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A good conversation enhanced

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Like Garfield, the comically fat cat, I love lasagna. Unlike Garfield, I also love Monday's. Especially Monday's like the one that occurred yesterday. Read on.

••••••••••

• The reason yesterday was so nice wasn't the weather or the time of year or anything mundane like that. Yesterday was nice because I was able to play golf. I actually love golf. Not because of some pastoral essence like John Feinstein or because of some competitive urge, a la Tiger Woods. I love golf because, like the sport of my youth, baseball, it is a slow, patient game with lots of time for conversation. It's more a social gathering than stomp-on-the-other-guy combat. And anyone with a thick skin can play it. Take yesterday for instance. I played golf with my son Tyler and two other guys less than half my age. For some reason – and this still amazes me – they wanted to have me in their foursome. Really? OK. I have a passing connection with my son, though when he hits the ball off the tee and it goes and goes and goes, I wonder what it could be, athletically speaking. But the other two guys, Christian Caple and Jacob Thorpe, about the only thing we have in common is knowing where you can get the best price in Pullman on a box of Captain Crunch. Still, we had a great time. Even if the golf was, let's just say, less than stellar. There is time to talk, time to joke, time to argue. But not too much time. It's not like sitting at a bar with three friends – though some of the libations are similar. If a conversation in a pub turns ugly, say, you're stuck. It's hard to change the subject. But on a golf course, the subject changes every time someone has to take a swing. There's always potential for embarrassment just one Grand Canyon-size divot away. For example, we were talking about some subject on the 11th hole yesterday and I concluded my remarks by saying, "but that's OK; we’re all Republicans, right?" The looks I received from the under-30 crowd were more puzzlement than anger, but even they didn't last. Jacob had to hit a shot on the 175-yard par three, said "so long" to his ball, seemingly destined for a watery grave, and then proceeded to knock it onto the green. The joy was palatable. By the ball, I mean. It had already skipped over one lake about 32 times before landing on the grass, so it was obvious Jacob's investment in a water-phobic Titleist was worth the money. My preceding comment was forgotten in a wave of high fives and "no-freakin-way" comments. You know, the idea of golf as "a good walk spoiled" is ludicrous in my eyes. Heck, I never walk.

• Thanks for the memories. We have a nice assortment. But there is still time to send us your memory of your dad and sports. Of times good – and bad – you spent with your father playing catch, watching golf, playing Hoopfest. Whatever. The time he yelled at an umpire or told you he was proud of you or embarrassed the heck out of your brother. We'll put them together and run them in their entirety here on SportsLink. Some might even be featured in the Review. Don't worry about polish, just share what's in your heart. Send them to me at vincegrippi55@yahoo.com. I'll take care of the rest. Make sure to include your name, as the newspaper needs it for confirmation purposes.

•••

• WSU: Before he hit the course (more times than he would have liked), Jacob put together his Monday look at a Cougar opponent. This time it is the Nevada Wolf Pack, which hosts WSU in early September. ... There was another honor yesterday for a Cougar freshman pitcher. ... Ted Miller on ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog tallies up the returning starts by the North Division offensive linemen. ... Jon Wilner has some thoughts on the early start times.

• Gonzaga: The West Coast Conference announced the hiring of new commissioner last evening, just as we were in the middle of our post-round discussions. How rude.

• Seahawks: The last week of OTAs kicked off yesterday and the media was allowed to watch. And to talk to the coaches like Pete Carroll, Dan Quinn and Darrell Bevell. What they had to say was interesting in a need-to-know-more sort of way. ... Richard Sherman is having a really decent off-season. And he understands the importance of practice. ... The backups are getting their chances at linebacker. ... Christine Michael (pictured) is sort of the Hawks' mystery guest, though the chances of a running-back-by-committee approach this season doesn't seem likely. ... Everyone has their thoughts on how the day went.

• Mariners: Now that's a nice road trip. The M's were 6-1 in a three-city, eight-day jaunt around the East Coast. The latest was a 3-0 shutout of Tampa Bay on Monday morning by a combination of much of the staff – along with a big hit by Robinson Cano (pictured) off of David Price. ... The M's return home to face the Yankees but a rainout has forced New York to juggle its rotation, meaning the pitching matchup tonight everyone was looking forward to between mentor and mentee is off. ... Felix Hernandez was the American League player of the week.

• Sounders: Do you have video of Obafemi Martins' alleged strike that earned him a red card last week? If you do, you would be the only one. ... Even the MLS votes for its all-stars and four Sounders are leading.

•••

• I really went overboard yesterday. I think I drank four or five diet Cokes during the round. My caffeine buzz was through the roof. No wonder I missed that key putt on 17. Dang. Until later ... 




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