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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Couch Slouch: Soon the fix will be on nationwide

Couch Slouch is thinking of recasting this column as Gambling Gus because America – a rambling, gambling nation-in-progress since 1776 or thereabouts – is on the inexorable Manifest Destiny road to a coast-to-coast, around-the-clock, bet-until-you-drop-it-all Monte Carlo-like sovereignty. It’s not that everyone will be betting soon, but more people will, and most will be relieved of a good deal of their cash.

Couch Slouch: Musings on LeBron, Steph and the 76ers

Couch Slouch: LeBron James will not play in a ninth consecutive NBA Finals, and according to many pundits, it is because he moved to Los Angeles and went Hollywood. I don’t much like pundits, and if you tell me I’m a pundit, well, then, I don’t much like myself. Anyway, LeBron is the first order of business as Couch Slouch presents our annual incomplete guide to the NBA postseason:

Couch Slouch: Fan’s prodding results in rare look at NHL

Couch Slouch: As the National Hockey League playoffs commence — they are held annually at this time except in those years in which the entire season is canceled — I would like to apologize to my NHL friends and associates for decades of high-sticking, power-play neglect.

Couch Slouch: Fan behavior mimics that of society’s

Couch Slouch: We have reached a tipping point on fan behavior in America. Of course, this mirrors a tipping point on online behavior in America. Which, naturally, reflects a tipping point on general behavior in America. In short, common sense is now uncommon and nobody behaves very well anymore. Where do we start?

No. 1 bridge player banned for using performance enhancing drugs

As many of you have undoubtedly heard by now, bridge – the last pure sport in America and beyond – has been rocked by a drug scandal of Cansecoian proportions. Geir Helgemo, the world’s No. 1 bridge player, recently was given a one-year ban after testing positive for synthetic testosterone and the female fertility drug clomifene at the 2018 World Bridge Series in Orlando, Florida.

Couch Slouch: Is the fix still on in the NBA?

Couch Slouch: Tim Donaghy used to fix NBA games, in David Stern’s NBA. You might remember hearing about this several years back, but it largely disappeared from the public eye. It’s now worth looking at again, if you take a moment out to read Scott Eden’s fascinating article on Donaghy’s gambling activities.

Couch Slouch: Offense out of control in today’s defenseless NBA

Couch Slouch: Before this season, there was a little-noted change in the NBA rulebook that stated, “Defenders shall not impede any shot by an opponent; if at all possible, the offensive player will be allowed to shoot unguarded.” Or so it seems.

Couch Slouch: Where oh where will the Raiders play?

Couch Slouch: The Oakland/Los Angeles/Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders are looking for a temporary home for the 2019 NFL season. At this point, a pop-up stadium in Dubai might be in play. The Raiders – often called “America’s Team” because over the last half-century they have contacted every American municipality seeking a housing deal – are scheduled to move to a new, expensive, almost-paid-for dome in Las Vegas in 2020.

Couch Slouch: English language takes a hit during NFL broadcasts

Couch Slouch: The NFL remains an easy thing to watch and a hard to thing to listen to. What was once plainspoken is now plain gobbledygook; game analysts turn simple actions into tangled discourse. It sounds like English, but it is a language all its own. Here is a sampling of some fancy-schmancy, newfangled television football terms:

Norman Chad: News of football’s decline hasn’t reached everyone

If professional football is in the midst of an inexorable decline – the NFL, some doomsayers sayeth, might be a sporting dinosaur by century’s end * – then how is it possible there are two new professional football leagues aiming to debut by 2020?

Couch Slouch: Time of year to be in thankful mood

Couch Slouch: I am thankful this week, not because it’s Thanksgiving – I hardly ever pay attention to the calendar; heck, I’m still on Daylight Savings Time – but because my body rhythms just tell me to be happy about so many transcendent blessings. Such as…

Couch Slouch: Nothing good comes from tweeting

Couch Slouch: I’m in a bad mood today – Effexor can only unclog the brain drain so much – and most of it is self-inflicted, due to my reluctant, ought-to-know-better, this-is-the-last-thing-I-should-be-doing-with-my-life embracing of Twitter. Twitter is so devilish, the devil won’t use it.