A GRIP ON SPORTS
Yes, I know. I have been writing a lot about the Mariners lately. Can you blame this old baseball fan? Yes, you can. So we'll switch gears today. You may not be too happy. Read on.
• One of the key elements in good writing is clarity. Or is it being succinct? Really, how would I know? But if great writers are short, sweet and to the point, the folks that make up the Seahawks' PR staff are all a bunch of freaking Hemmingways. Yesterday, in response to allegations of assault and property damage leveled against star running back Marshawn Lynch, the staff released a statement for the club. “While we maintain the utmost respect for the investigative process, after speaking with Marshawn, we are comfortable these accusations are bogus.” That's it. That's all they wrote. The emphasis on “bogus” is mine, mainly because I've never heard of that word being used in a press release before. But it certainly is clear isn't it? You don't label something “bogus” unless you are darn sure there is no validity to it. So there you have it. The Hawks aren't at all worried the enigmatic Lynch has done anything wrong in this case. You can quit worrying.
• Today is the final day the Washington State football team will be in Lewiston. The Cougars will scrimmage this afternoon then head back to Pullman to finish the rest of their preseason football practice. If the weather forecast holds up – yes, I am a fair-weather journalist these days – I intend to make the short trek down U.S. Highway 195 on Sunday and take in practice. After all, it is only a couple weeks from tomorrow the Cougars open the season. Yep, the games are just around the corner. By the way, I will again be co-hosting a postgame call-in show on the Cougar radio network, teaming with Dennis Patchin to take your calls concerning the game that just finished. If you live on the West Side and don't know what the heck I am talking about, it's because the stations over there haven't carried it. Only the dry side of the state has been cool enough to get us. If you want, though, you might want to contact your Cougar affiliate and inquiry, nicely, if they could begin running the show this year. Doesn't affect me, but it would give you one more opportunity to laugh at the dumb things I say.
• If you are, like me, a bit of a front-runner and want to watch the home team win, then maybe you should be making plans to head out to Cheney this football season. This might come as a surprise to those of you who don't follow them, but the Eagles are going to be darn good again this year. So good, in fact, you would have to consider them the national championship favorites. That's good. Each time Eastern takes the red turf at Roos Stadium, it will be favored to win. For fans who hate disappointment, what could be better? Go to a game and come home happy. Perfect. Just don't come complaining to me if they don't win every game. I said they are favorites, not locks. No one is a lock in a football game. Ask Pete Carroll. And Jim Harbaugh. The seeds of their rivalry were sown years ago when Harbaugh's huge underdog Stanford team walked into the Coliseum and knocked off Carroll's behemoths from USC. But the odds will be in the Eagles' favor all season, so there's that.
• Speaking of Harbaugh, you have to watch this commercial. I saw it for the first time yesterday and laughed my tail off. Harbaugh's handling of the hot dog is worth it's weight in gold.
• WSU: As we said, today is the final day in Lewiston. To celebrate, Jacob Thorpe will hold a live chat here on the blog at 11 a.m. … Yesterday, Jacob filled the blog with posts, including one on a recruit that will be eligible this fall, video on a couple drills the Cougars like to do and a practice summary. He also has a story on linebacker Cyrus Coen (pictured) and a blog post this morning with links. … We can supplement the links with a few from around the conference, including the poor showing by Utah's quarterbacks in yesterday's scrimmage and a story about ASU developing chemistry in its preseason camp. The last one sounds familiar. … Oregon lost one of its best offensive linemen this week but he's not letting another injury keep him down. … Oregon State is pretty proud of its defensive tackles.
• EWU: One thing about the college football teams in this area, they have an abundance of great wide receivers. Eastern is no exception. In fact, the Eagles have so much depth they could field a whole unit made up of nothing but wideouts. But what fun would that be? Jim Allen has a story on the 11-man group that helps make quarterback Vernon Adams shine. … The Eagles released their basketball schedule yesterday and it's a tough one. One road trip includes games at SMU and Indiana.
• Idaho: The Vandals return to the Big Sky Conference in volleyball this year and they are expected to be one of the contenders for the league title.
• Seahawks: Besides the way-too-wordy statement on Lynch, the Hawks also had some on the field happenings yesterday. Tuesdays, in Pete Carroll's way of thinking, are the days to celebrate successes – and have fun. So the Hawks celebrated their stars, saw some players return from injury and dumped water on Carroll, part of a national ALS fund-raiser. Carroll also met with the media and spoke positively, including having some nice words to say about his old high school classmate, the recently departed comedian Robin Williams. … Former Eastern running back Demitrius Bronson (pictured at EWU) is looking to catch on with the Hawks and doesn't want to drop his chance. … Russell Wilson is a heck of a quarterback. He has the natural ability to avoid onrushing defenders and find the open man. But even he needs some time and Tom Cable's offensive line is looking to give him that.
• Mariners: Man this is getting redundant. The pitching shuts down the opposition after an early run. The M's score a whole bunch of runs. And everyone who is rooting for the home team goes home happy. Seattle is 7-1 on this homestand and is now basically tied for the second wild-card spot with Detroit. … The M's used another solid Chris Young start, got a big two-out hit from Dustin Ackley and defeated Toronto 6-3 last night at Safeco. … The bullpen is not only good, it is historically good. At least as far as the Seattle franchise is concerned.
• Sounders: Let's see. The Sounders have MLS games. They also just got a couple players back from their World Cup adventure. And there still are a couple of U.S. Open Cup games left to play. Well, two if Seattle wins tonight, when it hosts Chicago in a semifinal. … There are a few more players available for Sigi Schmid in tonight's game, but he also has to massage the lineup a bit due to the crowded schedule this week.
• Guess what? I am on the radio again today, helping out at 700 ESPN during vacation season. You can listen here between 3 and 6 p.m. Until then …