This week, I struggled to find an obscure, under-the radar athlete, a statistical anomaly in a game or anything else specific to write a feature column about, so we are going to touch briefly on a parade of topics. I won’t call it writer’s block, but if newsworthy, fun and relevant block for a Thursday night is a thing, we can call it that.
REDEFINING COLLEGE FOOTBALL RIVALRIES
I realize this is kind of ‘old news’ at this point, but I had time to watch some of the “most famous” collegiate football rivalries according to the general public and many media outlets on Saturday and wasn’t overly impressed by either the Michigan/Ohio State game nor the Auburn/Alabama game.
Alabama’s offense is very unpleasant to watch and I don’t know why Ohio State’s quarterback is listed on the depth chart as a quarterback. At least the OSU-UM game was entertaining, but my point is that the Oregon/Oregon State rivalry seems to much more interesting.
When I first moved to this state in 2014, I heard a memorable story from some random person regarding the Oregon State/Oregon rivalry games of the past. Maybe the information he gave me was inaccurate, but he said at one point in the history of the ‘Civil War’ rivalry an alumnus from one of the schools flew a plane with a banner behind it supporting their school over the stadium of the other school during their homecoming game. Again, it’s a super vague memory and might be inaccurate, but I remembered it and thought: This is what rivalries SHOULD be all about.
Harmless fun and good football – not quarterbacks who can’t throw the ball.
I am a fan of neither Oregon nor OSU, but I tend to root for the Ducks because the style of football they play is up-tempo, entertaining and I always love the uniform combinations Phil Knight and Nike come up with.
It was good for the rivalry to see the Beavers win. It was fitting for the Ducks to lose in a year that has been mired with disappointment and shortcomings. Good luck to Washington in the PAC-12 championship!
DID THE MARINERS OR SEAHAWKS PLAY SUNDAY?
Five points? I looked at the box score, baffled, curious and ultimately glad that my old-school antenna at home doesn’t get FOX-12 for some reason. I watched a way better Oakland Raiders game while making cookies. The cookies were good, but Derek Carr is better.
I’m not jumping on the MVP train like a lot of people are, but he was doing impressive things with a dislocated finger while Russell Wilson was leading his team in rushing with 80 yards on eight carries. I almost wish I watched the Seattle game because the numbers in the box score were so weird.
I assume this week will be different. The Seahawks usually bounce back after crappy losses, but they didn’t play the L.A. Rams, so I’m not sure if that theory will apply on Sunday night when they host the Carolina Panthers. This should be a fun one though.
While we are on the subject of Sunday’s game, let’s throw out a prediction. Steven Hauschka kicks four field goals and Seattle wins 26-24. (I think my math was right…) Jimmy Graham scores two touchdowns as well and to be completely ridiculous Cam Newton gets hurt in the third quarter and Kam Chancellor intercepts Derek Anderson to seal the deal in the fourth.
Why not? Go ‘Hawks!
BLAZERS PLAYING .500-ISH BASKETBALL
After Wednesday’s win over the Indiana Pacers, the Portland Trail Blazers evened their record to literally 10-10 – good enough for eighth place in the Western Conference, but is that good enough for Terry Stotts and the Blazers?
They have been the lords of inconsistency so far and have been unable to string multiple wins together without following them up with multiple losses. They win two in a row and look good, then they drop two and lack an identity when the superstars struggle.
When I run my after-school program with my other job, I tell them to ‘run around and go nuts’ so they can calm down for our daily lesson and homework time. I really want to go to a Blazers practice and tell them ‘okay – you’ve already ran around and gone nuts, so please settle down and take care of business.’
We are 20 games into the season –roughly 25% of the way done. The ‘it is still early’ excuse is fading fast. They have to play better on the road and Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum can’t do everything.
I didn’t get a chance to talk about the Mariners – only to pick on the Seahawks for their five ‘runs’ they scored on Sunday. Nelson Cruz hit a three-run double and Robinson Cano hit a two-run home run while Jameis Winston was robbing the Seattle market of all of their crabs. (Sorry I couldn’t resist. That’s my last Winston joke this year…I promise…thankfully it is already December.)
Monitor the winter meetings to see if the Mariners add any more pieces after dealing for Jean Segura. I hope Segura realizes it will be harder to hit in Safeco than it is in Chase Field.
Anyways, go Seahawks, go M’s, Ducks, Beavers and everyone else. Support your high school sports and please enjoy a safe holiday season!