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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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A Grip on Sports: Might as well enjoy another day in the park on another Sunday with little in the way of live sports to watch

Xander Schauffele chips to the 16th green during the third round of the Charles Schwab Challenge golf tournament at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, June 13, 2020.  (Associated Press)
Xander Schauffele chips to the 16th green during the third round of the Charles Schwab Challenge golf tournament at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, June 13, 2020. (Associated Press)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • Being as today seems to be the calm between the storms, why don’t we waste as little time as possible and get right to it. That way, you can get outside, enjoy the fleeting sunshine while you can, and still have an idea what’s going on in the sports world.


• The short answer? It’s still “not much.”

Oh, there is golf. And auto racing. Soccer from across the pond. All good. All worth watching, especially with little in the way of competition. But nothing that will knock your socks off.

Nothing major, as events are described in many sports. No baseball, as one of the sides – cough, cough, players – threw up their hands yesterday and said we’ve had enough, do what the heck you want to do – and the other side “reluctantly” said they would. No football, as it isn’t its time of year. No basketball or hockey either.

As June winds down and the coronavirus numbers rise in about half the nation, one wonders if July will include any of those things either. We’re sure of one thing, however. If and when major sporting events return to our television, the pent-up energy will be able to light up a city the size of Spokane.

• If you had the power to create a COVID-19-free zone that would allow one sporting even to occur right now you’ve missed, what would it be?

At one time I thought that would be the Masters. But the late June weather being what it is in Georgia, I’m willing to wait until November. Hopefully by then the humidity will be down in the 75 percent range and the course will play something akin to how it does in early April.

So I switched my focus. It seems like a good time for Wimbledon. After all, making a virus-free bubble in London shouldn’t be that hard. At least not that much harder than doing the same in Orlando. But with Roger Federer sidelined, Wimbledon wouldn’t be the same either.

Finally it hit me. The 2020 NCAA basketball tournament was lost in time. Gathering together 68 teams would be impossible, sure, but being this is a fantasy anyway, why not? A week in, say, French Lick, Indiana, with 68 schools vying for a tournament title. Games in elementary, junior high and high school gyms – or outdoors at local parks if need be. Play-in games Monday, then the tournament itself Tuesday through Sunday. Think the ratings would be any good?


WSU: It’s easy to say all the right things about the issues. Putting words into action, however, is a bit harder. But that didn’t stop a couple of childhood friends, one who happens to be an assistant football coach at Washington State, from pulling together a coaching group advocating change. Theo Lawson tells us the tale of A.J. Cooper and USF basketball coach Todd Golden and their newest endeavor together. … Drew Bledsoe’s mansion in Bend has finally sold. The pictures of his former residence are stunning. … Elsewhere in the Pac-12 and college sports, who is going to win the conference title this football season? … Colorado’s quarterback coach is ready to get back to work. … A former Arizona State receiver is ready to help the 49ers. … As USC welcomes Reggie Bush back in the fold, what have we learned from his experience?

Boxing: Remember that one time, at boxing camp? Well, Ryan Collingwood’s oral history of the time Chauncy Welliver sparred a couple rounds with Mike Tyson isn’t exactly a camp story, but it’s close.

Golf: After spending a couple months only thinking about golf, I bet many folks came to the conclusion a couple lessons would fix all their ills. At least it seems that way considering how busy golf instructors are. Jim Meehan’s golf column is back and he has a look at the demand for lessons.

Seahawks: Crossing Lake Washington on Interstate 90 over the years, I’ve wondered why anyone would walk across. Now I know. To get to the other side – of race relations. Two wives of Seahawk players organized a walking rally in Seattle yesterday. … The Black Lives Matter movement has forced a reckoning in sports.

Mariners: As we said, the players have decided the owners are going to keep trying to impose their will, so why fight it? The MLBPA told the owners yesterday to just tell them when and where to show up. They are ready to play.


• Sometime yesterday an earworm invaded my consciousness. It was from the 1960s, as many of them are. Something about a smile and Rosemarie. Except for some reason my earworm had mutated and it kept repeating over and over “say a little prayer for me, Rosealee … Rose-a-lee-eee.” Actually, thinking about it, the mutant’s lyrics are better. Until later …

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