A GRIP ON SPORTS
I've said it before and I'll say it again, not that it will make any difference. Tomorrow should be a national holiday. Today is just too much fun to force folks to work the day after. Read on.
• In living rooms and watering holes where 49er and Raven fans will gather today, the outcome of Super Bowl XLVII could be considered the be-all and end-all of the day. Your team wins and the next few months seem so much brighter. Your team loses and, well, you complain about the officiating the rest of your life. Such is the vagaries of football. But for everyone else, today is somewhat akin to Thanksgiving or Christmas. One last time in the holiday season to gather the family and friends and enjoy the time together. There is food, lots of food. Just like Thanksgiving, even if there is no national consensus on what to eat. And there are presents, like Christmas, in the form of the ever-more-rare spit-take-funny commercial that you talk about at work for the next few days. But these days watching the Super Bowl has transcended the game. And that's cool. If the 49ers get their running game going, Colin Kaepernick starts throwing darts all over the place and the Smiths take apart the Baltimore offensive line, the game could turn into a rout. So who cares? There are wings to chew on and cold Diet Coke to suck down. And if the Ravens' defense flies around, forces turnover after turnover and makes San Francisco look mortal, the game could also turn into a rout. So who cares? There are mom's special meal to inhale and drinking games to play (my favorite for today: raise a glass every time Jim Harbaugh throws a fit; good luck staying upright in the second half). Enjoy your company, critique the commercials and make responsible decisions. That's my advice for the day. And, if you are so inclined, bet the house on the Ravens. There is no way the NFL is letting Ray Lewis (pictured) leave the stage without one final win. Or you could follow this guy's advice.
• Washington State: As Ken Bone said afterward, the better team won last night in Pullman. But I knew that was going to be the case as soon as the WSU marketing department announced the game was going to be a "White Out." I've watched a lot of college basketball this season and I can't remember once seeing a home team hold a "White Out" (where everyone in the place wears white) and win. In this case I think Arizona's talent trumped the T-shirts, however. ... Christian Caple was there and passes along Bone's postgame comments along with a pregame post, the tale of the tape and this morning's post. He also has a game story. ... With football letter-of-intent day up Wednesday, Christian put together this feature on Vince Mayle (pictured), a JC wide receiver expected to sign with WSU.
• Gonzaga: The better team won in San Diego last night as well, though it wasn't easy for GU. Jim Meehan watched the Zags hold off upset-minded USD and filed this game story and blog post. He'll also be back sometime today with a blog post looking back at the game. ... The Union-Tribune has this game coverage and a column about GU's effect on the WCC. ... Elsewhere in the conference, St. Mary's dominated Portland in Moraga, showing the Zags the upcoming visit will be anything but easy. BYU also took care of Santa Clara with relative ease and USF defeated Pepperdine. ... The Gonzaga women cruised past Pepperdine at home. Chris Derrick was in the Kennel and has a game story and a blog post.
• EWU: The best team in the Big Sky – as John Blanchette writes in his column, that's not as big a deal as it was 10, 15 years ago – won in Cheney last night as well. Jim Allen has the story of the Eagles loss to league-leading Montana in a game that was over when the Griz put together a 19-0 first-half run. Tyler Tjomsland was also in Cheney and has this photo story of the game. ... Montana State and Weber State had little trouble winning on the road.
• Idaho: The better team may have won in Moscow last night, but who could tell? As Josh Wright's story and blog post show, neither Idaho nor San Jose State played particularly well but the Vandals did hold on for the victory. ... Seattle U's first season in the WAC hasn't gone all that well.
• Whitworth: There is little doubt the Pirates are the best team in the NCAA Division III, West Coast Division. They proved it again last night with a rout of Pacific. Steve Christilaw has the story.
• Chiefs: Spokane's arduous road trip isn't going too well. The Chiefs lost for the fourth consecutive time, this one at Portland. Spokane had one shot in the entire first period. ... Seattle and Everett both lost.
• Seahawks: There was little mystery last night when the AP announced the NFL's offensive rookie of the year, though there should have been. Robert Griffin III (pictured), who plays in our nation's capital, was the runaway winner over Andrew Luck, who plays in the Midwest, and Russell Wilson, who plays in the middle of nowhere, media-speaking.
• Sounders: Though his tag-team partners are gone, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado still needs to shine if Seattle is to be successful.
• Kim and I took a Moses-like wander through the Inland Northwest basketball landscape yesterday, starting with the first half of the Gonzaga women's beat down of Pepperdine (actually, the day really started with a nice lunch at a brew pub near GU prior to a brisk walk to McCarthey). We then hopped into the truck and cruised down I-90 to Post Falls, where we caught Coeur d'Alene's win over the Trojans. That was followed by a fog-shrouded drive over backroads to Mead, where we watched Colfax and St. George's go at it in District 7 2B play. All in all, it was an extremely fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon and evening with my favorite person. In fact, I would call it a super start to a super weekend. Until later ...