A GRIP ON SPORTS
There is an ancient cliché – isn't "ancient" the only type of cliché there is? – about the angry old fellow yelling "get off my lawn" at the neighborhood kids. We're not that guy. We're not angry at all. Now jealous, that's another story. Read on.
• We decided, after a long internal debate, not to post the picture of Marshawn Lynch that is ESPN The Magazine's body issue. We're not even going to link it. Mainly because it makes us jealous. We once had a body like ... no, sorry, my body was never anything like that. It was once better than it is now, sure, but nothing like Lynch's. But there are other things to we are jealous about on this sweltering Wednesday in mid-July. Like, how are the lakes these days? The water warming up? Or does it not matter? Is being on a boat or lying on the shore enough? I've spent more than 30 years as a resident of the Inland Northwest and probably haven't spent more than a handful of days at "the lake." Not that I don't like water and the beach, mind you. I did go to college at UC Irvine and lived within spitting distance of Newport Beach for three years. It's just that I have only a few friends who own lake cabins and I have been asked to join them only rarely. It's one of the downfalls of being anti-social. So instead I sit at home, sweat and harbor another jealous feeling. So, if you are keeping score at home, I'm jealous of Marshawn Lynch's body and I'm jealous of people with lake cabins. Want more? People with Indians season tickets – this year. Spokane is 12-2 at home for goodness sake. Nothing is more fun than having a good seat, a cold beverage, a hot dog and the home team winning. People who have all that, yep, I'm jealous of them. And don't get me started on parents with grade school kids playing baseball and softball this summer. I really miss the lawn-chair days, as I call them, especially the coach-pitch or T-ball lawn-chair days. You know what I mean, right? When the kids are so young they can't wait to put on their uniform – it might go on at 1 p.m. for a late-afternoon game – and all they want to do is run, throw, swing the bat (notice I didn't say hit) with their buddies? The smiles, oh, the smiles. We would take our lawn chairs to the park, put them in as much shade as we could find, make sure we had a cooler full of ice, Gatorade and Diet Coke and watch the kids flail around for an hour and a half. No matter what, we did something together afterward, whether it was Ron's for a burger or Dairy Queen for a shake. Heck, the uniform was already dirty from the seven times the kid fell down, once on a slide, twice chasing a ball and four times just for the heck of it. I'm sure those days will return down the road – grandkids are a thing, right? – but for now, I sometimes drive by a park in the late afternoon and have to resist the urge to stop, jealous or not. You can't re-live your own youth and you can't re-live anyone else's either. Which brings me back full circle to Marshawn Lynch. There is some solace in the fact 30 years from now Lynch will look at that picture and wonder what happened to his body. And be jealous of the guys in the 2044 body issue. It's just the way nature works. I wonder if by then he'll be yelling at the kids to stay off his lawn?
• WSU: After a year's hiatus, the Cougar basketball team will head to Seattle to play the Hardwood Classic. Jacob Thorpe has a blog post on the return of the game at Key Arena.
• EWU: I didn't even know this was possible. A Weber State basketball player is trying out for the Ukrainian national team. The thing I didn't know is the Ukraine had a team. With all the troubles there, it seems sort of incongruous.
• Shock: Next up for Spokane is the AFL's best team, the Arizona Rattlers (quarterback Nick Davila pictured). Arizona is no longer undefeated – it lost to San Jose – but is still trying to stay sharp heading into the playoffs. And, as Jim Meehan's notebook explains, the Shock are just trying to improve before the postseason starts.
• Seahawks: Other than the Lynch revelations, we can also pass along a look at the San Diego Chargers.
• Mariners: The reason for John Buck's demise? The official word is the M's expect Jesus Sucre to be a better defensive catcher and they feel that's what's needed in a backup right now. OK. But how about the team adds another bat, preferably a right-handed hitter? That might be more of a help. As evidenced by last night's 2-0 loss to Minnesota when Phil Hughes (pictured), who washed out as a starter in New York, shoved the baseball up their noses all night. ... There is one guy John McGrath thinks should be off limits. And another Jerry Brewer sees as adding credibility to the Mariners' youth movement.
• Sounders: Ah, the vagaries of professional soccer scheduling. The Sounders host rival Portland tonight in Tukwila in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal match. There will be about 3,000 folks in attendance and no TV. Then the two turn around and meet again Sunday night in an MLS match at CenturyLink. There will be at least 45,000 in the place and it will be on TV. ... Of course, Seattle wants to win both. ... How about that first World Cup semifinal. Who, outside of possibly the mayor of Munich, saw that coming?
• I'm done with work today. Does that make you jealous? Until later ...