As one might expect, the links today are going to take you to a variety of opinion and commentary on the possible Apple Cup move. And it's possible possible isn't the right word. Maybe probable would be better. Anyhow, there are links on the link (sounds like an explosion in a sausage factory) so read on.
• One of the best parts of this blog is the ability of everyone to post a comment. But one of the worst parts of that is when those comments start to get nasty about each other. I've read the comments, and great majority of them are thoughtful, reasoned and heartfelt. Passionate is another word that comes to mind. And, oh ya, respectful as well. But some have started to aim their anger at this circumstance at their neighbor whose opinion about the change is different. I'm all for disagreement when it leads to thoughtful discourse, even if that disagreement is with something I wrote. But when it slops over into saying someone is a bad person or, and this is probably even worse on this blog, a bad Cougar, then that's not the way we want to go, is it? Go ahead, pound on the ideas. But keep it there. Don't make it personal. Thanks.
• Now on to the links. We'll start in Spokane, where John Blanchette weighed in with this reasoned, see-both-sides-along-with-the-bottom-line column about the proposal. That ran concurrently with our story looking at reaction, with a longer version that includes more comment being found here ... The Tacoma News Tribune's Todd Milles has a story this morning that says the agreement is a done deal. ... Bud Withers gauged reaction in the Seattle Times. ... The P-I's Art Thiel tied the Apple Cup decision to Cameron Dollar's hiring by Seattle U in this column ... Ken Goe of the Oregonian actually thinks moving the game is a good idea. ... Nick Daschel of Buster Sports points out what WSU's schedule could look like in the future.
• One more thing. We didn't get a chance to update Thursday's spring practice much thanks to the Apple Cup brouhaha, but some things did stand out yesterday. ... The weather was great. WSU video coordinator Kevin Nightpipe talked extensively about his Wednesday hole-in-one on the 16th at Palouse Ridge. And Cory Mackay blew up Marcus Richmond in a goal-line scrimmage. As we've said on this site before, WSU is going to have to find a way to get Mackay on the field. This is a guy that, at 6-foot-4 and 257 pounds as a redshirt freshman, has an NFL future as a defensive end. He's that skilled, strong and quick. Though he's not at the NFL level yet, the potential is definitely there. And, most importantly for the 2009 Cougars, he's one of their 11 best defensive players. He'll play on Saturdays in the fall. And maybe the next day of the week in a few years. ... Tyrone Justin was back on the field and it showed. The redshirt sophomore, who sits out Tuesday practices working on academics, played the role of a shutdown corner Thursday. It showed in the team drills and it really showed in the one-on-one drills the defensive backs and receivers do each day. No one, and I mean no one, drove better on the ball during the drill then Justin. He's able to plant and close the gap in an instant. Again, he's a guy that will be on the field. ... The man in the spotlight right now is transfer running back James Montgomery, who has been featured every where, it seems, from ESPN to GQ (OK, I made the last one up). And his practice play – plus his intelligent, articulate responses – has shown he deserves ink. But Dwight Tardy has not-so-quietly accepted the challenge. Some year-and-a-half removed from the UCLA-game knee injury, the 5-10, 208-pound Tardy is running with confidence, getting his hips down, his shoulders square and driving through holes. This is a bigger, smarter version of the Tardy who blasted through UCLA that day. ... One huge negative. Too many guys watching practice in braces, boots, you name it. The injury bug is still biting – though there haven't been any of the hamstring pulls that have dotted practices the past few years – and that's slowing some progress. The healthy guys are getting great work. The injured guys are still learning the nuances of schemes, but they are doing their physical work in the weight room, not the field, and that isn't good.
• That's it for this morning. We'll be back as events warrant. Until then …