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Win a title, meet the president

A GRIP ON SPORTS

There once was a time, boys and girls, when the champions of major sports leagues in this country did not visit the White House. And you don't have to go back to the Woodrow Wilson administration. Read on.


••••••••••

• Yep, we have another thing to blame Richard Nixon for. Watergate, the EPA and every Tom, Dick and Harry sports team visiting the executive mansion for a photo opportunity. And to think, I drove people to the polls so they could vote for Nixon. Just kidding of course. No, I really did drive folks to the polls in 1972, even if here on the West Coast the presidential election was already decided. But I'm just kidding about the champions visiting the White House. I'm not sure it started with Nixon, a sports buff who was about as athletic as the seventh-string center on your high school JV football team. But he's the first guy I can recall who liked to have his picture taken with the Washington Redskins and the Miracle Mets and the like. Why am I ranting about the only president who ever resigned in disgrace? Because the Seahawks will be at the White House this morning. You won't be able to avoid it. There will be pictures of Pete Carroll smiling, Richard Sherman pretending to be mad at President Obama and Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith drinking a boatload of Dr. Pepper. Wait, that was a scene from “Forrest Gump.” My bad. Anyhow, the Hawks will get their final 15 minutes of fame from last season's Super Bowl victory. Which means today should be the last time they talk about it. Or look back. Or dwell upon the win. After today's ceremony, it will be time to move forward. To focus on the upcoming season. If they don't, they won't have an opportunity to repeat. To paraphrase a great mind, those who dwell in the past never have a chance to win again. Or something like that. So follow the day on the Net. Look at all the pictures tomorrow. Celebrate, be happy, laugh. Then put it all away. Tomorrow, the chance to defend begins.

•••

• WSU: Kind of a quiet day, though for you stat buffs, we can pass along a look at turnovers, points off turnovers and the like from ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog.

• Gonzaga: In sports happening now, Jacob Thorpe has an advance of the Zags' appearance this weekend in the WCC baseball championships. Win the four-team, round-robin event and Gonzaga is headed to the NCAA tournament again. … In sports that don't begin until later in the year, we can pass along a couple of stories from the Times' Bud Withers on the newest Zag, USC transfer Byron Wesley. … In sports that occurred last year, we have a look at the new look of Sam Dower (pictured), a peak at which the Utah Jazz saw this week.

• EWU: The Sports Network uses Eastern Washington as an example of an FCS team that schedules correctly, just tough enough to get ready for the postseason and not so tough as to ruin the team's chances to get there.

• Shock: We knew this was coming, didn't we? The Shock made a trade yesterday for a new quarterback. Jim Meehan has the story of Spokane trading for a guy, Brian Zbydniewski, whose name reminds me of an old Superman character.

• Preps: The playoffs just keep rolling on, though the State 4A soccer championships will roll on without Central Valley. The Bears lost a tough 1-0 decision in a shootout to Curtis. Jim Allen has the story. … Chris Derrick not only covered the 3A regional yesterday, he also has a softball notebook. … We can pass along a roundup of other action as well. … The annual Jack Blair Memorial High School All-Star Girls Basketball Classic is coming up in early June.

• Seahawks: As we said above, the Hawks will be at the White House today. … Wide receiver Paul Richardson signed with the team yesterday. … Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn had a few things to say about his defense. … There will be no expansion of the NFL's playoffs this season.

• Mariners: As we've said many times before, Hisashi Iwakuma is a professional pitcher. He went another eight solid innings yesterday and this time the M's bullpen didn't throw away his 6-2 win over the Rangers. The M's, who hope to get a couple of starting pitchers back soon, are back to .500. … As expected, Corey Hart went to the disabled list and Nick Franklin was called up and put right into the lineup.

• Sounders: With just one match this week, the Sounders practiced hard Tuesday. … The Sounders are third in this power ranking. … Seattle's U.S. Open Cup opener depends on a match that will be played this weekend. … David Estrada's loan to Atlanta was a win for everyone concerned.

•••

• Did I miss anything? I usually do. But other than the NBA playoffs, which seems to be in about their 27th week, and the Pac-12 presidents putting their thoughts about a new look NCAA on paper, I'm not sure I missed all that much. And I'm sure you will let me know if I did. Until later … 


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Jim Allen (@srjimallen) Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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John Blanchette (@SRjblanchette) John Blanchette is a freelance writer who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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