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Sunday, January 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Grip on Sports: When it comes to getting around town during Hoopfest, there are some dos and don’ts

Hoopfest crowds fill downtown Spokane around Stevens Street and Spokane Falls Boulevard, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Hoopfest crowds fill downtown Spokane around Stevens Street and Spokane Falls Boulevard, Saturday, June 24, 2017. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • There is no more crowded two days downtown than Hoopfest weekend. For hours and hours, thousands and thousands of people cram themselves into spaces that struggle to accommodate such numbers. There is etiquette about the situation, one that still seems lost on some people. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. Read on.


• The dos and don’ts are simple really, but not everyone follows them. And that causes problems. As someone who has missed just one Hoopfest – last year, for a family wedding – and has a forum for disseminating information, we thought we would just take a crack at trying to educate everyone. We know it won’t do much good – most people who stop in the middle of the sidewalk to talk with a long lost buddy don’t read (this column anyway) – but like Don Quixote, we will continue to tilt at windmills.

Do: Connect with old friends.

Don’t: Stop in the middle of the sidewalk on Post to do it. There is only so much space between the courts and the buildings. The area closest to the street should be reserved for those watching the game in front of them. The area next to the buildings is the best place to stop and talk. The area in-between? Leave it clear for those traveling between games. There is only so much time to get from Riverside and Washington to Post and Mallon, so let people through. Stopping, for whatever reason, in the middle of the sidewalk just causes a L.A.-like traffic jam.

Do: Bring the kids.

Don’t: Bring an Escalade-sized stroller with you. And then use it as a battering ram for other folks’ calves. Yes, I understand the need for a stroller if you have a young one that has to be with you. But be considerate with it. It isn’t fun to be whacked in the back of the leg with your child’s transportation device. And for goodness sake, if you are late for your game, don’t run with the darn thing.

Do: Cheer for your favorite team or player.

Don’t: Scream at the court monitor. You go to a college basketball game and, after the coaches, the persons being compensated the most are the officials. So some criticism is part of the job, with job being the operative word. Hoopfest’s court monitors are volunteers. You know, folks who donate their time to help the event succeed. Their payment is simple: goodwill. That’s it. They stand in the sun for hour after hour so your son or granddaughter can play. They may or may not know the game. But they love Spokane, Hoopfest and helping others. For that they deserve to be called names and hear you tell them how they are ruining little Crystal’s future? No, they don’t.

Do: Come downtown for the atmosphere.

Don’t: Bring your puppy. I’m sorry, but I saw way too many dogs yesterday and just about every one of them look a bit terrified. Put yourself in their place. How would you like to be on a leash among thousands of smelly Hagrids? It would be a little scary as you try to avoid their feet and bags and clawing hands, wouldn’t it? It’s also darn hot downtown, and dogs can’t just reach for the nearest bottle of SmartWater every time they are thirsty.

Do: Stay hydrated.

Don’t: Bring a cooler the size of Paulie’s meat locker in the first Rocky movie. Most of the coolers with wheels being carted around downtown are wider than the people towing them. So when you go by someone, you may fit easily. But your cooler’s wheels may not. And they hurt.

Do: Use sunscreen.

Don’t: Use enough Axe Body Spray to scare away a grizzly. You know who I’m talking about, Mr. Gold Gym Tank Top. I may not see you coming, but I sure am alerted to your arrival by the aroma cloud. Throttle it back about an ounce or two, will ya?


WSU: Oregon State’s Friday loss in the college World Series can be pinned on an umpiring mistake more than anything else. But Saturday’s loss, which eliminated the Beavers, may have to be borne by Pat Casey more than anyone. The OSU coach decided to not go with Drew Rasmussen on the mound and it was the wrong decision in the Beavers’ 6-1 defeat to LSU. … Elsewhere in the Pac-12, Washington picked up another highly regarded basketball recruit.

Gonzaga: The Zags have reached out to another Eastern Washington high school basketball player and he’s also responded by saying yes. Kittitas guard Brock Ravet, the star of this year’s State 2B tournament, was offered by GU last week and immediately said yes. Ravet, like previous commit Anton Watson of G-Prep, will be a junior next season. Jim Meehan has the story on the 6-foot-1 shooting guard’s decision.

EWU: Former Pullman High and Eastern star linebacker J.C. Sherritt had to be helped off the field last night in Vancouver. He may have suffered an Achilles injury.

Indians: This isn’t a road trip the Indians will want to remember. They lost again, this time 10-4 at Vancouver. … Around the Northwest League last night, Everett picked up a win over Tri-Cities and Eugene also won.

Empire: Arizona, in its first season as a member of the IFL, will play in the title game.

Chiefs: Another Spokane player was picked in the NHL draft. Jaret Anderson-Dolan was taken by the Los Angeles Kings.

Hoopfest: As the streets overflowed, there was intense action among the elite teams. Whitney Ogden caught up with former Zag and Lewis and Clark Tiger Heather Bowman (pictured), playing in the coed ranks. Greg Lee wrote about quite possibly the second-heaviest Hoopfest team ever (remember, guys like me play in the event). And the two combined on this notebook. We can also pass along photos from the event from Dan Pelle and Jesse Tinsley. … Hoopfest is the pinnacle of 3-on-3 in the world right now. But the Olympics are beckoning.

Mariners: Dave Nichols has today’s Mariners Log. We have added the links. That is all.

Sounders: Seattle heads for Portland for a night contest. Why at night? Because of the unusual heat in the Rose City today. No matter the temperature, these teams usually play heated matches. … San Jose and Kansas City each won yesterday.


• It’s going to be even hotter today, which is probably perfect Hoopfest conditions. At least I used to feel that way. I liked it cool on Saturday, when the muscles were still working OK, and really warm on Sunday, when they weren’t. The heat seemed like an all-encompassing Ben-Gay alternative for sore muscles. Until later …

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