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Saturday, October 31, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Being a father on Father’s Day is almost as much fun as being one every other day of the year

A GRIP ON SPORTS • It's Father's Day. Where are my gifts? Read on.

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• Father's Day is a Spokane holiday. Invented in the Lilac City. It's our gift to the world. Well, it's either that or John Stockton. Anyway, you would think Spokane kids would be better than most at handing out Father's Day gifts. The best hand-made art. Silk instead of polyester ties. Double-cut lawns. Whatever Spokane kids do for their dads, it has to be the best, right? Sorry, not going to happen. Kids are kids everywhere. Spokane is no different. Though today will officially be dad's big day, my guess is most of Spokane's youth will be out getting ready for Hoopfest or riding their bikes or playing video games all day, basically oblivious to dad until mom hands them a wrapped gift and tells them to give it their father and hug him. After that, it's back to Call of Duty XXV or whatever. Maybe, because the U.S. Open is on Father's Day, they will spend a bit of time together playing or watching golf. That's cool. It's something that I did with my dad and now do with my oldest son. My dad was an awful golfer, even though he was a great athlete and loved to play. But getting the ball into the cup seemed to befuddle him at times. He was visiting Spokane once and we played Indian Canyon together. There is this uphill par 4 on the front side. It's No. 5, a 400-yard monster (for some reason we were playing the blues). But dad hit a great drive – it didn't slice into the woods, so he considered it great – and then jumped all over a 3-wood, hitting it just over the green. One problem. The hole has three tiers and they all run from back to front. Hard. Dad hit his chip a bit too strong. It rolled past the cup, looked at the holes, laughed and continued over the hill. It was gone. It didn't stop until it was back in the fairway. A few words, not suitable for this space, leaked out of my dad's mouth. He chipped again. The ball almost made it over the first hump, peeked at the second level and decided to head back to my dad. A few more words. Another chip. Another fail. Another one. That was enough. I wrote BIP X on the scorecard and we moved on. I didn't laugh, though I really wanted to. Just like the time I was playing with my son at Jack Nicklaus' course in Anaconda, Mont. There is a par 3 on that course with water off to the right. I had the honors, so I stepped up and hit my iron way left, coming to rest somewhere near Missoula. I muttered something about being intimidated by the water and my son harrumphed. Literally. He looked at me with a 25-year-old's disdain and said "the water doesn't come into play on this hole." He then took a 6-iron and proceeded to swipe his ball dead right. It landed about 50 yards into the lake. Even before it came down he growled, "don't say a word," using a voice that indicated he meant it. This time I laughed.

• As we mentioned yesterday, it's a big day of television watching available today. There is the final round of the U.S. Open and the final game of the NBA playoffs, to mention just a couple of events. What happens if the Warriors lose tonight? Former Washington State star Klay Thompson said it best this week when he confirmed a loss in the finals would tarnish everything Golden State has done this year. And the Warriors have done plenty, including winning more regular season games than any NBA team. Ever. But, like the 2001 M's, that will be forgotten around the sports world except as an example of how winning the last game is more important than winning a whole bunch of other ones. At least in America in 2016.

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• WSU: One of the Cougars' Spokane targets, Gonzaga Prep wide receiver Devin Culp, has committed to Oregon. Culp, a junior in the fall, made his decision public yesterday.

• Gonzaga: Another honor rolls in for Shelby Mills.

• Empire: There is one team Spokane will have to get past if it wants to win the IFL title: Sioux Falls, the five-time defending champion. So far Spokane is 0-2 against the Storm, dropping a 59-35 decision last night at the Arena. Jim Meehan has the game story and John Blanchette follows up with a column.

• Indians: The Indians received a great start from Tyler Phillips and went on to a 5-0 win over Vancouver. Josh Horton has the story. ... The 70th anniversary of a terrible accident is coming up soon. Jim Price has the story of another minor league bus crash and its relation to Spokane. ... Eugene defeated Boise last night. ... Everett got past Tri-City, 1-0 in 10 innings.

• Mariners: The M's had their chances early but only put up two runs. It wasn't enough as Boston won, 6-2 ... The tops teams in the bigs? The Mariners would be there if they could have kept their young guys together – and they had produced here as they have done elsewhere. ... What will the M's do before the trade deadline? Maybe try to help the bullpen?

• Seahawks: The Hawks know how to put on a show.

• Sounders: Sigi Schmid will coach his 500th MLS match tonight. The Sounders play in New York. ... The Timbers and Real Salt Lake played to a draw in MLS action last night, as did San Jose and Orlando.

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• If you don't know, BIP is short for Ball In Pocket. Just one of those golf terms the pros don't use. Until later ...




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

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