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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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The Pac-12’s late-night games have a way of grabbing hold and not letting go

A GRIP ON SPORTS • I felt a little like the aged Michael Corleone last night. I turned off the television twice to go to bed, disgusted with the Oregon/Arizona State game for a variety of reasons, including the late hour. But, like Mr. Corleone, they pulled me back in. Read on.

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• Isn’t it funny the worst of the three Godfather movies includes one of the most memorable quotes? And two of the worst, by record, Pac-12 football teams played the most entertaining game Thursday evening? Such is the way of film and West Coast football. The Ducks tried to give it away more than once, the officials, especially the replay official, couldn’t seem to get things right and, finally, Arizona State made the strangest play in a game full of them. The final score was 61-55 Oregon in triple overtime, but the rest of us were winners long before that. Or, if you are talking about sleep time, losers. As the game wound down, I gave up, turned off the big TV downstairs and trudged up to bed. But I kept checking the Gamecast on ESPN’s iPhone app. Watched the highlights. Couldn’t get the game out of my mind. So I turned the TV back on. Until the Ducks went three-and-out and all the Sun Devils had to do was run the clock out. Again it was dark. But the glow from the little handheld TV beckoned and I checked. An interception. The Ducks, and Vernon Adams, were driving. I know how this movie turns out. Click. Adams drops back on fourth down, pursued like Vito Corleone by the fruit stand. But the Sun Devils couldn’t corral Adams and he kept moving, finally tossing up a prayer. Answered. Tie game headed to OT. There was no way the television was going off now. Oregon scores. ASU scores. ASU scores. Oregon scores. Oregon scores again and, in a fit of we’re-smarter-than-everyone-else, does something dumb. A wildcat formation on the mandatory two-point conversion attempt. A fumble. Arizona State has a chance to win. Except the Duck defense, which had tire tracks on the back of its unis – applied by the Sun Devil running backs – was given a reprieve. A pass. A bad decision. And another interception, this one the game decider. Finally, finally, the TV could go off for good. A couple minutes later, however, the phone was back in action. I had to watch Adams’ fourth-down game-tying throw again. Wow. Sweet dreams.

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• WSU: Stanford has made a living the past decade by steamrolling opponents. Just about every opponent. It starts up front with the offensive line, a group that, according to Jacob Thorpe’s story this morning, worries Washington State no end. ... Jacob also has a basketball story in today’s paper, as the Cougars begin the season with a free exhibition tonight against Lewis-Clark State. ... Back to football, Jacob covered last night’s scrimmage time for the backup players as well as talking with assistant coaches Jim Mastro and Ken Wilson. He also has a blog post on another national award for Luke Falk. ... There is also the morning post with links. ... Gabe Marks is still making his – sorry – mark. ... The Pac-12 and WCC cross country championships are in the area this weekend. Tom Clouse has an advance. ... USC is proposing a multi-million dollar renovation of the historic L.A. Coliseum. ... You want more picks? OK.

• EWU: Jim Allen held a live chat yesterday and he put the transcript up on the blog for everyone to enjoy. ... He also has a feature on WSU transfer punter/kicker Jordan Dascalo and a morning post with links. ... Weber State hopes it doesn't have to rally against the Eagles.

• Idaho: Sean Kramer has a story in this morning’s paper on the spotlight shining on the Idaho receiving corps. ... The volleyball team picked up a victory.

• Whitworth: Sometimes a loss one week can lead to a loss the next as well. The Pirates swear that won’t happen after the beatdown at Linfield. Tom has the story.

• Chiefs: Spokane went on the road and picked up a much-needed win, defeating the Calgary Hitmen 6-3. ... The experienced Everett defense is doing well.

• Preps: Mt. Spokane asserted its superiority among GSL 3A football teams last night with a 38-6 win over Shadle Park. The Wildcats will be the top 3A seed from the league. ... Gonzaga Prep asserted its superiority in 4A soccer play with a 1-0 shootout win over Central Valley in a 4A District semifinal. Jim Allen has the coverage. Jesse Tinsley adds a photo gallery from the match. ... The Bullpups also opened the volleyball playoffs with a win.

• Seahawks: It seems as if Cowboy receiver Dez Bryant is getting healthier, which increases the likelihood he’ll play Sunday afternoon. And that Richard Sherman will be lined up on him. Cowboy fan and Hawk safety Earl Thomas approves of the latter. ... Don’t expect Doug Baldwin to drop many balls. He hasn’t in a while. ... What should everyone expect from the Cowboys? ... The Seattle running game is returning to its roots.

• Mariners: Kyle Seager won a Gold Glove last season. This year he wasn’t even voted one of three finalists. That doesn’t happen all that often. ... Jerry Dipoto talked about the makeover of the M’s, which includes new front office hires. ... Speaking of the makeover, there is a simple blueprint out there: the Royals.

• Sounders: With the result in Portland last night – the Timbers outlasted Kansas City in a really long shootout – the Sounders will face FC Dallas in the Western Conference semifinals. The two-match series begins Sunday night in Seattle.

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• We’re on the radio this afternoon for three hours. It starts at 3. You can listen here if you want. That is all. 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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