A GRIP ON SPORTS
Let's see. It's going to be 99 degrees in Spokane today. Wonder what it will be in Lewiston? My guess: 104. But there should be a nice breeze off the Clearwater. Read on.
• To be honest, my Weather Channel app is telling me it will be 103 degrees down by the Snake River today, but I'm adding a degree for all those players running around on the grass fields at Sacajewa Junior High this afternoon. My guess is one of the reasons Mike Leach likes the trip to Lewiston is it reminds him of West Texas in August, though, unless someone opens up a fire hydrant, it's hard to imitate the Lubbock humidity around here. (Actually, it will be quite a bit warmer in Lewiston this week than Lubbock, and the humidity is pretty similar. Who knew?) The best part of the Cougars trudging down to Lewiston this week? It means college football season is really rolling. It won't be long now before we get to the games. Before we can all hyperventilate over every fumble and touchdown and tackle. Before the season's promise is either fulfilled or destroyed. But for the next few weeks we can focus on the promise part. Eastern is going to win the national title. Washington State is going to another bowl game. Idaho is going to win a game or two. Our hopes are rising. No matter how much the heat is turned up in August, those hopes won't melt away. They'll only burn hotter. It's what the preseason is all about.
• WSU: Guess who else is headed to Lewiston? Yep, Jacob Thorpe will be there, watching as the Cougars begin preseason camp. He has a blog post today to kick off the coverage. … Connor Halliday is on the Johnny Unitas watch list, as well he should be. Now all he needs is a pair of leather high tops and a brush cut and he wins. … It's Saturday, so we pass along the mailbag from ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog along with a couple of other items with WSU mentions. … The conference is full of new football buildings this year.
• Gonzaga: Robert Sacre had a pretty good game for the Canadian national team.
• EWU: The Eagles have been at it for a couple days and Jim Allen has picked up a bit of a tan, I'm sure. He's also picked up some interesting information on the returning redshirts and he passes it along in this story.
• Shock: Playoffs, baby. After 20-some weeks of the regular season, the Arena Football League is finally ready for the playoffs. We know the Shock are ready, what with Erik Meyer healthy. They open the postseason tonight in San Jose and Jim Meehan has an advance of the game.
• Golf: Jim also has his weekly column on the newest resort course in the state of Washington.
• Seahawks: As I spent my time this morning reading stories about Marshawn Lynch reporting to camp after accepting a contract offer first made in May, I was reminded of someone. Oh, ya, the guy entering the Pro Football Hall of Fame today, Walter Jones (pictured). If you were like me, an occasional visitor to the Hawks' Cheney camp back in the day, you never seemed to see Walter Jones around. For some reason, he always seemed to hold out until the Hawks returned to the West Side. Maybe, just maybe, the short holdout was Lynch's homage to Jones on the eve of his HOF induction. … The Hawks young players are developing. … After a light practice yesterday, the Hawks will play a “mock” game today.
• Mariners: Well, the new bats helped. Cough. In this world of instant gratification, Austin Jackson was supposed to go 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and a stolen base. Instead he struck out a couple times. And the M's lost 2-1. Heck, that could have happened with James Jones in the lineup. Just kidding of course. We need time to evaluate a trade. Only problem is, a trade-deadline deal usually doesn't have a lot of time to play out. … The new guys (pictured) are happy to be in a Seattle uniform. It's a rare story in which a player says he's ticked off having been traded.
• Sounders: The first event in the Bay Area's new edifice, Levi's Stadium? Yep, it's the most American of games, soccer. Really? The Sounders and the Quakes will go at it tonight in Santa Clara. … Chad Marshall's injury has cost him an all-star appearance. … Brad Evans expects to be back tonight.
• The weekend is upon us. It's going to be another warm one. Still, there is a to-do list the length of my arm awaiting me. You would think I would get some of the stuff done during the week, but you would be wrong. I need someone behind me, pushing, and she works Monday through Friday. Until later …