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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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Hawks’ sendoff was impressive

It’s a touch-down for Seahawks Richard Sherman, left, and Marshawn Lynch. (Associated Press)
It’s a touch-down for Seahawks Richard Sherman, left, and Marshawn Lynch. (Associated Press)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • That noise you hear in the background is the Super Bowl hype machine warming up. It began to turn over yesterday in Phoenix as the Seahawks arrived in town. Today the Patriots touch down and the machine will be going full blast. Read on.

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• Yes, the Hawks are in Phoenix, ready to deal with the run-up to the Super Bowl. But their arrival yesterday wasn't as interesting as their departure from Seattle. The route to the airport was lined with 12s, even though it was well before noon on a Sunday. In some spots, the crowd was as deep as the Rose Parade gatherings New Year's Day in Pasadena. And the players noticed. Boy, did they notice. Twitter was full of pictures (the one here comes from Pete Carroll) and comments. Though no one seemed to grab a photo of the family of four, mom, dad and two little ones, all saluting the passing buses by grabbing their, well, you know where. Thanks Marshawn. You know, I consider myself a sports fan. I love baseball. I love basketball. I love football. I really like other sports, including tennis, golf and soccer. But I don't think there is anything, not a Gonzaga national championship, a WSU Rose Bowl victory, a Mariners' World Series title, that would excite me enough to stand on a street corner for a glimpse of a passing bus. Maybe when I was younger, sure. But not since I was 25 or so. It was somewhere in that time I came to realize people who play sports are just people. They aren't special, except for their physical abilities. Some are top-notch folks. People you want to be around. Others are, well, they aren't. They have a job to do. That job entertains us. We appreciate it. But in the grand scheme of things, well, it's entertainment. Now, if someone were able to bring peace to the Middle East or to eliminate hunger or eradicate the disease of terrorism, then I would probably drag my sorry feet out to the curb to wave and show my appreciation. Don't get me wrong. I do understand the love those folks showed yesterday in Seattle. What they did is not for me. But I do get it. It's a way of feeling a part of something. It's a way of showing their team how much they enjoy what they do. It's a way of saying thanks. More power to them. And, win or lose, I'm sure a majority of the people lining the streets yesterday will be there when the Hawks return. That's admirable.

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• WSU: The Cougars are back in Pullman, dealing with a couple of tough losses on the road. Jacob Thorpe returned home too, and had some news to put on the blog concerning a football recruit. It's getting close to crunch time now. Next Wednesday is the beginning of the signing period. ... Jacob will have his morning post with Pac-12 links this morning as well. ... The Cougar women rallied from a late deficit yesterday and defeated Colorado.

• Gonzaga: Jim Meehan returned to the blog yesterday morning with his day-after report on the Pacific win. ... BYU is dealing with another road defeat.

• Chiefs: The Chiefs are struggling right now, mainly due to injuries and an inability to get the puck in the net. They lost again last night, 2-0, to Seattle. Chris Derrick has the game story and this blog post. ... Portland outscored Tri-City 7-5 as well on Sunday.

• Seahawks: Besides the sendoff in Seattle, the Hawks received an interesting greeting in Phoenix, except it was just the media. The press conferences were up and down, with Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, Jermaine Kearse and Earl Thomas saying the most interesting things and Russell Wilson and Russell Okung barely reaching above the boring line. ... Pete Carroll spoke, of course, and, surprisingly, he was positive. ... His words to the Hawks before they boarded the bus: Stay humble. ... Thomas is still dealing with his shoulder – and questions about it. ... Kearse is in the spotlight a lot more this year. ... For once, the Hawks get to play a Super Bowl in a warm-weather city. ... Speaking of Lynch's gesture, the NFL is threatening to come down hard during the game if it happens, so Carroll said he will talk with his running back. I wonder if Carroll will give Lynch to OK for a grab on Lynch's fourth touchdown. After all, if he scores four times, the Hawks will win. ... Guess who are the good guys this week?

• Mariners: Austin Jackson wants to be a bit better this year than he was last season. Everyone in Seattle wants that as well.

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• The Monday of Super Bowl week features yours truly on the radio again with Dennis Patchin and Rick Lukens. I'll be on 700 ESPN all week beginning at 3 p.m. You can listen here. Until then ...



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

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