A GRIP ON SPORTS
It wasn't “War of the Worlds” deceiving, but a lot of people seemed to think Jimmy Johnson won the Daytona 500 yesterday. I wonder if it was because of a replay took the place of the real race or if it was just because Johnson always seems to win. Read on.
• With rain showers continually delaying NASCAR's Super Bowl on Sunday, Fox decided to show a replay of last year's race. Johnson won. Again. But some folks – make that, according to reports, a lot of folks – were confused. They thought Johnson had won this year's race. Which made for a few laughs on pit row yesterday before the race even restarted. But with the live race delayed, and the only option watching a replay of cars making 1,000 left turns, I flipped around the dial. And lo and behold I came upon “Stripes.” Now that's a perfect movie for a Sunday afternoon. A snowy Sunday afternoon. Laughter is, as they say, the best medicine for boredom. But that wasn’t all. When “Stripes” ended, “Miracle” was beginning a couple of channels away. As the U.S. hockey team didn't supply any miracles this Olympics, it seemed like a good idea to catch up with one that did. So the next couple hours were given over to chants of “U-S-A, U-S-A,” watching Kurt Russell looking stern and wondering how the guy who played Tag on “Friends” ever got that accent. And remembering where I was in the winter of 1980. I know it wasn't watching Buddy Baker win the Daytona 500, that's for sure. After all, Kim and were married in the late summer of 1979, so as newlyweds, we had other things to do than watch auto racing. What? Get your minds out of the gutter. Things like buy a couch, decorate an apartment, negotiate Southern California traffic. Watching sports on TV wasn't a priority. Though I did watch the Olympics some. Back then I was a big bobsled fan. Don't remember why, just was. So I know when Jim McKay came on and said the bobsled was scheduled, I glued my butt to the new couch and watched. The US-Russia hockey game? I can't remember if I saw it the day it happened. Maybe. But I was working nights (and days) so I can't guarantee it. Besides, I watched it last night, so what's the difference? Though, because of that, I missed Dale Earnhardt Jr., winning another Daytona. Or was that a replay?
• WSU: The second half in Eugene seemed like a replay yesterday. A replay of every bad half the Cougars have played this season. It started with a Mike Moser steal and dunk off the first in-bounds pass and finished with the Ducks celebrating a 67-53 victory. Jacob Thorpe has a lot of items from the contest including his game story, a blog post, videos of Ken Bone and players and a morning post with links. … He also put up a video yesterday of Deone Bucannon speaking to the media at the NFL combine. … Back to basketball, we have stories from the game from Portland and Eugene. … The WSU women turned the tables on the Ducks, with Tia Presley again scoring 32 points.
• Gonzaga: Jim Meehan had to fly home from San Diego – sorry about the snow Jim – but not before he put together a day-after post. … BYU, which isn't too far behind the Zags in the standings, has just one game this week.
• EWU: With the Big Sky standings as bunched as they are, every game is crucial. Including tonight's battle in Cheney against Portland State. Jim Allen has an advance of the rivalry game. OK, travel-partner game.
• Chiefs: The offense hasn't been executing as well as Chief fans would like recently but that all changed last night in a 9-4 win over Kamloops at the Arena. Chris Derrick has the story and Jesse Tinsley the pictures of Spokane's win. … Everett came this close to snapping Portland's winning streak, but the Winterhawks prevailed in a shootout.
• Preps: The state tournaments begin this weekend, though the first round is played at neutral sites, not in Tacoma or Yakima or Spokane. The WIAA announced those games yesterday and Greg Lee has a story and a blog post that shares everything you need to know. … By the way, this area isn't the only one that has playoff problems.
• Seahawks: The bill is coming due and Red Bryant (pictured) may have to pay part of it. We're talking about the keeping-the-core-roster-together bill. If the Hawks want to sign free agents like Michael Bennett, they have to find the money somewhere and it looks as if Bryant will be one of the casualties. … Pete Carroll is positive that the fun is just beginning. Imagine that. Pete Carroll is positive. … Now we know even the big guy upstairs is a Hawk fan.
• Mariners: It happens every spring. No, not a bad baseball movie but a youngster who has a meteoric rise and has heaps of pressure put on his shoulders. This year it is Abraham Almonte. And then there are the stories of how a veteran has retooled his swing and expects a breakout year. … Kyle Seager is the best of the young veteran position players the M's have to offer. … It certainly isn't Jesus Montero. … Corey Hart is ready to play. How much, no one knows. … Stephen Pryor is almost ready to pitch against hitters.
• We promised and we delivered. We were here today. With a post. You're welcome. And we'll also be on the radio. At 700 ESPN to be precise. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. to be even more precise. With Dennis Patchin and Rick Lukens. Can't get more precise than that. You can listen here if you want. Until then …