Links: The selling of ‘Beast Mode’ & Shaq & Tark & More

The debates rage about the future of Marshawn Lynch, but there’s no question about his growing brand. The Seahawks’ running back is cashing in off the field.

Lynnley Browning of Newsweek writes about how you market an athlete who doesn’t talk to the media:

The less Lynch speaks to the media, the more his popularity grows. He doesn’t even want to talk about his company right now. Mitch Grossbach, president of M3/Relativity, which oversees the development of BeastModeonline, says Lynch couldn’t speak to Newsweek for this story because he was “in no mood to talk right now. He’s emotionally debilitated by [the loss]—he needs a week to recover.”

In a world of professional athletes happily shilling everything from Cialis to car insurance, Lynch’s verbal striptease is a test case for how to grow an emerging rock-star athlete into a brand worth millions. “He’s maintaining the irony of not talking, and that has made him more marketable and more endearing with fans and consumers,” says Bob Dorfman, a sports marketing expert who is executive creative director at Baker Street Advertising in San Francisco. “It’s the antithesis of how you would go about becoming a marketable star, and it’s working.”

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Washington Huskies star Shaq Thompson figures to a first-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft. Peter King of Sports Illustrated’s MMQB recently caught up with Thompson:

The NFL is still trying to figure out what position best fits Thompson, who wasn’t a good fit for baseball. He went 0- for-39 with 37 strikeouts during his pro baseball career:

King writes:

… In his freshman year at Washington, coaches created a hybrid safety/linebacker position just to get him on the field. Over the next three years, he played five other positions. His mere presence was a weapon. “We put him at personal protector, not only because he’d be good at it,” says Huskies coach Chris Petersen, “but also, teams would be so worried about us snapping the ball to Shaq that they backed off on trying to block our punts.”

That’s the paradox of Shaq Thompson: Nobody knows exactly what he is. They just know they want him.

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Alexander Wolff of Sports Illustrated  writes about Jerry Tarkanian, the former UNLV basketball coach who died Wednesday. He was 84.

The headline says it all: Always A Rebel: Jerry Tarkanian was college sports’ original honest man

Wolff writes:

Tarkanian spent most of his professional life as a poster boy for disreputability. Today, with the NCAA itself in broad disrepute, it’s almost as if he lived just long enough for public opinion to catch up to him. There would be much worse things than if, in death, Tarkanian were to earn something like vindication.

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You want more offense in baseball? Raise the strike zone. MLB is taking a look at doing just that. Read this story by Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports.

Passan writes:

At baseball’s GM meetings last November, the room of executives teemed with discussions about how to jolt offense in a game lacking it. Radical ideas were proposed, from putting rules into place on defensive shifts to the possibility of forcing relief pitchers to throw to more than one batter. Generating the most agreement was the problem of the low strike.

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Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports writes about college football’s most intriguing head coach. Tony Sanchez guided Bishop Gorman HS to an 85-5 record in eight seasons.

Wetzel writes:

Sanchez is a rare breed; the college football coach hired directly from the high school ranks. He’s just the fifth in the modern era – Jim Bradley to New Mexico State in 1973, Bob Commings to Iowa in 1974, Gerry Faust to Notre Dame in 1981 and Todd Dodge to North Texas in 2007.

None lasted very long.

UNLV is arguably the worst program in the country, posting a pathetic eight two-win seasons across the last 11 years. It’s been to four bowl games … ever. The glory days are that time they finished tied for third in their division of the Mountain West.

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Charles Barkley doesn’t like analytics, but analytics like him. Neal Paine of FiveThirtyEight.com compared Barkley to power forward greats Karl Malone and Tim Duncan.

The numbers breakdown came after Barkley ripped Houston Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey for his over-reliance on analytics. Morey in turn ripped Barkley on Twitter:

Best part of being at a TNT game live is it is easy to avoid Charles spewing misinformed biased vitriol disguised as entertainment

Here’s Sir Charles’ words that sparked the debate:

“I’ve always believed analytics was crap. … I never mention the Rockets as legitimate contenders ’cause they’re not. And, listen, I wouldn’t know Daryl Morey if he walked into this room right now.”

“The NBA is about talent,” Barkley added. “All these guys who run these organizations who talk about analytics, they have one thing in common — they’re a bunch of guys who have never played the game, and they never got the girls in high school, and they just want to get in the game.”

Haas going into Salukis Hall of Fame this weekend

Former Olympic High standout Lauren (Haas) Peters, daughter of Patti and Dan Haas, is being inducted into the Southern Illinois Hall of Fame this weekend.

Haas played softball for the Salukis from 2005-08 and left the Missouri Valley Conference school as one of the top hitters in school history. Haas was the MVP of the conference her senior year after hitting .388 wit 39 RBI. She hit .320 for her career with 24 home runs (fourth all-time at SIU).

Haas was discovered by coaches while recruiting at the annual Colorado Fireworks tournament.

Her former head coach, Kerri Blaylock, said this about the 2008 Olympic High grad:  “You look back in the record books, and she kind of did it quietly. You look back now and you go ‘Wow, she’s in all these categories,’ but I don’t think this was this flashy player. She just did it very quietly. I knew she had a Hall of Fame career, and I’m really pleased that she’s able to make it in. She was one of the grittiest, toughest kids that I ever coached.”

Haas works for the Navy in foreign military sales. She and her husband, Ryan Peters, have a 2-year-old son, Camden, and are expecting their second child in May.

Hass started out as a shortstop and ended up playing first base her senior year.

Her father, Dan, is in his fourth season as the head softball coach at Olympic College.

 

 

Too much hype about signing day

I get the fact that national letter of intent day is a big deal, but well, why is it such a big deal?

I remember attending a Scripps Howard (the newspaper group that owned the Kitsap Sun in the early 1990s) sports editor meeting one year and talk shifted to national letter of intent day and  how it should be covered etc. I voiced my opinion, wondering if giving 17- and 18-year-olds so much attention was a good idea. The whole recruiting process seemed a bit slimey at the time.

My opinion didn’t go over well. Most of the other sports editors, many of them from newspapers that covered SEC football, looked at me like I had three eyeballs.

Now, it’s become a big business. Fans get all giddy when their favorite universities sign a 4-star running back they’ve never seen play. I don’t fault the kid who are given scholarships, but I don’t see a need to call a press conferences and pull hats out of the air like a magician before announcing their picks. That’s a little overboard don’t you think?

But I guess it is the world we live in. As Georgia Tech athletic director Mike Bobinski accurately summarized, “We are a society of gross overstatement and exaggeration,” and that’s no more evident than in recruiting.

I love it how all of the “experts” rank the recruiting classes. It’s like preseason polls. They don’t mean a thing. It takes two, maybe three years to figure out how good your recruiting class really is.

That said, I did a little (and I mean a little) research about this year’s national letter of intent day as it pertains to the Pac-12.

I discovered that Washington out-recruited Washington State big-time in our state. The Huskie signed eight state players; WSU got just one (safety Deion Singleton from Chiawana High in Pasco).

Washington also signed one player from Oregon, which is more than Oregon signed.

The Ducks did sign three kids from our state: OT Shane Lemieux (West Valley-Yakima), OT Calvin Throckmorton (Bellevue) and OLB Foto Leiato (Steilacoom).

WSU also signed five junior college players, same as Arizona. Nobody in the Pac-12 signed more JCs. Washington signed one. The only Pac-10 school that didn’t sign a JC player was Stanford.

USC and UCLA graded out tops in the recruiting game. Washington ranked No. 6 in the Pac-12 by ESPN (No. 28 nationally). WSU was No. 9/No. 57.

Rivals.com had USC No. 1 nationally. UCLA was No. 13, Oregon No. 17, Stanford No. 18, Arizona State No. 20, California No. 29, Washington No. 30, Arizona and Utah tied at No. 41, WSU No. 56,  Oregon State and Colorado tied at No. 70.

One more thing: Snoop Dogg’s been a longtime USC fan, but his son, Cordell Broadus, signed  with UCLA.

And here’s a fun recruiting story from athlon.com: The 2015 Recruiting All-Name Team. 

You’ll have to go elsewhere for the in-depth analysis. And, a day after signing day 2015, you can find several stories about the what colleges need for 2016.

C’mon, man.

 

 

Charlie Pierce writes about the Deflatriots

Charlie Pierce might be my favorite writer.

He writes about politics and other issues for Esquire.com.

He also writes for Grantland.com, a popular sports and pop-culture blog.

I’m as tired as the next guy about this story about deflating footballs, but this story by Pierce is worth reading.

Here’s the ending:

And, as the sun went down on a long day’s journey into nonsense, I’m sorry, but if you can’t see the humor in this preposterous burlesque, then you’re having nowhere near enough fun in showbiz.

Quick hits from the desert: Troy Kelly, Joey Dean, Seahawks, questions & more

Some quick hits on a Tuesday night from Super Bowl country:

TROY KELLY is entered in this week’s Humana Challenge, the PGA Tour event in La Quinta,  Calif. Kelly, a Central Kitsap grad now living in Tacoma, still has PGA status because of a Major Medical Extension he received after going through knee surgery in the 2013 season.

Kelly has 10 starts and needs to make $563,133 or 353.837 FedExCup points to retain his status. I’m not positive, but I think Kelly has to use those 10 starts this season. He missed two PGA cuts earlier in the fall, and took some time off to give an aching body some rest after not playing well. Kelly cashed in just two of nine Web.com Tour starts in 2014.

Kelly, now living in Tacoma, was based out of La Quinta for a few years and is familiar with the Nicklaus and Palmer courses at PGA West.

In case you missed it, Bob Kelly (Troy’s dad) operates Hackers Bar & Grill at Madrona Links in Gig Harbor.

JOEY DEAN is MCing the Kitsap Sports Hall of Fame banquet at Kiana Lodge on Saturday (11 a.m. social hour, dinner and program at noon). The 1984 Olympic High state championship baseball team is among the teams being inducted. Dean was in the class of ’83 at Oly and played football and baseball. He’s also got some motorsports history and, of course, remains one of the most popular singer/songwriters in Kitsap County. Nice for Joey to give back to the Kitsap Athletic Roundtable, the non-profit that puts on the annual HOF shindig.

PLAYED SOME GOLF Tuesday in Gilbert, Arizona, where the weather was outstanding (76 degrees), and the company even better. The golf game? I’m not talking about mine, but Glenn Carden hit ’em straight and far while shooting a 78 at Western Skies Golf Course.

SOME OF US DEBATED this question on Twitter Sunday night: What’s the greatest game in Seattle sports history. Was it the Seahawks unbelievable NFC Championship comeback victory over the Packers on Sunday, or the Mariners’ win over the Yankees in Game 5 of the ALCS in 1995?

For me, it’s the football game. It was stunningly, mind-blowing, coming from 12 down with 3 minutes left to win the way they won after playing so poorly on offense. I’m a baseball guy but to be in a position to win back-to-back Super Bowls trumps what Edgar, Junior, Randy and Lou’s Boys did on that magical night in the Kingdome.

What do you think?

IF YOU COULD SPEND an evening with one Seahawk, who would it be? Russell Wilson? Marshawn Lynch? Richard Sherman? Earl Thomas? Jon Ryan? Pete Carroll? Who’s your guy?

PETER KING of mmqb.si.com writes that the Seahawks need to feed the Beast if they want to win Super Bowl 49. I couldn’t agree more.

QUICK, NAME the only team to beat the Seahawks and Patriots this season? Yep, Kansas City.

BROADCASTER BILL WALTON called the Pac-12 basketball game between Utah and Arizona in Tucson on Saturday. Paola Boivin of The Arizona Republic tailed Walton at the Pac-12 Networks crew before and during the game.

At one point, Walton wished Muhammad Ali a happy 73rd birthday and shared a favorite Ali quote: “If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, they can surely make something out of you.”

ANOTHER PAC-12 BROADCASTER, MIKE MONTGOMERY, got a call from former South Kitsap athlete and Michigan State coach Jud Heathcote recently. “He said, ‘You’ve got a face for radio’ and hung up,” said Montgomery during a recent broadcast. Heathcote and Montgomery, the former Stanford and Cal coach, are both part of the Montana coaching tree. Heathcote, 87, is still living in Spokane, and remains an avid follower of Gonzaga and college hoops.

I WROTE ABOUT ASHLI PAYNE, sophomore guard at Umpqua CC, last month. I’m glad to see I didn’t jinx the Olympic High grad. She’s eighth in the 32-team Northwest Athletic Conference in scoring (17.28 points), sixth in rebounding (8.83), ninth in assists (4.28), 10th in free-throw shooting (82.3%) and 20th in steals (2.13). You can see why her coach, Dave Stricklin, thinks she’s the best player in the NWAC.

 

 

 

 

Some Super Bowl storylines

Coming to you live from Arizona (no, I’m not staying for the Super Bowl), where the locals seem pretty pumped up about XLIX.

This is Cardinals country, and a lot of Arizona football fans don’t like the Seattle Seahawks, but judging by the comments I heard on Monday and the tone of the reports I’m hearing on the local television stations, there seems to be a lot of respect for the Hawks.

That said here are a few storylines you’ll be reading and hearing about in the days leading up to the Feb. 1 game against New England at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale:

Tom Brady vs. Russell Wilson: The Patriots quarterback will play in a record sixth Super Bowl and will be going for his fourth ring. That’s Joe Montana (and Terry Bradshaw) territory. Wilson, meanwhile, is back for this second straight Super Bowl and has a shot to do something no quarterback has ever done: Win two Super Bowls in his first three seasons. It’s the classic drop back passer (Brady) against the elusive play-maker (Wilson) who can beat you with his arm and his legs. A story in USA Today bills it as old-school vs. new-age QBs.

Richard Sherman vs. Tom Brady: Sherman will get more than his share of news, and not all of it will revolve around the elbow injury he played with over the final minutes of Seattle’s OT win against Green Bay. Remember the “You Mad Bro” moment following Seattle’s regular-season upset victory over the Patriots in October of 2012 at CenturyLink? It was, more or less, Sherman’s coming out party as a big-time trash-talker who has shown that he can back up all of that talk.

Former Legion of Boom member Brandon Browner vs. his old team: Browner’s now a cornerback with the Patriot. He was a big part of the LOB, but had to sit out the big game a year ago because of violating the NFL’s substance abuse violation. After Sunday’s games, Browner said he felt all along that a New England-Seattle matchup in Arizona was inevitable. 

Pete Carroll vs. Bill Belichick: Carroll was fired by Patriots owner Robert Kraft in 1999 after an 8-8 record in his third season.  Kraft then hired Bill Belichick and we all know how that worked out: six Super Bowls in 14 seasons. Carroll went on to turn USC into a powerhouse and now has the Seahawks knocking on dynasty’s door. Carroll’s youthful appearance and emotional coaching style seems the opposite of the dour-looking Patriots’ boss. There’s a mutual respect between the two. “I like Pete. I like him a lot,” Belichick told ESPN.com.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski vs. Seattle safety Kam Chancellor: Everybody’s waiting for The Collision in the Desert between those two hombres. If it happens, you might feel it back in Seattle.

Finally, Marshawn Lynch vs. the media: Will he talk? You remember Lynch’s memorable Super Bowl Media Day interview with Deion Sanders a year ago in New Jersey? “I’m just about that actin boss?” Can he top that one? Here’ s what I wrote a year ago after listening to that exchange:

Marshawn Lynch lasted 6 minutes, 20 seconds at Super Bowl Media Day before escaping the big stage.

Deion “Prime Time” Sanders of NFL Network hunted Beast Mode down, and the interview with the Seattle Seahawks star was priceless. Here’s a portion of it.

“You look good,” Sanders told Lynch, who was wearing sunglasses and had the hood of his Seahawks’ jacket pulled up.

“(Bleep), so do you,” said Lynch, fingering Prime Time’s suit coat.

Sanders told Lynch it looked like he was ready to play.

Lynch: “Yep, that’s what time it is.”

Sanders then asked if Lynch was a little shy.

Lynch: “I’m just about that action boss. … I ain’t never seen no talk win ya nothing. Been like that since I was a little kid. I was raised like that.”

Asked if he was excited about the game, Lynch, wearing sunglasses, said, “Hell, yeah. … yeaaahh!”

Sanders then said some think the Seahawks will be in trouble if Lynch doesn’t get untracked.

Lynch: “They gonna have to stop all of us. I’m a beast, but we got some dogs.”

Sanders: You don’t like podiums do you? What is your thing?

Lynch: “Lay back, kick back, mind my business, stay in my own lane.”

Sanders: He told Lynch that NFL Network and former star back Marshall Faust loved him.

Lynch: “That’s huge. He’s a great.”

Sanders: “We all love you.”

Lynch then went third-person on us.

“That’s big time. Beast Mode love and appreciate that.”

 

 

Kitsap Sports Hall of Fame information

There’s been some confusion about the Kitsap Sports Hall of Fame. A wrong date was published (probably my fault) and the correction that appeared in The Sun (again, my fault) had wrong info about where to buy tickets. Sorry for the bad info, but I’m here to set it straight. If you have any questions after reading the information below, contact me at chuckstark00@gmail.com.

Here’s the skinny:

27TH KITSAP SPORTS HALL OF FAME BANQUET

When: Jan. 24, 2015; 11 a.m. social hour, noon dinner and program
Where: Kiana Lodge, Poulsbo
Tickets: $30 in advance ($35 at the door). Send check or money order to Kitsap Athletic Roundtable; P.O. Box 5707, Bremerton, WA, 98312. Tickets also available at Kitsap Tennis & Athletic Center (1909 NE John Carlson Rd, East Bremerton) and Baymont Inn & Suites (5640 Kitsap Way, West Bremerton).
Sponsor: Kitsap Athletic Roundtable.
Presented by: The Suquamish Tribe and Port Madison Enterprises.
More information: Email Jodee.Strickland@aol.com.

WHO IS BEING HONORED?

Rex Brown Distinguished Service Award: Chuck Bullard, who died of cancer in March, and his wife, Sherry, will be honored for their years of service to the sport of wrestling. The award recognizes individuals or organization that have made an impact on the Kitsap sporting community. The Bullards were active leaders of USA Wrestling and Chuck co-founded the Silverdale-based Northwest Washington Wrestling Club, which made an impact not only locally, but throughout the state, and country.

Dick Todd Officials Award: Harold Conway, who has officiated volleyball and basketball for 39 years, is the recipient of this year’s award.

TEAMS:

1965 East High football team: First team in school history to beat rival West High, the Knights posted six shutouts in nine games and allowed just 26 points while winning the Olympic League championship and finishing as the No. 4-ranked team in the state.

1956-57 Olympic College basketball team: The Rangers won the 10-team Washington State Junior College Athletic Conference with a 13-1 record (20-3 overall). It was Phil Pescoe’s fifth championship team.

1984 Olympic High baseball team: Coached by Robin Campbell, the Trojans won the Class 2A state baseball championship 30 years ago, culminating a dream postseason run with a 6-5 victory over Eastmont in the championship game at the Kingdome.

 INDIVIDUALS:

Ken Anderson: A multi-talented athlete (football, basketball, baseball), the 1980 Bremerton grad played baseball and football at Olympic College (All-NWAACC safety), and football at Central Washington, where he was the Wildcats Defensive Player of the Year. Anderson also starred on the softball diamond, first in slowpitch, later in fastpitch, at shortstop. He also coached Central Kitsap Junior High’s football team for 20 years, compiling a 102-21 record while winning 11 league titles and posting eight unbeaten seasons.

Seabury Blair Jr.: The Spokane native covered the outdoors, among other things, and he’s still writing columns and stories for The Sun, in addition to writing outdoor books and hiking guides.

Ted Brose: The 1980 South Kitsap grad, now living in Yakima, was among the first high-profile players that coach Ed Fisher sent to Washington. Brose was a Scholastic Coach Magazine High School All-American and all-state offensive lineman. He played on two Pac-10 championship teams (1980, ’81) at Washington, where he was a three-year letterman.

Mike Cheney: The standout athlete from South Kitsap was part of the 1984 Suquamish softball team that was inducted in 2013; this year he goes in on his own merits. Cheney was one of the best power hitters to come out of the region. Teammates called him “launch” and said he was a home-run hitting machine.

Darell Davis: Bremertons Davis was a three-time national junior American Motorcycle Champion by the time he was 15, and was racing a factory-backed Harley Davidson the following year. He won six motocross races in six days at Sturgis, North Dakota, and was leading the AMA world championship series when he was tragically killed while competing in Erie, New York, in 1987. He was 16 when he died.

Carol Dodd: She was among the dominant bowlers in the state during her era, averaging 192 during the 1980s when the conditions weren’t nearly as conducive to scoring as they are now. The Kitsap Bowling Association Hall of Famer and a 13-time KWBA all-star was a tough tournament bowler and has always given back to the sport, providing free lessons for juniors, seniors and anybody who asked.

Don Dow: The 1978 Bainbridge grad played in two Rose Bowls, a Sun Bowl and an Aloha Bowl and was drafted in the 12th round by the Seattle Seahawks in 1983. The offensive tackle landed with the 49ers, and didn’t play, but was on the team that won the 1985 Super Bowl. Based in Medford, Oregon, he has operated DowEvents, a corporate hospitality provider for events like the Masters, World Cup, Super Bowl and Olympics, for 20 years.

Gordon Farrar: The 1946 graduate of Bremerton High broke the Washington State record in the high jump, clearing 6 feet, 4 inches his sophomore year. Farrar, who was 5-foot-8, tore up his knee playing American Legion baseball in the summer and thought his track and field career was over, but he was talked into turning out again while returning to school while studying for his masters in Mechanical Engineering. Farrar won the long jump at the Pacific Coast Conference Track and Field Championships. His winning jump (24 feet, 4 inches) was the second longest by a college athlete that year. He was invited to the U.S. Olympic Trials, but declined because he’d previously committed to completing his plumbing apprenticeship in Alaska.

Paula Grande: The 1990 North Mason grad guided her alma mater’s softball team to a 311-69 record and a state championship and six district titles during her 15 seasons with the Bulldogs. She was inducted into the Washington State Softball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2013.

Cindy Guy: She’s coached gymnastics for 33 years at Bainbridge, leading the Spartans to a state championship and three other top-four finishes. She’s coached three state all-around champions. The Spartans won 115 straight Metro League meets at one point.

The Hansen Brothers: They (Jim and Dave) ran Pro Competition and Top Alcohol dragstars from 1960 to the ‘80s. They own the 1972 Northwest NHRA championship and were world record holders at one time and won multi-time NHRA Division 6 races.

Bruce Larson: The 1969 West High grad held the school scoring record (40 points). He played on a state championship junior college team at Tacoma and powerhouse teams at the University of Puget Sound before setting into a 40-year teaching career in the Central Kitsap School District. He’s coached 36 of those years. He’s currently the athletic director and varsity boys and girls basketball coach at Central Kitsap Junior High. His girls teams have won 56 games in a row and are 183-29 under his guidance.

The Raines family: Belfair’s Raines Gang (father Dave and sons Darrell and Doug, and Doug’s son Jason) have won everything from regional to state to national titles on motorcycles.

Joe Sherk: Sherk was the sports editor at The Sun in the 1960s before moving on to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Tacoma News Tribune. After 18 years as a sports writer, the South Kitsap grad worked as a media/public relations professional for over 30 years in NHRA drag racing. He represented many of the greatest drag racers in the history of the sport.

Paul Stoffel: The former all-state center from West High earned a scholarship to Washington State, but ended his college career as a starting linebacker at Central Washington. Stoffel returned to Bremerton in 1969 and assisted his former coach, Chuck Semancik, before taking the head job at Central Kitsap. He coached the Cougars from 1971-75, going 35-13-1 and reached the state playoffs twice. His father, Vaughn Stoffel, a four-sport letterman at the University of Puget Sound, is already in Kitsap’s Hall of Fame.

Tommy Thompson: The Central Kitsap grad was a first-team all-state selection in golf at Olympic College in 1966 and ’67, helping the Rangers win state titles both years. He also played basketball at OC, and went on to earn All-Evergreen Conference honors in golf at Central Washington. His 41-year coaching highlights include 12 league championships as the head golf coach at Central Kitsap and a 288-90 record that included 14 league championships as the boys basketball coach at CK Junior High.

Gordy Wood: The 1986 Olympic High grad and tight end set records at Wyoming, catching 151 passes while helping the Cowboys win a pair of Western Athletic Conference titles and go to two Holiday Bowls. He played for Doug Smith at Olympic High, and later coached quarterback Alex Smith (Doug’s son) and future Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush at Helix High in San Diego. He’s currently coaching at West Valley H.S. in Hemet, California.

WHAT’S THE PROCESS OF BEING ELECTED TO THE HALL OF FAME?

The Kitsap Athletic Roundtable accepts nominations from the public. Mail your nomination with information supporting your nominee to the Kitsap Athletic Roundtable; P.O. Box 5707, Bremerton, WA, 98312. The KAR has a six-person HOF committee that goes over nominations. Discussion starts in the early spring. By summer, the list has been whittled down to about 25 or 30. By September, the HOF committee takes a final vote and makes final arguments for candidates. Believe me, we’ve got a long list of candidates, but if you think we’ve overlooked someone deserving, please let us know.

(Dick Thompson, Dan Haas, Jodee Strickland, Chris Horn , Tim Quimby and yours truly were on the HOF committee this year. This was my second year).

Another No. 1 seed at stake for Seahawks & links

Will the road to the Super Bowl go through Seattle?

I think it will, and we’ll find out later today when the Seahawks play the Rams at CenturyLink. It’s hard to see Seattle having a letdown in this one. There’s too much at stake and they’re coming into the game on a roll, winning their last five games while giving up just 6.6 points a game.

If Seattle wins and the Green Bay-Detroit game doesn’t end in a tie, the defending Super Bowl champs will earn a bye and the home-field advantage. The home-field advantage definitely means more when you’re talking about Seattle or Green Bay. The crowd at CenturyLink makes a difference, and the Packers are a different team at Lambeau Field. Aaron Rodgers hasn’t thrown an interception at home this season.

Here’s a look at the NFL’s playoff scenarios heading into Week 17.

Some links and some thoughts

* Here’s a pretty convincing argument for why former Mariner DH Edgar Martinez should be in the Hall of Fame. 

* ICYMI, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune addressed a lot of questions concerning the Mariners in this story.

* Former Kentridge  High and Edmonds CC star Shaquielle McKissic has had a tougher journey than most college basketball played. McKissic’s now a senior at Arizona State.

* Olympic High has won six straight and looks like the Trojans are the team to beat in the Olympic League in boys basketball. Next game: Jan. 6 at Bremerton.

* New England’s the obvious favorite to win the AFC, but I wouldn’t sleep on the Pittsburgh Steelers, which has looked pretty good in winning their last three games. Ben Roethlisberger is getting protection, Le’Veon Bell is the best multi-purpose back in the league and the defense is starting to come together. The Steelers win the AFC North and a bye with a win over Cincinnati today. If the Steelers go into the playoffs with a four-game winning streak and a bye, watch out.

Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports is among those who’s convinced Kentucky will be 34-0 when the NCAA Tournament begins in March. The No. 1 Wildcats dispatched No. 4 Louisville 58-50 in a battle of unbeatens on Saturday, and Forde said it should be smooth sailing for Kentucky in the SEC.

Forde writes: Too long. Too versatile. Too deep. Too relentless. Too athletic.

Louisville coach Rick Pintino says: “I know one thing. They’re one of the great defensive teams I’ve seen in my 40 years. They can switch and not cause a mismatch, they can move their feet, they can block the shot.”