The Stark Truth

Former Kitsap Sun sports editor Chuck Stark shares insight, laughter, news, views and analysis of Kitsap sports and beyond.
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Archive for October, 2008

Couple Things: OC Banquet, Kitsap Soccer

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Olympic College will be holding a silent auction/dinner benefit for its athletic programs on Nov. 21 at Bremerton Student Center Gym. It starts at 6 p.m. and admission is $10. Lisa Gangel, weekend sports anchor for KING-5 TV sports, will be the featured guest. Coaches and those connected to the athletic program are currently selling tables ($250 for 10 people) and lining up items for the auction. if you are interesting in helping out, call athletic director Barry Janusch (360) 475-7458.

Deadline for the Kitsap Soccer Club’s name the team contest for its new pro team is Oct. 25. As mentioned before, the name Kitsap Kayaks, suggested by David Falk of GOALkitsap.com, is one I like. It’s different, and it fits the area. I also like Kitsap Fleet. Kitsap Destroyers, Kitsap Carriers, Kitsap Cruisers are names that work. And there’s always the Kitsap Yardbirds, Kitsap GreenJackets, Kitsap Sockeyes, Kitsap Coho, Kitsap Clams, Kitsap Chiefs. OK, enough. Go to http://www.kitsapsoccerclub.com/ to enter your name. The new team will play in the USL Premier Development League’s Northwest Division. Teams in the 2008 league included the BYU Cougars, Tacoma Tide, Abbotsford Mariners, Odgen Outlaws, Spokane Spiders, Yakima Reds, Cascade Surge and Vancouver Whitecaps Residency. Kitsap will join Vancouver as the only pro teams in the league.


NFL: 5 Thoughts

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

1, Remember Shaun Alexander? ESPN’s reporting the former Seattle runningback and NFL MVP is headed to Washington, D.C., where the Redskins are close to signing him to a contract as a backup after losing Ladell Bettis to injury. Comment to Redskins coach Jim Zorn: You’ll be sorry.

2, Quick, name the only unbeaten team in the NFL. If you said Tennessee Titans, you’re right. Comment: I’ve always admired Jeff Fisher’s teams from afar. When they’re healthy, they’re always in the hunt. And the Titans might be the best defensive team in the league.

3, Don’t look now, but the New Orleans Saints are starting to look like the contender they were supposed to be the last couple seasons. Comment: Throught the first six weeks of the season, Drew Brees gets my vote as MVP.

4, Most overrated NFL team? It’s the ‘Boys from Dallas. Comment: The Cowboys are the Raiders with talent. Somehow, they’ll figure out a way to mess this season up. Jessica and Tony, T.O., Pacman, Jerry Jones … way too many distractions.

5. Favorite all-time NFL team? The Colts from the late 1950s through the 1960s. Comment: Johnny Unitas and his high-top black cleats, Ray Berry, Alan Ameche, Big Daddy Liscomb, Lenny Moore, John Mackey,  Jimmy Orr, Gino Marchetti, Mike Curtis, Don Shula. Need I say more.


Chuck’s The Man

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

No, not me. I’m talking about Chuck Armstrong. The president of the Seattle Mariners.

Some have called for his head, saying it’s time for Armstrong to move on, and let somebody else operate the baseball team that just lost 101 games after entering the season with expectations to challenge the Angels for honors in the AL West.

But Armstrong, in an exclusive interview with MLB.com, says he’s not walking away and that he has confidence that he can make the right decisions to get the team back on track.

“”I trust my own ability to make good decisions,” Armstrong said. “I trust my instincts, both personal and business. I honestly believe that I am the best person to be the president of this club and to hire the next (general manager)].

“This is an extension of who I am, and I want to help find the right general manager, help put together a comprehensive plan, take that plan to ownership and then execute that plan.”

The M’s have also started the process of interviewing potential GM candidates. Tony Bernazard, who played for the Mariners in 1983 and is the New York Mets vice president of player development, reportedly interviewed today. 

Here’s a list of potential candidates, as reported by Larry Stone of the Seattle Times. For an outsider, you can’t help but be intrigued by Peter Woodfork, assistant GM with the Diamondbacks. Just 32, the former Harvard baseball player spent time in Boston as the director of baseball operations and assistant director of player development. He had to have had something to do with all the talent that’s been developed by Boston in recent years.


Marvin Links

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

The NBA season’s fast approaching, and with the Sonics long gone, I thought you might want to read some of the stuff being written about Bremerton’s Marvin Williams, the 22-year-old who’s heading into his fourth season with the Atlanta Hawks. I saw Marvin before he left for training camp and he’s now carrying 245 pounds, up 15 pounds, on his  6-foot-9 frame.

 

Is there an extension in Marvin’s future? Probably not, which means he’ll be a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

 

In this preview about the Hawks, Marvin’s the Man on the Spot for Atlanta. There’s also a look at his value for fantasy basketball owners.

 

–In his quiet, smooth, deceptive way, this blogger says Marvin’s about to explode.

–Marvin’s one of the many NBA talents that’s coming out of the Seattle area. Check out 2-0-6 Hoops Hotbed here.

Another writer suggests that Marvin will be using this season to determine his value going into free agency so we’ll see if his willingness to sublimate his game is trifled with at all as a result.

 

Coach Mike Woodson thinks Marvin, who has improved his 3-point shooting, could average about 18.0 points per game this season. 


Stampede Gains More Prestige

Monday, October 6th, 2008

The Kitsap Stampede, once again a nominee for PRCA rodeo of the year honors, found its way to a national audience this year when its Xtreme Bulls event was televised. If you missed the first delayed broadcast, don’t  worry, you’ve got two more chances: this Sunday, October 12 at 1 p.m. ( ESPN2) and Sunday, Dec. 14 at noon (ESPN).

Now comes word that the Stampede has been selected to be part of the 2009 Wrangler ProRodeo Tour. This was a tour that started in 2000 to showcase the top competitors and rodeos in the PRCA. It featured 27 stops in 2008 and culminated with four playoff rodeo followed by a Tour Championship.

It’s another well-deserved honor for the Stampede, particularly all the local people (Wranglers, Cowpokes and Kitsap County Fair officials) who make it happen.

The details are sketchy at this point, but we hope to deliver more news in our print editions this week.

In the meantime, hats off to the Stampede, a world-class event right in our own backyard.


Sad Days for Dawg/Hawk Fans

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

The Washington Huskies/Seattle Seahawk were whipped by a combined 92-20 score this weekend.

Washington lost 48-14 to Arizona, on Saturday in the desert, which left the Dawgs 0-5 for first time sine 1969.

A day later, the Seahawks were manhandled 44-6 by the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants, a defeat that showed just how far the Hawks have fallen from NFL elite status. The Giants averaged better than 10 yards per play in the first half and rolled up 523 yards against a defense that was touted as one of the league’s best at the start of the season.

This is Mike Holmgren’s final season, and, yes, there’s still time to salvage it. But the Hawks (1-3 for the first time since 1997) have been shaky in all phases.

Meanwhile, there’s no hope for the Huskies.

Former Husky quarterback Hugh Millen, during the post-game “Husky Honks,” radio show on KJR radio, called the current Washington team the worst he’s ever seen.

I’d have to agree, and I started watching Husky football in 1968. After the 28-27 loss to BYU, I thought the team had a chance to win four or five games. The team has regressed every game since. Saturday, it looked like the varsity (Arizona) was playing the junior varsity (Washington).

Columnist Greg Hansen of the Arizona Daily Star wrote: “… if the opposing team’s helmet wasn’t adorned with a big purple W, you’d have sworn the Wildcats were playing Idaho or Toledo. That’s how bad the Huskies were. That’s how bad the Huskies are.”

He later compared the Huskies to “those 1-10 Oregon State teams of yesteryear, the 1-11 Stanford team of 2006 and the 1-10 Cal team of 2001.”

Athletic director Scott Woodward went on record, saying he wouldn’ fire Ty Willingham in midseason. Should Ty resign? And if you think he should, who do you replace him with? Who would you like to see running the Husky program in 2009?

The national media’s starting to wonder about the Seahawks, too. Mike Banks of SI.Com writes this:

“Another couple game days like Sunday’s 44-6 shellacking at the hands of the Giants and Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren might not make it through his entire swan song season in Seattle. At 1-3, with his team surrendering 33 points or more in three of four games, this can’t be fun for a guy who has led his Seahawks to the playoffs five years in a row.

“Maybe Holmgren will just prematurely toss the keys to Seattle secondary coach Jim Mora — who has already been named his successor in 2009 — and call it an early retirement. Doubtful, but could you blame him if this keeps up?”


How About the Kitsap Kayaks?

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

As announced this week, the Kitsap Soccer Club has launched an online name the team contest for its new United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League franchise.

Port Orchard’s David Falk, who operates the GOALkitsap.com site — a sister site of his popular GOALseattle.com site — has come up with a unique name that I kind of like.

The Kitsap Kayaks.

Whaddya think?

Go to www.KitsapSoccerClub.com to vote. Check out Falk’s site — and some other name suggestions — at GOALkitsap.com.

Also, the USL hasn’t officially announced that Kitsap owner Robin Waite has been awarded a team, but Lee Cohen of the USL PDL told me Thursday that the deal “is not finalized yet, but it’s something we feel will be done shortly. There’s a few things we’re trying to finish up.”

Kitsap will play in the Northwest Division of the league, which features 67 teams spread across the country and one in Canada. That team (Thunder Bay, Ontario) beat Laredo, Texas, in this year’s championship game.

The PDL is considered an amateur circuit, but professional teams can compete against amateurs. This past season the Vancouver Whitecaps introduced a program where the team paid its PDL players. Waite also plans to pay his players.

Cohen said the franchise fee for PDL teams is $75,000. Franchise fees for USL Division I teams, like the Seattle Sounders, was $350,000 in 2008, but will increase to $750,000.

I talked to Cohen about some of the model franchises in the PDL. He mentioned Fresno, Laredo, Des Moines, Iowa and Carolina.

We’ll delve more into this new league and try to let you know more about it in the near future.

In the meantime, until I hear a better name, go Kayaks!


A 12th Man Not to Be Proud Of

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

People think European soccer fans are nuts, but NFL fans might be the biggest nutcakes of all. You ever jumped on a ferry packed with Seahawks fans? You feel like you’re going to a Halloween party on New Year’s Eve.

Of course, these proud, loud fans have a right to express themselves any way they desire. Most of them are harmless. They just want to have a little fun and they love their Seahawks. But there’s always a few bad apples in the crowd.

Here’s a Seahawks’ fan nobody can be proud of. I hope he doesn’t live in Kitsap County. Read all about this loon in this blog post. What was he thinking?


Corley to Work With Father-in-Law at NFR in Vegas

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Rodeo fans, you read it here first. This won’t hit the papers until Friday:

Silvedale’s Randy Corley, a 10-time PRCA Announcer of the Year, has been selected to call the action for the eighth time at the 50th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, Dec. 3-14, in Las Vegas.
The man who calls the action at the Kitsap Stampede will work side-by-side with ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductee Hadley Barrett of Kersey, Colo., who happens to be Corley’s father-in-law. Barrett is a four-time Announcer of the year with four previous NFR selections to his credit.
Boyd Polhamus of Brenham, Texas, will call the action during the 10-day event for the 13th time.
Haley Schneeberger of Ponca City, Okla., who works the Kitsap Stampede, will serve as assistant rodeo secretary.

The Kitsap Stampede (top medium rodeo), Corley (announcer) and Schneeberger (secretary) are all up for the PRCA awards in their respective categories. They will be announced Oct. 1 in Vegas.


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