A GRIP ON SPORTS
You working today? If you are, I'm sorry. This is the type of day that should only occur on a Saturday. Or a Sunday. Or a holiday. That's it. Today should be a holiday. Read on.
• It's not just because the Cougars open their college football season tonight, hosting Rutgers in CenturyLink Stadium. And it's not just because the Hawks play their final preseason game, venturing into Oakland to face the Raiders and their highly contentious fans. No, there's more to it than that. There is this morning's S-R for one thing. How many of you folks have an extra couple hours during the work day? Because that's what you are going to need if you want to read every high school football story we have today, all neatly packaged in a special section. There are stories about the smallest schools, the largest schools and every school size in between. There are stories from Kootenai County, from Spokane County and just about every county east of the Cascades. There are enough stories to choke a fullback, enough that we need the day off just to get through them. That's why today should be a holiday. You could get up late, read everything you ever needed to know about local prep football, have a nice early dinner at some buffet place – wait, that's just for people my age, right? – and then settle down for a live watching of the Cougars vs. the Scarlet Knights. After that's over, and you've listened to the radio call-in show with myself and Dennis Patchin, you can cue up the DVR and watch the Hawks game, either only viewing the minutes the starters play, getting you to bed before midnight, or the whole thing, taking you into tomorrow. Either way, it would be a full day. A holiday if I've ever heard of one.
• WSU: I've got a feeling the final Seattle game is going to be a doozy. Most season-opening games against two evenly matched teams are. Rutgers has enough players back to have improved from last year. So does WSU, though the Cougars have two areas full of questions, the offensive line and defensive backfield. Is anyone else just chomping at the bit to see how those questions are answered? To me, that's the best part of openers, seeing which players have made offseason strides and are ready to explode into the spotlight. ... Jacob is in Seattle and has just about everything you'll need to prep for tonight's game, except maybe the time to get through it all. Again, today should be a holiday. He has an advance of the game, of course, which includes the news Dish and Fox Sports 1 have come to some sort of an agreement. There are a few things to watch tonight and Jacob goes over them in the two-minute drill. ... Jacob also has a morning post with links to other WSU and Pac-12 coverage. ... He held a live chat yesterday and the final few questions are here. ... We also have the expected starters for Washington State and Rutgers. ... We mentioned the postgame call-in show afterward on East Side Cougar radio stations. I have been told it is available on the TuneIn Radio app for your mobile device and pad. ... Everyone has their predictions on the weekend's games, including the folks at ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog and San Jose's Jon Wilner. Everyone expects the Cougars to win. ... Wilner also updates you on the ongoing carriage issues of the Pac-12 Networks. ... The Josh Shaw story puts university-run sports reports in the crosshairs. ... The Pac-12 blog at ESPN.com also has a midweek mailbag.
• EWU: The Eagles will face Montana Western on Saturday, an NAIA school that recruits the Spokane area pretty hard. Jim Allen has a feature on a West Valley graduate who made the trip to Dillon. ... Jim also has a morning post with links. ... Weber State has a new coach and a daunting task this week.
• Indians: The playoffs are coming and the Indians, who haven't had the best second half of the season, will be there. Chris Derrick's blog post from last night looks ahead as Spokane gets its rotation in order. Chris also has a game story from Avista, where the Indians lost 3-2.
• Preps: There are so many stories today and I want to link them all. I'm just going to make a list of the leagues and link them that way. Before I get there, though, Greg Lee has another story on a couple more GSL girl basketball players who have committed to Division I colleges. And there are two nice overarching stories, one from Jim Meehan on Post Falls coach Jeff Hinz (pictured), dealing with cancer and another by Greg on the changes in the leagues and scheduling. Now on to the leagues:
Great Northern League
Northeast 1B South
Northeast 1B North
Central Idaho League
1A Division 1 eight-man
• Seahawks: The fourth and final preseason game tonight is crucial for its one overriding goal: Don't get anyone important hurt. The starters will play limited minutes, if at all, and the backups, the guys who have spots and those hoping to earn one, get their night in the limelight. Included in that for the Hawks is quarterback Terrelle Pryor (pictured), playing against the team that drafted him. ... Pete Carroll responded yesterday to the NFL's fines and penalties earned for too much hitting in mini-camp. He's basically unapologetic. ... There were a whole bunch of roster moves made yesterday with players coming and going.
• Mariners: Going into Wednesday, the M's idea of pushing their starters back a day on occasion has worked out. The starters have pitched better and the fill-in, the guy called up to make the spot start, has done pretty well. That ended Wednesday. Erasmo Ramirez (pictured) was putrid and the M's were crushed 12-4. With today off, the M's will have to get back on the winning track with Felix throwing Friday against the National League East-leading Nationals. ... The club president thinks the team is in good shape for years to come.
• By the way, I didn't know where to pass this along, but thought I should. A bunch of folks are suing the powers that be in soccer concerning concussions. Funny, my son and I had this discussion during the World Cup and how FIFA seems oblivious to the dangers. Until later ...