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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 15, 2014, 8:14 A.M.

Everyone has a skeleton in their closet

A GRIP ON SPORTS

I have a confession to make. I come from a family of 49er fans. Read on.

••••••••••

• Well, my dad was a 49er fan – in Los Angeles, no less – so that makes me a legacy, I guess. During the 1960s and '70s, while I had the usual youthful fascination with the home team, the Rams, my dad was a die-hard 49er supporter. John Brodie was the best quarterback in the NFL in his eyes. I don't know for sure why he was a 49er fan, though I have a guess. I know he had always rooted for Stanford (his childhood friend and mentor, Payton Jordan, was his Stanford connection) and the 49ers first quarterback was Frankie Albert, a Stanford man. And dad was stationed in San Francisco during 1946, when the 49ers began. So I know he attended games in Kezar, more than likely wearing his Navy uniform. Maybe that's where his affection was born. I can't say for sure because we never talked about it. How can you talk with a 49er fan anyway? When they were winning all the time, you didn't want to. Heck, even your father, a man you loved and admired, wasn't above rubbing your nose in their Super Bowl trophies. And when the Rams abandoned Southern California for St. Louis – really, St. Louis? – he wasn't above reminding me his team had stayed, even when they had to play in Candlestick, a place he hated. By then, though, I had moved to the Northwest – to get away from a certain obnoxious 49er fan? You decide – and had latched on to the home teams, including the Seahawks. Thankfully, my dad's team and my new team were in opposite conferences, so we could talk civilly concerning their fortunes. And when the Hawks moved over to the NFC, the 49ers were in such a funk there was no way I was going to remind a septuagenarian how bad his team was. He might hit me with his cane. So just remember this when you starting talking badly about 49er fans, the guy you are talking about just might be someone's father. And he still deserves it. I mean, the 49ers? Really?

• The news wasn't unexpected but it still hurts. The Cougars learned this week DaVonté Lacy is going to be out for another three-to-five weeks. That's pretty much most of the Pac-12 regular season schedule. Life in the Pac-12 is hard enough – each weekend you play at least one team that has been ranked at one point this season – without going to battle with your top scorer on the sidelines. The first stretch without Lacy included a near-win over Colorado and a victory against Utah, so there's that. But the next few weeks won't be easier.

•••

• WSU: The news about Lacy isn't the only thing happening at WSU right now. Jacob Thorpe also has an advance of the Cougars game tonight at Stanford and his usual morning post with links. ... In good news on the WSU front, Thomas Clouse has a women's basketball notebook that features the Cougars and their 4-0 Pac-12 start. ... Back to the men, Oregon State coach Craig Robinson spoke out about transfers yesterday, but he made sure to preface it by saying his comments weren't aimed at Oregon, this week's opponent and a team built on transfers. We believe you coach. ... The Ducks are in a rut and the Buffs are beat up.

• Gonzaga: We've written about this before but Gonzaga always gets its opponents best effort when it's on the road in the West Coast Conference. Jim Meehan has more on the phenomenon in his notebook this week. ... Jim also has a blog post on the subject. ... BYU hopes to get healthier for this week's games.

• Chiefs: You would have to say the season has been going really well for the Chiefs thus far, except when they play the Seattle Thunderbirds. Chris Derrick was in the Arena last night for Seattle's 1-0 overtime victory, the Thunderbirds fifth win over Spokane this season. ... Chris also has a blog post on the game along with his WHL notebook on the domination of the Western Conference. ... Everett has signed a player that won't be joining them for a while.

• Preps: Greg Lee was at Gonzaga Prep's win over Ferris last night and has the story of the Bullpups second-half surge in boys action. ... Thomas Clouse was at Central Valley's win over Mead (pictured) and has this story while Colin Mulvany adds this photo story. ... We also have roundups of girls and boys action from around the area.

• Boxing: With the national championships coming to the area next week, John Blanchette has a column on one of the hopefuls from Washington.

• Seahawks: I'm not sure what I could write here that would be different or new. This Sunday's West Coast showdown with San Francisco is expected to be epic, with the 49ers saying all the right things about the challenge of playing in Seattle and the Hawks saying all the right things about the team from the Bay Area. It would liven things up a bit if Frank Gore (pictured) would call out the Seattle front seven or Russell Wilson would say something disparaging about the Niners. But, as we know, neither of those will happen. ... We do know though, that Pete Carroll will be happy about something, that Percy Harvin's health will come up and that someone will compare the teams favorably. And, lest I forget, there will be a story or two on someone who has risen to prominence this season. ... The money is moving toward the 49ers. Is it real or proximity to Nevada? ... The Hawks defense doesn't fool you. ... How will the game be called? That could be a little important.

•••

• If you wondering what I'm up to, read this Los Angeles Times story. I spent quite a few evenings of my youth in the Forum, either watching basketball (boy, Mel Counts was tall), hockey (yes I saw a couple of Kings' games there) or concerts. Elton John, the Moody Blues, Led Zeppelin (now, that's a story with a decidedly '70s bent) and the Eagles were among the acts I remember. So when my best friend asked if I wanted to accompany him to the first concert of the refurbished Forum, I immediately asked permission – just like the high school days – then said yes. So tonight he and I will be in the front row (not really, but it sounds good), a cigarette lighter app at the ready, as the Eagles play my favorite songs. Heck, even Bernie Leadon will be there tonight. And if you know what that means, you are as old as I am. 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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