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SEATTLE – Nothing completes a sendoff quite like a plunge into the Famous Last Words file. The Washington State Cougars called it a wrap on their football donation to the SoDo amusementscape on Thursday night, gifting a 41-38 victory to reward Rutgers for a long trip west even as the game managed to achieve what few of the previous 11 stagings did.
Eric “The Problem” Wright is a grand champion of video games, a Hercules of the thumbs. Wright handles a video controller the way Willie Mosconi romanced a pool cue, the way Ben Hogan swung a butter knife. Wright, 26, is so dominant at Madden NFL that he’s been banned from some tournaments. He hustled a trash-talking NFL superstar out of $20,000 during an impromptu video faceoff a couple of years ago.
A buddy of mine once made a one-putt nine on an innocuous 129-yard, water-free, mostly tree-free par 3. Hey, better than a two-putt 10. Some of the tougher par 3s I’ve encountered in the region are No. 8 at StoneRidge, No. 12 at the Coeur d’Alene Resort, No. 8 at Avondale, No. 8 at Indian Canyon, No. 11 at MeadowWood, No. 6 at Palouse Ridge, No. 13 at Circling Raven, No. 13 at the Fairways and No. 4 at Qualchan.
CHICAGO – Jerry Kill has worked hard to get his epilepsy in check heading into another football season. Now, about that leg injury. The Gophers coach walked with a slight limp this week at Big Ten Media Days, still hobbling from an ill-advised decision to join the players in a recent conditioning drill.
Dave Christenson has been part of three grand openings, including Friday’s debut of Gamble Sands. This one is different than his previous experiences at Circling Raven and a golf course back east.
There was that moment during Tuesday’s All-Star Game when the reporter had to trudge up to where the commissioner was sitting and conduct the obligatory interview to mark the final time Bud Selig presided over what baseball still laughingly refers to as the Midsummer Classic. Let me say right here that with each of these milestones – the last time Bud oversees a World Series, the last time he throws out a pitch, the final time he congratulates himself at an owners meeting – there is reason for celebration. We are finally, finally, getting to the end of the line with a guy who has been good for all the things that won’t last forever, and terrible in his stewardship of the game.
MINNEAPOLIS – This is an NFL-loving country for many reasons, including the fact it’s not hard work to be a zealous follower of your favorite team. NFL teams play 16 games in 17 weeks. They give you an excuse to drink heartily on weekends, with one bye in the middle to dry out and pay attention to the kids.
Russell Wilson is the new benchmark for what an NFL quarterback can accomplish by age 25. He has no true historical peer in the combination of amazing things he has done. The NFL has never seen a quarterback with this array of achievements in his first two years: Super Bowl champion, 100-passer ratings in both years, two Pro Bowls, a 24-8 regular-season record, a 4-1 postseason record, a 52-19 touchdown-to-interception ratio and back-to-back 3,000-yard passing seasons to go with 1,028 career rushing yards.
The NFL has never seen a quarterback with this array of achievements as Russell Wilson in his first two years.
Poll after poll investigating Americans’ opinions of the NFL Redskins name finds that the vast majority of us are not offended. However, there is a vocal minority of those who claim they are offended. For them, I offer this simple explanation. Redskins do exist and they’re not offended.
The three worst-kept secrets in recent sports history: No. 3: The cowardly NBA has known for years that Donald Sterling was a racist, but never did anything about it until there was public outrage.
Sixteen months ago. That’s all it was. Word broke in January 2013 of a pending agreement by the Maloof family to sell the Sacramento Kings to some Seattle white knights. Chris Hansen was the mastermind who seemingly had an answer for every obstacle. The Nordstrom brothers, Peter and Erik, bolstered the local bona fides. And then there was Steve Ballmer, the billionaire with a burning jones to get into the hoops world.
This means more skyways, right? Please tell me that we’re not inviting the biggest, most extravagant sporting event in the history of the world to Minnesota during a February, and that we’re going to allow human beings to actually go outside.
I am walking down the same side of the street with Mark Cuban in this argument. And that makes me almost as uncomfortable as the Mavericks’ owner apparently gets when he sees that “black kid in a hoodie.” On the issue of race, brought to the forefront in sports by the recorded ramblings of Clippers owner Donald Sterling, Cuban has strayed from the mainstream thinking.
By way of disclosure, most of what I know about Donald Sterling I’ve learned in the past few days, and obviously very little of it is flattering except that the old guy can sure get good seats at a basketball game for him and his granddaughter. Oh … girlfriend, OK.
Terrelle Pryor may be the greatest athlete to have his career derailed by a tattoo scandal. If you want to know how such an extraordinary talent landed in Seattle, in the shadow of Russell Wilson and in a competition with Tarvaris Jackson just to be the Seahawks’ backup quarterback, think back four years ago to a silly NCAA controversy.
PEORIA, Ariz. – Robinson Cano is right. It’s clear that the Mariners need more. They have two of baseball’s elite talents in Cano and Felix Hernandez, but they need more. The Mariners are marketing that “The Stars Are Aligned,” but the rest of sky is the real concern.
COLOMBES, France – At what’s left of the stadium where Harold Abrahams won his “Chariots of Fire” Olympic 100 meters, where Paavo Nurmi won the 1,500, caught his breath and then lined up 55 minutes later to win the 5,000, it is almost as if their feats at the Summer Games of 1924 never happened. There is no plaque to commemorate the students from California who won the last Olympic gold in rugby and humiliated France 17-3, infuriating the 40,000-strong home crowd that burned the American flag, knocked an Illinois spectator unconscious and booed “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the medal ceremony.