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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


Off to Pullman

A couple of things before I make the trip down U.S. 195 to Pullman.

There is no doubt that John Blanchette is the most talented writer on our staff. Few people could have handled the subject of today's column - the loss WSU football coach Bill Doba suffered in April when his wife Judy died - with the deft touch Blanchette showed. My favorite line from Doba, while talking about his recent summer vacation: "Three weeks with six grandkids. Next year, I think I'll go back for two."

Cougar beat writer Glenn Kasses this morning examined what the year ahead on the field means to Doba and the Cougs, who open practice this afternoon - the reason I'm driving to Pullman. I'll share my observations about the Cougars' first football practice of 2006 here later.

So why am I a full-time Internet guy? Sports editor Joe Palmquist explained the reasons behind the move today.

When he mentioned in there that I was "apprehensive," you don't know the half of it. Then again, it always takes me a while to try anything new - except my i-Pod. Greatest invention ever, better than the airplane. I can listen to nothing but 70s music from here to Seattle. Wow. But I digress. Yes, I take to new ideas - and jobs - with trepidation. But after I grow used to something, though, I give it everything I got.

The Nicklaus posts below hold little, if any, comment. In the future, a piece like this will appear on our sports page's website. I don't know how to do that yet - school is scheduled for next week - so I put the piece here. In the future, when a story like this is posted to our site, I'll comment about it here and put in a link.

So what's my comment about Nicklaus' visit? The guy is one of the greatest golfers in history - in the discussion with Bobby Jones and, yes, Tiger Woods. He's taking the focus he put into golf and transferring it to course design. I'm sure The Idaho Club will be a pleasure to play. I know it is going to be beautiful. On one hole, Nicklaus pointed out the water and the tree line and told his team no one could screw this hole up.

But golf course design is so different today than when Alister Mackenzie had Bobby Jones hit shots off the dirt to help shape Augusta National's holes. I was kind of hoping Jack would do that Friday. He could have hit the shots good golfers hit - and I could have shanked and sliced and skulled the ones guys like us hit. Every course needs a 180-yard par 4 that goes dead right, exactly where my driver lands.

The last note is a sad one. I've known Tom Oswald for 20-plus years, and I've never met a man more perfectly suited for his career (Dave Trimmer's obituary can be found here). Tom was the epitome of what a high school football coach should be. More than that, Tom was the epitome of what a man should be. He will be missed.

SportsLink is your portal into sports news around the Inland Northwest and beyond. You'll find updates, notes and opinions, and plenty of reader feedback.

Looking for a Grip on Sports?

Vince Grippi's daily take on all things regional sports has been moved to our main sports section online. You can find a collection of these columns here.