A GRIP ON SPORTS
Only one day after typing “our long national nightmare is finally over,” the NFL and its usual officials settle their labor dispute. Today I've decided to type, “Vince Grippi wins million dollar lottery” and see if that happens in the next 24 hours. Read on.
• There was a Twilight Zone episode in which the editor of a failing newspaper (the idea of newspaper failing, now that's fiction, isn't it?) sells his soul to the devil to save the place. The kicker is the devil begins printing stories that have yet to come true but they happen just as the paper hits the streets. Sort of like the Internet of today. Anyhow, if you thought selling your soul to the devil doesn't happen anymore – as Mr. Smith says in the 1963 episode, “it's almost like an appendix these days, not really necessary” – then you really didn't experience the lockout of the last few weeks – and the ensuing commentary. According to the powers that be, the NFL sold its soul for 30 pieces of silver, or something like that. The final impetus to get this thing settled? A blown call in Seattle that cost the nation's beloved Packers a game. But was the call all that bad? I offer two links today, one to a Seattle Times blog post, the other to a Seahawk fan website. Both show new visual evidence of the catch, with the latter one doing its best to explain what's going on and how, by rule, the call wasn't as bad as the nattering nabobs of negativism (hey, I was back in the '60s with the Twilight Zone, so I thought I would stay there) would have you believe. You can make up your own mind after reading. I'm not going to try to sway you. But I will say, if the call actually resulted in getting the usual guys back on the field, then, right or wrong, it was probably the best call in the history of the NFL.
• Washington State: Christian Caple was busy yesterday, not only covering practice and writing a story for today's S-R, but he also held a live chat, he made his Pac-12 picks and followed that up with his morning post and his conference power rankings. … There was a big deal made about Oregon State stopping at the Burbank In-N-Out after the win over UCLA, including this story from Bud Withers. Just so you know, my first football road trip with WSU was to the LA Coliseum, where the Trojans put a hurt on the Cougars. But afterward, I was surprised to the see the In-N-Out trailer in the parking lot, and the Cougars were each given two Double-Doubles as they loaded onto the bus to the airport. Seems football ops guy Shawn Deeds made In-N-Out the postgame meal of choice after Los Angeles games, with the tradition continuing while Paul Wulff was coach. Seeing the guys get their burgers inspired me to stop at In-N-Out on the way back to the hotel that night and I was hooked. At least that's the yarn I'm spinning today. … More Pac-12 picks today from the guys at ESPN.com, along with their thoughts on what to look for. … These newest Pac-12 power rankings have a new cellar dweller. Yep, it's WSU.
• EWU: With Montana looming this week (always a big game for the Eagles no matter the circumstances), Jim Allen takes a look at the Grizzlies quarterback situation. John Blanchette also has a column on the new, yet grizzled, Montana coach.
• Chiefs: Spokane has to make a decision about its goalkeeping. Jess Brown lays out the particulars in her story.
• Preps: It is Thursday, which means a lot of things. It means Greg Lee has his weekly column. It means an excellent feature is on tap, this one from Greg about Rogers' running back Luke Rogers. It means a notebook from Greg, coverage of cross country from Mike Vlahovich and a roundup of other prep action. Greg also has a link to all the GSL football statistics.
• Seahawks: The fallout from Monday night continues, though it is slowing down. Golden Tate has been subjected to some nasty stuff, because … well, I guess he tried to make a play to help his team win. That must be a bad thing these days. And the Seahawks are being criticized for winning, I guess, or for at least not apologizing for winning. … Chris Clemons was named the NFC's player of the week. … The NFL, like Lucy (another 60s reference) has some explaining to do.
• Mariners: Don't expect Felix Hernandez (left) to be picking up another Cy Young this season. The King's September swoon has pretty much assured he won't be the guy again. The final straw was last night's 4-3 loss to the Angels, though Felix left with a 3-2 lead, built in large part thanks to Justin Smoak's hot bat. … The defeat can be pinned on the bullpen, which has done a good job for the most part. But the script Wednesday night was pretty typical. … Former M's player Jack Wilson is retiring.
• Sounders: The big news on the field is Mauro Rosales is set to return to action. The big news off the field is passed along by majority owner Joe Roth. … The Portland Timbers wonder why they haven't taken a penalty kick this season. I know why. They are carriers, and carriers never get the disease.
• Though it is officially fall, the good weather is hanging around, and the air quality if getting better. I think I will wander out and enjoy it today. By the way, thanks for the nice email Kathi. It was appreciated. Until later …