A GRIP ON SPORTS
There was an awful, awful movie in the 1970s (based on an equally melodramatic book) from which the catchphrase "love means never having to say you're sorry" became part of the lexicon. What a bunch of hogwash. Read on.
• As John Lennon once said, love means saying you're sorry about every five minutes. I'm more in that camp. But want more proof? Just ask Nick Aliotti, the defensive coordinator at Oregon. Everyone in the Pac-12 loves each other, don't you know? And everyone respects each other. At least that is the public line spewed forth from the marketing guys. So when someone says something stupid, as Allioti did Saturday night, when he criticized Mike Leach for, you know, still trying to win a game down to the final seconds, it's important for them to backtrack immediately. As Aliotti did Sunday. There is no way major college football coaches should ever, god forbid, let the public know a lot of them don't like each other, either for personal or professional reasons. They must make nice for public consumption. Now I don't know if that's the case between Aliotti and Mike Leach or if what Oregon said yesterday, that Aliotti just got caught up in the heat of the postgame moment. Whatever the reason, the statement was, on its face, just plain stupid. But it was refreshing Aliotti said it. He actually shared with everyone how he felt. And there is no need to apologize for that.
• Legendary University of Washington football coach Don James died Sunday. I never got to meet the man, though I did cover the 1982 Rose Bowl for the Orange County Register, writing a sidebar on game MVP Jacque Robinson. However, that was the only interaction I had with the winningest football coach in UW history. Far be it for me to attempt to eulogize him but, thank goodness, it won't be necessary. There are plenty of eulogies out there I can pass along, all of them praising James not only for his excellence as a football coach but also for his strengths as a person.
• WSU: The Cougars won't be playing again until a week from Thursday, collecting yardage on a night usually reserved for kids in football-uniform costumes to collect Milky Ways and Kit Kats. But that doesn't mean we don't have a story from Jacob Thorpe to pass along. We do. And we also have his morning post today. ... It's funny. The Cougars lose to Oregon, a game no one should have thought they would win, right? But the loss dropped WSU from ESPN.com's bowl projections. Why? Were the Cougars' earlier projections based on an upset of the Ducks? That's the only explanation, which makes no sense. ... It's power ranking time. ... The first BCS rankings were released yesterday – I don't believe there is any need to go into my feelings about that soon-to-be-gone exercise, is there? – and there was, surprise, some surprises. Florida State was second in the rankings after a blowout win at Clemson last Saturday. Isn't margin of victory no longer a factor? But perception always was and always will be in these sort of things (especially in the polls), so the Seminoles jumped over Oregon. But don't worry, we are told. These things always shake out. Let's hope, in this the final year of the BCS, they don't. Let's hope Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State all end up unbeaten. That way we can send the BCS out on its shield, just as it should be.
• Gonzaga: The Bulldog women received a commitment from a North Idaho College point guard yesterday.
• Seahawks: The news is slim from Seattle thanks to the Thursday night game, though a beloved Hawk, fullback Michael Robinson, will be in town for a physical. With injuries at the position, it looks as if Seattle will re-sign the fullback they cut at the end of training camp. ... The Hawks special teams get the special treatment. ... The Rams, Seattle's next opponent, need a new quarterback.
• Sounders: When the LA Galaxy and San Jose played to a draw last night, the Sounders clinched an MLS playoff berth. Now they need to defeat the Galaxy this week to avoid a one-and-done matchup with Colorado.
• Remember last week when I mentioned half the household was sick? They've healed up. Now the other half has been infected. And that other half includes me. Isn't being part of a family unit fun? By the way, there are a lot of romance movies I favor, but "Love Story" was never one of them. Until later ...