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Friday, February 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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A win-win day with a loss also thrown in for bad measure

Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett drops back to pass after being flipped the ball behind the line of scrimmage at training camp. (Associated Press)
Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett drops back to pass after being flipped the ball behind the line of scrimmage at training camp. (Associated Press)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • The Mariners won again. The Seahawks didn’t lose. The Sounders did, but what do you expect? It’s been a bad summer for the boys in Rave Green. That’s your professional sports report for this Monday morning. Read on.


• Yes, the M’s won. Felix Hernandez pitched, which shortened the odds considerably. And the Seahawks won. What’s winning in preseason practice? No one was injured. So count each day thus far as a win. The Sounders, however, are playing with less than half a team and then the one guy who scored a goal yesterday, Chad Barrett, was injured (pictured in the Sounders' section below) while, or just after, celebrating his accomplishment. It was the Sounders’ summer in a nutshell – except the goal-scoring part.

• Just think. This time next month you’ll be either celebrating wins or bitching about losses. Football wins and losses. As of right now, we just have to anticipate what’s going to happen. Or as I like to call it, guess what will happen. No sport is harder to forecast than football. At least for me. Injuries play such a big part in who will win at every level. Some teams just get lucky. Others don’t. Take last year’s Super Bowl for instance. The enduring narrative is the Hawks blew it at the end when they didn’t hand the ball to Marshawn Lynch on second-and-goal. OK, I get that. But the more I look at how the game was going, the more I realize Cliff Avril’s concussion probably played the biggest role of any one play. Up until Avril had to leave the game with it, the Hawks’ defense was dominating the Pats. When he went out in the third quarter, the Hawks led 17-14 and immediately – he was hurt on Bobby Wagner’s interception – made it 24-14. Yes, New England punted on its next two possessions, but from then on, with the Seattle defensive line wearing down and a lack of pressure from both sides (allowing the Patriots to rotate their protections), Tom Brady and the Pats were unstoppable. With Avril, the best the Hawks have at putting pressure on the quarterback, watching, New England stormed back and won. An injury helped it happen. An injury no one could have foreseen.


• WSU: Injuries don’t happen in football. What am I thinking? Anyhow, the Cougars practiced again yesterday in Lewiston (and will again today). Jacob Thorpe was there, of course, and, well, created more videos than J.J. Abrams. There are videos of Mike Leach, assistants Joe Salave’a and Roy Manning, defensive players Daniel Ekuale and Darryl Paulo and receiver Tyler Baker. There is also a practice-drill video. Plus there is a story in today’s paper and a blog post with even more information. Now that’s we’ve linked all that, we’ll tell you Jacob also links everything as well as other stories from around the Pac-12 in his morning post. ... Lest we forget, he also put up a video of Taylor Taliulu after Saturday's practice.

• Idaho: Sean Kramer has news, notes and observations from Idaho’s weekend practices in this blog post from last evening.

• Shock: The AFL closed down two teams yesterday, shuttering the franchises in Las Vegas and New Orleans. Las Vegas had earned a playoff berth but that will now go to Portland.

• Indians: It’s not easy to hit the ball out of Avista Stadium, but Tri-City did it three times yesterday in a 7-3 win over Spokane. Chris Derrick has the game story and a blog post.

• Seahawks: The most fun right now is trying to figure out the Hawks’ roster. They have too many players, which is a good thing. Bob Condotta takes his swings at the 53-man list, which will change as camp goes on. ... The Kam Chancellor holdout looks as if it could last a while. ... Seattle has done a great job of keeping its core players together. ... If you watched "Monday Night Football" back in the 1970s or pro football the two decades before that, you experienced the underrated skills of Frank Gifford (pictured with Don Meredith and Howard Cosell on the cover of "TV Guide"). He died Sunday at 84.

• Mariners: Felix is tied for the most wins in major league baseball after improving his record to 14-6 in the 4-2 victory over Texas. The bullpen was sapped, so Hernandez threw 110 pitches over seven innings and, surprisingly, Fernando Rodney and Carson Smith did the rest. ... James Paxton has been out since May 28. He threw a bullpen session yesterday. The season is saved. Well, not really. ... Lloyd McClendon wants rookie starter Mike Montgomery to just throw what his catcher asks. I’m all for that. Dumb pitchers.

• Sounders: The Sounders did not have any of their three highly paid designated players available yesterday. There were other starters missing as well. It showed in the 3-1 loss at the L.A. Galaxy. It continues a slide that has been on-going for more than a month. ... No one in the Sounders locker room was happy with their performance. Of course, the best players weren’t there. Others had to fill in.


• I loved “Mission Impossible” as a kid. Even figured out how to make it into a game with my friends. So I’ve always been pleasantly amused by the movies. They, meaning the folks behind the films, have done a good job staying true to the tone of the TV show. And then they smartly mix in some of the best action scenes in movies today. So I would have to say I enjoyed my movie-going experience yesterday. Especially considering it was followed up by a leisurely stroll through the flower gardens at Manito Park. It made for a nice Sunday afternoon. ... For your Monday afternoon, I’ll be on the radio talking sports, all type of sports. You can listen to my banter with Dennis and Rick here. It’s from 3 to 6 p.m. on 700 ESPN. Until then ...

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Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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