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Grip on Sports: Don’t let all the sporting events distract completely from the reason for the day

Will Power, of Australia, celebrates with car owner Roger Penske on the start/finish line after winning the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in Indianapolis Sunday, May 27, 2018. (AJ Mast / Associated Press)
Will Power, of Australia, celebrates with car owner Roger Penske on the start/finish line after winning the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in Indianapolis Sunday, May 27, 2018. (AJ Mast / Associated Press)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • There is baseball to watch today. And basketball. And hockey. Hopefully, there will also be time to remember the reason for the time to sit and view all of that. Read on.

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• It is Memorial Day, the day sat aside to honor all of those who, as Abraham Lincoln termed it so eloquently more than 100 years ago, gave their last full measure for this nation.

Or, not so eloquently, everything they had.

For some of us, that could be a loved one, for others a more distant relative or friend. But most have been touched by war’s cruel hand. It’s a sad truth.

But today shouldn’t be only about the loss. There is also what is gained through that loss. And what is safeguarded.

We wish no one would ever have to go through the anguish again, but realize that’s not the reality of our world. So we are thankful for the sacrifice. We honor it. Not just today but every day. We honor it by cherishing the freedoms the sacrifice helped keep in place.

• There once was a time when Memorial Day weekend was all about the Indianapolis 500. The event dominated the sports pages. The TV ratings were impressive. Everyone, it seemed, knew the name of the winner.

It’s not that way anymore.

Every story on yesterday’s race seemed to emphasis not the winner, the aptly named Will Power, but a racer who was leaving, Danica Patrick.

The Indy 500 just isn’t that important anymore. Hardly any auto racing is. Even NASCAR’s TV ratings – and crowds – have diminished greatly.

It seems the most elemental of all sports, racing, is no longer enough. Track and field doesn’t draw (ESPN just ranked the 100 most famous athletes in the world for 2018 and there isn’t a single track and field athlete listed). Neither does horse racing. Now auto racing is falling off the edge.

Times change. And so does the public’s interest.

•••

WSU: Around the Pac-12 yesterday, Oregon State and Stanford were chosen to host baseball regionals. … Will Arizona earn an at-large berth? … The Women’s College World Series has a Pac-12 feel.

Gonzaga: The Bulldogs will learn their NCAA baseball tournament destination this morning. The best guess is either Corvallis or Stanford.

CCS: The Sasquatch were eliminated from the NWAC baseball tournament yesterday, losing 5-4 to Yakima Valley in 10 innings. Fun fact: Former Ferris High and Whitworth player Kyle Krustangel coaches Yakima Valley.

Mariners: This is fun. The M’s swept a series for the first time this season, they are a dozen games over .500 and a game out of first in the American League West. They also won yesterday 3-1 over the Twins with another late-inning rally. … Seattle made quite a few roster changes yesterday, including designating for assignment Taylor Motter.

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• If you have any connection with youth basketball in the Spokane area, you probably have been following the sage of the proposed sports complex downtown. There is more news today. Speaking of basketball, half the NBA final field is set. LeBron James and the Cavaliers are back. Will the Warriors join them? Until later … 


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