A GRIP ON SPORTS
Was yesterday unlucky? Well, if you are a Mariners' fan, sure. An error by Robinson Cano led to the only run in a 1-0 loss. But a Texas fan might consider that lucky. Then there are the Ranger fans (hockey variety) that will remember this as the unluckiest Friday the 13th ever. Two shots hit the bar in a 3-2 loss to the Kings? But as a Los Angeles fan (during the Stanley Cup finals) and a hockey aficionado in general, last night's Cup-clinching double overtime win was as fortuitous as it gets. Read on.
• There really is nothing better than overtime playoff hockey. One mistake, one bad break, one, yes, unlucky bounce and it's over. Or one great run out, shot, rebound and finish. One team celebrates while the losing goalie collapses on the ice in front of his net. Last night at well after midnight back east, the Kings did those things and won their second Stanley Cup in three years. And all of New York started crying. That, my friends, is not a bad thing as far as sports is concerned. Yes, it was late but heck it's the city that never sleeps, right, so they were up. And had to deal with another overtime loss in one of the best six-game, five-game series you'll ever see. I saw that statement on Twitter last night and it's true. There was so much overtime hockey during the finals it was if they jammed in an extra game. Not that anyone except the participants were complaining. Kim certainly wasn't as she let out a whoop and a holler after Alec Martinez's game-winner ended the two-overtime classic. Great stuff. And now even better stuff happens. The Stanley Cup makes a tour with the players. They take it home. They show their friends, they drinks from it, they share its aura. It isn't put behind glass somewhere to be worshipped as if it's the Holy Grail. Nope. The NHL has it right. It’s the player's trophy and they share it with the fans. Pictures of the Cup at a Regina pool, at a Hibbing bar, at a farm just outside of Lethbridge, those images will be all over the Interweb the next few months – as it should be. If it breaks, who cares? It's broken before. A ding? They'll fix it. The guys whose names are on the darn trophy understand. They handled it too. And they know, as long as people are playing hockey, their name will be there, waiting to be discovered by some kindergartner in a, say, Goshen, Mass., classroom. As Bogey once offered, it's the stuff dreams are made of.
• WSU: Jacob Thorpe's Friday Flashback took you back to the USC game, the upset that jump-started WSU's bowl run. ... It's Saturday, so we can pass along the mailbag from ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog. ... New Oregon State basketball coach Wayne Tinkle was reportedly playing golf yesterday at Manito Country Club. He can afford the green fees.
• Gonzaga: A Zag recruit hit a big shot to win an all-star game.
• EWU: Speaking of basketball coaches, the Eagles tore up Jim Hayford's contract and gave him a new five-year one. He gets a raise. Jim Allen has the story.
• Shock: Spokane is in San Jose for an important AFL game tonight.
• Golf: It's Saturday, it's June and that means Jim Meehan has a golf column. It's only peripherally about golf today. However, running, swimming and biking are included.
• Mariners: Before you get all indignant because the M's didn't score for Felix Hernandez on Friday, look at the numbers. The Times' Ryan Divish did last night and found the M's have scored an average of 3.7 runs while Felix has been pitching this year. He's had seven starts in which the M's have scored four or more runs and four starts in which they have scored two runs or less. So it's not as if they haven't supported their ace this year. Yes, their offense sucks, but it doesn't just suck when Felix is pitching. ... Logan Morrison knows he needs to help the offense now that's he's healthy. ... The M's are getting closer to signing their first pick in the draft.
• Sounders: If you think you don't like soccer, at least take a few minutes to watch the World Cup. Just watch how much the people in the stands are enjoying themselves. There has to be a reason, right? Watching the Netherlands dismantle defending champion Spain yesterday with some of the most beautiful scoring plays you'll ever see, it's not hard to understand, at least a little.
• Do not, do not, do not try to get ahold of me between noon and 3 p.m. today. I will be wearing a way too small jersey, holding my head in my hands and dying on every pitch from the opening game of the college World Series. The Anteaters face Texas, coached by Augie Garrido. Why is that a big deal? My final college game came at Cal State Fullerton in May of 1978. The Titans were coached by, you guessed it, Augie Garrido. Like so many games in my college "career," we lost. Time for some revenge. Talk about serving it cold. ... By the way, we will be back early tomorrow morning with our Father's Day posts. They are all ready to go. I've even written one, which I hope will make you laugh. Until then ...