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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, 2012

The Apocolypse Has Arrived for the NFL

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

UPDATE: NFL upholds Seahawks victory.

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It’s the morning after and the buzz about the Seahawks-Packers debacle has hardly subsided. The worst case scenario has happened for the NFL: the replacement officials have cost a team a game.

The uproar can be heard from coast to coast.

Driving home last night, I wondered why the Packers’ M.D. Jennings didn’t bat down the pass in the end zone instead of trying to intercept it. Isn’t that what you’re taught to do in that situation? If he does, Golden Tate doesn’t have a chance to make a catch and the Packers win. The MNF game would remain controversial, but at least the outcome wouldn’t have been questioned. The Packers would have won 12-7 and everybody in Seattle would be complaining about the Seahawks’ offense and debating whether rookie QB Russell Wilson is the real deal.

A caller on a radio shows likened the NFL to WWE. You know, he’s right. The integrity of the game has clearly been compromised. You have no idea how certain plays are going to be called. It’s comical to a point. If the NFL refuses to make a deal with the real refs, they should put the replacement guys in clown uniforms.

Here’s another good point made by another caller: Why didn’t the NFL take time to train the replacement officials? They knew they were headed for a lockout — at least it was a real possibility that a deal would not be reached — and they should have been better prepared. They should have had a plan in place. They should have trained backup refs. Now, they’ve made themselves a serious mess. Nobody’s blaming the replacement refs. Now, all eyes are on Roger Goodell. What will the NFL commissioner do next?

Just clicked on the TV and ESPN’s talking about Chaos in Seattle. They’ll be talking about  it, ad nauseam, all day.

In the meantime, here’s some other links about the Golden gaffe:

Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports, who wondered if reporters could boo in the press box on Monday night, dined with Seahawk Marshawn Lynch at the Metropolitan Grill in downtown Seattle after the game.“We didn’t win that game,” someone at the table said, and nobody made a peep to challenge him.

Gregg Easterbrook of ESPN.com says the refs are losing control and that the NFL ought to reverse the call and award the game to the Packers.

Here’s some twitter comments from Packers and other NFL players. Warning: lots of expletives. And here’s more comments.

Here’s a photo that shows Golden Tate’s right hand is not on the ball. Simultaneous possession? I know that’s the call, but isn’t it possible that a receiver can make a one-handed catch. Tate’s left hand and arm were clearly on the ball. Can you have simultaneous possession with one arm on the ball? Just throwing it out.

Simultaneous confusion? Here’s a video of the refs, one signaling touchdown, the other calling a touchback, indicating that the pass was intercepted.

The controversy won’t go away, and everybody’s wondering what steps the NFL will take to get the real officials back on the field.

 


MNF links, trivia & did you know Nathan Adrian is a Raiders’ fan?

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

Would the Seahawks have been among the NFL’s elite teams if they had not let Ted Thompson slip way to the Green Bay Packers. Mike Vandermause, a columnist with the Green Bay Press Gazette, tells the story of how the Packets were able to steal Thompson from the Seahawks.

Here’s Jon Gruden’s interview with Seahawks rookie QB Russell Wilson. Gruden’s been on Wilson’s bandwagon since evaluating him after his senior year at Wisconsin.

MNF trivia: Tonight’s game will be the 731st game televised by the Monday Night Football franchise.

MNF trivia II:  ESPN’s current contract with the NFL runs through 2021 and is valued between $14.2 and $15.2 billion.

MNF trivia III: The Seahawks are 17-8 all-time in Monday Night games.

If the Seahawks asked Bremerton Olympic gold medalist Nathan Adrian to raise the 12th Man Flag he’d probably do it, but would he wear his Raiders’ jersey? Yeah, Nathan’s become a Raider fan since moving to the Bay Area.

Wonder if Bremerton and North Kitsap have ever played a truly meaningful football game, one that had championship implications riding on it? The winner of Friday’s game will definitely take a big step toward winning the Class 2A Olympic League championship. Kickoff is 7 p.m. Friday in Poulsbo. Did you know Bremerton’s the biggest 2A school in the state (1,079 students in the top three grades)? North is ninth (1,003) biggest, according to the WIAA numbers. PA is No. 2 and Olympic No. 10 in 2A enrollment. Class 4A South Kitsap (2,447) remains the biggest school in the state.

Sounders-Mariners don’t break the Rule of 65,000 on Saturday. Rule of 65,000? Read Art Thiel’s story at sportspressnw.com.

Drew Vettleson’s taking part in Tampa Bay’s fall instructional league in Port Charlotte, Fla. Coming of an MVP season for the Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods, the Silverdale outfielder was honored during an awards ceremony at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., prior to a recent Rays game. The 42nd overall pick in the 2010 draft remains one of the Rays’ top prospects. He’s one of 54 minor leaguers taking part in the instructional league, which runs through Oct. 7.


Links on Couples, Seahawks, Ichiro, Rougheart MMA & more

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Some reading material to get you through the weekend:

Joe Posnanski writes about Fred Couples and whether the Seattle golfer is really Hall of Fame worthy. Some, Posnanski writes, think the talented Freddy was an underachiever during his career and should have won a lot more. Posnanski disagrees. He writes: “Couples’ breathtaking swing, his casual persona, his amazing shot-making — these and other things have made him a superstar. When people think back to the last 20 years of golf, they will think of Fred Couples. Does that make him a Hall of Famer? The way the golf Hall of Fame voters look at it, well, yes, it definitely does. I don’t think that’s a bad way for golf people look at it.” 

Rich-Rod goes Dumb and Dumber on us while answering a question about Arizona’s chances of taking down mighty Oregon on Saturday.

Ichiro is in a real good place right now in New York. He’s now hitting .321 in 54 games with the Yankees.

If you can’t get enough Russell Wilson, read this ESPN.com piece on the Seahawks’ rookie QB. Lots of good insight and background on Wilson.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune, whose byline and columns often appear in our print editions, wrote this about Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers and the Packers will be in town for MNF and he talked about his admiration for Seattle’s No. 12 during an interview earlier in the week.

Eleni Englert? Never heard of her? Check out Gregg Bell’s story on this amazing blind athlete, a freshman rower at the University of Washington.

Tampa Bay Bucs coach Greg Schiano might be a bully, as Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports writes in this piece, but I still don’t think he did anything wrong when his defensive linemen caved in the Giants’ o-line when Eli Manning was taking a knee in a recent game. I’ve heard arguments both way on what should transpire at that point, but I’m with Pete Carroll on this one. If the game is still on the line, then there’s nothing wrong with competing on the final play of the game.

And here’s a shout out to MMA fans out there. Joshua Beranis writes a reader blog on the local MMA scene and he’s looking to expand coverage of the sport in our area. If you’ve got news tips or stories to tell, get hold of Bernanis. Here’s a column he wrote last week.  His contact info is at the end of the column.


WSU 35, UNLV 27: Postgame notes

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Hey, look who’s 2-1.

Yeah, yeah. WSU beat Eastern Washington and they managed to beat UNLV, one of the worst teams in the country, 35-28 Friday night in Las Vegas. Oh, well, nobody will remember by the end of the year.

Here’s some postgame notes, courtesy WSU sports information:

PLAYER NOTES

• Travis Long started his 39th straight game, every game in his career

• Long made two sacks to up his career total to 15 and is now sits tenth in WSU’s top-10 for career sacks

• Long’s two tackles-for-loss pushed his career TFL to 33.5, good for sixth on WSU’s career top-10 for tackles-for-loss

• Long matched a career-high with nine tackles, SMU – 2009 and at BYU – 2012

• Tyree Toomer made his first career interception

• Isiah Myers caught his third career touchdown, all this season

• Gabe Marks caught his first career touchdown and notched his first career 100-yard game

• Halliday passed for 378 yards, his third career 300-yard performance in just two starts and six appearances.

• Halliday threw four touchdown passes, his second career four-TD game (ASU-2011)

• Halliday has thrown 13 career touchdown passes in his first six games, four more than Drew Bledsoe who threw nine touchdowns in the first six games of his career

• Marks and Wilson both went over 100 yards receiving, the first time two players went over the 100 yards in the same game since Wilson (223) and Isiah Barton (155) did so against Arizona State last season

• Leon Brooks scored his first career touchdown

 

MARQUESS WILSON NOTES

• Had five catches to move into fifth on WSU’s career top-10 for receptions with 150

• His 110 receiving yards gave him his 12th career 100-yard game, passing Mike Levenseller for most in WSU history.

• Wilson now has 2,612 career receiving yards, third-most in WSU history and good for No. 33 in Pac-12 history

• Wilson’s two touchdowns gave him No. 19 and 20 of his career, third most in WSU’s top-10 for receiving touchdowns.

• Has caught a pass in all 27 games of his career.

• Wilson’s 81-yard touchdown was the second longest touchdown of his career (85 vs. ASU – 2011). He now has eight career touchdown catches of 50+ yards.


City Council to discuss resolution to contract Columbia Hospitality to manage Gold Mountain

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

I’ve been writing about the city’s decision to target Columbia Hospitality — a company with no golf course management experience — as the potential manager of Gold Mountain Golf Club. I still can’t get my head around the thinking on this issue.

I’ve advocated opening up the bid process to see what kind of interest the city might get.

Our editorial board backed me up on this one.

Mayor Patty Lent called and said that opening up the bidding process wasn’t practical because “we wouldn’t know what we wanted for someone to come in and manage that … we didn’t have a clue what we could make as revenue.”

She said the city was “still crunching numbers to see what the revenue is.”

That’s interesting because I’m pretty sure Scott Alexander, the director of golf for the last 28 years, turns in his golf shop numbers and restaurant numbers every single year. “All purchases at the golf course are receipted and part of the public record,” wrote an interested party in an email. ” Carts, rounds, driving range, equipment, food, etc. Any professional golf  company can figure things out from there.”

The city, which receives all of the green fees generated at Gold Mountain, didn’t find out last week that Alexander’s stepping down at the end of the year. He announced his decision in May, partly to give the city time to get its you-know-what together.

Meanwhile, looks what’s scheduled to be discussed at Wednesday’s 5 p.m. City Council Study Session: Resolution authorizing a sole source contract with Columbia Hospitality, Inc. for management of the Gold Mountain Golf Club — Becky Hasart, Financial Services Director.

The Study Session is open to the public (Council Conference Room 603 at the Norm Dicks Building) but there will be no opportunity for input or participation. If the resolution is approved, it will be included on the Sept, 19 Council meeting agenda.

The city’s moving fast on this. If you believe the mayor, the city doesn’t know the value of their greatest asset, one of the best 36-hole municipal golf facilities in the country. But they’re ready to hand over the reins to a company that has absolutely zero experience running a golf course.

I wish someone would tell me what I’m missing, because I still don’t get it.

 

 

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/golf/story/2012/09/11/pga-tour-money-list-gets-one-more-year/57748462/1

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/golf/story/2012/09/11/pga-tour-money-list-gets-one-more-year/57748462/1

 

 

 

 

 


Monday night football thoughts

Monday, September 10th, 2012

But not necessarily about Monday night football:

Watch out for the Illahee Idiots this year in fantasy football. Got a good feeling. Overcame a 30-point deficit on Monday night to win Week 1 with Peyton Manning and RGIII sitting on the bench. Dumb coaching? Nah, just trying to keep ‘em fresh.

Thoughts on the Huskies: Watching the Dawgs get pushed around by LSU on Saturday evening kind of brought me back to the late 1960s, when I was part of a junior varsity squad that scrimmaged against the West High varsity. It was like, wow, welcome to the big time. I imagine that must have been sort of how the Huskies felt like after Saturday’s game. That’s how it looked. Even cool, poised Keith Price looked a little out of sorts.

Speaking of the Huskies, did you see where ex-Dawg Johri Fogerson — the former O’Dea star — rushed for 103 yards and four TDs on just 13 carries in Central Wahington’s 56-28 win over Simon Fraser? Fogerson, partly because of injuries, never really panned out at the UW, but they could sure use him now.

The Huskies are so lean at running back that it’s triggered a debate about whether they should move safety/linebacker Shaq Thompson, the talented freshman, to running back. If he’s as good as people say he is, play him both ways. Yeah, I’m serious.

Thoughts on the Seahawks game against Arizona: Can’t they find somebody to make a clutch catch? C’mon, no way they should have lost that game. This is a team in major need of a playmaker at wide receiver. How can an NFL team be so deficient at that postition? And, oh by the way, I know it’s just one game, but what’s up with sure-handed Doug Baldwin?  I think I counted two drops and you could make it three if you count the one in the end zone at the end of the game. It would have been a helluva catch, but I think he makes it 8 of 10 times.

More thoughts on the Seahawks-Cardinals game: If QB John Skelton doesn’t get hurt, the Seahawks win that game. He was so rattled, there’s no way the Cardinals were going to get anything going against the Hawks’ defense. Give Kevin Kolb credit. He sliced and diced ‘em up on what turned out to be the game-winning drive after replacing Skelton. It was shocking how easy he made it look, considering how nasty the Seahawks had been playing on defense. Just goes to shows, you can never figure this stuff out.

Trivia: Can you name the last Seahawks QB that led the team to a fourth-quarter comeback win? If you said Matt Hasselbeck, you’re wrong. It was Charlie Whitehurst, who did it last year against the Giants.

Did you catch what Howie McDonald’s been up to lately? The senior linebacker from Central Kitsap followed up his 21-tackle game in Eastern Oregon’s opener with 25 tackles on Saturday. They said he was too small for D1 or DII football — the No. 17-ranked Mountaineers list him at 5-foot-9, 217 pounds — but I think he would have found a way to contribute wherever he played. Howie plays with as much heart as anybody I’ve seen.

Are the Wolves back? South Kitsap looks to be the real deal after two weeks. They’ve got a solid nucleus of returners and some excellent talent at the skill positions, but will they keep improving on a weekly basis? That’s the key. We’ll find out about Central Kitsap this week when the Cougars take on the highly-regarded Lions of Bellarmine Prep. They might be doing it without hard-running Nick Zawadzki, who took a shot to the head last week. The Olympic League? Nathan Joyce of our staff tabbed North Kitsap and Sequim as the preseason favorites. Both are 0-2. Bremerton figured to challenge for top honors, and still could despite losing at home against Wilson. The winner of Friday’s Sequim at Bremerton game gains the inside track.

I thought former Husky QB Husky QB Jake Locker looked pretty good in his first NFL start for Tennessee. He had to leave with a separated left shoulder after making a tackle following a fumble. He threw the New England guy down like a linebacker. Which only reinforces what I’ve always felt: Jake’s a pretty good QB, but I think he be a perennial Pro Bowler as a safety.

Did I mention the Illahee Idiots? Anybody want to trade for Phillip Rivers? Didn’t think so.

 

 

 

 


Larry Dixon: An inside look at the life of a football player at West Point

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

I can’t recommend highly enough this New York Times story about Larry Dixon, the former Olympic High football star who is starting his second year at West Point. Dixon will be the starting fullback for the Black Knights, who open the season at San Diego State on Saturday.

Click here to read the story.

It’s an excerpt from the “Soldiers First: Duty, Honor, Country, and Football at West Point” and details what a plebe — in this case, the story focuses on Dixon — has to go through at the academy.


What they’re saying about the AP’s No. 20-ranked Seahawks

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

The AP Pro32 Poll is out and the Seahawks ranked No. 20 out of 32 teams in the Associated Press rankings of NFL teams.

Here’s what the panel of voters are saying about the Hawks (ranking in parentheses):

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (22)
Chris Berman (ESPN, 20) — 4-0 preseason with young, eager team always a good sign.
Clifton Brown (Sporting News, 19) — If Russell Wilson is as ready as he looks, this team will be better than expected.
Cris Collinsworth (NBC Sports, 18) — Rookie Russell Wilson talented, but is he ready to be an NFL QB?
Rich Gannon (CBS Sports/SiriusXM NFL Radio, 25) — Russell Wilson doesn’t have a ton of juice at WR … very average group.
Bob Glauber (Newsday, 24) — Russell Wilson one of most refreshing stories of season. Now comes hard part for 5-10 QB. Playing games. Will be a work in progress. We suspect Matt Flynn will get chance before long.
Rick Gosselin (Dallas Morning News, 26) — Russell Wilson will become first rookie to start at quarterback for Seahawks since Rick Mirer in 1993.
Clark Judge (CBSSports.com, 20) — I’m nervous about anyone who starts a 5-11 rookie at quarterback.
Ira Kaufman (Tampa Tribune, 20) — Tucked away in upper left corner of NFL map, Pete Carroll quietly building a winner.
Pat Kirwan (SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com, 17) — Maybe surprise team of 2012. Russell Wilson sparks offense and receiving group coming together. Defense is physical and secondary is biggest in NFL.
John Lynch (Fox Sports, 19) — Team that finished strong in 2011 needs competition to bring best out of QB position. Surprise, surprise, it’s Russell Wilson that emerged as starter.
Alex Marvez (Foxsports.com, 20) — Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson picked apart Kansas City’s defense in preseason to win starting spot. Can he still thrive when games are for real?
Dan Pompei (Chicago Tribune, 23) — They are taking gamble on Russell Wilson, but they still can turn to Matt Flynn if Wilson struggles.


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