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Monday, June 1, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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A Grip on Sports: Is your commemorative Super Bowl mug half-overflowing or half-empty? It’s a question Seahawk fans will be answering for another year

Beginning of the end? On a play that will forever haunt Seahawks fans, New England Patriots strong safety Malcolm Butler (21) intercepts a pass intended for receiver Ricardo Lockette (83) during the second half of NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game on Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (Kathy Willens / Associated Press)
Beginning of the end? On a play that will forever haunt Seahawks fans, New England Patriots strong safety Malcolm Butler (21) intercepts a pass intended for receiver Ricardo Lockette (83) during the second half of NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game on Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (Kathy Willens / Associated Press)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • It’s Super Bowl weekend. Remember those back-to-back years when that meant something in this region? It didn’t end well.

•••••••

• What do you remember more, the 43-8 title win over the Denver Broncos in 2014 or the next year and last-second loss to New England?

Your choice may let your friends and neighbors discern whether you are on optimist or a pessimist.

If I were to tell you I remember the Seattle Mariners’ flameout in the 2001 American League Championship series a whole heck of a lot more than I remember any of their 116 wins that season, would that give you a clue where I stand? Sure it would.

And sure the rout over Denver was fun, albeit so fun the game wasn’t memorable after about halfway through the second quarter. But the loss to the Pats still stings. Mainly because of the way it ended.

One more play. That’s all. The difference between joining New England as the only franchise this century to win back-to-back Super Bowls and nightmares for the rest of your football-loving life.

It’s painful to even write about.

For Kansas City fans, they don’t see what the fuss is about. Their team played in the first and fourth Super Bowls. Since then, nothing. Well, except disappointment and heartbreak.

For San Francisco fans, winning Super Bowls seemed like their birthright – until 25 years ago. Since then, the previously undefeated 49ers have had one chance – and blew it.

The Chiefs and 49ers have an opportunity to write history tomorrow. It can either be glorious or depression-inducing. There’s a 50-50 chance of either.

Enjoy.

•••

Gonzaga: Will Killian Tillie be available when the Zags venture into venerable War Memorial Gym this afternoon (1 p.m.)? It’s unlikely but possible. (How’s that for clarity?) Jim Meehan looks at that injury situation then ventures into USF and the Nerdball tradition that has outlived the departure of now Washington State coach Kyle Smith. … Jim’s key matchup today includes the Dons’ point guard. … The Bulldog women host BYU today – the game time (2 p.m.) is problematic for any GU fan wanting to watch both genders play – hoping to put some distance between themselves and the Cougars in the WCC race. Jim Allen has a preview. … Elsewhere in the WCC, the biggest game today pits Saint Mary's and BYU.

WSU: The Cougar women blasted California in Beasley last night. … The WSU men host Arizona this evening. … Around the Pac-12, Washington hosts Arizona State today. … Oregon State still has an NCAA path. Heck, it's happened before. … Oregon is at Stanford. … Utah and UCLA don't play until Sunday.

Whitworth: Every night in the Northwest Conference there is a chance for an upset. It almost happened to the Pirates on Friday on the West Side. But they held on to defeat Puget Sound, 81-79. … The women couldn’t pick up a victory, however. … A former Pirate has a tight connection to one of the teams playing in tomorrow’s Super Bowl. Ryan Collingwood describes Michael Allan’s ties to the Chiefs.

Preps: There was your typical Friday night-full of high school hoops yesterday. Maybe even a bit more. Dave Nichols was out as Central Valley moved closer to a boys’ GSL title and the Bear girls solidified their spot atop the 4A standings. … There are also roundups of girls and boys action around the area. … The Cheney boys basketball program is in the midst of some turmoil, which Jim Allen reports in this story. … Former Clark Fork High star Ron Heller has a tight connection to one of the teams playing in tomorrow’s Super Bowl. Ryan Collingwood describes his ties to the 49ers.

Chiefs: Spokane went into Kelowna and came away with a 7-3 victory.

Seahawks: DK Metcalf wants more. Good for him.

Sounders: Seattle solidified its midfield with the signing of a third designated player yesterday.

•••       

• Today will be a tough day for a lot of young people I’ve grown close to recently. Please keep them in your thoughts. … We’ll be back this afternoon with our TV Take from the Gonzaga game. Until later …

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