Renard, Bobo, Links & More

Don’t know why, but I couldn’t get to sleep last Saturday night. Ended up watching the replay of the Eastern Washington-Weber State football game around 2 a.m..

It was no coincidence that EWU won its first game on the day defensive tackle Renard Williams had his best game of the season. The final numbers didn’t tell the story – the former South Kitsap star had four tackles, two for loss, a half-sack and two quarterback hurries – in EWU’s 27-21 victory. The 300-pound consensus preseason All-American seemed to be everywhere, and his signature salute after tackles was a welcome sight for the home fans.

He was flagged for excessive celebrating on one play. In a Spokesman Review story this week, the future NFL draft pick said he and the ref had words on the previous play.

Reilly makes pro debut: This nugget courtesy of former Sun staffer Roger Underwood, now working at the Yakima Herald-Republic. Did you know that Mike Reilly remains the only college player – at any level – to start every game at one institution for four years and to have thrown at least one touchdown pass in each game? Think about that for a second. That’s a truly remarkable feat. Reilly, who ended his CWU career in 2008, recently made his first professional appearance for the BC Lions in a 42-5 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The Not For Long League: Sad news about former Seattle Seahawks lineman Joe Tofflemire passing away at age 46. Howie Stalwick touched on this earlier in the week in his weekly Behind the 8-Ball column, but in case you missed it. In 2006, the St. Petersburg Times reported that the average life expectancy for NFL players was 55 – 52 for linemen. “The NFL stands for ‘Not For Long,’” Paul Tofflemire, Joe’s younger brother, told John Blanchette of The Spokesman Review. “It’s a violent game with a cost.”

Bobo’s out of the hospital: I once had a dream of playing baseball for Washington State’s Bobo Brayton. I probably wasn’t good enough, but the military draft (I like to tell people I was a 10th-round pick) kinda put an end to that dream in 1972. Anyway, I’ve always admired Bobo from afair, and it’s good to hear that the 85-year-old is back home after a two-month stay in the hospital.  Brayton suffered various injuries when his ATV collided with a tree on his ranch outside Pullman on Aug. 9.  “I can’t believe I did that,” Brayton told Howie Stalwick on Friday morning. “There’s only one tree in the whole damn place!” We’ll have Howie’s story posted online later today.

Links

Here’s my column on Willie Bloomquist and the Diamondbacks, which is in today’s paper.

And here’s an MLB.com story and video on the Port Orchard native, who has had three leadoff singles in four at-bats during the National League Division Series against Milwaukee. The D-backs and Brewers play the deciding fifth game today (TBS, 2:07 p.m. first pitch). Willie will be leading it off.

If you haven’t read “The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O’Neil’s America” I highly recommend it. O’Neil died five years ago on Oct. 6, which prompted Joe Posnanski, the author of the book, to publish O’Neil’s all-time baseball team. There’s some interesting names, names a lot of you have probably never heard of. Read it here.

Paul Daugherty of the Cincinnati Enquirer and a contributor for SI.com pretty much captured my feelings about the NFL with this column. I don’t dislike it, but it’s hard to get revved up about a product that seems … ah, the same week after week. The way the league controls its players, even for interviews … the lack of innovation on the field … the mediocrity of so many teams. Unless you’re a jersey-wearing, paint-your-face fan who turns every Sunday into a holiday, I just don’t get the obsession about the NFL.

Just the stats

Rick Neuheisel is 8-0 against Washington State while coaching at Colorado, Washington and UCLA. I think he’ll be 8-1 after Saturday’s game in Los Angeles.

WSU averages 44.5 points per game after averaging 19.6 a year ago.

WSU has won three straight road games since 2006 and is looking for its first 4-1 start since 2003.

Thoughts

As good as Washington played against Utah last week, after watching Oregon slice up California 43-15 on Thursday night, I’m not sure the Huskies can hang with the Ducks. But a lot can change between now and Nov. 5, when the two rivals play in Seattle.

 

 

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