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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 September, 2010

Friday Football, Track and FIELD, ‘Dumb Media’ and Billy Bragg

Friday, September 10th, 2010

The grass needs cutting again, Bumbershoot and British troubadour/activist Billy Bragg are still on my mind, Pete Carroll stories are filling the internet, Husky fans are still complaining about last week’s BYU game being on paid TV and I’m starting to think about the Battle of Bucklin Hill.

Yours truly will be calling the action of tonight’s Central Kitsap-Olympic football game. It’s our Game of the Week and we’ll be live streaming it from Silverdale Stadium. Just click here and it’ll take you to the site, where viewers can also share their opinions on our Cover It Live blog. If you can’t make it to the stadium, click on and join the fun. We’ll be on air shortly before the 7 p.m. kickoff.

Sorry Lane

Here’s an apology to Lane C Dowell, a former coach who is going to be the recipient of the Richard Todd Award for his work as a track and FIELD official at the Kitsap Sports Hall of Fame banquet later this montyh.  The story we published earlier this week about the HOF inductees said Dowell was a track official. Notice, the field part was missing. We didn’t intentionally mean to insult Dowell or any track and FIELD fans.

Dowell wrote: “This may sound trite to those of you who are not aficionados, but the bias on behalf of track has actually caused field events to be an after-thought…i.e. Excused Time.  At our state level, we have recently began the education  of coaches/officials and the implementation of this dusty concept well-hidden in our massive rules and case books.  Hopefully the days of kids competing in a field event, who are left-waiting for those to return from the track are over.”

Dumb Media or Inept CEO?

By now, most of you are aware of Howard Lincoln’s private e-mail to team employees that Seattle Times reporter/blogger Jeff Baker got hold of. If not, here it is. The M’s CEO said Mariners have been “hit like never before” by the media. He used a Mark Cuban quote about the media being the “dumbest guys in the room” and told his employees “don’t pay attention to what the local media is saying.” Well, I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been said before, but it’s time for a change at the top of the Mariners organization. The M’s play in a four-team division and haven’t reached the playoffs in nine seasons. They could lose 100 games or more for the second time in three years. They’ve gone through GMs and managers and turned the roster over and over. You don’t need to be a brain surgeon, or even a dumb member of the media, to come to the conclusion that the Seattle Mariners are in need of new leadership. All you have to do is read Lincoln’s e-mail.

Billy Bragg

Wish everybody could have heard this British legend on Sunday at Bumbershoot. Poking fun at Starbucks, while standing on the Starbucks-sponsored stage, he drank tea, but made sure everybody knew he wasn’t affiliated with that political party favored by Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin. He sang Woodie Guthrie songs, but mostly he urged everyone to keep fighting for positive change and avoid cynicism no matter how negative things get.

And that, no matter what your politics are, is a good message.

Here’s a link to Bragg singing Woody Guthrie’s I Ain’t Got No Home Anymore. He opened his set at Bumbershoot with it.


Welcome to the Club (Throwers Club, That Is)

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Club-throwing was a topic of discussion in our office on Thursday. Staff writer Nathan Joyce evidently let go with a pretty good toss during a nine-hole outing at Rolling Hills with a couple of our staffers — designer Adam Kispert and fellow writer Jeff Graham. They were playing with Belfair’s Wayne Tachell, a regular caller to our sports desk.

Anyway, the topic was club throws. In my younger days, I once lost my 3-iron in the pond at Gold Mountain’s Cascade Course. It was a heckuva throw. I marched right into the pond in search of it. Never found it.

The Crowfessional Golf Tour once held a club-throwing contest at Belfair State Park. It turned dangerous when the clubs started acting like boomerangs and started sailing back into the crowd of people who were watching.

So it was interesting to come across this video while searching the University of Washington Website. I think you’ll get a kick out of coach Matt Thurmond and former Husky star James Lepp. The Husky Invitational, by the way, is being held at Washington National this year.


Wednesday’s Hash

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

* Response to a reader who said Jake Locker’s Heisman Trophy campaign was the shortest you’ve ever seen. Carl, you’re right. Locker’s chances were probably slim at best, and he’s got mucho ground to make up after that Week 1 performance against BYU. Locker’s motor still appears to be running too fast. He needs to slow the game down before he takes that final step to greatness. Locker might turn out to be the next Donovan McNabb in the NFL, but right now I’d take Kellen Moore, the Boise State quarterback from Prosser. The lefty has such a cool demeanor, quick release and accurate throwing arm. Moore reminds me of Kenny Stabler (I know some of you remember The Snake). As for that Heisman Watch, here’s a list on SI.com that has Moore No. 1 and Locker has dropped off the map.

* Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst hasn’t thrown a pass in a regular-season game, but my gut tells me he’ll be taking a lot of snaps for the Seahawks this year. There’s no way Matt Hasselbeck can survive behind the young and untested offensive line that will be protecting him this season. (By the way, did you know Whitehurst was born in Green Bay? His dad, David Whitehurst, was a quarterback for the Packers).

* I really liked T.J. Houshmanzadeh when he was catching passes for the Cincinnati Bengals. Not so much last year when he was with the Seahawks. So I don’t blame the Hawks for releasing him. That said, I don’t know why the team is so committed to Deion Branch. I do like Deon Butler and I think rookie Golden Tate’s going to be really, really good.

* If Felix Hernandez is pitching, the M’s are worth watching. Nothing else is remotely interesting about that team, not even Ichiro’s chase for another 200-hit season.

* Remember that 6-foot-11 Turkish basketball star, Enes Kanter, who got away? If you’re a Husky basketball coach or administrator in the athletic department, they’re probably very happy that Kanter decided to go to Kentucky. The New York Times is reporting Kanter received $100,000 in cash and other benefits during his three years with a professional team in Istanbul. Just another sign that those one-and-done guys aren’t worth it. Here’s an interesting take on the story from ESPN.com.

* The next made-for-TV reality show? Producers of the Deadliest Catch are reportedly going to be in San Diego to check out the unlimited hydroplane circuit to see if there’s potential for the thunderboats to be the subject for reality TV. The Sept. 17-19 San Diego race wasn’t on the original schedule but race organizers and the unlimited circuit reached an agreement on terms earlier this month. The sport has already made inroads in the Middle East and the San Diego Union reported that a delegation from China will be in San Diego to check out the fleet.

* Fantasy football help. Quick, who do I start at running back: Ronnie Brown of the Dolphins or LeSean McCoy of the Eagles? The Illahee Idiots are poised for strong season, and that’s the one spot that has me twisting in the wind.

* If I was a general manager of a Major League baseball team, I’d want Joe Maddon of the Tampa Rays or Ron Gardenhire of the Minnesota Twins to be my manager.


Troy Kelly Has Hip Replacement Surgery

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

The last time I talked to Troy Kelly it was mid-July and the golfer who grew up on the Kitsap Golf & Country Club course was contending for a title on the Nationwide Golf Tour. He’d shot 65-69 in the first two rounds of the Chiquita Classic in Cincinnati.
Kelly was playing with a bad left hip, one that needed surgery. At the time, he didn’t know how many rounds he had left in that hip.
Turns out he had four.
After the Chiquita Classic, where he faded to a tie for 45th after a final-round 74, Kelly missed the cut at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Classic in Columbus, Ohio. He shot 74-73, and headed home, which is now Palm Springs, Calif.
Hip replacement surgery was the only option. The question was whether to do it sooner or later.
The 31-year-old Kelly decided to do it now. He had the surgery earlier this week at Eisenhower Medical Center in Palm Springs and is looking forward to playing pain-free golf.
It got to the point where Kelly couldn’t finish his swing properly. It got to the point where he’d play nine practice holes on Monday, nine more on Tuesday, rest on Wednesday and then tee it up on Thursday. Coupled with little, if any practice time on the range, it was hardly the ideal preparation for a professional golfer.
Having the surgery now means he won’t be ready for PGA Tour Qualifying School in December. Kelly earned his card in December of 2008, but wasn’t able to hold on to it.
He’ll be given some sort of non-exempt medical condition on the Nationwide Tour for 2011. That means he’ll get a few starts at the beginning of the season, and if he makes enough cuts, he’ll shuffle up the ladder and earn more starts on that tour.
Count me among those who think Kelly has what it takes to not only get back on the PGA Tour, but to make some serious dough. The Central Kitsap grad and former Washington Husky golfer has won at every level. He’s demonstrated that he has the physical and mental game to hold his own with the top golfers in the world.
On Saturday, Kelly decided to play one final round before his surgery. He shot a 63 at The Plantation Golf Club in Palm Springs.
According to his dad, Bob Kelly, Troy’s hip didn’t hurt that day. Of course, he’d only played 27 holes in the last six weeks. It’s the grinding – six straight days of golf over an extended period of time – that his hip couldn’t take.
Kelly worked out and did some extensive physical therapy prior to the surgery, which should help his recovery time. In three months, he hopes to be able to starting grinding again.

CHIP SHOT
Bob Kelly, a longtime teaching pro in the area, is now in the bar business. He’s managing the Last Hole, the restaurant and lounge formerly known as the 19th Hole, in Chico. It’s Kitsap’s newest sports bar. Stop by and say hello. You might get a free tip for your golf game.


Jake’s Heisman Campaign Starts at 10:10 a.m. on Saturday

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

This just in:

The University of Washington Heisman Trophy campaign for Jake Locker officially starts on Saturday. The UW said a Website, www.locker10in10.com, will launch at 10:10 a.m. tomorrow.

According to the UW press release:

The campaign is called “Locker 10 in 10” in reference to Locker’s jersey number and 2010, his senior season.  The campaign aims to generate awareness both of Locker’s astounding on-field accomplishments and his significant contributions to the Seattle community and the University of Washington, including his substantial involvement in Touchdowns For Kids.  Locker was instrumental in the creation of Touchdowns For Kids, a charity soliciting pledges per touchdown to raise funds for nearby Children’s Hospital.


3 Things On UW Football: Husky Stadium, Thoughts on Dawgs, Baird’s Blog is Back

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

1) The University of Washington released the latest renderings on its Web site of what Husky Stadium will like when the renovation project is completed. The track that circles the stadium will be gone, elevators and suites will be added and the football team’s operations will be moved to the west end zone. Granted, the old stadium doesn’t seem so old when the Huskies are flying around, beating up on teams. But that 0-12 season made it seem like the Roman Coliseum. The wooden seats, the old plumbing, the narrow stairs … what a pit. Any thoughts?

2) How about thoughts on the BYU game? Will the Huskies finally find a way to win on the road? Will Jake Locker play like a Heisman Trophy winner? What are your concerns? Will the defense be up the task this season?

OK, the perfect scenario for Dawg fans who go something like this: Washington wins the Pac-10 title and Rose Bowl, Locker win the Heisman and is the No. 1 pick in the draft.

Will it happy? No way. Locker might win the Heisman, if the Huskies win nine games or more, and he might be the top draft pick when it’s all said and done. I think the Huskies finish third in the Pac-10 and head to San Diego for the Holiday Bowl.

Biggest game of the year? It’s not Saturday’s opener at BYU. It’s Week 3 when Nebraska visits Husky Stadium. If Washington beat Nebraska, then I’ll feel a lot better about the Huskies winning nine games and going to the Holiday Bowl.

3) Some of you might have noticed that former Husky assistant/recruiting coordinator/Husky Honk/radio analyst Dick Baird is blogging for us again. You can find it right here: Coach Dick Baird: On Husky Football.

Dick told me he’s going to “open up a little more,” this year. That’s good for all of us, especially if you’re a Husky football fan. Dick’s got access to films and coaches, and while he’s not going to give away any secrests,  his insights into the program are usually right on. He’s put up two posts this week. Check ‘em out.


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