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Friday, August 14, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Grip on Sports: At least the snow was outside yesterday and not on the TV screen

Eastern Washington  quarterback Gage Gubrud  looks for an open teammate during the second half against Washington State on Sept. 15  at Martin Stadium in Pullman. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Eastern Washington quarterback Gage Gubrud looks for an open teammate during the second half against Washington State on Sept. 15 at Martin Stadium in Pullman. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • Those of you reading this in Eastern Washington know what I’m talking about. We were snowed under yesterday. Inches and inches of the white stuff piled up, forcing us hardy Spokane folk to complain a bit more than usual about winter. And then head off to church or the store or the doughnut shop. It’s what we do. That and watch sports on TV because, actually, most of us probably didn’t leave our house yesterday. Read on.


• Too bad there wasn’t a Gonzaga or Washington State basketball game on the TV Sunday. The ratings in Spokane would have been off the charts.

As it was, sitting, watching Phil Mickelson rally to take the lead at Pebble Beach was entertainment enough.

Watching the folks all bundled up made for a few laughs around the house.

There was an occasional basketball game on – watching Kelvin Sampson stalking the Houston sidelines brought back memories, though he can’t get as low as he used to when he was a young man in Pullman – and some new-fangled football league, but that was about it.

Sundays post-NFL and pre-baseball for the non-NBA fan aren’t a lot of fun.

But we have some good news to report. Pitchers and catchers head to Arizona and Florida this week. You know that that means, right?

A 16-inch snowfall is right around the corner.

• Our Theo Lawson spent some time yesterday in front of the computer, researching Gage Gubrud’s best games in an Eastern Washington uniform. And his ensuing story got me thinking.

There once was another Eastern graduate transfer quarterback who had the Pac-12 all in an uproar. And, while he was healthy, Vernon Adams was special for the Oregon Ducks.

The two had remarkably similar statistics at Eastern, with Adams completing 64.8 percent of his 1,081 pass attempts as an Eagle. He threw for 10,438 yards, tossed 110 touchdown passes and threw 31 interceptions. He also rushed for 1,205 yards, averaging 4.1 a carry.

Gubrud completed 64.6 percent of his throws, passed for 9,984 yards and rushed for another 1,042. In his four years, Gubrud threw 87 touchdown passes – 48 of those coming in 2016 – and was intercepted 32 times.

When Adams transferred to Oregon in 2015, he was hailed as the missing piece for the Ducks, who held Pac-12 championship potential. Instead, Adams broke a finger on his throwing hand in the second game, was either out or ineffective for a month and the Ducks, who lost two of the five games Adams was hurt, settled for an Alamo Bowl berth.

That aspect of the Gubrud transfer saga will be written this fall.


Gonzaga: Jim Meehan looks back at the domination of Saint Mary’s from Saturday night and checks in with an alum who happened to drop-in to watch his former team play. That would be Silas Melson, who also received a lot of TV time. … Around the WCC, the conference’s commissioner proves every day she is more than just labels. … BYU is finally catching on to this defense thing. But its schedule gets tougher now.

WSU: As we said, Theo has a look at the best games Gubrud had while starting for Eastern. There is a Washington State game in the list. … Elsewhere in the Pac-12, the Huskies’ loss in Tempe cemented their place in conference history. … Colorado is playing better with one of its better players back on the court. … Utah needed a lot to happen to earn its comeback win against UCLA. … Arizona may not be playing well, but the Wildcats still lead the conference in attendance. … There was one game yesterday and Oregon had no trouble against Stanford in Eugene. … The Bay Area teams’ poor play is part of the conference’s overall problem. … In football news, one of the final stars waiting to sign did so last night, and Washington was the beneficiary of his decision. … A sixth year seems to be all the rage among Pac-12 quarterbacks.


• As you might know, I’m not a huge fan of winter. I don’t snowboard or snowshoe or snow angel or anything with snow in it, so the white stuff doesn’t excite me a lot. And we have plenty of it right now. So much so, I can’t believe I didn’t break out the snowblower this winter. Silly me. Anyhow, the snow is taking its toll on our 14- or 15- or 16-year-old pup (when we adopted Yogi in 2005, the SpokAnimal folks weren’t sure of his age). He slipped yesterday in the snow and hurt himself. So last night I was carrying a 75-pound dog up two flights of stairs. (I thought about making my two sons come watch because they will probably be doing this with me in the not-too-distant future). Poor Yogi is still limping around today. But I’ll do whatever it takes to help him get around. After all, he’s always been there for me, every day since I retired. (In fact, he’s on his bed three feet behind me right now.) I will be there for him. It’s part of the bargain we make for their love, isn’t it? Until later …

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