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Saturday, May 25, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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College football kicks off around here tomorrow and it will be accompanied by something special

Whitworth kicker Rehn Reiley hit 15 of 23 field goals and 33 of 34 extra points last season. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Whitworth kicker Rehn Reiley hit 15 of 23 field goals and 33 of 34 extra points last season. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • If you are reading this, it’s easy to assume you are a sports fan. Either that, or need something to put you to sleep after working the night shift. If you are the former, this time of year you are starting to get excited about football, right? Well, tomorrow there will be something to get extra-excited about. Read on.

••••••••••

• No, we’re not referring to Thursday night’s matchup in Moscow, the regional kickoff to the college football season. Montana State comes to town, harkening back to the past days of the Big Sky. And to future ones. No, that’s cool, but the extra-special part of tomorrow is what will be in the newspaper. And, by that, I mean the paper-and-ink newspaper. The hand-held product if you will. Tomorrow, the S-R will have its annual football preview section as part of the daily package. Buy a Thursday paper, get all the news, comics and features you always do – and more. (If I could have, I would have read that to you in my Ron Popeil voice. As an aside, my father was once a member of the studio audience for one of Popeil’s infomercials, dutifully clapping on cue, but I digress.) Yes, the newspaper is still worth buying. Oh sure, all of the information will be available here and I’ll link everything I can for you. There will be Washington State, Idaho, Eastern Washington, Whitworth and prep stories galore. It will be something you can read over breakfast, lunch and dinner on your phone as well as your pad. But just having the ink-on-paper version to hold on to for a couple weeks, to refer back to when you’re trying to recall the name of that Vandal receiver, that’s something special. Old-fashioned, maybe. But tried and true as well. I can remember putting together football sections before my oldest son was born. He’s in his 30s now and had a hand in tomorrow’s product. My father spent his adult life overseeing the delivery of newspapers. I spent mine writing, editing and designing them. My son now works on the on-line side, making sure the information you read using the newest delivery methods is as polished and on-point as the print product. Times have changed. But what newspapers do, whether in print or digitally, hasn’t. That’s cool. Especially if you are a sports fan.

•••

• WSU: There is one bye week during this college football season. Other than that, the Cougars will be working on opponent preparation each week until the end of November. This is the first week. Mike Leach and Ken Wilson talked with Jacob Thorpe after practice about the preparation for Eastern Washington. Jim Mastro talked about Colin Kaepernick. ... The Cougars announced a home-and-home series with Utah State. Jacob has the story. Not many Pac-12 schools are willing to make the trek to Logan, Utah for a game. ... Jacob has his first Pac-12 power rankings. And, no, he won’t take the bye week off. ... Will Shalom Luani play Saturday? ... Around the Pac-12, there are other power rankings and bowl predictions. ... There are stories about defensive backs and the defense from Utah, Washington and Colorado. ... There are stories about those connected with the passing game from Stanford, Oregon, Arizona State, UCLA and Oregon State. ... There is a story about the running backs at Arizona. ... And there is a story no one likes to read from USC. ... Missed this the other day but it's cool enough to pass along now. And it features a couple of S-R (or former S-R) beat writers.

• EWU: Sure, Saturday evening’s game in Pullman is a “Big Game.” It’s a regional matchup. It’s FBS vs. FCS, Pac-12 vs. Big Sky. Heck, it’s just two good teams. But it’s also nothing new for Eastern Washington. Jim Allen has the story. ... Southern Utah will face another Pac-12 team in Utah. Not that the Thunderbirds are afraid of the Utes.

• Idaho: As we said, the Vandals open their season Thursday night at home, hosting Montana State and Idaho native, first-year Bobcat coach Jeff Choate.

• Whitworth: The Pirates’ kicker is good at what he does. Always. And he is good without a shirt. Always. Tom Clouse has this feature about Rehn Reiley.

• Empire: Next season’s roster continues to come together.

• Chiefs: This season’s roster continues to be pared down.

• Indians: Spokane powered its way past Hillsboro, 8-0, for its second consecutive win. Josh Horton was at Avista and has the game coverage. ... Eugene just keeps winning, getting past Tri-City last night.

• Mariners: The sun rises later these days. And sets earlier. It’s setting on the M’s postseason chances before September, as the Rangers rallied for an 8-7 win last night in Texas. Scott Servais tried to ride Edwin Diaz for a six-out save and it didn’t work. ... The M’s didn’t have Nelson Cruz in the lineup due to a hand injury.

• Seahawks: The first round of cuts were finalized yesterday and the biggest name on the list? More than likely that would be Patrick Lewis, who started at center for the Hawks not that long ago. ... Telling Brandon Browner he was no longer needed wasn’t easy. ... Rookies who got through the first culling still can't breathe easy. ... The 49ers lost a key receiver for the season.

• Sounders: National duty could complicate Seattle’s quest for a playoff spot.

•••

• Don’t forget to pick up the print version of the paper tomorrow. I’m taking names. Until later ...




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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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