GET ON SPORTS • We’re getting down here. Not fast, but slowly. Inseparable. Maybe it’s cold. Maybe it’s the time of year. Perhaps this is the time of man. Whatever. The year is almost over. But 2022 is shaping up to be a noisier year than usual in the world of sports.
• A Woodstock reference? Are you 80? No. We’re just fans of Joni Mitchell’s art. And sports in December.
What’s not to like (about either)?
The college turned its nose up. NFL overtime. Games with bowls. More bowl games. Hot Stove League. NBA. NHL. There are also millions of games for PS5 waiting for you to open your wallet and buy them this Christmas. Then Tic-Toc your child’s reaction.
Holy smokes, what a time of year it is.
With top 10 basketball games and powerhouses like Western Kentucky and Eastern Michigan on ESPN, it’s nearly impossible to fall asleep by 8 p.m. Well, bowl season wasn’t what it used to be – then: rare, now: saturated; Then: celebration, now: rejection — but college hoops has picked up the slack. Last night we were surprised to see Hubert Davis and Juwan Howard play back-to-back. The coaches had their own little box in the corner of the TV screen, at least that’s what the ESPN coverage seemed like. Davis’ North Carolina team beat Howard’s Michigan team in a tight, up-and-down game, but it didn’t seem to matter.
But we’re digressing a bit. We wanted to say something here. It’s simple. The offseason has become part of televised sports. And it’s a gift. As the years go by, we unravel more and more.
• One addition to the holiday season Comes courtesy of the NCAA. The organization started football signings a few years ago – the traditional period is still in February, and now it’s just a few days before Christmas.
But one thing hasn’t changed. Even John Heisman, Knut Rockne, and Nick Saban, no college football coach in the history of college football has ever welcomed a freshman class that was either A) The best or 2) A perfect fit for the program or IV) Exemplary guys who would lead our esteemed institution to success.
We talk about this every year, but we just want the coach who signed the $12 million contract to tell the truth just once.
“Hey, we’ve worked hard and talked to a lot of really talented kids and we’ve only managed to entice one or two to come to Whatsamatta U. The rest of the class isn’t good enough to win right now, but we’re going to coach them up, put on a few pounds in the weight room and we’ll come. I hope to be 6-6 by the end of the year.”
Now that would be a Christmas miracle.
• It was cold at night in Spokane. According to our weather app, down to -8 and colder in nearby towns. But that cold weather will be swept away by an approaching storm. A storm that should dump an extra 6 inches of snow on the feet we’re sitting on the ground with.
As the old saying goes, pour it from the freezer to the sink.
But there is hope. Before the end of the year, we are expected to warm up to high 40 degrees. Let there be glory. Shorts should be worn at New Year’s parties.
WSU: Well, sit down. We don’t want you to pass out. But we have news. The Cougars signed an impressive recruiting class on Wednesday. Yes, surprisingly. No. In fact, Jake Dickert grew up in JC’s ranks while reading the tea leaves. Washington State needs players to contribute next season. Colton Clarke There is more to this story. … In the Pac-12 and elsewhere in college football, we have signature news to share from each school. Instead of trying to be cute, we’ll just throw out the links. Stories about the Washington Huskies, Oregon Ducks and Oregon Beavers turning away a lot of recruits on signing day. Stories about the Utah Utes, Colorado Buffaloes, Stanford Cardinals and California Golden Bears. News stories about the UCLA Bruins, USC Trojans, Arizona State Sun Devils and Arizona Wildcats. Yes, every school in the conference had top recruiting. Must have a state title. … Some USC players will not be able to participate in the Cotton Bowl. … In basketball news, John Wilner of the Mercury News ranks the best in the West, while he shares the Pac-12 rankings for women’s basketball. … Washington’s loss to No. 23 Auburn was part of a nonconference day. … Arizona was kicked out of the USF gym. … Oregon State beat Denver. … Todd Boyle has more wins than any Colorado men’s basketball coach. … No. 20 TCU lost at home to Utah. … California gets its first win of the season. … UCLA beat UC Davis in the afternoon game. … USC led Colorado State in Phoenix. … Arizona State is pleased to have moved on from the uncertainty of the NCAA investigation altogether. The Wildcats now play at Morgan State.
Gonzaga: The women wrapped up the non-conference portion of their schedule last night with an 82-67 victory over visiting Montana. Jim Allen was in the kennel and has this story. … Not only did Jim Meehan relive Tuesday’s win against Montana, but he covered that season in one story. … Elsewhere in the WCC, USF blew out Arizona State. … Steve Lavine is bringing some respect to San Diego. … St. Mary’s easily handles Wyoming.
EWU: The Eagles have put together a recruiting class (these days, that includes transfers) that will help right away. But when four quarterbacks come in, at least two players must be watching. Dan Thompson has more on this story. … Elsewhere in the Big Sky, Montana State football signings were interesting. … The Griz are losing an assistant. … Weber State named assistant Mickey Menthal as head football coach Tuesday and was introduced Wednesday. … In basketball news, Sacramento State lost to Cal State Fullerton.
Idaho: Hopefully the Vandals went for quantity in the class and, in Jason Eck’s case, quality. UI added 39 players to this year’s group. Peter Harriman has such a story. … The basketball team traveled to what should be warmer Southern California, but lost to host Long Beach State 82-75.
Training: Dave Nichols has Wednesday’s practice recap.
Seahawks: With Tyler Lockett on the way out, all eyes, including Kansas City’s defensive coordinator, should be on DK Metcalf. Can he complete the task? … Franco Harris, who died Wednesday at age 72, had a short tenure in Seattle. … Completed Pro Bowl selections. The Hawks have three or more picks for the 12th consecutive season. … Will Kenneth Walker III play? No one knows. … Geno Smith’s tight spiral is admired by many.
Sailors: More questions and answers about the upcoming season and the roster.
Kraken: Seattle seems to have figured some things out just in time.
Sound: Saunders makes top money allocation choice – big signing coming soon? – then passed on a UW player in the next round.
• We always have Christmas off. And we will again this year. But we also decided to take Saturday. We need to relax for the big night. We’re filling St. Nick’s this year. She searched all over the world for someone to match her outfit and we were the only choice. It is truly an honor. It also comes with great bonuses. Unlimited cocoa and fudge throughout the trip. Sweet. See you later…