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The snow and the rain and the bright sunshine

A GRIP ON SPORTS

It's easy to wonder if the term, "the calm before the storm," was first coined in Seattle. After all, this time of year it always seems storming in the Puget Sound, especially around CenturyLink Field. Read on.

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• So all year you've sat in front of your television set watching the Seahawks as they ran, passed and trash-talked their way to 13 wins. But the playoffs are a different animal, so you sprung for tickets in the nosebleed section of the Clink, wanting to be part of the Hawks first step to the inevitable Super Bowl title. They cost a pretty penny, to be sure, but they were worth it. Until you heard the weather forecast for the weekend. Two-to-three feet of snow in the pass? Winds up to 60 miles per hour? Are you freakin' kidding me? So yesterday you had to make a Hobson's choice. Do you risk life and limb to make the trip or do you stay in your comfy home, heater turned up a notch or two, and watch the battle play out on your 60-inch Vizio? It's the type of decision you, as a fan, get paid to make. No matter which way you go, you'll be second-guessed. Pile into the car and someone will look at you with those sad eyes, reproaching you even as they say an insincere "have a good time." Stay, and every one of the guys in your fantasy league will call you a pansy – and worse – for the next 18-and-a-half months. OK, I know you already made your decision. You are in your overpriced Seattle hotel room, unable to sleep. You've told your travel companion it's because of the anticipation for the kickoff but it's not. And it's not because of the trip over the pass Friday night, which wasn't that bad (except for the idiot in the 4x4 that blew by you at what seemed to be 90 miles per hour just this side of Hyak). It's because you know the ride home is going to be a bear. Hours of your head hunched over the steering wheel, your eyes peering through the mess you call your windshield, hands wrapped around your steering wheel so tight they become crab-like by Cle Elum. And, just before you fall into a fitful sleep, you wonder, is that where the term "white knuckle" was coined?

• Enough of that fantasy. Who can afford playoff tickets anyway? All you care about is the game, right? Who will win? Well, that's a stupid question. The Hawks, of course. You don't battle through 16 regular season games to earn home-field advantage and toss that away in the divisional round, do you? I don't think so. It will be close, closer than most think, but Seattle will find a way to win. Then it will come down to a rematch with the Panthers or the 49ers for a berth in the Super Bowl. Which will have you singing, "the weather outside is frightful, but inside is so delightful ..."

•••

• WSU: Not a lot happening in Pullman – by the way, Sunday is also the day the Puget Sound students usually make their way across the pass after Christmas break – but Jacob Thorpe figured out a way to fill up the blog yesterday. He put up a post on DaVonté Lacy's injury and another featuring questions and answers with Ken Bone and Junior Longrus (pictured against Colorado). And today he has a morning post. ... The Seattle Times has a story on the Cougars' Lia Galdeira. ... It's Saturday and, even though it's not college football season anymore, ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog has a mailbag. There's a Cougar question included, though you might not like the answer. ... The Paul Wulff hire at South Florida is official.

• Gonzaga: Kind of quiet at GU as well but I was able to find a couple links, including an interview with St. Mary's coach Randy Bennett, who was on an NCAA-mandated timeout the past couple weeks. ... BYU is hoping to get a bit healthier quickly as is USD.

• Whitworth: Thomas Clouse used more all-caps in his tweets from the Pirates 76-73 win over Pacific Lutheran last night than most pre-teen girls usually use in describing Justin Bieber. But he calmed down enough to write this game story.

• Chiefs: Don’t look now but the Chiefs are on a bit of a roll. Spokane defeated Kamloops 6-3 on trade-deadline day in the WHL. Chris Derrick has more in this story and a blog post. ... Portland loses but picks up a point. ... Tri-City isn’t, losing 6-3 at Everett.

• Preps: When the Mead girls are playing well, stopping them is a tall order. At least it was for Lewis and Clark last night. Greg Lee was at LC and has a game story along with all the GSL girls action. We can also pass along a GSL boys roundup (with Colin Mulvany photographs from G-Prep's win over Shadle Park) and roundups from area girls and boys action.

• Seahawks: So what aspect of today's game are you most interested in? Is it the Saints and what to expect from New Orleans' favorite team? Or is it more on Percy Harvin and what type of impact he'll have? Maybe it's what Marshawn Lynch thinks, or who is healthy (and not), or it's what affect the weather may have on the outcome? It couldn’t be another story on the Hawks' front office, could it? That sounds boring. How about how the teams match up or maybe the affect the 12th man will have? Whatever you are interested in, I do believe we have a link we can offer. Then again, we don't have any Jimmy Graham news. Wait, yes we do.

• Sounders: Forward Tristan Bowen has reached agreement with the club on a contract.

•••

• If you run into me today between 1 and 5 p.m., please ask before talking about the Hawks game. I am thinking about using the DVR and attending one of our local college basketball games. I'm not sure just yet, but I may. Even if I do, I understand the inevitability these days of learning the score, so I'm just joking. However, if the Hawks' Super Bowl chances melt away in the wind and rain, I might not be in a mood to talk about it. ... Today's trivia question (or this year's trivia question; I don't know just yet): What song is the headline from? Until later ...




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Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for spokesman.com. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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