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A GRIP ON SPORTS

Rarely does one face a hard deadline when working on the web. Not like the old days of print, that's for sure. Back then, some crusty guy with a cigar in one hand and a knife in the other would basically threaten you until your story was ready to go on time. You know those spots on the paper you thought were ink blots back in the day? They were really blood, shed when a unwilling editor tried to push deadline. But those days are gone, replaced by the electronic 24-hour news cycle. There are no real deadlines when every second is a deadline. That's not true today, however. We are working on a hard deadline – and I'm not handling it well. Read on.

••••••••••

• I returned home yesterday to the blinking red light on my phone answering machine. That's not unusual (and was common before the election) though most of the messages I receive these days are offers to save my house from certain foreclosure or pleas to help one political party save the world with my money. I figured it out once. If I sent $10 to said political party every time they called, I wouldn't be able to pay my mortgage. Talk about a self-fulfilling phone message. Anyway, back to yesterday. The blinking red light actually held some news of importance. The message was from everyone's favorite utility, Avista. No, it wasn't to apologize for my electric bill going through the roof – I received that in the mail yesterday and, though we used quite a bit less electricity last month than the year before, we were paying more; all those light bulbs that take 10 seconds to light up when you enter the room didn't really help the bottom line at all – but instead to tell me the power would be going off in our neighborhood from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Wednesday. (That's a fix of an earlier typo.) What? Did I hear that right? No power for two hours in the middle of the morning? For most people it means a disruption of their lifeline as the kids get ready for school and mom and dad get ready for work. For me it meant, god forbid, I had a deadline. A real deadline. Sure, my laptop has a battery, so if I wasn't done by 8 a.m., I could still write on reserve power. That's no big deal. But the modem in my house that keeps me connected to the Internet won't be working. It uses electricity supplied by the thingamajig I plug into the wall. How that works, I have no idea, but it does – and has worked almost every day since I moved into this house oh so many years ago. There were those cold days of the ice storm 20 years ago and an occasional wind-blown or lightning-strike-caused outage off-and-on since, but nothing major. And nothing planned. My first thought was to call an complain (weird, ever since I retired, that's been my first thought about anything) but that passed. Then I realized I would just have to rise earlier, get going quicker and get my morning post done before 8 a.m., something I do often even when it isn't imposed by an outside force. (It also hit me, maybe if I had responded to the messages and sent that one political party a bunch of money, I could have made a couple calls and forced Avista to leave my power on.) So that's what I've done. An early wake-up call, the typical perusal of the web and now we're done. Just in time.

• By the way, we found a couple of Super Bowl stories for you: Another feature on Mike Iupati that ran in today's S-R and a column on Ray Lewis that I found interesting.

•••

• Washington State: Christian Caple sat through Ken Bone's press conference yesterday then sat down and transcribed what the basketball coach had to say. You can find that in this blog post. He also has his morning post. ... Former WSU star Klay Thompson needed to step up yesterday as the Warriors were shorthanded. He did. Thompson scored a career-high 32 points in Golden State's road win. One note. He did not have a single free throw.

• Gonzaga: Nothing from the Zags (other than they are still atop this power poll), though we did find a couple stories on WCC rival BYU to pass along. ... Andy Katz is reporting St. Mary's could find out about their NCAA problems soon.

• EWU: The SWABs Awards could go a bunch of different places, but because the Eagles won a couple of them, we'll pass them along here

• Idaho: Utah State's offense has really suffered since a spate of injuries hit the team.

• JC: Chris Derrick's women's basketball notebook looks at North Idaho College's chances of winning its second national title in three years.

• Preps: A big night in Greater Spokane League boys basketball as U-Hi's Brett Bailey, who will play at USD next season, set a single-game scoring mark. Greg Lee, who was at the G-Prep girls win over Mt. Spokane (with Colin Mulvany's photo gallery), has more on Bailey's big night. ... We also have girls and boys roundups to pass along. ... The WIAA released the basketball playoff schedule and it could mean back-to-back weekends of travel to the West Side for some local schools.

• Chiefs: Though Spokane wasn't in action, Portland was and it posted its third-consecutive shutout, a franchise record. ... A Tri-City player is closing in on a record.

• Indians: Chris also has this story on the changes going on right now at Avista Stadium.

• Seahawks: It didn't take the Hawks long to fill the hole in their coaching staff. ... The offseason is a time to take care of injuries.

• Sounders: A couple Sounders started and played a lot for the USMNT in its 0-0 tie with Canada in a friendly match. ... The regular season could begin with some injury problems, though goalkeeper seems solid. ... Lamar Neagle talked about his return to Seattle.

• Mariners: The M's badly needed a backup catcher with some defensive skills. They got one in Kelly Shoppach. ... Lou Pinella was in town and was as entertaining as always.

•••

• Deadline looms, so I'll sign off. We'll be on the radio at 700ESPN the next three days, so if you are so inclined – and have power between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m. – you can listen here. Until later ...




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Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for spokesman.com. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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