A GRIP ON SPORTS
Another beautiful Saturday is here. Aren't Saturday's always beautiful no matter what the day is like? If the week was a high school, Saturday would be the quarterback of the football team, the head cheerleader, the coolest teacher. Yep, Saturdays are great. Felt that way since I was about 5 years old. Read on.
• This Saturday, like a lot of Saturdays, has everything. Except a ton of links. We could fill with an opinion piece about the state college basketball or the NFL playoff tomorrow, but why should we? It's Saturday and it can stand on its own. Before we get to our previews to all the great sporting events that are happening today, though, we want to thank everyone who attended our live chat yesterday, even those of you who didn't ask questions publicly – but they also serve who only kibitz from the sidelines. It turned out to be a lot of fun. We'll have another one soon with a local newsmaker. By the way, we're headed out to Cheney this evening to watch Eastern Washington host Portland State in our never-ending quest to bring you a deeper understanding of all the Inland Northwest sporting experiences (sounds noble doesn't it? In reality I just want to watch college hoops and reconnect with former WSU player Mike Harthun). Now on to today's links.
• Washington State: I don't know how it was in Pullman last night, but it rained most of the overnight hours here in Spokane, so the traveling should be quite a bit easier. As I write this, the Weather Channel tells me it is 41 degrees at WSU, so my guess is the crowd will be quite a bit larger for the California game today than it was for Thursday night's win against Stanford. ... That win informs much of Christian Caple's writing today, from his blog post, which includes all the Pac-12 links you need, to his advance in today's S-R. ... Don't forget, Christian will have more here before the game and will be tweeting throughout (@ChristianCaple). ... We have just a couple other conference links to pass along, including Jon Wilner's most recent blog post featuring more Pac-12 Network news and this story from Tucson on Arizona's stadium expansion.
• Gonzaga: The Bulldogs host San Diego and former assistant coach Bill Grier, who lived a few blocks from me when he was at Gonzaga. The Toreros have been playing better recently, but playing in the Kennel is a different experience than playing in Portland or Malibu. ... Jim Meehan had a post yesterday that looked back at the USF win and has this advance of tonight's game in the S-R this morning. ... He'll be back today with a blog post and will be tweeting from McCarthey tonight (@SRJimm). ... St. Mary's has to have a different mindset right now, one GU has gotten used to over the years.
• Eastern Washington: As we said before, the Eagles host Portland State tonight in Cheney. Jim Allen will be there for the S-R and you can follow him on Twitter as well (@srjimallen). Jim has this feature about Cliff Colimon to prep you for tonight's game.
• Idaho: The Vandals will try to stay in the WAC race tonight when they host Utah State. Josh Wright will have the coverage here and on Twitter (@SR_JoshWright). ... The Aggies, usually the scourge of the WAC, are in an unusual place after losing Thursday night at Seattle U. in what is a nonconference game this season but will be a conference game next. They come into the Cowan Spectrum trying to stay in the conference race.
• Whitworth: The Pirates had little trouble last night at Willamette to stay atop the NWC standings. We have this story.
• Preps: Pretty much everything was cancelled last night (as Greg Lee blogged about yesterday) due to the travel conditions – I was out about 7:30 and let me tell you there were some roads more suited for our next section of links than to driving.
• Chiefs: Spokane traveled to the Tri-Cities last night and defeated the Americans for the second consecutive time, this one 3-1. Jess Brown blogged about the win last night and we have this short story today. ... The Chiefs host Portland tonight in the Arena and have an unusual giveaway, which John Blanchette writes about.
• Mariners: You might have thought it was a done deal, but the trade of Michael Pinero to the Yankees for Jesus Montero is only getting closer. ... This isn't strictly a local story – OK, it isn't local at all – but it sure is interesting. Truly a player to be named later.
• Sounders: The season seemingly just ended, but Seattle is getting back to work with preseason camp opening. Sadly, open tryouts had to be cancelled due to the bad weather. I would have like to seen pictures of some overweight 28-year-old puffing on a cigarette while leaning against the goal, waiting his turn to show why he should be the guy to replace Kasey Keller.
• That's what we have for you this morning. Don't know how much we'll be tweeting tonight from Cheney – Jim will have that covered – but we will try to pass along important ones from Gonzaga and WSU. Until then ...