May 11, 2014 in Sports

Mums for mom and others, too

Dan Pelle photo

Community events like Bloomsday and Hoopfest deserve high praise from area residents.
(Full-size photo)

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Vince Grippi has an opinion about everything local, especially sports. Every Sunday we provide samples of his daily riffs. Read him daily at

Tuesday: As you know, Sunday is Mother’s Day. Which got me to thinking. Who would I send flowers to in the sporting world around here as a way to say thanks? Right now there are a few choices.

•The M’s deserve a bouquet, that’s for sure. After losing eight consecutive games and making the summer look irrelevant, they’ve bounced back, won a bunch of games and now are sitting at .500 again. That’s good. It’s also progress. There is a chance this team just might keep our interest into the warmer months. A chance to listen to a late-night July game with something on the line would make me smile.

•We would have to send some flowers down to Pullman for the athletic director, Bill Moos. He gave us Mike Leach, a guy who is full of thorns when asked football questions but comes up roses when pontificating on Geronimo or salad dressings or the best way to stalk a wild boar. And Moos wasn’t afraid to make the needed change in the basketball program, at least after he found enough change in the cushions to pay off Ken Bone’s contract. Save your money, we’ll get the flowers.

•Another bouquet must be sent to Eugene, for the memories Kelly Graves supplied us over the years, but a bigger one to Gonzaga. New Bulldog women’s basketball coach Lisa Fortier has some big shoes to fill – literally; Graves had size 18 or something – so she needs all the encouragement she can get.

•The Sounders deserve a rose or two for the way they’ve been playing. No matter how you feel about soccer, when a pro team in the area is leading its league, that’s something worth celebrating.

•We should also send a bouquet or two to the folks in the Bloomsday and Hoopfest offices. Thanks for all your hard work. When you see the families get off the buses after walking Bloomsday or you watch all the kids at the neighborhood parks playing three-on-three, you realize how much those events have become part of the fabric of our community. That’s something special.

•And finally, we can’t forget the Seahawks. Yes, the Super Bowl win was months ago. Who cares? The glow is still with us. Now, what about next season?

Friday: So you know what I did last night? I sat in front of the television set for hour after hour waiting to see who the Hawks would pick. Stupid, huh?

Yeah, I got up and did other things during the middle of the round, checking in via Twitter just to make sure I didn’t miss any of Johnny Manziel’s agony.

But I wandered back downstairs as 8 p.m. hit and sat there, stupidly, as New England, San Francisco and Denver all picked. I just couldn’t pull myself away. And then came the news. The Hawks had traded the pick to Minnesota for an extra fourth-round selection. Damnit, I knew that was coming.

I knew it. And yet I wasted much of a nice evening in anticipation of something that didn’t happen. Sort of like all those Saturday date-nights in college.

• Of all the places for Deone Bucannon to go, why Arizona? OK, San Francisco would have been worse. But a division rival to Seattle? That will make rooting for him just a bit tougher. Not impossible, mind you, but a bit tougher.

Thursday: The draft is interesting. It’s watched by millions, panned or praised by just as many more.

The draft used to be an under-the-radar affair. Then it became an all-day thing. Now it’s spread over three days, with just the first round on tap for tonight. If you are a fan of the Seahawks, there’s a pretty good chance your team won’t even make a pick today. The Hawks have the final selection in the first round, the spot reserved for the NFL champion. They also have a penchant for trading one pick for more picks and, with just six choices in the seven rounds, Seattle just might decide it wants quantity in later rounds over dubious quality at the end of the first.

• The Hawks actually did something really important yesterday, locking up lock-down cornerback Richard Sherman.

The four-year, $57-million contract the team reached with Sherman now means the Hawks’ two best defenders will be with the team for the foreseeable future. It also means they better stay healthy if Seattle wants to stay viable. And that Russell Wilson is going to be really expensive.

But those are concerns or problems for another day.

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