A GRIP ON SPORTS
There was a GIF circulating on the Net yesterday. It featured the Hawks' Red Bryant in the starring role. Also featured, in a supporting role no one ever wants, was former Idaho star and now 49er guard Mike Iupati. Read on.
• By the way, if you don't know what a GIF is, read this Wiki entry. When you're done, you still won't be sure but you will be able to fake it for your friends. Just use terms like "24-bit RGB color space" and "LZW compression" and they'll go away. I promise. And they may never come back. Basically, a GIF is a bunch of still pictures cobbled together to show a short, video-like episode. The one on this link shows the Hawks' Bryant (pictured), a mountain of a man, getting his pads under Iupati's and shoving the former Vandal back about 5 yards. And, lest we forget, Iupati ends up on his behind in a tortoise position. Not what you want when you are an offensive lineman. If you are ever teaching pad position to an O-lineman and want him to remember to keep his low, just show him this GIF. It should motivate him. If pictures are supposed to be worth a thousand words, these are worth about 1.7 million. And they illustrate the improvement Bryant said he would have this season. Heck, Iupati is an All-Pro who is considered one of the best guards in the business. He's big, strong, quick and plays mean, all good things for an offensive guard. But Bryant had his way with him. Now, throughout the game, Iuapati won battles. That's for sure. But Bryant is playing at another level this season, which bodes well for the Hawks. Their defensive line is a bit thin, thanks to injuries, and the guys who are out there right now have had to step up a bit. Bryant has. At just the right time.
• WSU: Remember how dusty it was due to this week's earlier wind? Well, all that dust was washed away yesterday with a steady rain. A rain that disrupted the Cougars' usual practice. At least it seemed to have disrupted the concentration of the receivers and quarterbacks. So they threw the ball a bit more after practice was over. Thus, Christian Caple had a little more to write about in his post-practice blog entry. Pair that with his Pac-12 notebook, his power rankings and today's morning post, and you have your report. And, oh ya, he'll have a live chat this afternoon. ... Adam Lewis looks back at an off-season interaction between Vandal and Cougar football players. ... As the Pac-12 coaches conference call was yesterday, there are other conference notebooks.
• Idaho: They may not play in football anymore, but Boise State and the Vandals will continue to meet in basketball.
• Whitworth: The Pirates have two of the biggest brothers you will ever see. Tom Clouse has a feature on the Dalton brothers, Whitworth's offensive line giants.
• Chiefs: The WHL season is about to begin which makes it a perfect time for a preview. Chris Derrick does just that, tabbing Portland as the U.S. Division favorite. The preview includes a team-by-team look done by the beat writers around the division.
• Preps: Another week, another GSL showdown. Greg Lee has a short preview of Gonzaga Prep and Ferris, which will be played Friday at Prep. ... Cross country championships seem to be a Spokane birthright and this year may not be any different. Mike Vlahovich has the season preview and a look around the area. ... We also have a roundup of Tuesday's prep action to pass along.
• Mariners: If you really must know, the Mariners lost to the Tigers 6-2 on Tuesday evening. They had some "moral" victories, however. ... The lineup underwent another shuffle as the M's tried to score a few runs, but even having Abe Almonte atop of it didn't help. ... It doesn't really matter, though, does it? We're all looking toward next season, aren't we? Raul Ibanez is and he wouldn't mind spending it in Seattle. But who will be his manager and GM? ... We passed along John Blanchette's column yesterday concerning Ryne Sandberg and Mike Redmond managing in the bigs. That column caught the attention of the Miami beat writer.
• Seahawks: Bryant isn't the only Hawk that's improved. Earl Thomas is better and Michael Bennett, an addition, has improved the pass rush. ... With Russell Okung out, what does the depth chart look like? ... Jacksonville may be struggling (as the numbers illustrate) but they may have more answers for the Hawks than people think. ... Seattle made a minor roster change yesterday.
• Sounders: Despite being the best team in the MLS right now, the Sounders still have some problems. The roster is so overloaded with guys playing well that Sigi Schmid has to figure out a way to keep everyone happy. And Clint Dempsey would like to be part of the scoring fun. He has yet to get involved in that part. Good problems, sure, but still problems.
• That's it for today. No camel jokes from me. I'll leave that to my spouse. Just a "see you tomorrow" and off we go. Until then ...