A GRIP ON SPORTS
By this time Monday, the day of the BCS national championship game, you might just be burnt out. After all, the human body can take only so much blocking, tackling, long jumpers, dunks and blown calls. Read on.
• That's my roundabout way of saying there is a heck of a lot of action this weekend. There are some pretty crucial local basketball games. There are some interesting football and basketball contests on television. And there is one crucial, win-or-go-home football game Sunday afternoon that may well decide whether Seahawk fans will have a good work week or a bad one. Don't deny it. Your attitude about life is controlled, to a large degree, by how successful your sports teams are. Kind of silly isn't it? But it's a reality. When your team is doing well – whether it's a high school, college or pro team – life seems just a bit better. OK, a lot better. I've always figured that's why there are so many Yankee fans. Winning is bit like a designer drug. You get hooked on the feeling and need another fix, sometimes daily. So I guess I'm saying Yankee fans are the sporting world's equivalent of the skinny guy with the shakes on just about every Law and Order episode. Come to think of it, that character is usually wearing one of those dark blue NY caps. But I digress. I wanted to point out this weekend you have lots of opportunities to celebrate wins – the glass half-full view – or become despondent due to losses – glass half-empty. I put together a list of games for today's poll and ran out of space. I couldn't even add the Chiefs, the Whitworth contest, any women's games or, for many reasons, your favorite high school team. My advice for this weekend: Pick one team you are sure will win, root like crazy for them, bathe in the afterglow of the victory and cross every finger you have before the Hawks game. It's the one that will set the tone for the week.
• Washington State: Unless of course you are a diehard Cougar fan, then today's showdown with the Huskies in Pullman is the be-all and end-all of your sporting experience this weekend. Christian Caple has an advance of the Pac-12 opener for both schools and adds five questions with TNT beat writer Todd Dybas along with a morning blog post. … The Times' Bud Withers wonders why the Pac-12 review of the WSU football program is taking so long. After all, the school's report came out weeks ago. … The Cougar women fell at home to Arizona last night when former Coeur d'Alene star Kama Griffitts hit five free throws down the stretch for UA. Full disclosure: Kama was a member of a summer basketball team Kim and I coached following Kama's freshman year at CdA. Kim was in charge of coaching free throws.
• Gonzaga: Before Jim Meehan could look forward to tonight's showdown (FYI, every game today will be referred to as a “showdown”) at Santa Clara (SCU guard Kevin Foster is pictured), he had to look back to the win over Pepperdine in this blog post. Then he could move ahead with this advance of tonight's game. … The Mercury News has a story on Santa Clara's resurgence. … BYU is also in the Bay Area tonight to face USF.
• EWU: The Eagles lost point guard Justin Crosgile over the break as the transfer from St. Joseph's decided to stay closer to home. Jim Allen has the story. Eastern is in Bozeman for a showdown with Montana State today. … Elsewhere in the Big Sky, Weber State tries to stay undefeated in conference play when it hosts North Dakota State tonight.
• Idaho: The Vandals face a big showdown tonight in Logan when they match up with WAC favorite (and leader) Utah State.
• Whitworth: Though Pacific rallied late, the Pirates were able to hold on in Oregon and keep their Northwest Conference record perfect.
• Chiefs: Spokane is in a bit of a slump and the Chiefs lost their third consecutive game last night. … There are other slumping teams in the WHL right now, but the Portland Winterhawks, led by a lights-out goalie, aren't one of them.
• Preps: A typical Friday night in local basketball, with Greg Lee out at the showdown between U-Hi and Gonzaga Prep, won by the Bullpups (pictured). The Pup girls also won. … We also have girls and boys roundups of the rest of the high school basketball action.
• Seahawks: There are a lot of similarities between the two teams involved in Sunday's showdown in the nation's capital – or is it capitol? (I know, but I'm not telling; youc an Google it.) And quite a bit of history and admiration for two teams separated by thousands of miles. … It's been a while since the Hawks have won a road playoff game. About as long as anyone has wanted to talk to one of their assistants about a head coaching job. … The Seahawks are as about as healthy as they have been all season. And it's playoff time. Odd, huh?
• OK, it's time for me to get psyched up for all the showdowns this weekend so I have to sign off. I'm trying to come up with a drinking game for Sunday's Hawk game, but every one I've thought of so far (for example, drink every time the announcers compare RGIII and Russell Wilson) would also involve a visit to a trauma unit for a stomach pump. Until later …