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Tuesday, October 15, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Grip on Sports: It’s almost time for your bad case of NFLitis to reappear

Seahawks running back Eddie Lacy will get the bulk of carries against the Redskins on Sunday. He has 108 yards on 42 carries this season. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
Seahawks running back Eddie Lacy will get the bulk of carries against the Redskins on Sunday. He has 108 yards on 42 carries this season. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • The days are getting shorter, though it’s still light at 8 p.m. And the time until the NFL infects our Sundays with its virulent strain of fanaticism is growing shorter as well. Read on.


• There were college football games played yesterday – though I’m not sure what Rice was doing could have been described as “playing.” There will be a full schedule next weekend, with all of the upper-level schools in the area playing their openers.

A week later the NFL begins.

The 900-pound gorilla. When it sits, the rest of the football world shakes.

Are you in a fantasy league? Ever bought a NFL-approved jersey? Is the RedZone your favorite channel for about four months?

Answer yes to any of those questions and you have been infected with NFLitis. Sorry, but there is no cure.

You can keep it under control – after the Seahawks first Super Bowl I didn’t watch an NFL game for two years; the extra time on weekends was glorious – but the underlying bug circulates in your blood stream forever.

The symptoms are sometimes not that obvious, but there is a simple test to see if you are in Stage 1 or Stage 4. Quick, when you heard about Julian Edelman’s season-ending knee injury did you:

A) Wonder who Julian Edelman is;

B) Feel sorry for Edelman because you admire how he plays;

C) Rejoice in the blow to the Patriots’ chance to repeat;

D) Celebrate how it cripples that jerk Bill’s fantasy team;

E) Cry because your fantasy team is in real trouble now.

If your answer was A, you are NFLitis free. If it was B, you have the first stage. If it is C, you are an American. D and E? You should seek help.


WSU: There was a little fight going on last night – no, I didn’t spend the money – that seemed to have everyone’s attention. It even got Mike Leach’s. As Theo Lawson writes, he predicted the outcome – who wins Saturday's football game coach? – and built some team unity during it. … Leach's coaching tree is growing. … Elsewhere in the Pac-12, the hottest coaching seats are in the South. … Two North Division schools opened the season in two different ways. Oregon State traveled to Colorado State and was blown out in the second half, 58-27. Being embarrassed isn’t how the Beavers wanted to begin year three of the Gary Andersen era. … Stanford traveled all the way to Sydney, Australia and just destroyed Rice, who put up less resistance than Uncle Ben. The Cardinal won 62-7. … Washington learned a lot from playing Alabama in the semifinals last season. … Austin Meeks touches on a subject that has or will affect us all: The death of a parent. It is our Oregon-based story for today. … California is getting ready for the first game of Justin Wilcox’s tenure. … Colorado had a breakout season in 2016. Will it continue? … The new Utah quarterback has “been balling.” … UCLA’s new offensive coordinator will try to make Josh Rosen as legendary as this guy, my hero, non-baseball edition, as a youth. … USC is trying to reclaim some past glory. … How does the Arizona State season look? … Arizona will be better this season.

Gonzaga: Victoria Fallgren, a women’s golf assistant coach, qualified for the Mid-Amateur championship.

EWU: Around the Big Sky yesterday, Portland State opened the football season by giving BYU a scare, finally falling 20-6 in Provo. … Cal Poly looked a bit lost early – yes, I watched some – but rallied. It was just not enough, losing its opener to Colgate 20-14 at home. … Montana State opens at WSU on Saturday. … Montana opens at home versus Valparaiso. … Northern Colorado is set at kicker – and maybe at linebacker as well. … North Dakota is going to use some youngsters in the secondary.

Preps: Gonzaga Prep senior Daniel Roy is a world swimming champion.

Indians: With the season winding down, Spokane needs to keep winning. It did last night at Salem-Keizer, kicking off a road trip. … On Friday night, the Indians held Military Appreciation Night and James Snook took a lot of pictures. … Elsewhere in the Northwest League on Saturday, Eugene took to the road and won in Everett, while Hillsboro lost at Tri-City.

Ironman: It’s the passing of a tradition. The last full Coeur d’Alene Ironman is underway as we write this, so Ryan Collinwood’s advance is a bit dated. But it's still appropriate to pass it along.

Chiefs: Spokane will hold its annual Red-White Game today and Whitney Ogden has a preview. … Around the Western Hockey League, Everett is prepping for the upcoming season as well.

Mariners: The M’s had a chance to take over the wild-card lead again Saturday but couldn’t solve the puzzle of Sonny Gray, losing 6-3. … Edwin Diaz is awful young to have 30 saves in a season. … The minor league talent may not be the best, but there are some players who stand out.

Seahawks: Who are the best players to play each position for the Hawks? The Times' Bob Condotta has his choices. Agree? Disagree? … Who is making a name for themselves as roster cuts get closer? … Cliff Avril believes Michael Bennett is right and he will support him.

Sounders: Seattle and Clint Dempsey will host archrival Portland tonight in a key Western Conference match. … Down the standings a bit, Real Salt Lake picked up a crucial three points with a win over Colorado last night.


• Believe it or not, I actually did swear off the NFL for a couple years. And for a few years I hardly watched at all. But like Michael Corleone, just when I thought I was out, it pulled me back in. With money. I got this job. And have to watch. Until later … 

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