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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Basketball is finished

A GRIP ON SPORTS

As the confetti rained down onto the floor in Miami last night, I wanted to get on my horse and ride around Spokane yelling, "the NBA is over, the NBA is over." Then I realized I don't have a horse. Read on.

Sliding inexorably toward winter

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Yesterday was the longest of the year in the northern climes. The sun was over the horizon for more minutes than any other, though I can't give you the exact figure. What I can tell you, however, is that means one thing. It's all downhill from here. Yep, I'm a glass half-empty type of guy. Read on.

The things you can do in Frisco

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Did you know it is not illegal in San Francisco to get drunk, wander onto the 18th green during the middle of the U.S. Open award ceremonies and make "Ca-ca" noises in front of the television cameras? Neither did I. What a wonderful city. Read on.

A morning show

A GRIP ON SPORTS

The sun rises early this time of year. And we rise with it every once in a while. It happened on Sunday, when the sound of the birds, a slight breeze and the bright sunshine all conspired to ruin any chance I had of sleeping in on Father's Day. But, after looking out the window, I was glad I had gotten out of bed so early. Read on.

Another nice Friday

A GRIP ON SPORTS

I really can't think of a better way to end the workweek. I warmed up a cup of Thursday's coffee, opened up the computer and began reading stories from Miami, San Francisco and Seattle about subjects as varied as the NBA Finals, the U.S. Open and the Mariners. Throw in the time I spent reading the S-R this morning and, yep, I can't think of a better way to start my Friday. Read on.

An odd sort of Thursday morning

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Kind of an odd day. Maybe it's because the sun is shining. OK, not really, but it's not raining and the clouds are a bit scattered. Or maybe it's because we found a series of stories worth passing along on Olympic sports. But whatever the reason, it's kind of an odd day. Read on.

Why not play one-on-one?

A GRIP ON SPORTS

I love this headline in the Oklahoma City newspaper. "Kevin Durant scores 36 to power Thunder past LeBron James' Heat." As if those were the only two guys playing last night. I guess to many folks, they are. Read on.

Dreams pop up when a fly ball falls

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Sometimes the only difference between a dream and a nightmare is the inability to catch a routine fly ball. Read on.

Fixing some memories on a Sunday

A GRIP ON SPORTS

First the Miami Heat roared back in the second half and defeated the Boston Celtics, sending the two teams everyone expected – Miami and Oklahoma City – into the NBA finals. Then later in the evening in Las Vegas, Timothy Bradley won a controversial split decision over the current star of boxing, Manny Pacquiao. And the Twitterverse exploded. Fix. Crooked. Conspiracy. Read on.

A full Friday with breaking news

A GRIP ON SPORTS

When I pulled myself out of bed this morning, two thoughts competed for playing time in my head: We made it through another week – after all, it is Friday – and what the heck will I write about this morning? Of course, the negative one dominated, filling me with angst centered round the M's having the day off. But lo and behold, the Internet provides. And it provided a full bounty this morning. The breaking news? I'll Have Another's trainer, Doug O'Neill, telling Dan Patrick the horse is out of the Belmont. Read on.

A little denial goes a long way

A GRIP ON SPORTS

For all of you who experienced feelings of sadness last night watching Oklahoma City defeat San Antonio and move on to the NBA Finals, we have a solution for you. It's one I'm using myself and it seems to be working. Read on.

Three touchdowns enough for M’s

A GRIP ON SPORTS

When Tony Romo took the mound to throw out the ceremonial first pitch yesterday before Texas' game with the Seattle Mariners, little did he know the Rangers would have to go for two late in the game. They converted it, but by then they were down by three touchdowns. Read on.

Some surprises for a Wednesday

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Isn't it nice to wake up on a typical Wednesday and be surprised a little? You know what I mean. Maybe you make every light on the way to work. Or you drive through McDonald's and see the Rolo McFlurry is back on the menu (OK, maybe I'm the only one who thinks that's a neat surprise). Or you find a bunch of interesting stories on the web, making your morning pass a bit quicker. We can take care of one of those items for you today, the last one. Read on.

Shining a light on a Thursday

A GRIP ON SPORTS

After the past few days, any sunshine is appreciated. Even the diffuse stuff we're getting now. Let's shine some light on the Inland Northwest's sports news, shall we? Read on.

It’s not a dry day

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Remember that old ditty you used to sing as a kid about the rain? Something about it staying away and coming again another day? Well, if we could remember all the words we would be singing it today, as we have to head out to the golf course to catch up with the 4A boys golf – and we don't want to get wet. Read on.

A nutty day in baseball

A GRIP ON SPORTS

As I said on the radio yesterday, my father used to invoke the blind-squirrel-acorn theory often when I was young (usually right after I did something he approved of). That philosophy came to mind last night with Kevin Millwood's complete-game shutout victory in Colorado. Was it like a vision-impaired rodent stumbling into a nut, or was it the beginning of something good? Read on.

An odd look for college football

A GRIP ON SPORTS

College football in August. A good thing or bad thing? Discus among yourselves. I'm still trying to figure out if Larry Bernandez was actually in Felix's uniform last night. Read on.

Not a lot to scream about today

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Yesterday we didn't write a lot due to back problems. Well, after a trip to the doctor and pharmacist (who I presumed was a Cougar because almost every pharmacist around here is a Cougar), we're doing a bit better. A bit better, as in we can actually sit at our computer and type without screaming. Read on.

At least it’s not limbo

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Though I make jokes about it occasionally here on the blog, I really don't yell at the radio or television much. Usually it's more of an under-the-breath mutter about this or that. But that changed last night in the seventh inning of the Mariners' game with Minnesota. And the screaming was cathartic. Read on.

A strange and wonderful Sunday

A GRIP ON SPORTS

What a day. The alma mater is headed to the NCAA semifinals and I read a headline I thought I would never see in my lifetime. Read on.

Start your weekend here

A GRIP ON SPORTS

It's Saturday morning. There is a lot to digest and we're not talking about last night's dinner. The NFL draft went through two more rounds (when is Roger Goodell going to realize you can stretch the seven rounds through six days and rest on the seventh, just like his counterpart upstairs?) with a few more Pac-12 stars being chosen. And the Mariners rallied in the ninth (in large part to a crucial error) and defeated the Toronto Blue Jays on a Michael Saunders' 10th-inning grand slam. Read on.

Loyalty must have a new meaning

A GRIP ON SPORTS • UPDATED: 10:20 A.M.

While driving back from the Seattle area yesterday, the ride was accompanied by a sports soundtrack. There was the news of Seth Greenberg's firing at Virginia Tech. There was the fallout from Ron Artest's elbow to James Harden's head. And, most prominently, there was the news from Arkansas that John L. Smith was headed back to the Razorbacks to become head football coach for the next 10 months. That, by the way, is twice as long as he was head coach at Weber State, his alma mater. Read on.

A perfect Saturday

A GRIP ON SPORTS

For all of you who have been griping about the Mariners' offense, what do you want? Perfection? OK, you got it Saturday. Though not the right way. Read on.

A draft blows through a slow day

A GRIP ON SPORTS

If we were going to take a day off, today seems as if it would have been the day. Heck yesterday was expected to be pretty dead. No M's. No spring football. Then all heck broke loose around here. Read on.

An alphabet soup basketball meal is on tap

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Nothing wrong with a little rain or snow in March, is there? Especially this week of March, when you want to be forced indoors. It's the first week of the NCAA basketball tournament – and other assorted tourneys as well. It's those "other assorted" ones we're focusing on today around the Inland Northwest, as Washington State and Idaho prepare for postseason play that wouldn't have been possible just a handful of years ago. But don't worry. There is Zag news as well, including a great read for this Tuesday morning. By the way, it's raining in Spokane. Beautiful. Read on.

Welcome to a month of madness

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Selection Sunday can either be the happiest day of the year or the saddest, depending on your position. But for most folks, whose schools already know their NCAA fate, it can also have no relevance whatsoever. Strike that. Very little relevance might be better. After all, just about everyone loves to get those bracket sheets and make their predictions, don't they? Read on.

It’s finally shorts weather - sort of

A GRIP ON SPORTS

There is still a chance today could be TF60DDOTY (or as it's known to most folks, the first 60-degree day of the year) in the Inland Northwest. Which would make it the best day of the year for me. Yep, nothing better than that first day post-winter (OK, I know it is still winter officially) you can put on shorts and wander around, causing car wrecks and blinding babies with your white legs. Of course, the past few years I've been able to do that in Pullman, where the students would always point admiringly and show their envy (I'm sure) by laughing at the whiteness of my skin. Now I have to do that at home, and the warm weather means I'll be in the back yard with a rake. Read on.

Empty? The Staples Center was not empty

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Before Washington State's Pac-12 Conference tournament game began yesterday, Christian Caple posted a picture of the empty Staples Center on this blog. Yes, it was a pregame photo for a noon game, so you would expect the arena to be empty. But after the game began, the seats remained unfilled. Either that or they gave out free T-shirts that were the exact same color as the seats. Anyhow, the empty arena, the quiet atmosphere, the ability to hear fans' comments throughout the game – all of which was caught by Fox's broadcast – took me back to a simpler time and a simpler place, when game officials were less hesitant to interact with their fans. Read on.

An early start to Pac-12 tourney

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Got up early this morning to get this post done. After all, as I type this, there is only six hours until the tip off of Washington State's Pac-12 tournament game against Oregon State. And it's only been about 10 hours since Eastern Washington's season ended in a late flurry by the Montana Grizzlies in Missoula. Read on.

What a Saturday

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Wow. What a Saturday. Gonzaga's men and women in the West Coast Conference tournament. Eastern Washington in the Big Sky tournament. Idaho, the hottest team around, finishing up its regular season. Washington State concluding Pac-12 regular season play against USC, one of the worst teams in recent conference history. And all the state basketball finals, from the Bs in Spokane to the big schools in Tacoma. What a Saturday. I can't remember a Saturday like this one for, what, at least a year? Read on.