the game. (How male is that?) My second thought: Oh crap, where did I put the car keys? Well, hours and hours later – the labor lasted at least 12 hours but then again, as my involvement was limited to back massages and words of encouragement (along with trying to stay awake) my recollection of the facts probably aren't as clear as Kim's – our first child was born. And it was, in the immortal words of my dad's favorite Godfather character, Luka Brasi, a masculine child. By the way, behind the play of soon-to-disappear-into-quarterback-anonymity Gary Hogeboom, who threw for 343 yards, Dallas rallied for a 20-13 victory. Yet, for some reason, it still didn't ruin the day.

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• Washington State: Even when there isn't a lot happening, Christian Caple finds something to send our way. Today it's a story and blog post following the Cougars' practice. Those items are followed up by his morning blog post. WSU does not practice today but will hold press availability, and Christian will pass along the comments from players and coach Mike Leach as soon as possible. ... Bud Withers takes a quick look back at the first week of Pac-12 play as does Kevin Gemmell and Ted Miller on ESPN.com.

• Chiefs: Spokane's second exhibition game was much better than its first, as the Chiefs hammered Seattle 6-3 in Everett.

• Mariners: Just what do the M's have in Hisashi Iwakuma? The Japanese import has won four consecutive decisions and has a 1.66 earned run average in his last six starts. So is this a guy the team can count on in the rotation next year and beyond? I don't know. But his recent success makes you wonder if it's possible. ... There are wins and there are wins. Geoff Baker explains the difference. ... Jesus Montero (above) has a deed in a safe-deposit box somewhere, I'm sure. It's a deed to Jered Weaver. That's the only way I can explain Montero's four home runs in eight at-bats against the Angels' ace. ... Another knockout of Weaver by the M's in the 2-1 victory (closed out by Tom Wilhelmsen) only can help Felix Hernandez's Cy Young chances.

• Seahawks: The Hawks have not made a lot of changes to its roster this year, which is in marked contrast to the past couple years. However, they do have a new middle linebacker.

• Sounders: A tie may not be the best result, but if it weren't for the stellar stops from Michael Gspurning, the Sounders may have left Dallas with a loss. The less-than-picture-perfect 1-1 draw at least earns Seattle a point.

•••

• Enjoy your holiday and don't labor too hard in the yard. Until later ...




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Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for spokesman.com. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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