Saturday, November 06, 2004


Sure, the Sonics won't be the only thing in this post, but there can never be enough Guile.

Might I actually be able to make a post on time? Don't worry, every time Blogger slows up and doesn't let us post for a while, I get irate at first, and then remember that Blogger has hosted a year's worth of rants from Jeremy and I for free, and then I calm down and wait for the storm to pass.

So here it is, the first daily article sweep post in about three days that's been on time. Read the whole thing, or pick and choose. I do bold the sport/team tags for a reason, you know.

Well, wouldn't you know it, Bob Melvin is now the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Similar to Mike Price in Alabama, Wally Backman never signed his contract, so he won't be getting a red cent from the Diamondbacks. Scott Miller's got some things to say, including, "the Diamondbacks don't just have egg on their faces today -- they have the entire omelet dripping down their pinstriped sleeves." All in all, considering the events that have happened in the last two years, how ironic is it that the New York Times knew what the Diamondbacks didn't, and more importantly, that the findings are apparently true?

From Backman to Berkman. Lance Berkman participated in a church function, played a little flag football, and tore an ACL. Could you imagine being at any sort of function where any paid athlete tears an ACL? I bet Berkman's injury took the air out of that church function. I would have been mortified. I once saw a woman cut her knee on a rock or shard of glass during a game of mud volleyball (town centennials in the Midwest, you know), and she bled profusely and had to ride the ambulance, but an ACL...yikes.

I'm going Huskies before I go Seahawks here. Steve tipped me off to this, a very telling story by former Husky recruit Daniel Borg, who later committed to Arizona. The number one reason why? Stability.

With all the Husky coaching speculation and hype for names such as Urban Meyer, Jeff Tedford, and Steve Spurrier, Ted Miller notes that some of the best coaches in college football are ones that are currently holding their first Division I-A head coaching jobs. Miller's suggestion: grab the best D-I coordinators. Steve Sarkisian is involved.

Now, the Seahawks. The Farnsworth article is a winner to start with simply because he calls Qwest Field "the Q," as I've been doing here for a while now. In somewhat of a gradeless report card, Farnsworth tackles the remaining schedule, expectations, dropped passes ("Just catch the damn ball"), and injuries/depth. Also coming to mind, how long am I going to have to wait for Koren Robinson to be suspended? I'm just saying if it's going to happen, I want it to happen sooner rather than later, i.e., I don't want the Seahawks without Robinson for the last four weeks of the season.

Your latest Seahawk receivers are Jerheme Urban and Taco Wallace, signed from the practice squad. Bobby Engram isn't expected to play, but Steve Hutchinson is expected to start. J-M Romero also tells us that the Seahawks have the fourth-best TV ratings in the NFL.

In extremely dark and morbid former Seahawk receiver news, Tommy Kane will do 18 years in the Graybar Hotel for stabbing his wife to death.

Some college hoops notes quickly...Rainier Beach grad Rodrick Stewart has asked out of his contract and will be leaving USC behind, along with twin brother and Trojan starting point guard Lodrick. Also, Sean Mallon and the Gonzaga Bulldogs scored a buttload of (114) points in an exhibition win over Emporia State.

SuperSonics 106, Hawks 85
For my in-game notes with some scattered one-liners, scroll down to the post below this one or click here (if archived).

Bob Bender was in KeyArena last night as an assistant coach for the Hawks. He has the shaved head that he sported during his latter days as Husky head basketball coach. I'm not sure I've said it in this space before, but I think Bender was fired by Barbara Hedges either one year too early or one year too late. Considering the state of the team when he was fired, I don't think it was in a fair enough state upon which a proper assessment of Bender's accomplishments could have been carried out.

The Sonics pulled away in a span of just over seven minutes from the end of the third quarter to the start of the fourth. Their lead over the Hawks went from three to twenty, part of a blistering 23-6 run. Percy Allen brings to my attention the final blocked shot numbers, as Jerome James had four and Rashard Lewis rebuked five. Also, Luke Ridnour had four turnovers, but also had nine points, six assists, and three steals.

Jayda Evans takes a look at the crowd-related happenings and goings-on. Some season-ticket holders aren't too optimistic about the upcoming season, but Big Lo is quoted in the article, noting that Los Angeles and Detroit had their WNBA and NBA teams win titles in close proximity. In that aspect, the Sonics are halfway there.

Jerome James arrived at the arena an hour after the bulk of the players, and will be fined. He had three points, four boards, and four blocks in 17 minutes. Maybe he's better in small doses?

Steve Kelley remembers when the Sonics weren't soft; when they'd play hard every single night and had tenacity and swagger. After seeing last night's game, it's something, but definitely not what it used to be in Seattle. Bonus points to Steve for bringing up Frank Brickowski.

Just one note before game action...Put Martin St. Louis on the list of NHLers playing in Europe. St. Louis is going Swiss and playing for Lausanne.

Everett shut out Prince Albert, 1-0. Everett came away with the only goal of the game seven minutes after the puck dropped, with Curtis Billsten's power-play goal (3rd goal of the year) holding up for the remaining 53 minutes. Mike Wall stopped 20 for his third shutout of the season in a game that I'll guess (from looking at the boxscore) was a tight-checking defensive battle, as shots favored the 'Tips by a low 20-19 margin. The team site's recap reveals that the Raiders play in the Prince Albert Comuniplex. Have you visited your comuniplex today?

Portland beat Tri-City, 3-2. The Winter Hawks snapped their four-game road losing streak in dramatic fashion, coming down from 2-0 to reel off three unanswered goals, the game-winner being a Cody McLeod power-play goal with 4:16 remaining in the third period. Kyle Bailey's backhand shot got Portland on the board with 7:06 left in the second frame, and Garret Festerling tied the game with 11:18 to go in the third. The power play that led to the game-winning goal came courtesy of Dan Da Silva getting plowed into the boards by Marc Connors of the Americans.

Vancouver beat Red Deer, 5-2. Fresh off their stay at Shane Doan's Circle Square Ranch, the Giants unleashed a new line of Ty Morris, Gilbert Brule, and Tim Kraus on the Rebels to the tune of three points apiece. Marek Schwarz held up his end of the bargain in the Vancouver net, stopping 20 of 22 shots. This helped enable Vancouver's offensive explosion, as they held target practice against Gerry Festa, firing 42 shots in the game. The Giants won in Red Deer for the first time in nine tries, thanks in part to four straight goals coming after the Rebels took the initial 1-0 lead in the first period. Adam Courchaine tied the game at 1-1 in the first, and JD Watt put the Giants up 2-1 in the second period. Kraus had what would be the game-winner in the second period to put Vancouver up 3-1. Morris and Kraus (again) scored in the third period to get the Giants their five goals. The recap on the Giants' website is priceless, featuring words/phrases like "20-year-old veteran" and "troika." I know 20-year-old veterans aren't unheard of in the WHL, I just don't see that phrase a lot.

Puget Sound beat Tri-City, 3-2. In the first of four games in a row at Tri-City, the Tomahawks emerge victorious and run their record to 15-2. Two third-period goals (Chris Gardner and Corey Coxon) helped the Tomahawks come from behind and steal the win from the Titans. Mike Truex assisted on all three of the Puget Sound goals in a game where the Tomahawks outshot the Titans 40-26. Of course, this means Iggy Slepokourev stopped 24 shots, and Nick Boddy was peppered with pucks while manning the Tri-City net.

The rest of the hockey weekend...
Tonight: Everett at Saskatoon, Seattle at Portland, Vancouver at Lethbridge, Utah at Manitoba (final game at Winnipeg Arena), Puget Sound at Tri-City
Sunday: Vancouver at Calgary

Readers, enjoy your Saturday. Readers in the Northwest, stay warm.

[Edit 11:21p -- Finally added in an updated Tomahawk blip.]

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Friday, November 05, 2004


I'm bored on a Friday night in Bremerton with the Puget Sound Tomahawks out of town, so I figured I'd take some game notes on tonight's Atlanta Hawks/Seattle SuperSonics game.

Now that the Sonics' season is in full swing, Brian Davis' new gig is fully realized. He is now basically what Rich Waltz is to the Mariners. Davis is hosting the pregame show for the Sonics, and gets the weekly Sonics All-Access show on Thursday nights. One thing I saw the other night on FSNNW was the unveiling of FSN Live, which had a tricked-out studio as well as the introduction of Campus Cams at the four Pac-10 colleges in Oregon and Washington. Unfortunately, it still had Angie Mentink and Brad Adam. How those two have avoided the revolving door at the Bellevue Bunker for all these years is beyond me. I wish the revolving door would push Cameron Wong out, though. Also, though I don't doubt his football knowledge, Dave Wyman is mind-numblingly boring as the FSNNW Seahawk contributor (i.e., Seahawk counterpart to Bill Krueger). It's like listening to Stephen Wright except it isn't funny, and you don't want or expect it to be funny.

Oh man, I'm sitting here watching the opening introductions, and I realized that former KJR update guy and current KOMO update guy Matt Pittman is the Sonics' PA announcer. The players are being introduced and are coming down the aisles, slapping hands with the fans. It's a noble idea, at least. It wouldn't be a Seattle sporting event without Big Lo getting some camera time, as he did right when the house lights came up. Also, Antoine Walker has to hate life knowing he's playing in Atlanta, and Luke Ridnour isn't going with the curly moptop anymore (in case you didn't notice).

Ray Allen at 11:13 gets the Sonics their first lead of the year by scoring on the first shot of the game
Jerome James went out of bounds and saved a ball, leading to a Ray Allen three? Perish the thought. James just swatted Anderson. And now Walker. This will really tick people off in about three games when James plays 30 minutes, shoots 1-for-9 from the field, and gets one rebound
There's a lot of back-and-forth basketball, but that's not because shots are being made; it's because the Sonics are turning the ball over. Three consecutive turnovers at one point, all leading to Atlanta baskets
Daniels had a nice knife inbetween defenders for a lay-in that rolled on the rim and went in
Crap, Reggie Evans with a nice move and a lay-in, slicing through Al Harrington and Antoine Walker
I just realized Kevin Willis is still playing. I know he's played a lot of years with Atlanta, but I would have gone out on top after the Spurs won it all a couple years ago
Rashard Lewis airballs one from downtown just inside three minutes to play in the quarter
There's been a Peja Drobnjak sighting! "Victory for Hawks!!"
Josh Smith just fouled Lewis in the paint to contest a shot...but man, did he Smith have some hops on that play, one of those deals where he didn't quite get all ball. It would have been an awesome rejection
Hey, Lewis just missed a dunk
Jon Barry is down after plowing into a Danny Fortson screen. Replay shows that Fortson sort of set the pick on Barry, rather than having Barry move into the pick. Barry is right back in on the next possession. Trooper
Fortson at :33 has his first Sonic basket
Ray Allen hits one from the left side for the last Sonic shot of the quarter, and he's officially feelin' it. He's 5-for-6 with 13 points in the first quarter
SuperSonics 26, Hawks 23

OH MAN! Damien Wilkins with the slam, and Gerald is in the house. He was fed after Vlad Radmanovic picked off the inbounds pass
10:34 Drobnjak had a niiiice spin move on Fortson for the basket plus one. Kevin Calabro just plugged Drobnjak's old Sonic website
9:28 Vlad Rad misses wide-open three
9:17 Wilkins tips away a crosscourt pass
Anne Donovan is in the house tonight
8:08 Wilkins intercepts an outlet pass after he misses a three
7:34 There's a sighting of the 'fro of Josh Childress, rookie from Stanford
6:49 Off a turnover, Wilkins put too much juice on the fastbreak pass to Lewis
6:33 Allen cuts off the crosscourt pass and jams at the other end
5:53 Lewis fed in the paint by Allen for a jam
5:13 Allen off-balance three
4:20 Ridnour nicely feeds Lewis for a jam
3:44 Lewis fed by Ridnour just inside the three-point line
3:15 Al Harrington up and under with a nice basket...Lewis left James with the defensive assignment
2:40 Harrington lets a pass go through his fingers and out of bounds
2:22 Ridnour finally hits his first shot of the season
1:51 James stuffs Smith...Sonics have seven blocks
:57.1 Walker travels...10th Atlanta turnover
31.5 Walker off a turnover sinks a three
14.9 Lewis tip jam; that's some elevation
SuperSonics 53, Hawks 46

Okay, I think that Dartfish's whole StroMotion thing was a worthwhile addition to Mariner telecasts, as we were able to see the path of curveballs and other off-speed pitches versus fastballs. What it could possibly bring to a basketball game, however, is beyond me.

11:39 Luke transition layup
11:00 Allen's pass low, but James can't pick it up
10:45 Ridnour stuffed Harrington from behind...yikes
9:48 Reggie Evans just airballed a free-throw attempt
7:56 James stays with his own missed shot...Ridnour did a nice job creating
7:26 Ridnour finds wide-open Evans for slam
6:43 Evans uses force to drice through Diow for the basket and one
6:21 great solo defense by Evans on Walker
6:20 Ridnour picks an inbound pass
5:58 Ridnour drives to the basket and hits two free throws
5:05 Ridnour too quick on the fast break
4:57 James hustles all the way back to goaltend a shot in transition
4:22 Drobnjak hook
3:34 all five Sonics touch ball on possession, ending in an Allen three
2:35 Lewis hits a three...with all the three-balls he's been throwing up, he was bound to hit one
1:27 Daniels drives a wide-open lane after the Sonics set up post-turnover
:02.3 Allen on break fed nicely for a lefthanded layup
SuperSonics 79, Hawks 64

Okay, I've changed my mind. They used the StroMotion a little better this time, comparing the ball rotation on different jumpers by Ray Allen.

I also just realized that the appearance of the new FSN Live shows means that the Northwest Sports Report no longer exists.

11:35 Fortson finds Vlad for three
10:14 Fortson puts one back
9:33 Collison misses wide-open 15-footer
7:41 Calabro says Vlad Rad "outhustling" Antoine Walker
7:30 Allen finger-roll through lane
6:58 After missing free throws, Evans still at 11 and 9
4:01 Allen finds Lewis for a three
3:45 Lewis comes in with a block on Harrington
3:39 Lewis sinks free throws for 23 pts, 7-for-8 from line
2:46 Ridnour weasels way through lane and misses layup, but Fortson puts back to put Sonics at 100 points
2:19 Robert Swift and Wilkins in
1:58 Cleaves in (Murray on injured list)
1:53 Ridnour running teardrop goes in...and one (9 pts, 6 ast)
:57.6 Swift splits free throws, his first NBA point
SuperSonics 106, Hawks 85

Reality shows are better when they're 30 seconds long. Thank you, GEICO, for making that promo for the fake reality show, Tiny House.

Well, this is exactly what the Sonics needed on the heels of Wednesday's embarrassment against the Clippers. They shot well from the field, but most importantly, their defensive intensity was great. They blocked quite a few shots (even with meaningful contributions from Jerome James with four blocks) and forced a lot of turnovers (intercepting passes). I must say that I also saw a bright spot in the creating ability of Luke Ridnour, who ended up with 9 points and 6 assists on the night. His jumper isn't anywhere close to fine-tuned yet, but his line for tonight is still quite respectable. The Sonics' scoring leaders: 25 for Allen, 23 for Lewis, double figures each for Evans and Daniels.

Danny O'Neil, Percy Allen, and Frank Hughes are now compiling their articles for tomorrow's print editions as I write this. I'll take a gander at two of the three articles (the Tribune refreshes too late) later tonight.

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I don't care if my team lost 99 games, I find this to be hysterical.

Some guy on EBay is actually selling a t-shirt that describes the St. Louis Cardinals' sterling performance in the 2004 World Series. Red Sox fans will love this one.

By the way, I'd like to make a similar shirt for the jackasses who came up with the "2 Outs, So What?" deal. "116 wins, so what?", the Bronx chorus still sings.

Personally, I can't wait for the day when the Seahawks win the Super Bowl so I can travel to St. Louis and wear a shirt that says "Mike Martz Is A Moron". But until then, I have to remember that the Seahawks haven't won a playoff game since 1984. Yeah, I was all of 2 years old at the time.

Oh, and victory for Sonics! Predrag Drobnjak is back in Seattle tonight, but as an Atlanta Hawk. Hooray for cities with "TL" in their abbreviations!

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[Note -- This post was ready to go at 3:15am...but Blogger was not.]

This time, it'll be on time. The makeup post was fueled by the latest album by A Perfect Circle, whereas this post is coming on the heels of watching an 884-pound pumpkin being detonated on the Letterman show, along with this French-subtitled movie on the CBC where some boy apparently sees a lot of things he's not supposed to see. I'll keep it going for the signoff montage, because I'm weird and I need help.

There were also the events, or lack thereof, on Thursday...

Before I go to the Mariners, the Times had a baseball-wide blip. Woody Williams, Jason Christiansen, Tony Batista, and Carl Pavano are free agents. Willie Randolph will manage the Mets, Charlie Manuel will manage the Phillies. Finally, Scott Boras says Carlos Beltran wants a ten-year deal. Good luck with that. That said, if he got ten years, I'd set the over-under at $195M. I'm not ready to say $200M for him.

American League players have spoken. Their choice is Ichiro as the AL's Most Outstanding Player.

In other Mariner news, Jim Slaton had already left the organization for the Portland Beavers' pitching coach post, but is now back in the fold as the Mariners' bullpen coach. Larry Stone also reports that minor-league managers Dan Rohn and Dave Brundage are under consideration for first-base coach, while Frank White and last year's first-base coach, Mike Aldrete, are being considered for hitting coach. Stone ends his article by revealing that Norm Charlton had been rebuked for the position of bullpen coach.

Before I move to the Seahawks here, congratulations to the Lynnwood football Royals, who pulled off a 27-26 overtime win over South Whidbey to end their state-record 47-game losing streak. Technically, the streak ended when Kamiak used an academically ineligible player and Lynnwood was given the retroactive win, but nonetheless, it's the Royals' first win on the field in a long time.

Last football note before Friday's action, Shelton is 9-0. When I was doing the Half-Ass High School Football Reports last year (no high-speed hookup may be the reason why I haven't kept it up this year), I seemed to be writing a lot about Isaiah Taito. He's still good.

In the painfully obvious file, the Seahawk secondary is giving up too many deep balls. The summing sentence of Clare Farnsworth's piece: "After not allowing a completion of more than 35 yards during their 3-0 start, the Seahawks have been burned deep five times in the past four games." Terreal Bierria is involved in three of the five plays listed.

J-M Romero picks up the Brown-and-Simmons-are-together-on-the-field story. The two have missed a combined 30 games due to injury since opening day of the 2002 season. It got to the point where after Brown went down in the preseason, people were shrugging it off, saying it's almost a given that Simmons or Brown misses a few games during the season.

I had read a Greg Johns article on the same topic in Thursday's dead tree edition of the Bremerton Sun, and here Greg Bishop has a story on the Seahawks' Grant Wistrom-less pass rush. In short, it's nonexistent. Of course, last week, Carolina was using a lot of seven-blocker schemes on offense while the Seahawks would rush four. Hence, Jake Delhomme had all day to throw. The notebook article also has some icky stats when it comes to return yards allowed on punts and kickoffs by the special teams unit. Lastly, Seneca Wallace is running wide receiver routes on the scout team.

Les Carpenter chimes in with a piece on Mike Holmgren simplifying the offense, making it more West Coast and less of a bastardized/augmented Mike Holmgren West Coast offense. Having infinite options is good, but confusion is never good in the West Coast offense. Or some kind of abstract Zen-type thing like that.

As if it weren't bad enough for the Sonics to lose their opener by 30 points, they come home and face the Atlanta Hawks tonight. That's high-quality entertainment for the basketball fans around the Northwest. Not. Both teams lost their openers by 30 points. The article was mostly about how the team was just brutally crappy in the game against the Clippers and that Luke Ridnour was also terrible, and it's more magnified since the team is more dependent on his play this year.

Tonight: Atlanta at Seattle
Sunday: San Antonio at Seattle

The CBC has been replacing its usual Hockey Night in Canada with Movie Night in Canada. What they should have done (Jeremy and I have agreed on this) was televise the best games they had in the archive. Rogers Sportsnet Pacific is sort of doing this with the Canucks, as they're televising some games from the Canucks' playoff past, and damned if they didn't show Game 7 against Calgary from the 1994 playoffs on Tuesday night. That broadcast schedule is also available in wallpaper form, as you, the choosy Sports and B's reader, can fill your desktop with the likes of Kirk McLean, Pavel Bure, and others.

The Times is running a Jim Riley article on Ryan Gibbons of the Seattle Thunderbirds. Gibbons is an 18-year-old from West Vancouver BC (or can we call it West Van?) and the article reads off like he's somewhat in the Todd Bertuzzi mold (not the suckerpunch part) in that he's 6'5" and 222, they try to park him in front of the net, and he bangs in the rebounds. He's been drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes.

Only one game to talk about tonight...

Manitoba beat Utah, 2-1. The first 40 minutes were a goaltending standoff between Utah's David LeNeveau and Manitoba's Alex Auld. LeNeveau held on despite Manitoba outshooting the Grizzlies 20-5 in the second period. After all the tight play in net, LeNeveau let in the first goal of the game with 8:54 gone in the third period on a rocket (40th Moose shot of the night) from just inside the blueline by Alexandre Burrows. Kirill Koltsov put the Moose up 2-0 with 8:05 to play in regulation. Utah pulled LeNeveau for an extra attacker late, and Kiel McLeod spoiled Auld's shutout with 56 seconds remaining.

Tonight: Everett at Prince Albert, Portland at Tri-City, Vancouver at Red Deer, Puget Sound at Tri-City
Saturday: Everett at Saskatoon, Seattle at Portland, Vancouver at Lethbridge, Utah at Manitoba (final game at Winnipeg Arena), Puget Sound at Tri-City
Sunday: Vancouver at Calgary

With that, I wish each and every one of our readers a wonderful, terrific weekend. If you're nutty like me, you were just reminded of a former prospect of the Atlanta Braves, a guy by the name of Wonderful Monds, full name Wonderful Terrific Monds.

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It's November.

It's finally cold here.

Thank God.

Last week, I was 10-4. My upset of the week, Houston, came through. Thanks, David Carr and crew. Unfortunately, Baltimore didn't come through as my lock of the week. Terrell Owens better watch out. (More on this later)

So here we go, my Week 9 picks. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah!


New York Jets at Buffalo
(UPSET OF THE WEEK. Short week for the Jets, and I think Willis McGahee is going to have a big game.)

Oakland at Carolina

Dallas at Cincinnati (FOX, televised in Arkansas)
(Carson Palmer will torch the Cowboys secondary)

Washington at Detroit
(So much for that "if the Redskins lose, the incumbent loses" theory)

Arizona at Miami
(They're charging full-price admission for this game?)

Philadelphia at Pittsburgh
(Ben Roethlisberger, legend in the making)

Kansas City at Tampa Bay (CBS, televised in Arkansas)
(The Chiefs are back. Look out.)


Chicago at New York Giants
(Will Tiki Barber finally fumble this weekend?)

New Orleans at San Diego
(This just seems like a trap game for the Chargers)

Seattle at San Francisco
(Is there another shutout in the making?)

Houston at Denver
(Jake Plummer is not a good quarterback. David Carr is.)

New England at St. Louis (CBS, televised in Arkansas)
(LOCK OF THE WEEK. Everybody wants to pick the Rams, but I'm not.)


Cleveland at Baltimore
(Jamal Lewis is back for the Ravens)


Minnesota at Indianapolis
(Points, points, and more points. But the Vikings need Randy Moss in a bad way.)

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As for the "more on Terrell Owens situation", check out this gem from Bill Simmons' Page 2 column today:

RAVENS (-6) over Browns
I'm just throwing it out there: Let's say Ray Lewis had Terrell Owens killed at some point in the next four months. Like a Biggie-Tupac thing. (I know it won't happen - let's just pretend it does.) Would that be the biggest sports story of all-time? Bigger than Magic getting HIV, or OJ's wife being murdered? I had this argument with a buddy this week ... I say yes. It's a good argument though.

This is why I love reading Simmons' work. He's money. And he knows it.

Enjoy the games this weekend.

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Thursday, November 04, 2004


I saw parts of the Sonics' opener with my own eyes. They missed their first eight shots of the game. They didn't score this season until Rashard Lewis was hacked while driving to the basket and shooting (the shot went in) with 7:51 left in the first quarter. They went 4:09 without scoring. The Clippers started out 6-for-8.

About the first eight shots that the Sonics missed -- these weren't shots that were rimming or going in and out of the cylinder. These were shots barely catching rim, shots going off the side of the backboard, air balls...it was just pathetic.

Think about it, though. The Sonics allowed over 100 points. To the Clippers.

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As I mentioned earlier, I'd had some trouble with ye olde connection, but for now, that shouldn't be a problem. Luckily I didn't miss too much.

What Wednesday gave us was the opener for your Seattle SuuuuperSonics, some Seahawk articles, and the obligatory minor-league hockey action.

To the action...

I didn't see anything newer than Ichiro and Boone getting the Gold Gloves, which I'd mentioned in the last post.

The Seahawk receiving core is decimated right now, but it appears that Anthony Simmons and Chris Terry will be available for Sunday's game at San Francisco (Monster Park, lest we forget). Simmons' shoulder feels much better, but Terry will be playing through some pain. Simmons and Chad Brown will be on the field together for the first time since last August (preseason). With the good news of Simmons and Terry coming back, three receivers (Jackson/Rice/Engram) are still out with ankle sprains, leaving Jerheme Urban, Jason Willis, and Taco Wallace getting big reps in practice. At least one will be added to the roster to play on Sunday.

The San Francisco 49ers, as a whole, are in a world of s*!# right now. They've got $28M in salary cap space going to players not with the team, according to J-M Romero's article. Of course, former 49er Chike Okeafor knows not to take the Niners lightly, as they've been keeping games fairly close except for their 34-0 whitewashing by the Seahawks at the Q last month.

John Levesque reminds us that four of the Seahawks' last five home games are against teams under .500 (Dolphins, Bills, Cowboys, Cardinals). Of course, he also mentions the receiving corps' situation, which means everyone and their mother is expecting Shaun Alexander to carry the ball A LOT on Sunday, presumably to the left side (Steve Hutchinson questionable), if last Sunday's game was any indication. There are even some jokes in the article about Lake Dawson and Steve Raible suiting up.

For my postgame take, click here or scroll up.

Danny O'Neil compiles some of the damning statistics. Second-worst opening loss in Sonic history. End of the Sonics' six-game win streak against the Clips. The Clippers' largest margin of victory on opening night, and their first 1-0 start in seven years. The offense was brutal, and as usual, Nate McMillan was displeased at the defensive play. As a result, it was no surprise that the Clippers never trailed in this game. The Sonics got within 10 points in the third quarter, but the Clippers managed to pull away.

Here's Percy Allen's take. Jerome James managed to foul out of this game. Luke Ridnour was 0-for-8 from the field. He was in the starting lineup.

Rookie Robert Swift, the tall kid just out of high school from Bakersfield, got some playing time. He's tall. He's also pretty green and new to the NBA, and it shows. I saw one play where he was just moving the ball over his head from one side to the other, and he had it swatted away for a turnover.

Friday: Atlanta at Seattle
Sunday: San Antonio at Seattle

I'd said something the other day abot Brad Richards possibly going to Russia to play hockey. His teammate Vincent Lecavalier is going, and is saying Richards will also play for AK Bars Kazan in Russia, already boasting players such as Ilya Kovalchuk and Darius Kasparaitis.

In the most shocking news I'll be bringing to you in this post, longtime NHLer and current Nashville Predator Sergei Zholtok died on Wednesday in Latvia due to a heart ailment. He was 31 and is survived by his wife and two kids. Our condolences and prayers go out to all those hit by the tragedy.

Seattle shut out Tri-City, 3-0. Bryan Bridges pitched his four shutout of the season, catapulting the Thunderbirds to a lofty 11-4-0-0 record, solidifying their WHL US Division lead, now a four-point lead over Everett. The T-Birds took this game in the second period, with three goals. Ryan Gibbons, Bud Holloway, and Aaron Gagnon (10th of the season to lead the team) all found the back of the net against the Americans. Seattle outshot Tri-City 34-22 in the game.

Portland shut out Prince George, 4-0. Dustin Butler turned away 23 Cougar shots for shutout number two on the season. The Winter Hawks were without Brandon Dubinsky, out with a badly-lacerated fingertip as a result of a Barry Horman (Everett) slash on Saturday. No penalty was called, but the WHL suspended Horman for one game after video review. Portland got two goals on the rush in the first period (Dan Da Silva, Michael Funk), and another from Darrel May. Mucho power play time for Portland helped hold Prince George to three shots in the second period. Frazer McLaren capped the scoring. Some fightin' words and fists were exchanged with under 4:22 left in the game.

Swift Current beat Vancouver, 5-4 in overtime. The Giants had two-goal leads twice in this game, but also were nicked for 16 minor penalties. Adam Courchaine and Andrej Meszaros (shorthanded) built the Giants a 2-0 lead in the first. Kevin Hayman put Vancouver up 3-1 in the second. Gilbert Brule put the Giants up 4-2 with 12 minutes to play in regulation. Then the whistles came. The Broncos scored the equalizer after Vancouver's Meszaros and Triston Grant were both nailed for high-sticking double-minors one minute apart. Marc Fistric's giveaway led to Luke Hunter's game-winning goal with 1:24 left in overtime.

Tonight: Utah at Manitoba
Friday: Everett at Prince Albert, Portland at Tri-City, Vancouver at Red Deer, Puget Sound at Tri-City
Saturday: Everett at Saskatoon, Seattle at Portland, Vancouver at Lethbridge, Utah at Manitoba (final game at Winnipeg Arena), Puget Sound at Tri-City
Sunday: Vancouver at Calgary

...Aaaaand it's just in time for me to wait and fish out tonight's articles. Seriously, I was aimless this morning when I woke up and realized I hadn't posted the night before. I'm lost in life without this weblog, plain and simple.

Another post to come...

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Not really.

But while I haven't had connection issues like David has had, I've had trouble logging into Blogger all day. However, Blogger is working for me just fine right now, so that's a good deal.

And as David mentioned, if there's ever a dead period here, go through our archives. Or check out our music blog, Rambling On Music. If you have a non-sports sidebar on your blog, feel free to add Rambling On Music to your sidebar. We appreciate it.

What's going on in the sports world, eh?

---The Sonics won't win more than 25 games. Losing by 30 to the Clippers on opening night is not acceptable. Robert Swift would get posterized by Lauren Jackson, that's how bad I think he's going to be this season.

---The NBA is here. "Inside The NBA", baby!

---I'll have my Mariners offseason plan up in the next week or so. I can't believe it's already November.

---There's still no hockey. Shocker.

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Have a good Friday, folks.

I know I will.

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Hey, all. I've been having some connection issues, hence the lack of post that would normally have come in the wee hours of this morning. To make it up to y'all, I'll try to crank out two days' worth of stuff in the next few hours. I've got two or three hours before the newer articles get posted on the Seattle dailies' websites, so I'll try to crank up.

If there's a lag in our posting for any reason (usually there's not), feel free to browse through our archives or look at our small patch of specialty posts on the sidebar. It's good clean fun.

See you with more material...

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Wednesday, November 03, 2004


Because I know you're sick, tired of, and bored with last night's (or the past ten months') events by now, here's the daily dose...

Eddie Guardado -- still a Mariner. Eddie picked up his option, which will net him $4M in 2005. Needless to say, he wouldn't have had other teams willing to throw a ton of money at him on the open market given his injury last year.

Bret Boone and Ichiro won Gold Gloves. It's no surprise for Ichiro, and maybe a tiny surprise for Boone, if you remember that stretch of a couple games where he was throwing balls off bats and not blocking the ball on a steal attempt. Another way to take this is that maybe the Gold Glove truly is being awarded to the best defensive player, what with Boone batting a brutal .251 last year. That kind of thinking would have gotten Jeff Cirillo the Gold Glove over Eric Chavez in 2002.

Also in the P-I article: the Royals granted the Mariners permission to talk to Frank White about the vacant third-base coaching position, and the Mariners named a player and pitcher of the year for every level on the farm. Randy Williams was the pitcher of the year for Tacoma. Yikes.

The love in the press today is all directed at Jerry Wunsch. The twice-released lineman made the most of his chance after Steve Hutchinson sprained his ankle on Sunday, and the Times holds a Q&A with him. Of course, with all the yards that Shaun Alexander piled up when running to the left side last Sunday, I'm hoping Hutchinson is back as soon and as healthy as possible.

That P-I link elaborates that the Seahawks are so banged up in the receiving corps that one of Jerheme Urban, Taco Wallace, or Jason Willis will have to be signed off the practice squad to take the place of the broken collarboned Pro Bowl special teamer Alex Bannister. The special teams crew will dearly miss Bannister. As for Wallace, I do not believe he has divulged to reporters why he goes by Taco as a first name.

Well, the season starts tonight for the 2004-05 version of the Sonics. Hence, a slew of articles accompany the team and the new NBA season.

Steve Kelley sums it up. I've said that I think .500 will be a miracle for this team, whereas Kelley is thinking along the lines of 37 wins for this team. Kelley also makes points about hearing the same ol' crap about salary cap room and then seeing no key free agents come to Seattle. The post-Jordan Bulls have that same problem. That's not good company to be associated with.

Ray Allen is good, but he's got to be all-world for this team to go places. Half the Sonic roster is due for free agency after the end of the season, including Allen. Of course, it must be good to have this many players (presumably more motivated) having their contracts years all at the same time, right? Consider the 2001-02 Clippers and then reexamine your initial answer to that last question.

For a more rosy picture on the Sonics' situation, read the latter part of this article. There's quotes from GM Rick Sund, and Sund denies that the team has no direction. I've got to say I'm leaning more toward the Kelley outlook on this team than I am with any scenario that Rick Sund could dream up.

David Locke also acknowledges the multi-free-agents-playing story, saying the Sonics could bond together and be really good, but the worst-case scenario could turn out to be the post-Darrell Armstrong Orlando Magic of last season (this would entail the Sonics imploding without Brent Barry).

Add Vancouver Canuck and current Manitoba Moose Nolan Baumgartner to the list of players that would take a salary cap if it meant NHL hockey could resume. Of course, the NHLPA would have you believe that most players don't share Baumgartner's opinion.

The Times has given props to James Stucky, the Everett Silvertips' equipment manager, who also functions as something of a traveling logistics guy. His job is being put to the test thanks to a two-week, 3000-mile road trip. Apparently he handles laundry, and making sure the kids don't end up eating pizza every single day. If you ask me, I can eat pizza every day if you switch up the toppings with every new pizza. Oh yeah, there was a game tonight...

Prince George shut out Everett, 3-0. The 'Tips went a sickening 0-for-10 on the power play. Ouch. The Cougars are now riding a six-game unbeaten streak (4-0-2). Prince George scored on their second shot of the game and got a 2-0 lead just 7:11 into the game. Everett goalie Mike Wall fended off 21 of 23 shots.

Medicine Hat skunked Vancouver, 5-1. The Giants managed to score a goal against the Tigers on the road, but it was probably little consolation. Vancouver gave up four goals on the power play, with some of the goals surely coming after the many fights that took place. Mitch Bartley opened up the scoring in the game and gave the Giants a 1-0 lead before the Tigers reeled off the last five goals of the game. Vancouver goalie Marek Schwarz was pulled nine minutes into the final period, having given four goals on 34 shots (three power play goals). The recap on the Giants' website openly laments the fact that Triston Grant's major fighting penalty didn't draw the same penalty from the Tiger he had fought with. Also, JD Watt got into two fights.

Wednesday: Seattle at Tri-City, Prince George at Portland, Vancouver at Swift Current
Thursday: Utah at Manitoba
Friday: Everett at Prince Albert, Portland at Tri-City, Vancouver at Red Deer, Puget Sound at Tri-City
Saturday: Everett at Saskatoon, Seattle at Portland, Vancouver at Lethbridge, Utah at Manitoba (final game at Winnipeg Arena), Puget Sound at Tri-City
Sunday: Vancouver at Calgary

Enjoy your opening day for the Sonics and keep in mind that the Seahawks are a mere four days from gameday in San Francisco.

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Tuesday, November 02, 2004


I'm watching the Detroit Pistons' championship ring ceremony on TNT and I'm just vexed.

The Pistons' players are getting their championship rings tonight before their season opener against the Houston Rockets. But the players come out onto the court with world championship belts. Yes, world championship belts.

They still have a long way to go to top the Nature Boy, Ric Flair, however...



Ric Flair, legend.

Oh, and Anita Baker is great as well. Glad to see that she's alive and doing well.

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Just a couple of things before I get on with the usual post.

And I guess you should probably pick and choose the sports you want to read about in the post, or divide it up into sittings, because this one's pretty long.

-- You know those station ID spots that run on FSNNW? They're only about five seconds long, and during the season they'd show Edgar flipping the bat around or something, or maybe Joel Pineiro throwing a ball into his mitt, or whatnot. Today I saw two spots, both of which featured cheerleading crews for two of the northwest colleges, probably Oregon State and Washington, since they were playing volleyball at the time I was watching, right before the Keith Gilbertson press conference. I swear they use the same group of people for all the cheerleader spots, because I swear they had the exact same Asian girl in both of the spots that I saw.

-- I really don't give a crap about the Chamber of Fear. I wish Nike could be as ingenious with their commercials as some of the beermakers are.

-- No matter who wins the election today, I think last week's South Park episode hit the nail on the head. For those who didn't see it, here's a quick summary: PeTA forces South Park Elementary to change its mascot to something other than the Cows; Mister Garrison hands out a list of possible mascot names to the kids; Kyle suggests writing in "Giant Douche," and Cartman rips off the idea and wants "Turd Sandwich"; both names are the finalists; Stan doesn't want to vote because both choices are stupid; Stan is banished from town for not wanting to vote; P Diddy also tells him to Vote or Die; Stan learns from one of the PeTA people that the choice in voting in every election will pretty much be between a douche and a turd every time because they're the only ones that suck up enough to get far in politics; Stan goes back to South Park with this fact and votes for Turd Sandwich; Giant Douche whoops Turd Sandwich; Garrison discovers that P Diddy and his entourage killed everyone at the PeTA compound; the kids go back to the South Park Cows; Stan's vote doesn't matter after all.

-- I can't tell you how hilarious that South Park episode was. Of course, they had a top 30 (or so) viewers' choice countdown and the one with Cartman's hand taking the Jennifer Lopez alter-ego was number one, and one of my favorites was number two (the ninja weapons with Japanimation one).

-- Monday's Bremerton Sun (this is me not calling it the West Sound Sun or the new favorite, Kitsap Sun) notified me that Stanford butterflier and Bremertonian Dana Kirk had to pull out of Saturday's Stanford/Texas swim meet due to an aggravation of a lower back injury. Get well, Dana. The team goes to Long Beach for the Speedo cup from the 18th-20th. The rest of their schedule is here.

Well, Bryan Price won't have to spurn Bob Melvin in Arizona because the pride of Aloha, Oregon, Wally Backman has been hired as the new manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks. It's pretty obvious what Arizona wanted, as in the first sentence of the SportsLine article, Backman is described as "scrappy" and "intense." Yup, Melvin didn't have a chance.

On a weird note, Gerry Hunsicker has suddenly walked from the Astros' GM post. If you're like me and are not a Phil Garner fan, you'd probably say that Hunsicker doesn't want to be there for when the ship goes under. Having a sinking ship is never a good thing when it happens under Garner's watch. Tim Purpura is your new general manager of the Houston Astros.

The Mariners unsurprisingly declined Eddie Guardado's option. Of course, Eddie has his own option on the contract that he can decide to pick up within 10 days. He says he's more than likely going to take it. Both Hickey and Stone let the public know that online voting for the Ford Frick Award is underway. Vote Niehaus. I wish there was some way I could vote for Rick Rizzs' name to be removed from the ballot, but alas, I cannot.

Let the Husky coaching speculation begin. Names appearing in the article include Tedford, Meyer, and Hawkins, as Jeremy noted (two of three). I'd say more, but I can only take so much Husky football in a day, and thank God I haven't been listening to KJR all day, it'd probably be unbearable.

One of our readers, Doug, let me know that the BC Lions are kicking some butt in the CFL. Before I dig up an article, I am going to see if I know the nine CFL teams' nicknames while seeing just their three-letter truncated location codes on a webpage. Here I go: British Columbia Lions, Edmonton Eskimos, Saskatchewan Rough Riders, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Calgary Stampeders, Montreal Alouettes, Toronto Argonauts, Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Ty-Cats for short), Ottawa Renegades (no, they're not the second team of Rough Riders any more). I'm not sure whether I should feel good or bad about that, but I did it. Also, I've been wondering for the past six years or so how the hell a single point is scored on a kickoff in CFL play. I'm still not exactly sure, even after reading this. I'm having trouble discerning a "rouge" from the equivalent of a touchback.

As Doug mentioned, the BC Lions finished the regular season 13-5 thanks to their 40-38 win over Saskatchewan on Sunday. The Lions at one point scored 22 unanswered points in the game to take the lead by three. Their three-headed quarterback combo is David Dickenson, Casey Printers (who's thrown for over 5000 yards on the season), and former Minnesota Viking Spergon Wynn.

Doug mentions that the Lions are in the West Final on November 14th at BC Place (a.k.a., the place that changed Edgar's career). The playoff system has the 2nd-place and 3rd-place teams in the two divisions squaring off for the right to take on the division winner, with obvious homefield advantages going to the applicable seeds.

As for the Seahawks, it's a rash of injuries. Clare Farnsworth said if the team had to play a game yesterday, Koren Robinson might have been the only healthy receiver. The names of the feeble: Hutchinson (ankle sprain), Jackson (ankle sprain), Bannister (broken collarbone, out eight weeks), Rice (sprained ankle), Simmons (shoulder, chance to play Sunday), Engram (high ankle sprain, chance to play Sunday). Grant Wistrom is three weeks into his 4-6 weeks of rehab from a knee fracture. I saw an ad Sunday for the NFL Network, with the NFL Big Man Dancing Challenge. Wistrom was featured, dancing and being mobile and stuff, and it just rubbed it in. If they can get Simmons, Brown, and Wistrom on the field and healthy for the final eight or nine weeks of the season, it'd be just smashing, I tell you.

Also, Jerry Rice wants to play Sunday at San Francisco (no surprise), ankle be damned. The same article brings up something else -- why the hell hasn't Koren Robinson been suspended yet? We've waited long enough. If it's going to happen, make it happen early.

It's Nate McMillan's last year as Sonic coach. How can it be otherwise? Howard Schultz wants a playoff appearance, but look at the pile that he's given McMillan to work with; as I've said, .500 will be a miracle for this team, and that's not good in a conference where even 50 wins won't guarantee you a very high playoff seed.

Also, Rashard Lewis may play in the opener tomorrow (yes, tomorrow) against the Clippers after rehabbing his plantar fasciitis. My advice to the Sonics: don't play him yet. I know it's been a few weeks, but I have this sick feeling that he'd be rushed. My comparison: Grant Wistrom plays mostly on FieldTurf and grass; Rashard Lewis plays on hardwood. A lot. It seems like it would affect him more, and therefore necessitate more rest. Bur hey, it's not my foot, and I'm not a doctor or orthopedic specialist.

I tell ya, you just buy one shred of NHL apparel, and they keep sending you catalogs. Of course, they do have some decent deals in there which are a little enticing. I can tell you that the Rambling Hockey Fangirl has been buying MoDo Hockey stuff. MoDo is the Swedish team that has the Sedin twins, Peter Forsberg, and Tommy Salo playing on it right now. Markus Naslund would have been on the team, but he decided to stay back here, as far as I know.

Are there cracks in the hull of the NHL players' union? Rob Ray of the Buffalo Sabres and Mike Commodore of the Calgary Flames are speaking up. Ray says he would entertain the thought of being a replacement player and says that "[r]eally, it's the role players on the team who are going to get screwed in all of this. Guys like Daniel Alfredsson and Zdeno Chara are going to get their money. Players like Chris Neil and Shaun Van Allen are going to get (expletive). They don't stand to gain anything from this." Commodore says he'd be okay with a salary cap if both sides agreed to one. Peter Dagenais of the Habs also agrees. Of course, this ticks off Columbus union rep Todd Marchant, and now up to 80 players are meeting today in Toronto. If there's only one reason to click on that Commodore link, it's to see his picture. It's unbridled hilarity. "Sea of Red" takes on an entirely different meaning.

The additions of Phoenix Coyote Mike Comrie to Sweden's Farjestad team (a team with Sheldon Souray and Chara), Toronto's Bryan McCabe to Sweden's HV71 team, and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Brad Richards to Russia's Ak Bars Kazan team (it'll happen) have bumped the number of NHLers in Europe to 237, almost one-third of the total number of NHL players.

A former Canuck goalie and Euro player for the last two years, Corey Hirsch had some harsh words for the NHLers-to-Europe situation, after being bumped to backup status thanks to his team's addition of Martin Gerber of Carolina: "Every time an NHL player signs in Europe, another life is affected. One of these lives affected is my own ... NHL players are coming to Europe in droves and are bumping off, one by one, players who actually need the money. Every day, I read another arrogant quote from someone coming to play in Europe for no other reason than to stay in shape. Where is the logic in not negotiating a CBA that will still pay a player more than he'll need but instead come to Europe to play just to stay in shape? Some of these players should have a talk with my pregnant wife and kids who moved their lives to Europe, only to watch me sit in the stands game after game because I have been bumped by an NHL player [Gerber]. There's a good chance I may not play a game this season. Without playing the previous season due to this mess, many players in Europe may have to retire."

In a somewhat related note, Scott Gomez of the Devils is playing for his hometown Alaska Aces of the ECHL and netted a shootout goal and an assist against the San Diego Gulls on Friday. He's making $500 a week, but after he'd signed, the Aces sold 25 season tickets and 250 tickets for Friday's game, which sold out (6453 capacity).

I flipped across the CBC one day and saw a Canada Now report where they sent one of their guys, Shanel Pratap, to the Canucks' media camp. Basically, Marc Crawford coached a bunch of media members up, and the eventual culmination was a scrimmage against some Canucks of yore (i.e., Kirk McLean, Orland Kurtenbach, Richard Brodeur, Tiger Williams, Gino Odjick, Bill Ranford). Yes, the ex-Canucks won.

But the saddest note of the night is that one of the best Calgary Flames ever, and the great short (5'6") hope for guys like me, Theo Fleury, is still not sober. I've been hoping for the longest time that he'd straighten it out and tear up the NHL once again, but he's had trouble every time. One look at his stats lets you know how good this guy was -- he had 104 points in 1990-91 and another 100 two years later. I used to see this guy go nuts when we had the CBC in the house and when I was a fourth- or fifth-grader who didn't fully appreciate hockey yet. Somehow, this triggered some nostalgia for me and I dug up Pavel Bure's stats. Thirty-one points in the playoff run to the Cup Finals, people. Unreal.

Upcoming in minor-league hockey...
Tuesday: Prince George at Everett, Vancouver at Medicine Hat
Wednesday: Seattle at Tri-City, Prince George at Portland, Vancouver at Swift Current
Thursday: Utah at Manitoba
Friday: Everett at Prince Albert, Portland at Tri-City, Vancouver at Red Deer, Puget Sound at Tri-City
Saturday: Everett at Saskatoon, Seattle at Portland, Vancouver at Lethbridge, Utah at Manitoba (final game at Winnipeg Arena), Puget Sound at Tri-City
Sunday: Vancouver at Calgary

Have a safe and sane election day, everyone, and remember: if, for any reason, your election lasts longer than four hours, notify your doctor immediately.

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Monday, November 01, 2004


If you ask me, the Huskies still haven't recovered from the Rick Neuheisel fiasco. Today, Keith Gilbertson takes the fall.

Overall, I thought that Gilbertson inherited a no-win situation, and this became even more apparent once the last couple of crappy Neuheisel recruiting classes rolled in. A sample of some calls this morning on KJR include some who think the Huskies had some of the worst coaching they've ever had, whereas Softy would point out that no coach could win given when there are no true quarterbacks on the team, the ones that are playing quarterback are throwing to players wearing the wrong uniforms, and the receivers are midgets (fair, though me and my 5'7" stature cringe at this).

All in all, the press conference will be at 2:30, and Gilbertson will serve out the rest of the season as coach and then step down, as mutually agreed to by Gilbertson and the brass.

And since I'm bored and watching Washington/Oregon State volleybalt on FSNNW at the moment, I must mention to you all that the Seahawks Live show on Monday nights may be one of the cheesiest sort of "we're trying too hard" shows I've ever seen, and it all starts with Angie, the crappy theme music, and the constantly moving (think MTV's "Total Request Live") cameras.

But yeah, Keith Gilbertson is gone.

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Keith Gilbertson will resign at the end of the season as Washington head coach, according to the Associated Press.

Thanks to Doug Taylor for giving us a heads up in the comments box in David's post below. And David has mentioned that there will be news conference at 2:30 Pacific.

The Huskies are 1-7, 0-5 in the Pac-10, the program's worst record in 35 years. Gilbertson took over for Rick Neuheisel shortly before the 2003 season. He had previously been an assistant on Neuheisel's staff. Gilbertson had previous head coaching experience at Idaho and California.

The remaining schedule for the Huskies is as follows:
This Saturday vs Arizona, Nov. 13 vs Cal, and Nov. 20 at Washington State (Apple Cup)

Speculation can be fun, so why not mention a few guys that will be considered for the vacant head coaching position at UW:

---Jeff Tedford, Cal head coach. There's been reports that Tedford may bolt Berkeley if the athletic department doesn't make the necessary improvements that are needed.

---Urban Meyer, Utah head coach. One of the best young coaches in the country. Look at what he's done with the Utes.

---Norm Chow, USC offensive coordinator. He has turned down various head coaching positions to stay at USC. But Washington arguably has more prestige than the jobs that he had turned down.

---Dennis Erickson, 49ers head coach. Don't snicker. I really think he's a possible candidate. There's no doubt that Erickson is one hell of a college coach. The 49ers organization is a mess. I wouldn't be shocked to see Erickson get out of San Francisco after this season.

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One thing to keep in mind here is that Washington president Mark Emmert is no stranger to hiring a big name head coach. When he was at LSU, he hired Nick Saban. You know how that ended up.

I'm not a Huskies fan, far from it. But I'm a college football fan and I know that the game is better off when the Huskies are playing well. We'll see how this search ends up.

This should be an interesting next couple of weeks at Montlake...

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Well, it's a Monday, and that means a bunch of Seahawk articles came out, making for a bulk of the action. The other action deals with the onset of the NBA season, so there's a bunch of previews out there, including Jeremy's.

So we begin our November by looking back at the final day of October.

Of course, you'll have to look further back than yesterday to find any worthwhile Mariner news...unless you want to make something up and then spread it as gossip across the land. Not that anyone taking up the suggestion would be the first to do such a thing.

Steve Kelley notices what made the offense simpler yesterday -- less audibles at the line of scrimmage for Matt Hasselbeck. I know Matt creeps me off whenever he pulls those audibles before the snap, and every time I just pray that he doesn't get picked and I hope no one drops the ball.

Yes, the Seahawks didn't have that finishing ability either; they never were able to find the dagger that put away the game when it came to the offense. Hugh Millen said after the game that it's sad that the hands team may have decided the fate of the Seahawks' season.

Art Thiel praises Hasselbeck for the first half of his article, and then brings up his horrendous mistakes in the second half of the column. He also brings up the 63-yard Delhomme-to-Colbert pass on the first bleepin' play from scrimmage after Carolina got the ball back thanks to the Hasselbeck muffed field goal snap, which by all media accounts was really supposed to be a field goal attempt as opposed to a fake.

Les Carpenter predictably throws the Seahawks under the bus. It's kind of scathing.

And to reiterate, the Seahawks did run the hell out of the ball yesterday. Also, Chad Brown racked up six tackles in his return. In injury news, on that play where Alex Bannister dove for a pass that went through his hands in the end zone, he fractured his collarbone. He's out three weeks for sure. Also, since Steve Hutchinson had an ankle sprain (so did Jerry Rice), Jerry Wunsch got a good dose of playing time. I like to confuse him with Kelly Wunsch, a submarining lefthander I last saw wearing a White Sox uniform.

Three cheers for Kayla Burt. She's playing basketball with a defibrillator embedded in her chest, for goodness' sake.

The P-I sportswriters don't publish on Sunday, so Danny O'Neil has put out his articles on the 30-team NBA and Vitaly Potapenko's broken hand.

Manitoba beat Hamilton, 2-1. Two third-period goals got the Moose their third victory in three days, all on the road. Manitoba returns home having had a 4-1 road trip. Ryan Kesler was credited with a goal 20 seconds into the third period on a shot tipped by a Hamilton defender and past Bulldog goalie Dan Ellis. Nolan Baumgartner and Kesler fed Lee Goren for the winner from the right circle with just over five minutes to play. Alexandre Burrows of Manitoba and Steve Ott squabbled twice in the second period. Wade Flaherty stopped 32 of 33 for the Moose. In a curious note, Manitoba is 0-2 at home and 7-2 on the road.

There isn't any action with any of the six teams I've been tracking until Tuesday. So to combat those doldrums, I'll show you where the teams stand for tonight, and then fish out some NHL headlines for tomorrow's post.

WHL Western Conference
Seattle Thunderbirds 10-4-0-0 (20 pts, 1st place in US Division)
Everett Silvertips 7-4-2-2 (18 pts, 2nd place in US Division)
Vancouver Giants 8-5-0-1 (17 pts, 3rd place in BC Division, losing the tiebreaker to Kelowna, with both teams having the same number of points -- probably because the Rockets have a tie, but Vancouver has an overtime loss for that non W-L point)
Portland Winter Hawks 7-7-0-1 (15 pts, 3rd place in US Division)
Kootenay is atop the BC Division by three points, but both Kelowna and Vancouver have four games in hand

AHL Western Conference
Manitoba Moose 7-4-0-0 (14 pts, 1st place in North Division)
The Edmonton Road Runners are two points back of Manitoba with two games in hand

NorPac Junior B
Puget Sound Tomahawks 14-2-0 (28 pts, 1st place in Western Division)
The Portland Pioneers are six points behind Puget Sound with four games in hand

Here's how next week shapes up...and the Vancouver Giants have a busy road trip of 5 games in six days (ouch!). Luckily they're off until the following Friday after this stretch.
Tuesday: Prince George at Everett, Vancouver at Medicine Hat
Wednesday: Seattle at Tri-City, Prince George at Portland, Vancouver at Swift Current
Thursday: Utah at Manitoba
Friday: Everett at Prince Albert, Portland at Tri-City, Vancouver at Red Deer, Puget Sound at Tri-City
Saturday: Everett at Saskatoon, Seattle at Portland, Vancouver at Lethbridge, Utah at Manitoba (final game at Winnipeg Arena), Puget Sound at Tri-City
Sunday: Vancouver at Calgary

Enjoy your Monday, everyone, and I hope you inspected your candy carefully.

[Edit ~7:24a -- Wunsch added.]

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Sunday, October 31, 2004

2004-2005 NBA PREVIEW 

I was going to hold off on posting my 2004-2005 NBA Preview until tomorrow, but since David posted a link to Loren Sandretzky's site, there's no way in hell I can wait until tomorrow.

Big Lo, you are the man.

The 2004-2005 NBA season tips off Tuesday. Shaquille O'Neal is now in Miami, there are 6 divisions instead of 4, and Charlotte has a basketball team again.

And with that, here is my 2004-2005 NBA Preview:

(Italics = Playoff teams)


Philadelphia 76ers
New Jersey Nets
Boston Celtics

New York Knicks
Toronto Raptors

The 76ers are the best team of a very weak Atlantic Division. I just can't see Allen Iverson having another subpar season. Jim O'Brien will bring some stability to a franchise that was anything but stable in 2003-2004.

The Nets are on the downswing, but they still have Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson. They will definitely miss Kenyon Martin, however. Al Jefferson will be a player to watch this year. He's an 18-year old phenom out of Mississippi who originally committed to Arkansas. Boston fans will love this kid.

The Knicks and Raptors will battle it out for the cellar. Lenny Wilkens and Sam Mitchell won't last the season with their respective teams.

Detroit Pistons
Indiana Pacers
Cleveland Cavaliers
Milwaukee Bucks

Chicago Bulls

The Pistons and Pacers will battle it out all season long for Central Division supremacy. These two teams could very well meet again in the Eastern Conference Finals. I'll give the edge to the Pistons because Rasheed Wallace will be in the Motor City for a full season. He made a huge difference for the Pistons in 2004, leading them to a world championship.

Cleveland should be a playoff team this season. LeBron James is already a superstar and he hasn't even reached his full level of potential yet. Former Oregon star Luke Jackson will be a future Sixth Man of the Year award winner.

Terry Porter has done a solid job in Milwaukee. But unfortunately for him, his Bucks are in the same division as the Pistons and Pacers. However, since they are in the Eastern Conference, they will be a playoff team. Michael Redd is one of the best shooters in basketball.

Da Bulls are in da crapper.

Miami Heat
Orlando Magic
Washington Wizards
Atlanta Hawks
Charlotte Bobcats

Shaquille O'Neal is on a mission this year. Now, I don't think the Heat will be in the NBA Finals this season. But they will win at least 55 games, simply because they play in the Southeast Division. Dwyane Wade may be the most unselfish player in basketball. This is good, since he's now playing with Shaq.

You want my analysis on the rest of the Southeast Division? The rest of the division sucks. Moving on...


Sacramento Kings
Phoenix Suns
Los Angeles Lakers
Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Clippers

The window is closing in Sacramento. Can the Kings take advantage of a Shaq-less Lakers squad? If I were the Maloof brothers, I'd lock up Chris Webber ASAP. When Webber came back from the injured list last season, the Kings weren't the same team. Peja Stojakovic wanted to be traded during the summer. I would trade Webber before I'd even think about trading Stojakovic.

I remember a few seasons ago when Bill Simmons said that the Clippers were his favorite team watch on NBA League Pass. Well, if I had League Pass this season, the Suns may be the team I'd watch on a regular basis. A team with Shawn Marion, Amare Stoudemire, Joe Johnson, and Steve Nash is a fun team to watch. Did the Suns overpay for Nash? Sure. But it isn't my money. And I'd take Nash on my team anyday.

Guess what? I don't think the Lakers will be in the playoffs this season. I'm so ready for the inevitable "Kobe Bryant clashes with Rudy T" story. This is Kobe's team, alright. This Lakers team will be lucky to win 45 games. Laker haters, unite. This is going to be fun.

The Warriors and Clippers, ugh. As far as I'm concerned, just rename the Warriors the "Oakland Warriors" and move the Clippers to Anaheim already.

Minnesota Timberwolves
Denver Nuggets
Utah Jazz
Portland Trail Blazers

Seattle Supersonics

The Timberwolves are the best team in a very competitive Northwest Division. Kevin Garnett is the reigning MVP and I don't see why he can't be the MVP once again in 2004-2005. What will be interesting to see about this team is the attitudes of Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell. They were team players last year. But what about this year? And now Wally Szczerbiak is complaining about playing time. I like this team, but these issues are going to be interesting to watch.

The Nuggets are the most improved team in basketball. I love the Denver frontline of Marcus Camby and Kenyon Martin. Nene is a force as well. Carmelo Anthony had a less-than-stellar offseason, but he will be alright. This team is dangerous.

The Jazz have improved as well. It's funny, I don't hate this team anymore. I used to hate the Jazz with a passion because of Karl Malone and John Stockton. That's not the case now. Like the Suns, the Jazz are going to be a fun team to watch as well. Carlos Boozer was a great pickup for Utah. He will rebound and add toughness to the Utah frontline. Carlos Arroyo was impressive during the Olympics. Mehmet Okur will get a lot more playing time in Utah than he ever did in Detroit. Jerry Sloan is one of the best coaches in basketball. What he did with this team last year was incredible. He will get this team to the playoffs in 2004-2005.

I'm a Blazers fan. I will not hide that here. But the fact is, this team is in transition. I do think that they will be a playoff team in 2004-2005. They will have Theo Ratliff for a full season. Ratliff improved the Blazers' defense big time when he came to Portland from Atlanta last February. Zach Randolph is one of the most talented young players in basketball, but can he stay out of trouble? The Blazers won't sign Randolph to a new deal if he doesn't stay out of trouble. These aren't the Jail Blazers anymore. Oh, and for our Gonzaga fans, Richie Frahm is now in Portland.

The Sonics are not a good team. They did add Danny Fortson in the offseason, but not much else. Well, that's not entirely true. Nick Collison, who was a 2003 first round draft pick, will be healthy this season. Ray Allen is in his contract year. The only way I see him staying in Seattle is if the Sonics somehow make it to the playoffs this season. Boy, are the Sonics ever going to miss Brent Barry.

San Antonio Spurs
Houston Rockets
Memphis Grizzlies

Dallas Mavericks
New Orleans Hornets

Speaking of Brent Barry, he's now a Spur. The Spurs could have used him last season. If they had Barry last season, I believe they would have been playing in the NBA Finals. But they didn't. This season, they have Barry. This is a championship-caliber team. Tim Duncan is Tim Duncan. Manu Ginobli is coming off of a Olympic gold medal-performance. This season, they won't have to worry about Derek Fisher and .4 seconds.

The Rockets will be a solid team. But how will Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady co-exist. I think McGrady will suck it up and accept the fact that Yao gets the ball as well. Dare I say it, but I think Juwan Howard is going to have a good season. Jeff Van Gundy can coach. On Yao, I just wonder how good this guy could really be if he didn't play so much during the summer.

The Grizzlies are the closest team to me. I saw a lot of Grizzlies games on TV last season. Hubie Brown loves upside and I love Hubie. Who doesn't? The Grizzlies have a new arena to call home, the FedEx Forum. It's adjacent to Beale Street (dammit, I need to get to Memphis soon). They have new colors and unis. Their only key offseason acquisition was Brian Cardinal. While that move isn't too impressive, this team does have a lot of talent. Pau Gasol is the best player you've never heard of. Jason Williams has morphed into a choirboy. James Posey is a solid player. The Grizzlies don't have a real center, but they should be OK. The Grizzlies will be in the playoffs again.

The Mavericks are going to miss Steve Nash in a huge way. I'm still amazed at how the Mavs didn't re-sign him. I'm not impressed with Erick Dampier at all. I think he's going to be the biggest bust of the 2004-2005 season. Hell, I won't be shocked if Don Nelson gets canned during the season. The Mavs are going down. Just like Mark Cuban's show "The Benefactor".

If the Hornets were still in the Eastern Conference, they would be a playoff team. But they're in the Western Conference now. Too bad, so sad.

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---


Detroit Pistons d. Indiana Pacers

San Antonio Spurs d. Minnesota Timberwolves

San Antonio Spurs d. Detroit Pistons

NBA MVP: Kevin Garnett, Minnesota
NBA Coach of the Year: Paul Silas, Cleveland
NBA Rookie of the Year: Kirk Snyder, Utah
NBA Defensive Player of the Year: Kenyon Martin, Denver

Coaches to be fired/resign:
Lenny Wilkens, New York
Sam Mitchell, Toronto
Scott Skiles, Chicago
Don Nelson, Dallas

The NBA season is upon us. I'm excited for it. It means that "Inside The NBA" will return to the airwaves on TNT. It's the best basketball-related show on TV, no question.

Here's the NBA National TV schedule.

The NBA, it's still fannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnntastic!

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Here's the play-by-play of today's game. My take on the game is after the play-by-play. The Fox crew was Curt Menefee and Tim Green, with sideline reporter Amy Van Dyken (surprise, and yes, that's me being sarcastic). Scroll down for Jeremy's take or click here (this post will eventually be archived individually).

### for turnovers
*** for scoring

>> 1st Seattle possession (from SEA 23)
14:50 Shaun up middle for 5 (SEA 28)
14:13 pass Stevens right 4 (SEA 32)
13:36 Shaun left big hole to CAR 44 for first down
13:04 Shaun up middle for short yds (2nd/9)
12:27 Strong left for 6 (3rd/3)
11:52 pass left Jackson CAR 36 for first down
11:32 Shaun breaks Peppers tackle right for 5
10:49 pass Jackson left, jukes and gets 17, first down (CAR 7)
10:09 Shaun left gains 2
9:30 defensive encroachment penalty
***9:12 Shaun short pass right for TD (SEA 7-0)

>> 1st Carolina possession (CAR 32)
9:07 false start penalty (CAR 27)
9:02 pitchback Hoover right for 3
8:26 handoff Hoover right line for 4 (3rd/8)
7:40 Delhomme 12 FREAKIN' YARDS to right after being pressured, scrambles (1st down)
7:18 pitch Harris left to CAR 48 (1 yd)
6:37 Muhsin Muhammad to SEA 46 (3rd/3)
5:56 pass over middle to Harris pulled out of hands by Tracy White (punt)

-- Side note: Maurice Morris apparently suffered a concussion on the opening kickoff. Just great.

>> 2nd Seattle possession (SEA 15)
5:43 short pass right Jackson for 7 (SEA 22)
5:07 Shaun right for 1 (3rd/2)
4:35 Koren pass over the middle for 20 and first down (SEA 43)
4:03 Shaun for no gain up middle
3:23 Mili short pass right for 5
###2:43 Jackson makes first-down catch, ball knocked loose, Carolina recovers

Well, that definitely wasn't good, and Jackson looks like he's in some pain on the sidelines...

>> 2nd Carolina possession (~CAR 45)
2:35 handoff Harris left for 2
2:01 Delhomme with all day pass left Colbert for 12 and first down
1:25 Delhomme overthrows tight end left
1:19 pass Hoover left for 7 (3rd/3)
0:41 Hoover into the pile within a foot of chains (4th)
0:11 false start penalty on Hoover (that's key, forces a punt)

>> 3rd Seattle possession (SEA 6, weird CAR special teams play)
14:42 Shaun handoff, breaks tackle left for 8
14:09 Strong through line right for first down (SEA 17)
13:34 pass left Rice for 6 (SEA 24)
12:52 Shaun handoff line right for 3 (3rd/1), Steve Hutchinson down on play...Hey, NBC has bullriding on today!
12:24 Heath Evans has first-down catch in his frigging hands right and drops it
12:24 delay of game Ricky Manning, Jr., Carolina...FIRST DOWN!!
12:26 pass Jackson left for 22 and first down
11:54 Alexander big hole left for 15 and first down
11:07 Jackson first down catch right, drops (2nd fumble), but scramble takes it out of bounds...still first down
10:49 Shaun run left for 3
10:15 short pass left Strong for first down (CAR 11)
9:50 short pass right Strong for 7 (2nd/3)
9:11 pass to Stevens batted down
***9:07 handoff Shaun left for 4-yd touchdown (SEA 14-0)

>> 3rd Carolina possession (CAR 28)
8:55 big pass left 34 to Muhammad (frigging come on) (SEA 38)
8:15 Harris run right to SEA 32
7:50 pass over middle dropped by Gaines (3rd/4)
7:46 run right Harris to SEA 25, first down
7:17 Delhomme slides, nearly late hit, good for 3
6:39 pass left Muhammad for first down (SEA 16)
6:21 Goings for 11 yards, with flags (Muhammad moving forward at snap, ball back to SEA 19)
5:55 Hoover run right for 3 (2nd/12)
***5:14 Muhammad over middle for TD, no one really on him after the line of scrimmage (SEA 14-7)

Well, unless they make an adjustment, we're going to see Jake Delhomme to Muhsin Muhammad all damn day. Hoo boy.

>> 4th Seattle possession (SEA 34)
5:00 short passd right Koren, much yards after catch, good for 21 (CAR 46)
4:23 Shaun big huge run left for 37, tackled from behind to SEA 8
3:44 Shaun short gain left
3:19 Seattle calls timeout
###3:09 Hasselbeck throws to defender Brian Allen, some return yardage

Way to blow that freakin' drive. Two big plays to start off, within eight yards of the goal line, and they get jack squat. I hate myself.

>> 4th Carolina possession (CAR 28)
3:00 Delhomme with debatable forward pass, so no fumble, and it's incomplete
2:53 Harris run right for 6 (CAR 34, 3rd/4)
2:12 pass right Goings for first down (CAR 39)
1:51 Delhomme pressured, scrambles, incomplete pass left to Harris
1:43 Muhammad short pass left, runs for first down
1:17 pass left batted by Antonio Cochran
1:12 ball left underthrown to Proehl, good coverage everywhere (3rd/10)
1:07 ball overthrown left downfield (punt)

>> 5th Seattle possession (fair catch called, ball sails over head, SEA 2)
0:53 Shaun left for short yardage
0:50 Carolina calls timeout
0:39 Shaun left for a first down to the SEA 16
0:05 holding on Pork Chop Womack
0:04 knee

This team should be up 28-7 right now. But Shaun Alexander is looking good (119 first-half yards), at least. Darrell Jackson has fumbled twice, which is not so good. Matt Hasselbeck wasn't too bad until he hit the Carolina defender in the red zone.

>> 5th Carolina possession (50 yd line)...my goodness, they just called her Andy Van Dyken. Sheesh.
14:43 Harris breaks run right, to SEA 36 and a first down
14:21 Carolina timeout (SEA 31)
14:15 Muhammad short pass right for 6
13:42 Muhammad over middle to SEA 6 and first down (sur-freakin'-prise!!)
13:01 Delhomme pass out of bounds end zone Muhammad, flags pulled back (pass uncatchable, not reviewable)
12:57 Hoover through the middle to the SEA 3 (3rd/G)
12:20 play blown dead, timeout Seattle, no TD catch
12:14 Muhammad leaping TD catch in back corner of end zone, flags (Muhammad nicked for offensive pass interference, pushed down Trufant)
12:07 pass through Mangum's hands but out of bounds, Kacyvenski nowhere near him
***12:04 Kasay from 30 (SEA 14-10)

>> 6th Seattle possession (SEA 23)
11:54 over middle pass to Stevens, good for 7 (SEA 30)
11:26 Shaun to pile for no gain
10:47 Shaun left for 7 and a first down
10:26 short pass Shaun, last open receiver, left to SEA 45 (2nd/2)
9:59 Koren quick pass left for first down CAR 46
9:17 Shaun through middle for 1-yd loss
8:41 short pass right Jackson, drops (3rd/11), Rice has an ankle sprain
8:35 Hasselbeck scrambles, but short of first down (4th/2)
7:47 Hasselbeck scrambles with a ton of room for first down to CAR 18, hit by leading helmet after sliding (CAR 8, 1st/G)
7:28 Shaun runs into Strong, no gain
6:54 Hasselbeck incomplete left
6:48 pass back corner right of end zone through Jackson's hands (it's not Darrell's day)
***6:46 Josh Brown from 27 (SEA 17-10)

>> 6th Carolina possession (CAR 24)
6:36 Harris through middle for gain of 3
5:57 Harris stopped for loss of 1 by Okeafor (3rd/8)
5:11 pass to Mangum over middle, no more yards thanks to Okeafor, who prevents the first down (CAR 32, 1st three-and-out of the day)

>> 7th Seattle possession (SEA 22)
4:27 Shaun handoff left for 4
3:46 Hasselbeck good protection, short dumpoff right to Shaun for 2
3:11 Hasselbeck pressured, incomplete (1st punt of day, 1st three-and-out for Seattle)

>> 7th Carolina possession (CAR 22)
2:52 Mangum on decent pass rush dumpoff left for 1-yd loss
2:12 pass left for 14 to Colbert, first down (CAR 35)
1:48 Hoover run line right for 4
1:06 Harris left through line for 2 (3rd/4)
0:22 Harris incomplete down right sideline, plowed by Hamlin (punt nearly blocked), coverage by Tracy White

>> 8th Seattle possession (SEA 30)
0:05 short pass left Stevens to SEA 37, Jerry Wunsch in for Steve Hutchinson

14:55 Shaun through line right to SEA 45, good for first down
14:18 Hasselbeck over middle downfield incomplete (underthrown) to Mili, flags down (pass interference, Brandon Short not playing the ball, runs into Mili), first down
14:12 from CAR 28, pass Bannister end zone right through hands
14:12 Wunsch false start, Van Dyken says Hutchinson is out of the game with a right ankle sprain
14:08 Alexander through line left for 5 yards (3rd/9)
13:32 ball over middle end zone to Jackson broken up, nearly picked
***13:28 Brown from 45 (SEA 20-10)

>> 8th Carolina possession (CAR 37)
13:18 Hoover stuffed at line by Ced Woodard
12:53 pass through Mangum's hands right (3rd/9)
12:53 false start Carolina (Doug Brzezynski, 3rd/14)
12:45 Goings pass right, open-field tackle Trufant (CAR 42, punt)

>> 9th Seattle possession (touchback, SEA 20)
12:17 Shaun line right stuffed for 1
11:43 Hasselbeck sacked for loss of 5
11:09 over middle to Mili for 17 and first down to SEA 32
10:23 Shaun through line left breaks one off for 44 and a first down (CAR 23)
9:40 Strong line right for 6
9:00 Strong through middle for 2 (3rd/2)
8:21 Shaun through middle for first down (CAR 11)
7:41 Seattle timeout; the mostly inept crew of Curt Menefee and Tim Green pointed out earlier that part of the offensive simplification was that they took most of Hasselbeck's audibles out, and for me, this is kind of a welcome change because it seemed like he would audible every four plays or so, and it'd mix everybody up.
7:39 Rucker wraps up Shaun right away, gain of 1
6:59 Shaun run line left for 3 yards
6:17 Shaun run right to CAR 5 on third down, and right after Fox showed a graphic showing the crazy yardage Shaun has had on running plays to the left side of the line. The play call was immediately questioned by the crew.
***5:42 Brown from 22 (SEA 23-10)

>> 9th Carolina possession (CAR 27)
5:33 pass over middle to Mangum for 9 (CAR 39)
5:07 Bierria knocks down ball downfield to Proehl, Delhomme all day to throw
5:03 Delhomme sneak for 1st down
4:27 ball thrown away left, Delhomme knocked down as throwing
4:23 quick pass left to Colbert for 12 and first down (SEA 49)
3:58 pass Mangum right for 8 (SEA 43)
3:36 Goings run through middle for 11 and first down
###3:08 Delhomme underthrows, Trufant picks at SEA 10, runs for 58 to CAR 32

>> 10th Seattle possession (CAR 32)
3:04 Shaun run left for 1
3:02 Carolina timeout
2:56 Shaun runs right into Peppers for loss of 3
2:55 Carolina final timeout (3rd/13)
2:46 Shaun through the middle, but short of the chains
2:10 Seattle final timeout
###2:04 Hasselbeck mishandles snap, hauled down right side on the fake field goal (PUT THIS TEAM AWAY ALREADY!!!)

>> 10th Carolina possession (CAR 35)
1:55 Delhomme downfield left to Colbert at the SEA 3 and trips to prevent the TD, Lucas burned
1:50 Koutouvides breaks up pass over middle
1:45 Bobby Taylor reaches out to knock away right pass to Proehl (3rd/G)
1:45 Carolina delay of game penalty (SEA 8)
***1:36 Delhomme under pressure, pass right Muhammad inside 1 (4th/G)...John Fox throws red flag; it'll probably be a touchdown, and it is (SEA 23-17)...too much time added to the clock (1:49), but it's rectified to 1:39, props to stripes for being on that

>> 11th Seattle possession (hands team, Trufant recovers strong onside kick, CAR 44)
1:37 knee
0:57 knee
0:23 knee


It's just good to get into the win column again. Matt Hasselbeck was good early (the opening drive was a pretty solid one), Shaun Alexander ran for 195 yards, mostly behind the left side of the line (Steve Hutchinson/Walter Jones), and the Seahawks held off the Jake Delhomme/Muhsin Muhammad combination just enough to seal the win.

It was far from a perfect win, with Hasselbeck throwing to a defender in the red zone, with Darrell Jackson fumbling twice, and with a few drops here and there (they just won't go away), but it's a win. It's something to improve on. The Seahawk offense failed to score on four drives, but only punted once. The other three futile drives ended via the following -- Jackson fumbled after a first-down catch, Hasselbeck made a completion to Brian Allen (white uniform), and Hasselbeck mishandled the snap on a fake field-goal attempt. All told, Seahawk fans can rest a tiny bit easier thanks to the sheer presence of a win, and hopefully they use this win to build some consistency over the next few weeks.

Jimmy Johnson after the game: "Seattle has no swagger" like Philadelphia and Green Bay. Really, they don't deserve to have swagger at this point. Maybe they will in five weeks if they reel off at least four of five.

So overall, it was far from absolute domination against a team the Seahawks were supposed to beat. There's still stuff to work on, but I don't think Koren Robinson had any horrific drops, so that's a start. Of course, Steve Hutchinson and Jerry Rice both sprained ankles and missed the last portion of the game. An injury on the left side of the line is never good, and an injury to the receiving corps isn't good when Bobby Engram is out to begin with. Mo Morris was out from the opening kickoff with a concussion. Marcus Trufant made the big play on the interception and also made a nice open-field tackle to prevent a Carolina third-down conversion.

Seahawks. Forty-Niners. Next Sunday.

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