Five Things: From WSU Recruits to Marvin’s Mohawk

1. Gino Simone, the top-ranked recruit among high school seniors in our state, is going to Washington State. The receiver from Skyline delivered the news to Washington State football coach Paul Wulff on Christmas Day. You can find Howie Stalwick’s story online. He’s some of what he you’ll find:

Simone is the 17th high school senior known to have made a verbal commitment to WSU, according to Two junior college players have announced they will transfer to WSU in January.
When Wulff was hired last December, the Cougars had three verbal commitments.

2. All the Sonics ever wanted for Christmas was a victory, but they never got it.

According Wallyboywilliamson of the Tacoma News Tribune, the Sonics played 11 times on Christmas day during their 41 seasons. And they lost ’em all. You can read Wallyboy’s Post-Sonics Watch blog item here.

3. Let the griping begin. OK, it’s already started. The Yankees latest free-agent haul — slugger Mark Teixtera, and pitchers CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett — doesn’t sit well with a lot of people. It’s just another case of the rich getting rich.

Not so fast. Yeah, the Yankees payroll will be over $200 million again, but that didn’t translate into a postseason berth last year. Big-dollar payrolls don’t guarantee success. Need I remind you about the Mariners, who got 101 losses out of a $117 million payroll in 2008.

Tracy Ringolsby makes the argument better than I can. Read his closing statement in his weekly notes column here.

And John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune does it even better than Ringolsby. Some people think salary caps are the answer, but not McGrath. Read his column here.

4. Scouts and coaches don’t always get it right. We all know kids who got cut in high school (Michael Jordan for example) who shouldn’t have. A lot of times it’s about being in the right place at the right time. A lot of times its simply about getting an opportunity.

Just ask Matt Cassel, the New England Patriots quarterback who went from Matt Who? to star when Tom Brady blew out his knee in the first week of the NFL season. Cassel never started a college game, serving as the backup to former Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart at USC. Leinart has been relegated to the bench in Arizona, where he’s a backup to 135-year-old Kurt Warner.

5. Bremerton’s Marvin Williams, who is kind of an old-school player, is sporting a new-school look: the Atlanta Hawks’ forward has a mohawk hairdo. They seem to be the rage right now, especially in college. Marvin’s mohawk isn’t all spiked-up; just stylish, I guess. Maybe it’s time for a name change: The Atlanta Mohawks.

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