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


If you don’t want to have the ending spoiled, you better watch it live

A GRIP ON SPORTS • The new Star Wars movie is out and the reviews in France are not that glowing. But the British, they love it. What’s does this have to do with sports? Nothing. And everything. Read on.


• The biggest Star Wars fan I know in this area told me yesterday he has been avoiding social media so as not to come into contact with any “The Force Awakens” spoilers. (As an aside, the biggest Star Wars fan I know is my brother-in-law Jeff, who was seven in 1977, the perfect demographic for the original film. I still remember putting him to sleep in his Star Wars pajamas. I believe, but would not swear to it, he used to cuddle with his Luke Skywalker action figure. I’m sure it still holds a treasured spot in his home.) They are out there. Spoilers I mean, not Kylo Ren. They will haunt your dreams and ruin your Christmas surprise. Everyone wants to be surprised by the plot twists and ultimate payoff at the end, right? So you avoid Twitter and Facebook religiously, just so as not to ruin the anticipation. Which brings us, in our usual roundabout way, to sports. Spoiler alert, the Seahawks are playing really well. Who would have seen that coming in early November? Nope, not me. Or you. If you are wondering why ESPN and NBC and Fox are still willing to spend billions on sports rights, there it is. No matter of social media-fueled spoilers can ruin a sporting event or season. If you want to be part of the conversation, you have to watch a football or basketball or baseball game live. Are the Warriors going to continue their winning streak? No, but if you missed the loss at Milwaukee, there is no going back. You were either part of it or not. Would Gronk play Sunday night? Yes, but to see him in action, and then to share that experience with your 72,495 “friends” on Twitter, you had to watch. Or pretend to watch, but that’s another column. Anyhow, movies can be ruined by a way-too-early reveal of the climax. Sporting events, whether it be a single one or a full season, can only be revealed in real time. They happen. The same time, the same place. For everyone. Oh sure, people DVR football games or soccer matches because they are working or sleeping or some other lame excuse. But we’ve gotten past respecting their feelings in this. While the Sun Bowl is unfolding, if you aren’t able to watch, too bad. We’re all “talking” about it with our fingers. So you better sit your rear end down and watch too. Same with this week’s Seahawk game. Spoiler alert: The Hawks are going to win. Sorry, but that’s the way it will be. How they will get there – Will the Hawks have a healthy running back after the game? Will Kam Chancellor’s bruised behind allow him to play? Will Pete Carroll climb to the top of the 12th man flagpole to address his team? – is anyone’s guess. You’ll just have to watch to find out. Me? I’ll be busy. I’ll have to put in on the DVR and watch it later. Don’t ruin it for me, will ya? After all, I’ll be in the theater watching Hans Solo make a smart-aleck remark. Oops, probably shouldn’t have let that plot point out. My bad.


• WSU: The biggest news from Pullman yesterday – from all around the Pac-12 really – was the announcement of the 2016 football schedule. Seven home games. It’s been a while since that’s happened. Jacob Thorpe has the lowdown on all of them, including the toughest non-conference slate in the Northwest (Eastern, which has its way with Pac-12 schools, at always-tough Boise State and at home against up-and-coming Idaho). ... Former WSU defensive lineman Xavier Cooper will be in Seattle this weekend with the Browns, trying to make the Seahawks miserable. ... Oregon will be good again, we know that. Dakota Prukop spurned Alabama and announced yesterday he will transfer from Montana State to Eugene for his final season. The Big Sky needs a new motto. “The Conference of (soon-to-be-Oregon’s) Quarterbacks,” or something like that. ... Speaking of Oregon, the Ducks are on my naughty list after what they did last night. ... UCLA picked up another victory last night.

• Gonzaga: Injuries are a thing over on Hamilton and Trent. The men are still without Przemek Karnowski – that’s a big part of Jim Meehan’s day-after post – and the women are dealing with injuries to three of their key players – that’s part of Jim Allen’s college basketball notebook.

• EWU: The Eagles continue to garner All-America honors.

• Empire: Spokane signed two more linemen yesterday.

• Preps: It was a Tuesday in mid-December, so that means prep hoop. We have GSL girls and boys roundups as well as boys and girls roundups from around the area and a roundup of GNL boys action. ... If you are interested in youth basketball, I suggest you read this. I really agree with the sentiments.

• Chiefs: The WHL decided the after-the-horn fight between Tri-City and Spokane a few days ago was bad enough that Adam Helewka had to be suspended for six games. Tom Clouse has the particulars in this story. ... The Helewka-less Chiefs host Everett tonight. ... The Americans continue to roll, defeating Portland 6-4 last night.

• Seahawks: So what is behind the abrupt plot twist in Seattle? Let’s see if we can spoil it for you. The offensive line, usually bit players, have a pivotal role in this one. Russell Wilson, always a lead, has continued to take up more screen time and, with the supporting cast of running backs depleted, he’ll be up for more star turns. And the director? He'll do anything to get the right shot. ... The Hawks could clinch a playoff spot this week. Yep, really. And it’s not out of the question. ... The roster changed again yesterday with the running back with the most carries last Sunday no longer with the team.

• Sounders: It’s official. Marco Pappa is gone, headed to Colorado.


• I was just kidding. I haven’t bought my Star Wars tickets yet. I know. That destroys my true fandom. I’m not hip anymore. I will get to the theater and see it. Eventually. But my days of standing in lines or having to be first are over. Unless J.J. Abrams reboots John Ford’s cavalry trilogy or “The Rockford Files.” Though I have a feeling the queue for either wouldn’t be all that long. Until later ...

Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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