Thu., Jan. 1, 2015
This year begins like any other, with memorable college football games
• Yes, our friendly neighborhood blog has a new look. More elegant, don't you think? As for the old fellow in charge, of this column anyway, old is the correct word. I feel really old today. Do you know there is actually a midnight? And people light off fireworks on New Year's Eve? I stayed up until that ungodly hour last night and was shocked – shocked I tell you – to discover such behavior. It's not that I wanted to stay up that late, mind you, but I had football overload and had to cleanse my mind somehow, so I decided the best way was with a couple John Wayne westerns. "Fort Apache" was first and then "El Dorado." Before I knew it, it was after 11:30 and staying up to ring in the New Year seemed the thing to do. I believe I fell asleep at 11:54 before the loud pops of fireworks shocked me awake a few minutes after midnight. Like just about everyone my age, getting back to sleep after that was a chore. It took so long, really, that I'm ready for a nap right now.
• That won't happen, though. It's New Year's Day and that means football. As I've written before, many of my favorite football memories were written in the Rose Bowl during my formative years. Stanford's Don Bunce-led 13-12 win over Michigan in 1972, in which the game-winning field goal landed a couple of rows in front of me and my dad in the south end zone. USC's 18-17 win over Ohio State in 1975, in which my friend Kent and I sat in the second row near the north end zone, tickets courtesy of my then girl friend. I repaid her generosity by ogling the USC song girls the entire game. What an idiot I was. Washington's 28-0 demolishing of Iowa in 1982, the first big event I ever covered as a sports writer. I wrote a sidebar on Jacque Robinson, the MVP. A few years ago I spent a little time with his son, Nate, at Hoopfest for a story. The circle of a sports writers life.
• WSU: It seems Jacob Thorpe was out too late last night to post this morning – darn lightweight – so we'll link his stuff from yesterday as well as a few other Pac-12 links. Jacob held a live chat on the blog, some of which you can read here. He also put together a feature on freshman point guard Ny Redding, the first feature of 2015 on the first college basketball page. That page also includes short advances on the weekend's games, so Jacob has one on WSU's Bay Area matchups. ... We found a couple more Pac-12 basketball previews in our travels around the Web this morning. ... There is a pretty darn important Rose Bowl game today. I wish I were there.
• Gonzaga: The Bulldogs have just one game this weekend. Jim Meehan has a short preview on the Portland matchup.
• EWU: The Eagles begin Big Sky play today, meeting the preseason favorite Weber State this afternoon at Reese Court. Jim Allen has an advance and the short preview of the weekend.
• Idaho: The Vandals return to the Big Sky for the first time this century, hosting Idaho State tonight. We have a short preview of Idaho's weekend as well.
• Chiefs: Seven is a pretty lucky number and a great way to finish 2014, when the seven represents the number of consecutive wins. No. 7 came last night in Kennewick, where the Chiefs blasted the Tri-City Americans 10-2. We have a story to pass along.
• Preps: The final basketball games of the year occurred yesterday. We have a girls and a boys roundup.
• Seahawks: How will the Hawks remember the second half of 2014? There were surprises, sure, but the Hawks knew something would happen. It always does. ... Doug Baldwin couldn't resist one last farewell to Jim Harbaugh. It was Baldwin-style farewell. ... The Hawk offense set a few records. ... Pete Carroll spent some time talking yesterday, ending 2014 just as he started it. ... Bobby Wagner's importance to Seattle's defense was recognized by the league.
• Mariners: The M's newest outfielder, Seth Smith, talked with the Seattle-area media yesterday, saying he knew a trade was likely. ... Ryan Divish has a list of the M's 40-man roster and the contract status.
• There were some really nice comments yesterday on the column, which allowed me to end 2014 with a smile on my face instead of the usual frown. Thanks guys. Until later ...