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

A Grip on Sports: Before the storm of college football hits today, we were overwhelmed a bit by the wind

A GRIP ON SPORTS • We didn’t hear a “timber.” But even if the squirrel that lives in our maple tree had screamed it at the top of its lungs, the wind was howling so intently at 1:15 in the morning, we wouldn’t have heard it. We did, however, hear the big limb crash into the house.


• We share that personal news as a way of reiterating one of our central themes: While we love sports and all that goes with it, there often are more important life issues to worry about.

The wind gust that cracked one of the larger limbs on the maple our father planted some 30 years ago happens to be one such issue. The limb, that use to grow vertically, is now nestled on our home, sitting over the kitchen. As far as we could tell in those early morning hours – we didn’t venture out for too long considering the chance of being hit by a falling object – it didn’t cause any damage.

A quick check in the morning light confirmed one thing. We’re so happy we had our trees trimmed last month. The lack of weight may have been a godsend.

Anyhow, the cleanup will be a pain. And will cut into our football-watching time as well as other fun activities we had planned.

It’s strange, isn’t it? One day you look out your back window and thank the big guy for all the blessings bestowed on you. The next you are cursing the wind.

Such is life.

• With all the basketball items to share yesterday, we never got to our usual weekend preview.

And didn’t realize how silly today’s schedule happens to be. The noon hour is stupid packed. Like only the 1-percent have enough TVs to watch everything.

Our local FCS rivalry kicks off at noon in Moscow, with Eastern Washington visiting. That game is on SWX.

The SEC’s Game of the Century, November 2022 version, kicks at 12:30 on CBS. The Associated Press poll sees it as No. 2 Tennessee at No. 1 Georgia. That’s pretty good. The CFP ranks them first and third, respectively. That’s good too.

And the game with the most local interest, Washington State at Stanford, also starts at 12:30 on the Pac-12 Network. That’s three games we would like to watch, though we only get to focus upon one.

We have this woe-is-us attitude about our life right now.


WSU: This is it. The game that feels as if it will determine the path of the rest of the Cougars’ season. Win and a bowl not only seems possible but likely. Lose and the road looks pockmarked. Colton Clark has your pregame vitals with this preview, the two-minute drill and his pick. … Everyone sees this as a defensive battle, even those who cover Stanford. … Elsewhere in the Pac-12 and college football, the weekend kicked off last night in Seattle, with Washington kicking a late field goal to edge No. 23 Oregon State 24-21. The game was marked by high winds, poor first-half decisions and a power outage. At 7-2, the Huskies have a shot at a special season. Next up is Oregon. … The Ducks head to Colorado where a rout is expected. The Buffs just see it as a chance to do something fun. … Utah may still be without Cam Rising as it faces a young Arizona team that seems to have fixed one side of the ball. … Arizona State hosts UCLA in the last of the day’s Pac-12 games. Will it end in an upset? … USC hosts California with a good chance to get well. … In basketball news, USC has a key player back. … Colorado should be expected to make the NCAA Tournament.

Gonzaga: The Bulldog women welcomed Division II power Western Washington to the Kennel for an exhibition. After a slow start, GU rolled. Jim Allen was in McCarthey and has this story while Colin Mulvany supplies 25 photographs, all available on the same link. … Elsewhere in the WCC, Santa Clara’s men expect to be pretty darn good again this season.

EWU: If the Eagles are going to have a chance of slowing 15th-ranking Idaho, they will have to pressure quarterback Gevani McCoy. That pronouncement is part of Dan Thompson’s three things to watch. … Elsewhere in the Big Sky, the best game pits No. 2 Sacramento State at No. 5 Weber State. The winner gets to keep pace with Montana State. The Bobcats are at Northern Arizona in a game that might be tougher than it looks. … Montana should get healthy against Cal Poly. … Northern Colorado and Portland State round out the schedule. … In basketball new, it is a new-look Northern Arizona team that will open the season, despite five starters returning.

Idaho: The Vandals have one of the better defenses in the conference. That and more are part of Peter Harriman’s three things to watch.

Preps: The football playoffs went on yesterday despite the awful weather. Dave Nichols was at Union Stadium where Mt. Spokane kicked it into gear and ran past Lake Washington 35-13. … Steve Christilaw was at Gonzaga Prep where the Bullpups held off Moses Lake 28-26, stopping a late two-point conversion in the process. … We can also pass along a roundup of the other action.

Chiefs: Spokane has lost six consecutive games. Kevin Dudley was at the latest, a 7-2 loss to Prince George in the Arena.

Seahawks: In their first meeting with Arizona, the Hawks featured their new-look defense. Can their offense carry them if need be tomorrow? … Bruce Irvin is bringing back Legion of Boom memories. … DK Metcalf was a great actor last week. … Geno Smith is playing the role of an exceptional quarterback.

Mariners: Poor Philadelphia. Its World Series history is one of rare success. At least, says every Mariner fan everywhere, the Phillies have been in the World Series.

Kraken: Seattle has another young center that is doing just fine.


• Most of the tree limb will have to wait. It’s too big for this old guy to handle. Luckily, our tree service can get out here pretty quickly. Hopefully there won’t be any damage. Especially since there is a good chance of snow before the tree folks can get here. Until later …