A GRIP ON SPORTS
It hit me this morning as I was reading the 73rd story of the day on the Seahawks/49ers game. All this hype. And it's just the NFC Championship game. Not the Super Bowl. The NFC Championship. A semifinal if you will. What happens if Seattle wins? What will the next two weeks look like? Read on.
• First off let me say I know the answers to the two questions. If the Hawks win just about everyone that reads this column will be happy (except you and you and even you, ya, you Brett G.; I know you are all 49er fans). And the next two weeks will be filled with "Seattle is in the Super Bowl again, we are so excited we are going to order extra newsprint" reaction. I bet it will start slowly, then build. After the dust has dissipated from Sunday night's game, the Northwest media will catch its breath, take a deep sigh and realize the Super Bowl is in New Jersey for goodness sakes. Two Seahawk Super Bowls, two cold weather sites. Is that the definition of irony? There are Super Bowls in New Orleans, one of the great party towns of the world. Miami. Ditto. Phoenix. Warm and filled with golf courses. Los Angeles. It was in the 80s there all last week. Jacksonville. OK, nothing to do but it is warm and not that far from Disneyworld. Detroit and New Jersey. Really? Sure, the NFL is hyping this Super Bowl as New York's and it is. And we all know New York is a great place to visit. But in February? If we wanted snow we would drive up to Schweitzer. If we wanted wind we can take a trip to Ellensburg. And if we wanted to be gouged in the wallet we could spend the day at the mall in downtown Bellevue. Still, for some odd reason I believe Seahawk fans will be excited if their team wins Sunday. After all, who really attends the Super Bowl in person? If the weather is bad in Jersey this year, the NFL can just borrow a few mannequins from New York stores, bend them into place in the seats and then return them in March or April when they thaw out. It will all look the same in our living rooms. Pipe in a little crowd noise and you have the perfect television programming. Perfect, for Northwest fans that is, if the Hawks are there. We'll find out if that's the case in the next 36 hours. Thankfully.
• WSU: Jacob Thorpe's short advance of today's game at California brought back memories. It was in Cal's gym on a Friday before a game with the Bears during Ken Bone's first year that I first saw Bone light up a player. And let me tell you, Bone was good at it. It sounds as if he's mellowed a bit. ... Jacob also has a blog post on a veteran receiver leaving WSU's football program and his morning post with links. ... The Bears will be Washington State's toughest Pac-12 road test thus far – this side of Tucson. ... The Cougar women defeated another ranked team last night and are 5-0 in Pac-12 play. ... Some losses for the Pac-12 yesterday, with Vanderbilt hiring away Stanford's defensive coordinator and Oregon losing a recruit who had announced earlier he was going to sign with the Ducks. Commitment my backside. ... It's Saturday. We pass along the mailbag. ... I don't know about you, but Chip Kelly seems a lot funnier a few thousand miles away.
• Gonzaga: Though Jim Meehan has an advance of tonight's game at Loyola-Marymount, the focus today is on the women. Thomas Clouse has a feature on Shaniqua Nilles (pictured), her daughter Nevaeh and the demands of being a college basketball player and a mom. ... The women also won again last night, this time 68-40 at USF. ... Portland's women lost at Santa Clara. ... Back to the men, BYU, which is back in second place in the WCC, will be as good as Matt Carlino plays. At least according to this column.
• Idaho: Josh Wright has an advance of the Vandals road game against Bakersfield on the blog.
• Whitworth: The Pirates went on the road last night and lost their first NWC game of the season.
• Preps: Friday nights are always busy on the prep scene but even more so when there are rivalry games in the mix. Greg Lee was at Coeur d'Alene High for the Fight for the Fish. The Cd'A girls and the Lake City boys won their respective games. Colin Mulvany was also there and adds photo stories from both games. ... There was also a full slate in the Greater Spokane League last night and we can pass along the boys and girls roundups as well as roundups from other girls and boys games in the area.
• Chiefs: No matter what the final score is this season, when Everett and Spokane play, it always has the Chiefs on top. Six games, six Spokane wins. ... Portland raced out to an early lead and cruised against Moose Jaw.
• Seahawks: As we alluded to above, there are stories and stories and stories about Sunday's game, from San Francisco to Seattle – and, more than likely, all points in between. ... There was no shortage of interviews, including ones with Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson, Derrick Coleman and, yes, Marshawn Lynch. No fine for him. ... Anquan Boldin has added another dimension to the 49ers passing attack. But he'll have his hands full with the Hawks' secondary. Or the other way around. ... K.J. Wright will be back in action this weekend. ... The rivalry between the teams still needs a few more years – and key games – to reach its potential. ... Another story on the newest offensive line starter. ... And here is your daily Percy Harvin fix. He won't be playing. Concussion. And lo and behold, the NFL fined the guy who hit him. He's not playing this week either. ... Doug Baldwin will be playing and probably really well. ... There was a rally in downtown Seattle yesterday and it was loud. Not CenturyLink loud, but loud.
• Mariners: A couple of M's are headed to arbitration.
• OK, we're done this morning. It's nice to be back home but it would also be nice if could have brought back some of those 80-degree temperatures with me. Well, at least in the area around my house and my favorite golf course. I am well aware we need the snow in the mountains. Until later ...