A GRIP ON SPORTS
Sunday was spent like it usually is in the fall and early winter: getting chores done, watching the Seahawks game, making – and eating dinner – and going to bed. The best part of it? The Hawks game. Though dinner was good too. The worst part of it? The chores. Read on.
• We have a few beautiful arborvitaes in the backyard. We also have a Great Dane mix. So the beauty of the arborvitaes have been marred a bit by the power of the Dane, who treats the bushes as he would a New York City fire hydrant. So we decided to erect a small decorative fence around the stand of arborvitaes, giving the dog a small vinyl fence to use instead of a living plant. And that was our Sunday project. We got it done, though the final touches took all of halftime and a bit of the second half. But by then, the bulk of the Hawks work against the woeful Jacksonville Jaguars was finished. And you know what? The Hawks seem to be building a fence around the NFC West standings as well. After three weeks, Seattle owns a two-game lead on the rest of the division, which is significant in a lot of ways. San Francisco was hit with a double whammy this weekend, a loss to the Colts (thank you Andrew Luck) and the undetermined loss of Aldon Smith. Things are not good in the Bay Area. Both St. Louis and Arizona were thrashed yesterday, with the Rams facing San Francisco next week and the Cardinals having to travel to a desperate-for-a-win Tampa Bay. The Hawks are on the road as well, for the next two weeks actually. First up is Houston, which isn't easy, and then Indianapolis, which isn't either. The NFL season is a grind that's for sure. But Seattle is positioned to deal with it. Sure the Hawks suffered a couple of unwanted injuries against the Jags – Red Bryant leaving the field for a while was the most unwanted one – but they also showcased their depth. Did anyone think Tavarias Jackson looked like anything but a capable backup in his stint yesterday? (And didn't Russell Wilson look on the sidelines like a little kid whose toy was taken away and he wanted it back?) Seattle is built for the long haul, which is why a two-game lead this early in the season is crucial. The Hawks should avoid any long slumps, which will make it that much tougher for the 49ers or anyone else to chase them down. Heck, the long-term-looking fan can begin to anticipate the New Orleans Saints coming to CenturyLink for a Monday night game Dec. 2. That might be the game for home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs. OK, OK, I know such thoughts are premature. I know there are still chores to get through before then. There always are.
• WSU: The Cougars don't have any time to savor the win over Idaho. Not with fifth-ranked Stanford set for Saturday night's Seattle game. They were already thinking about the Cardinal right after the Idaho win, as Christian Caple's story shows. Christian also has a morning post today and a look at where the Cougars stand in the NCAA statistics. ... WSU is sixth in this Pac-12 power ranking, part of the domination by the North of the conference this season. ... The Cougar soccer team remains undefeated.
• Mariners: The last road game of the 2013 season was interrupted by a swarm of bees. Fitting. But it was the M's who actually stung someone, in this case the Angels, 3-2, behind Felix Hernandez and a rare right-handed home run from Justin Smoak. ... Expect Raul Ibanez to play a lot during the final homestand. ... Don't expect Nintendo of America to sell the team.
• Seahawks: It's rare when an NFL team can step on a field and be assured of a name-the-score win. Seattle had one of those rare cases Sunday and named a 45-17 final score against Jacksonville and coach Gus Bradley. In these type of games, all the team wants to do is win, get it over with and leave without any injuries. The latter wasn't possible though. However, a couple of key players did return to the field. ... Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin, Richard Sherman and others had a lot to say afterward.
• Sorry, it's Monday. But doesn't the work week seem better when the weekend was full of wins by your favorite football teams? Yep, it does. Until later ...