Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

A Grip on Sports: If the snow keeps you inside this week, you have varied sports options including football

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, left, looks to pass the ball as Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo defends in the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 14, 2021, in Denver.  (Associated Press)

A GRIP ON SPORTS • Welcome to January in April. At least that’s what it looks like outside our South Hill window. A few inches of snow piled up, flakes fluttering in the breeze, cuss words wafting through the air. You know what that means, right? Outdoor chores are canceled and we have to spend the weekend glued to the TV set.


• Too bad there are no NFL games on. The mid-winter tableau would then be complete. And, yes, we know the USFL kicks off this weekend. (Or is it the XFL? OK, we checked. It’s the USFL reborn.) Spring professional football isn’t our thing. And, if you peruse its track record, it isn’t anyone’s thing.

But we have to watch something why we wait for the white stuff outside to melt away. We certainly aren’t pulling out the shovel or firing up the snow blower, which happens to be broken anyway.

The question, we guess, is simple. What the heck is on the TV?

Baseball, of course, though maybe not in Spokane. It’s a good thing the Indians are in Eugene (where they lost last night). Washington State’s game Thursday never got started (the Cougars and California are scheduled to play a doubleheader today – good luck with that). Gonzaga and Portland played into the eighth last night until the snow shut it down.

The Mariners’ home opener is tonight. T-Mobile has the roof, of course, so there shouldn’t be any disruption of Root’s broadcast, but it won’t be warm. (According to the Weather Channel, it will be in the low 40s around first pitch.) The Astros are in town all weekend, so there is 12 hours or so you can kill watching baseball.

And even more if you are willing to wade through another Yankee or Red Sox game. No one else seems to play the game if you believe ESPN. Wait, what? Sunday night’s game is Atlanta at San Diego? Is it snowing in the Northeast too?

The NBA never has to worry about snow, does it? At least not during the playoffs, which last until summer. The best first-round series may be Brooklyn and Boston, but the one we’re looking forward to the most is Denver against Golden State. Talk about star power. Plus the added storyline of Klay Thompson back in the postseason. Postseason Klay is always fun.

If you want warmth, than the NHL isn’t what you are looking for, but it is on. The cure for snow at home is watching golf from the South, right? That’s available as well.

In other words, there is nothing all that extraordinary this weekend. Except the snow.

• Don’t worry about spring football. Snow, no matter how deep and enduring, won’t stop that. Washington State can always go inside its bubble – as long as the track team doesn’t mind.

Jake Dickert’s Cougars are back running the Air Raid, dumping the Run and Shoot after a couple seasons under Nick Rolovich. Which means WSU needs a bunch of receivers once again. Remember how Mike Leach’s team would have eight or nine guys catch passes each game? That may be the norm again in the fall, if new offensive coordinator Eric Morris has that many receivers he trusts.

That’s what spring practices are about. Building trust.

No matter what the weather.


WSU: Of course Colton Clark is delving into that process this morning. Why else would we have mentioned it? Or linked it above. And here. … Elsewhere in the Pac-12 and college football, two players took differing routes to Washington. … The Oregon player safety trial continued Thursday with testimony painting differing pictures. … An Oregon State player is happy to be back from injury. … There are so many new coaches at Colorado, there has been a story a day. … Utah seems to churn out the hard-hitting players, doesn’t it? … A new staff means a new chance for some USC players, even the best of them. … In basketball news, the Oregon men are filling out its roster. So are the women. … Tommy Lloyd knows Arizona’s roster is going to change a lot this spring. … Colorado is rebuilding its roster. … Finally, Dick Vitale has received a clean bill of health with his cancer.

Gonzaga: With Drew Timme having one foot out the door and Chet Holmgren seemingly just waiting for his Uber, the Zags could use a big for next year. Especially a big who can protect the rim. Fardaws Aimaq, a 6-foot-11 junior from Utah State, is just that guy. Luckily for GU, he’s got the Zags in his final five as he explores transfer options. Jim Meehan has the story. … Guard Rasir Bolton is one of the best scholar/athletes in the nation. Don’t take our word for it. Jim has a story about just such an award Bolton has won. … Around the WCC, the biggest news is BYU women’s coach Jeff Judkins stepped down after 21 years in charge. … The Cougar men are in the market for a new assistant coach.

EWU and Idaho: Around the Big Sky, a Ferris High basketball player has signed with Idaho State.

Preps: Dave Nichols has our roundup of action from Thursday. You know, before the snow hit. … Former Post Falls High pitcher Jake Pfennigs is back on the mound after an early season injury.

Chiefs: The best story today? That would have to be this in-depth feature from Dan Thompson on Spokane’s leader, Bear Hughes. The 20-year-old from Post Falls is trying to lead the Chiefs back to the postseason in his last junior hockey season.

Indians: Dave is back with this story on Spokane’s 7-2 loss at Eugene.

Mariners: Jarred Kelenic decided to go old school. Get back to basics. Call his shot. That kind of stuff. He did it all in the M’s 5-1victory over the White Sox in a windstorm. … The best M’s story of the day? How Matt Brash ended up in Seattle. … The M’s have other arms deep in the system. One of them has an incredible story.

Seahawks: Geno Smith is back on the roster. The quarterback signed another one-year deal.

Storm: Seattle is filling its roster as training camp begins today. One of the Storm’s signees is a face familiar to Gonzaga fans: BYU’s Paisley Harding.

Sounders: The lower bowl is already sold out for the CONCACAF Champions League title match May 4.


• God has a really weird sense of humor. On her last day of work – ever – there was a couple inches of snow and ice on Kim’s truck that has to be removed before beginning the commute. Maybe it’s the big fella’s way of saying you aren’t going to miss this. Until later …