Grip on Sports: Need help? We have Christmas gift suggestions for WSU, Gonzaga, Eastern fans
Mon., Dec. 19, 2016
A GRIP ON SPORTS • The final week begins. No, not the final week of the year, but the final week before Christmas. The last chance to get what you need. To let Santa in on a few secrets. To figure out the perfect gift for that someone special. Yes, the pressure is on. We’ve decided to help. Read on.
• If you have a list in front of you with some of the big names of Inland Northwest sports and next to them is nothing but blank space, you’re out of luck. Unless you follow these simple suggestions …
• Luke Falk: The Washington State quarterback can use a couple things this Christmas, but the most important is a shiny quarter, maybe one of the Utah ones from the old state series.
He can put it in a drawer somewhere, letting it stay warm and cozy until after the Cougars’ Holiday Bowl win over Minnesota.
Then he can dig it out, gather his friends and family around and flip it. Heads he stays in Pullman for his senior year, tails he declares for the NFL draft. Or, if he doesn’t get the result he wants, best two-out-of-three.
• Jordan Mathews: The Gonzaga guard is simple to buy for. All he needs is a new pair of shoes.
If you watched the Zags’ 86-76 win over Tennessee yesterday, you saw Mathews lose his footing four times. (Yes, I counted.)
My suggestion? A nice pair of New Balance walking shoes. They aren’t much to look at but they are comfortable. And they are recommended by dads – and grand dads – everywhere.
• Beau Baldwin: It’s time for the Eagles to win another national championship. They deserve it. Baldwin deserves it.
The Eastern coach runs his program the right way, with the players’ needs put first. Yes, he has examined moving up the college football ranks recently, but he’s stayed in Cheney. Whatever the reason, it’s time for the reward – and we’re not talking money, he’s got a new contract.
I’m thinking two 6-foot-3, 290-pound defensive tackles in the mold of Warren Sapp would make nice Christmas presents. You know, two guys who could anchor USC’s defensive line if they wanted, but would rather avoid Los Angeles traffic for a few years – until the Rams or Chargers draft them.
See, controlling the line of scrimmage defensively is all the Eagles need to get another FCS trophy. Everything else is in place.
• Gonzaga fans: This is a large group but there is a perfect gift available. No, we’re not talking about a Final Four berth. That’s not something you can buy. It has to be earned.
Does this year’s group have a chance to earn the school’s first? Sure it does. And maybe it will. We’ll find out in a few months.
But for now, buy the GU basketball fan on your list a subscription to The Spokesman-Review. There is no better way to follow the Zags through the season.
The newspaper is throwing resources at McCarthey in an – let me make sure I spell this correctly, I don’t want to be skewered on Twitter – unprecedented way.
If you want to know what’s going on with Mark Few’s team, the S-R is the right way to find out.
And you also get more of my thoughts right here on the website. Which is a present in itself. Right?
Hello. Anyone out there?
WSU: It was a quiet Sunday in Pullman, which is probably a good thing. The Cougars are now sure of who their Holiday Bowl opponent is going to be, which is a good thing. … By the way, we weren’t here Saturday morning so we missed this Q&A with president Kirk Schulz in the Times. We thought we would pass it along. … Around the Pac-12 in basketball yesterday, Washington picked up a home win as Markelle Fultz came oh so close to a triple double. … Oregon State is struggling and lost to Portland. … Utah and Arizona are looking forward to getting players back in the lineup. … In football, Alabama has a quarterback who plays beyond his years, but Washington hopes to make him turn the ball over.
Gonzaga: Though the Zags’ win came on a neutral court, the nearly 14,000 in attendance were pretty much in the Volunteers’ camp. Jim Meehan was there as well to witness the game and file this game story as well as the key to GU’s 11th win. … John Blanchette was also there and has this column. … Dan Pelle was the third member of the coverage team and he has an in-depth photo report. … And, lest I forget, we watched here in Spokane and commented on the broadcast. … The GU women are back in action tonight at the MAC and Whitney Ogden has an advance of their game with Northwestern. … Around the WCC, Portland did pick up a big win over Oregon State.
EWU: The football season is over, ending a game short of the Eagles’ ultimate goal. But as Jim Allen writes, the last game shouldn’t color all the work of a 12-2 season. … The men’s basketball team was ice cold and lost on the road at Northern Kentucky. … The women’s team didn’t even get to play due to weather conditions. … In other Big Sky men’s action Sunday, Montana State and Idaho State both lost.
Idaho: If there ever was a player born to be a Vandal, Trent Cowan is it. Josh Wright has this feature on the senior tight end in advance of Thursday’s bowl game.
Whitworth: The Pirates are in Southern California and opened their two-game In-n-Out swing with a 96-88 win over La Verne.
Seahawks: The big news from Sunday is simple. Despite not playing, the Hawks moved back into the NFC’s No. 2 seed after Detroit lost to the New York Giants. New York has a better record than the Seahawks, but only division champions can earn the top seeds. … A DUI arrest may cost a backup his spot. … Seattle is so up-and-down it is hard to identify their identity, if you get my drift. … The offense misses Marshawn Lynch in a lot of ways.
• I mentioned Jordan Mathews hitting the floor a few times yesterday during Gonzaga’s game and should be fair. Other players were slipping as well on the Nashville court. No one mentioned it on the broadcast, so it’s hard to say why from so far away. Until later …
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