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Tuesday, July 14, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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A Grip on Sports: There is not a lot to shed a light upon in the sports world this Monday morning

Crew members hustle to service the car of Denny Hamlin in a pit stop during a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Pocono Raceway, Sunday, June 28, 2020, in Long Pond, Pa.  (Matt Slocum)
Crew members hustle to service the car of Denny Hamlin in a pit stop during a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Pocono Raceway, Sunday, June 28, 2020, in Long Pond, Pa. (Matt Slocum)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • Unlike Garfield, we don’t fear Monday mornings. But we aren’t fond of them either. There are not enough stories to pass along.


• Not all Mondays are made the same. Mondays in the fall, in the middle of the NFL season, are different than Mondays in late June, in the middle of a resurging pandemic.

Those former Mondays include at least a dozen stories on the Seahawks latest win (or, if the week ahead is going to be miserable, loss). There are stories about the key play, stories about the key call and stories about Russell Wilson. There are columns about their toughness, their mistakes, their quarterback, which is, of course, Russell Wilson.

And that’s just from Seattle.

Around the nation there are stories and columns about the Sunday just passed … but very few concerning how well Russell Wilson did.

Anyhow, I think we’ve illustrated how different that type of Monday is in this space. Especially compared to today. What? Isn’t today jam-packed? Well, no. We have a story about the latest NASCAR race – are they racing three times a week now? Good thing gas is so cheap – and golf tournament – Gozzer Ranch regular Dustin Johnson won another middle-of-the-schedule tournament.  

Wait, there is more. We have our usual Monday local briefs. And that’s about it.

Up and down the West Coast there is a dearth of sports news. Oh, every major league team had to announce the 60 folks they are counting on to play the upcoming baseball season (their 40-man roster and the 20-man “taxi” squad), but that’s about it. Welcome to the new normal Monday. Actually, good riddance. Next Monday will be following a holiday weekend (I give you America’s 244th birthday, everyone) and from then on there should be quite a few professional sports to highlight as the workweek begins. Thank goodness. Not to sound too much like a cartoon cat or anything, these types of Mondays suck.

• It wouldn't be so bad if we had been able to experience Hoopfest this past weekend, as is the usual case. Notice I didn't write "play" Hoopfest. That's a past activity. "Experience" is a better word for people of my ilk. But there was nothing to experience downtown this year the final weekend of June. We have to wait – if everyone follows the rules and wears their masks, keeps their distance, washes their hands and, hopefully, stays healthy – until August.

We all want Hoopfest, right? So please, follow the rules and give us all a chance to experience it this summer.

• Wait, there is one special story this morning.

My old friend Howie Stalwick (with an emphasis on old) takes a virtual walk down memory lane this morning, cramming 65 years of memories into one story. Talk about a traffic jam.

It made me wonder. Next time the City of Spokane passes a street bond issue, is it possible it could fix the potholes on Memory Lane? They seem to be harder to avoid for people like me. You know, those of us who have been waiting seemingly forever to be able to receive a Social Security check.


WSU: Around the Pac-12 and college sports, Utah had signed maybe the best basketball player in its state. Then, at almost the last-minute, Caleb Lohner asked out. He wanted to attend BYU. Here’s how it happened. … In football news, we can introduce you to another Colorado assistant coach. … The Arizona Daily Star has been looking back at all of the University of Arizona’s trips to the college World Series. The paper has finally arrived at the 1970s, the decade in which the Wildcats won their first national title. It is also the time I was playing college baseball. Many of the names listed in the stories were either friends or former competitors. Every one of them, however, had something in common. They were all better than me. … Parents are not too happy the NCAA isn’t getting more involved in athlete safety in the pandemic era. … Washington's budget cuts are probably just a inkling of what's in store down the road for everyone.

Preps: Former Central Valley High standout runner Riley Sine has been honored with national and regional awards. That information leads off our aforementioned weekly local briefs.

Seahawks: The Patriots haven't won 173 Super Bowls without being smart. And lucky. Their newest move? Signing Cam Newton. Wonder if it will prove lucky.

Mariners: The M’s 60-person spring training 2.0 roster includes quite a few of the folks they expect to help them down the road. But most will be part of the 20-man taxi squad and never see the field this season. Also of note, Mitch Haniger is starting out on the disabled list. He may be able to play this year – or may not.


• I received the following email this morning. I haven’t changed a word, nor have I changed any of the punctuation: “How are you I'm Hazem I'm looking for Rd20 drilling rig please if you know any rig for sale let me know.” Figured I would let you folks know, just in case you have an extra Rd20 drilling rig in the backyard you might want to part with. I hear they are great for phishing. I have a return address if you need it. Until later …

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