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Wednesday, June 26, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports

Grip on Sports: It’s time to head home if only to be able to watch sports at a reasonable hour

Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Christian Yelich, center fielder Lorenzo Cain  and left fielder Ryan Braun celebrate after Game 1 of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday in Milwaukee. (Charlie Riedel / AP)
Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Christian Yelich, center fielder Lorenzo Cain and left fielder Ryan Braun celebrate after Game 1 of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday in Milwaukee. (Charlie Riedel / AP)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • If you’ve been paying attention the past week, you would know the Grippi family has been on vacation on the East Coast. It’s the first of what we hope will be a few more fall trips. But we discovered something that will have to be considered in the future: watching sports on TV is hard here. Read on.

••••••••••

• We are heading back to the Inland Northwest this evening. Which makes me happy.

The usual reasons apply. Own bed and the well-worn easy chair. The dogs. The kids. But there are other reasons as well. Humidity. Hurricane remnants. Northern charm. Southern efficiency. And sports on TV. Mainly, sports on TV.

Last night was truly awful.

There were only two things to watch (in our geographically biased view): The Brewers and Dodgers in the National League Championship Series and Arizona at Utah football.

They both started near my bedtime. Heck, the baseball game was started well after it some nights. (Hey, I get up early to do this, so there are times I want a full 8-to-10 hours.)

There was no way I was making it all the way through either of them. Luckily, both were blowouts. The Utes struck early and often and won going away. (Checks final score … 42-10, Utah.) Yep, that’s a big win for the Utes alright.

And the Dodgers, with Yasmani Grandal doing his best to help Milwaukee, were blown out by the Brewers. (Checks final score … 6-5. What?)

See that’s why I need to get home.

The Dodgers were down 5-1 when I went to bed. It was late. Somehow, they almost came back. Even with a guy behind the plate that was only marginally better than a cardboard cutout of a catcher. Wait, a cardboard cutout wouldn’t be called for catcher’s interference, which helped the Brewers score a run that, in a one-run game, was part of the difference.

I didn’t see any of it. And neither did many folks in this time zone.

Just think, though. That game started a bit after 8 p.m. here. What about college football and basketball games that begin at 7 or 8 on the Left Coast? I was talking with a former West Coast college basketball coach this week and he said he never sees any games from our side of the nation. They are just too late. And to think, he makes his living coaching the same sport.

I can’t wait to get home, pet the dogs, say hi to the boys, crash in the Laz-E-Boy, turn on the TV and watch Sunday Night Football. At a decent hour.

•••

WSU: We are halfway through the football season, which is always a good time to assign grades – especially so during a bye week. Theo Lawson plays the role of professor and hands out the mid-term marks. There are a lot of “A's.” As there should be. … The soccer team has a big match today, with No. 2 USC coming to Pullman. … The volleyball team struggled last night at Stanford.

Elsewhere in the Pac-12, quite possibly the worst week of Larry Scott’s Pac-12 commissioner tenure continued last night. He spoke at the weekend’s kickoff game. … That would be in Utah, where the Utes’ offense came alive, the defense knocked Khalil Tate from the game and Utah won going away. Arizona has to regroup again. … Colorado is at USC today in a game that will let us know whether the Buffs are for real. And where the Trojans stand. … The big showdown is in Berkeley. Kidding. But California is going to have to do its best to keep UCLA winless. The Bruins are going to win sometime. … The really big game is in Eugene, of course. Two years ago, Jake Browning pointed the way to a Washington win in the Ducks’ house. Can he do it again? Oregon will do its best to make sure it doesn’t happen.

Gonzaga: If you ever wondered how to pronounce Joel Ayayi’s name, Jim Meehan takes care of that. He also passes along a lot more in this story about the redshirt freshman guard from France.

EWU: Weber State may have the best defense in the Big Sky. And Eastern may be without star quarterback Gage Gubrud today when they travel to Ogden for a conference showdown. Ryan Collingwood has a preview of the contest. … Ryan also spoke with Larry Weir for the latest Press Box pod. … Around the Big Sky, one of my favorite aspects of conference play is on display today. That would be Montana playing at North Dakota, which counts in the standings. … Northern Colorado refuses to think about a winless season. There is a chance for a win today at Portland State. … Southern Utah is finally back at home. … UC Davis and Idaho State meet today. …

Idaho: The Vandals won’t have one of their two quarterbacks today as they travel to Bozeman. Peter Harriman has that information and more in this game preview against Montana State. … The Bobcats need a win if they want to stay in the conference race.

Whitworth: The Pirates have yet to lose a football game this season. But that doesn’t mean they have been perfect. Dan Thompson outlines the Whits' plan to improve in this preview.

Preps: It was a busy day and night in prep sports but the main emphasis, as always on Friday, was on prep football. Dave Nichols was at Northwest Christian to cover the Crusaders’ first home game in school history. They won, 44-12, over Wilbur-Creston. … Steve Christilaw has the game story of West Valley’s 54-27 win against Pullman. Jesse Tinsley was at West Valley as well and has a photo report. … We also can pass along roundups of Friday's action in football, volleyball and soccer. As per usual, it was a fun day for the athletes playing and competing.

Chiefs: Spokane is off on a six-game road trip. The opener, in Swift Current, went well. … Around the WHL, Everett picked up a win over Edmonton.

Seahawks: There could be rain Sunday in London. … The Hawks hit a few golf balls before the game with Oakland. … Seattle needs its pass rush to come to life. … Marshawn Lynch is eager to meet the Hawks on the field.

Sounders: Is Seattle playing angry?

•••       

• We get back into Spokane at about 3 a.m. body time. But I should be able to sleep enough crossing the heartland to post tomorrow. If not, I will send out a tweet at @vinceg55. Until later …

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