A GRIP ON SPORTS
Next week is when college football begins, so it would stand to reason all the off-the-field events should finish up this weekend, right? And they do. Read on.
• You want to spend a Saturday being entertained and helping good causes? Well, today's your day in Spokane. Think about this. You could head downtown around noon and spend the entire afternoon listening to music at Gleasonfest. It's the charitable music event for Steve Gleason's ALS foundation and it will run until 11 p.m. on Main Street east of Division. As I said on the radio this week, the music has to be good. After all, I haven't heard of any of the bands and I have no musical taste whatsoever. If I had heard of them they wouldn't be hip or cool. And the entry fee goes for a good cause. But that's not all. After spending a few hours enjoying the music, you could hit the fountain at Riverfront Park for a quick shower, change into your indoor clothes and head over to the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox for an evening with former Saturday Night Live comedian Dana Carvey (pictured). Now, I have heard of him, so that means he's no longer young, but his performance is also for a worthy cause, Coaches vs. Cancer. Mark and Marcy Few's fundraiser this year is a doubleheader. Not only will the money raised go to cancer research, but the charity has joined others in committing to keep Camp Goodtimes, a camp for kids who have been affected by cancer, open since the American Cancer Society has decided to no longer support such projects. So there you have it: A day unmatched in Spokane entertainment and a chance to help others. Seems perfect to me.
• Speaking of perfect, was there every a better match of voice and subject than Bob Robertson (pictured) and Cougar football? Can't think of anything? That's because for the past 434 years (OK, I am exaggerating, but just for fun), Robertson has called WSU football games with an unlikely mix of delight and professionalism. Think about this. If you were, say, 15 in 1972 (like I was), and you were a Cougar fan, then you would be 56 today and every WSU football game you listened to on the radio would have been called by Bob Robertson. He would have supplied the soundtrack to you college football life. But Bob is getting up in years and is ready to slow down (as an aside, I really thought Bob might call it quits after last season after talking with him once over the press box buffet last season; you could tell he was having troubles summoning up the energy to call 12 football games a season). He will now. He is turning over the play-by-play duties to Bud Nameck, who took over the basketball games a couple decades ago, and will limit himself mainly to pregame, halftime and postgame chatter. It is time. Though WSU football games will be different this fall, this scenario is the best case one. Bob will still be involved as the broadcast transitions toward the inevitable day when he will not be able to attend games.
• WSU: The Cougars really didn't practice, per se, yesterday as they used the time to teach the newcomers what happens in a usual Friday practice prior to a game. So Christian Caple didn't have a post after practice. But he did have the Robertson news in a blog post and a story along with this morning's post with links. ... Auburn could have quite a few freshmen (pictured) make an impact against the Cougars. ... Former WSU quarterback Drew Bledsoe is coaching high school football. ... It's Saturday, so we pass along the Pac-12 blog's mailbag on ESPN.com. ... The conference is taking head injuries seriously. ... Finally, Cal and Stanford are thinking about moving The Big Game to San Jose for a year. Why, money of course. Don't think there is any other reason. It would be like moving the Apple Cup, say, to CenturyLink.
• Idaho: The Vandals held a mock game yesterday and, as Josh Wright reports, redshirt freshman Chad Chalich had another strong outing. Josh has a story and a blog post on the practice and the new Kibbie Dome video board.
• Indians: It didn't look good for the Indians heading to the bottom of the ninth, but they rallied, tied the game with Tri-City, then won 5-4 in the 10th. Chris Derrick has the story and blog post on the victory.
• Chiefs: The Tri-City Americans made a trade for a Kennewick native.
• Preps: Greg Lee continues his march through Idaho with a preview of the girls cross country season.
• Golf: It's Saturday, so Jim Meehan has his weekly column. This one is about marathons of the links variety.
• Mariners: Eric Wedge was back in the Mariners' dugout last night. Too bad he couldn't welcome back any players who scored runs. Felix Hernandez was OK on the mound, yielding just a two-run home run, but that was enough for the Angels, who took a 2-0 decision. But most of the coverage concerned Wedge's return after his stroke. Hey, he's clean shaven (pictured). ... For some reason the M's won't announce Jack Zduriencik's extension. Weird, huh? ... The M's top draft pick is really hurt.
• Seahawks: As I prepared to write this section, a guy in a striped shirt stepped through the door and hit me in the back of the head with a yellow flag. Appropriate. The Seahawks had more penalties than the Packers had points in Seattle's 17-10 victory. Add to that Russell Wilson's two interceptions and the only word that can describe the game is sloppy. ... Afterward, the Hawks were not all that happy with their performance. At least no one got hurt.
• Sounders: The Timbers are the most improved team in the MLS and a lot of that credit can be laid at the feet of their head coach, Caleb Porter. Portland will be in Seattle on Sunday for the packed rivalry game, though a few players won't make it.
• NBA: Steve Ballmer is retiring from Microsoft and taking his multiple billions into the sunset. Art Thiel has an idea. Buy the NBA. The whole thing.
• Not sure we'll be here tomorrow. It all depends on how much Dana Carvey makes me laugh. If it's a lot, then I'll be able to head home and fall asleep easily. If it's only a little, I might have to stay out a bit longer in search of relaxation. So, if there is nothing in this space Sunday morning, you can blame Carvey. Or the church lady. Until later ...