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Thu., July 24, 2014, 8:34 a.m.

Spreading the word about football season isn’t new

A GRIP ON SPORTS

I kept up with the first day of the Pac-12 media event the old-fashioned way: by reading tweets. None of this new-fangled video streaming for me. No sir. Words – and an occasional picture – are what it is about. Read on.

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• You think the Pac-12 and the SEC and the like stretching their media day to a series of days is a 21st Century phenomenon? Think again. There once was a time when the media would actually travel from school to school on what was dubbed a skywriters tour, taking a plane from Pullman to Corvallis, from Seattle to San Francisco, just to preview the upcoming college football season. And it didn't happen in a day, that's for sure. Day after day, members of the media would trudge into a rickety old airplane – from what I understand from my older media brethren, the Wright Brothers' mom was usually the flight attendant, though she wasn't called a flight attendant in those days – and take it to the next stop on the tour. The days were filled with filing stories and creating headlines for newspapers all over the West Coast. The nights were filled with creating headaches for the flight the next morning. It was a long, drawn-out process. So don't be too amazed by football media days now stretching past 24 hours. It just pulling a page from the past.

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• WSU: We're not going to delve too deep into yesterday's first day at the Pac-12's media event, mainly because beat writer Jacob Thorpe took care of that. He has two pieces in today's newspaper, including a main story on the Cougars and a notebook of other tidbits from Los Angeles. But it's here on the blog that he really goes all out, with the video of Mike Leach's media appearance, a transcript of the comments from the WSU contingent, a post with notes from yesterday and, this morning, another post filled with links and other items. ... ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog did a lot yesterday as well, though this post probably has the most WSU news. ... The release of the pre-season media poll is one of the highlights of media days.

• Indians: It's tough to score runs when you don't put the bat on the ball. That's what happened to Spokane last night in Salem-Keiser, as they struck out 16 times en route to a 5-2 defeat.

• Shock: Spokane finishes the regular season this weekend in Portland and there is nothing at stake except pride and momentum, two things that are tough to quantify. The playoffs are set. So is it time to rest folks, with a must-win game at San Jose looming? Jim Meehan has the answer in his weekly Shock notebook.

• Preps: The state junior legion baseball tournament is this week in Spokane and the host city qualified four teams. Tom Clouse has an advance.

• Seahawks: The big news yesterday was the premature retirement of wide receiver Sidney Rice. Rice, only 27, cited concussions and deteriorating health as the reasons behind his decision to hang it up. ... What does his retirement mean to the Seahawks and their wide receiver group? ... Jim Harbaugh has officially been put on a hot seat by a Bay Area columnist.

• Mariners: Another home game with a team with a losing record and another offensive breakdown. This time it was old nemesis Bartolo Colon who shut down the inept M's, holding them without a base runner until Robinson Cano's two-out hit in the seventh. The Mets went on to win 3-2 despite the M's rallying and having the tying run at second in the ninth inning. ... After pitching the first five innings yesterday, Taijuan Walker was optioned to Tacoma following the game. With an off day coming up, the M's don't need a fifth starter for a while. ... Mike Zunino is not hitting very well. But Lloyd McClendon is not worried and thinks he's going to be a good major league catcher. ... The M's picked up another draft pick yesterday.

• Sounders: The rains came to the Sounders practice field yesterday, but they soldiered through the muck. ... The team also signed another player yesterday, a former Timbers draft pick they've had their eyes on for a while. To add Aaron Long to the roster, Seattle waived another draft pick.

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• That's our Thursday morning report. We have some personal responsibilities tomorrow morning that will preclude us from scouring the Net for stories. We will, however, have a post for you. It will just be a column on Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday, without the post-column story links. Until then ... 




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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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