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Thursday, August 6, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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A Grip on Sports: A good walk is never spoiled, even by a weather delay

Webb Simpson chips onto the first green during the third round of the RBC Heritage golf tournament, Saturday, June 20, 2020, in Hilton Head Island, S.C.  (Associated Press)
Webb Simpson chips onto the first green during the third round of the RBC Heritage golf tournament, Saturday, June 20, 2020, in Hilton Head Island, S.C. (Associated Press)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • It’s been a long time since a work week started with a body so sore it’s hard to sit at the computer and type. But that’s where we are this morning. Makes me wonder if that’s how Webb Simpson feels today.

•••••••

• As you may or may not know, Simpson won a golf tournament yesterday. A weather-delayed golf tournament. In South Carolina. On a course that looks pristine in April, when it is usually played, but looked a bit beat up this weekend in its coronavirus-forced later date.

I didn’t see the end. I was either: A) napping; or B) sitting in the backyard, under the shade of a big old maple tree, sipping on lemonade.

It was Father’s Day and I had earned the time off. And, even from here, I can sense your disconnect. How the heck is he so sore if he just sat around all day?

Simple. Sitting around started after a five-mile hike up and down hills, over dales and through woods.

It just seemed like the thing to do.

My youngest fueled it all by showing up at the door before nine with a big old Cinn-a-bon, which isn’t the best carbo-loading one should be doing before a hard hike. Believe me on this one. Still, it was nice of him. Somewhere in that mess of days called his childhood, his old man must have done something right. More than likely, though, it was something his mother did.

Anyhow, why hike on Father’s Day? This may be silly, but it’s because of the passing of our old dog, Yogi. When he was young, he loved to hit the hills. The past half-decade or so, however, anything over a few stairs seemed too daunting. Near the end, even those got to be too much. The last time we took him and his younger “brother,” Junior, out for a trail day, poor old Yogi had trouble making it to the top of the first hill. And made it clear he was ready to go home.

Junior, however, always seemed game to discover what was behind the next twist in the trail. Yesterday, we gave him his shot at finding out. Turns out, he’s not as young as he used to be either.

Junior is half Great Dane, half Doberman. A Doberdane in the parlance. Big – 105 pounds – and broad chested, he makes a great sentry on the back gate. But about a half-hour into our hike yesterday, we realized he may not be the youthful puppy of old. For the first time in a long while, we tired him out. So much so, he joined us in lazy backyard afternoon activities, unusually quiet as strollers, bicyclists, skateboarders and other wheeled-enthusiasts whizzed by on the local trail. Instead of chasing them as they blurred by, he lay in the grass, marking their progress with his head, not his feet.

Which made the afternoon much quieter. Darn near perfect, actually. And all it took was burning 100,000 calories.

•••

WSU: If better talent translates directly into more wins, then everyone must be expecting the Cougars to be more successful on the basketball court this winter. Kyle Smith certainly seems to be enticing better talent to Pullman. The latest is a 6-foot-7 wing from Macedonia. Theo Lawson has more, including the background on the final piece of the 2020 recruiting class. … Around the Pac-12 and college sports, Washington is still attracting the better high school football players in the state. … The virus isn’t the only thing football coaches are battling this summer. Trust is also an issue. … Martin Jarmond is ready to officially become UCLA’s athletic director. He’s already had to wade into the muck. … When it comes to working with basketball players this summer, Colorado's Tad Boyle isn’t convinced July 20 will actually be the starting date.

Gonzaga: A GU senior tennis player has earned one of the WCC’s most prestigious awards. That news leads off our weekly local briefs column.

EWU: The football schedule has to be written in pencil right now, but that’s OK. Unless COVID-19 forces an erasure or two, it still is a good time to delve into the 2020 slate. It’s what Ryan Collingwood does this morning.

Preps: Uncertainty seems to be the watchword in high school sports. It was a few weeks ago when everything looked positive in Arizona. Now, as virus numbers rise, football coaches are getting worried.

Golf: We somehow forgot to include the link yesterday. So we will do it today. Here’s what we wrote, now with the link included: No U.S. Open final round today. That’s messed with my head, sports-calendar-wise. Five years ago, the tournament was in the Pacific Northwest.

Seahawks: Matt Calkins wonders if the Hawks really believe they are one player away from winning a title. He also thinks he may know who that player is.

•••       

• By the way, we looked it up yesterday. Junior always seemed to be the young dog in our house, which he was. But he also turns eight in August, which makes him more of a senior citizen in Doberdane ranks. It was somewhat of a surprise to us. It didn’t seem that long ago he snuck his way into our home and hearts. Until later …

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