A GRIP ON SPORTS
It's not often we get overwhelmed. But today was one of those days. Want to find out why? Read on.
• If you pick up the actual newspaper today – you know, the one with paper and ink like it has been done for a few hundred years – you might get a back strain. That's thanks to the football special section (pictured). It's so full of stories, it overwhelmed my computer. Yep, there were so many articles on the Cougars, the Eagles, preps and the like, I couldn't open them all without my computer slowing to the pace of my walk around the neighborhood. So I gave up. Had to. Below you will find links to individual stories from the colleges. But the preps? There were so many prep stories I had to just send you to the S-R's prep site. It has all the stories broken out, so, if you want to avoid the college items, you can speed through the high school stories. Though speed is a relative term as there are upward of two dozen links to wade through. And, yes, I read each one. I now feel smarter. Slower, sure, but smarter.
• College football, circa 2013, kicks off tonight. I'm interested in watching Utah State and Utah play and the two-headed quarterback monster that is USC playing late in Hawaii. But I'm torn, because the Seahawks are on as well. The way I look at it, though, a regular season college game always trumps an exhibition NFL game, even if the exhibition game includes the local team that harbors Super Bowl hopes. Those hopes took a huge hit this week, however. No, Russell Wilson or Marshawn Lynch didn't get injured. Nope, worse. Sports Illustrated picked them to win the NFC and put them on a regional cover. The jinx is in. The dream is over. Well, there's always next year.
• By the way, I'm not going to take the NCAA to task over Johnny Manziel's "punishment." My father taught me not to speak poorly of the dead and there is no other athletic organization in the world that is deader than the NCAA. Not cycling, not the IOC, not FIFA. It's only a matter of time before the NCAA fades away. It has become so irrelevant as to be unsustainable.
• WSU: Our prediction for Saturday in Alabama: humidity. Other than that, I'm not sure how the game will play out, though I'll try to figure that out by Saturday. I am also sure of one other thing. Christian Caple will be there. He had another full day yesterday, with practice, a live chat, his picks for the weekend, a story on Mike Leach and a previous matchup with an Auburn assistant and running down the Logan Mayes news (if you don't know, Mayes, son of the greatest running back in school history and a lifelong Cougar fan, will be transferring from WSU). As for stories that appeared in the football section, Christian has a look at the rebuilding going on in Pullman along with a newcomer to watch (River Cracraft, pictured) and story lines. He also has his usual morning post with links. ... It's a day to pick the games, with ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog doing that. ... Who is on the spot this first week? WSU's offense. ... The Pac-12 hasn't fared all that well against the SEC, though the SEC schools rarely travel out here. ... Who will finish where in the conference?
• EWU: Building a program is the theme of the football section and Jim Allen covers that storyline for Eastern. He also has the newcomer to watch (Tevin McDonald, pictured), a look at the schedule and a notebook. And, lest I forget, a story in today's paper on the matchup with Oregon State. Jim also has a morning post with links.
• Idaho: Talk about rebuilding. The Vandals have made some changes to the venerable Kibbie Dome, sure, but the biggest part of the rebuild going on in Moscow is the coaching change, with new head coach Paul Petrino replacing Robb Akey. Josh Wright has a look at the change along with the newcomer to watch (Richard Montgomery, pictured) and the story lines.
• Indians: U-Hi's Tyler Olson, who also pitched at Gonzaga, very nearly put a stake in the Indians' postseason hopes last night, pitching Everett past Spokane 4-2. Chris Derrick has a story and blog post.
• Preps: As I said, Greg Lee and company wrote so many prep stories, covering football from Moses Lake to Coeur d'Alene, from Colville to Colton and everywhere in-between, it overwhelmed my computer (and my computer-like brain, if a Commodore 64 is considered a computer). All the stories can be found here.
• Mariners: Wow. Just wow. The M's need to get a new mascot. The Moose should be out, replaced by a mailman. After all, they seem to be mailing it in. It looked that way on the 0-6 homestand, culminating in a 12-4 loss yesterday to the Rangers. The M's trailed 10-0 before they got a hit and that was with Felix Hernandez on the bump. Wow. ... But lest you focus on how crappy the M's of 2013 are – and they are crappy – the team announced after the game one of its touted "Big Three" minor league pitchers, Taijuan Walker (pictured), would start Friday's game in Houston. The present is so bad the future has to be better, right? ... Well, that might take some veteran leadership and Eric Wedge isn't sure the M's have it.
• Seahawks: The final preseason game is tonight in Seattle with the Raiders coming in. That means a matchup with former Hawk Matt Flynn, right? No. He's hurt, so Terrelle Pryor gets to make his case as the starter. ... A few of the guys who missed training camp time with injuries will play tonight though most of the starters could be out early, giving others a chance to impress. ... Pete Carroll is still addressing the penalty problem. Let's see how it goes against the Raiders.
• Sounders: Sigi Schmid had a few things to say after practice yesterday.
• I realized yesterday afternoon about 5 I forgot to insert the link to the radio show. It wouldn't do me any good to put it in twice today, would it? We are on for just an hour between 3 and 4 today as the M's play in Houston. And, yes, you can listen here. Until later ...