A GRIP ON SPORTS
If you try to read every link we found on the Seattle/Washington playoff game, you probably won't be done in time for the kickoff. And it is the late game today. But it would be fun to try. Read on.
• As I loaded stories in from the Seattle Times and the Tacoma News Tribune this morning I was impressed with the depth of coverage the two Puget Sound newspapers gave the playoff game. Then I cruised over to the Washington Post and the Washington Times. The Post seemed to have an entire forest dedicated to stories about the Redskins – really, is it appropriate for our nation's capital to have a football team with a racist name like that? – and a few more concerning the Hawks. If newspapers are really dying in this country, then they are going to their coffin with the vigor of Jack LaLanne. A big story – and the NFL playoffs are always a big story, especially when the two cities involved haven't had a ton of success recently – is still treated like a big story, with plenty of resources thrown its way. Really, if you want to read about Russell Wilson or Robert Griffin III (pictured) for the next half-hour, the opportunity is there. And if you wonder how the Hawks will defend the read option or how the veterans of the Redskins feel about Seattle, you can find that as well. (And, if you want to delve farther from the local newspapers and learn that the doctor didn't clear RGIII to play recently, you can find it in USA Today.) So sit back, put on your reading glasses and enjoy a few hundred passive verbs and a thousand adjectives.
• As we said earlier this week, we're tired of pointing out mistakes by Pac-12 officiating crews. A one-and-one that all three guys thought was a double-bonus? In a tight game? C'mon. The funny thing is, the same guys work WCC and WAC games often and the odd occurrences don't seem to happen during those games. Maybe there is something strange at work here. Call it "The Curse of Tom Hansen."
• Washington State: The Cougars seem cursed against their cross-state rival right now, having lost four consecutive games in the rivalry. Christian Caple was there last night as UW jumped out to a 21-4 lead but still had to rally in the final minutes to overcome the Cougars. He had a blog post before the game, a tale of the tape, a post on the postgame interviews and his game story. He also has all the links in his morning post. ... John Blanchette was in Pullman as well and filed this column. It does not come to praise the Pac-12 officiating crew but to bury it. There are also all these Tyler Tjomsland photographs.
• Gonzaga: As I've written here many times before, the Zag coaching staff was enthralled with how much Kelly Olynyk improved during his redshirt year. That improvement was on display again last night in Santa Clara as he dominated the Broncos, scoring 33 in GU's 81-74 win. And, as wrote early this week, the win came despite a raucous overflow crowd of 4,907, the typical challenge that Gonzaga faces each game on the WCC road. Jim Meehan was in Northern California and filed this game story and a blog post. ... There is coverage of the game from both Bay Area major papers along with this quote from SCU coach Kerry Keating in the San Jose Mercury News: "The crowd was great," Keating told the paper. "I wish it was like that all the time. I've been trying to tell people for six years that we're always playing in here, so I don't understand why we can't have that type of support." Because you don't play GU every game, duh. ... BYU struggled but earned a win at USF while St. Mary's went small – playing four guards often – to defeat Loyola Marymount in the WCC opener for the Gaels. And Pepperdine evened its WCC record by handling Portland. ... The GU women had no trouble whatsoever with Santa Clara yesterday in the Kennel. Chris Derrick was in the nearly packed house and has this game story and blog post. ... Robert Sacre had a huge night for his D-League team.
• EWU: It wasn't a good day for all the other local Division I hoops teams beside the Zags, with Eastern coming this close to a road upset at Montana State but falling to the Bobcats in overtime. ... Weber State is rolling through the Big Sky with ease. ... Montana had little trouble with Portland State. ... Make it two consecutive FCS football titles for North Dakota State. ... The Eastern women also lost, though for the first time in conference play.
• Idaho: The Vandals also had a chance to pull a big upset, but they also fell in overtime at WAC favorite Utah State. Josh Wright has a blog post from the crushing defeat. ... It was a big win for the Aggies as well, with the late rally earning kudos. ... San Jose State was able to hand Seattle U. another defeat.
• Whitworth: The Pirates are hard to beat no matter if they are at home or, as was the case Saturday night in Portland, on the road.
• Seahawks: When we write a lead-in praising all the coverage of the game this afternoon, it only makes sense to put the links in that paragraph. We saved one subject for here, however. We know this season is another banner year for rookie quarterbacks but is it good enough to compare to the gold standard, 1983?
• No more chit-chat. It took us forever to get through this morning's stories, so we'll just shut up and let you explore them. Until later ...