Thursday, November 20, 2014

Inside the Kennel Club: Show us your game day get-up

Posted By on Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Inlander contributors and Gonzaga seniors Franny Wright and Jenna Mulligan will be taking you inside the Kennel Club, the Zag's renowned student section in this occasional series to give you some insight as to what makes these kids amongst the rowdiest in all of college hoops.

Rather than cheer as the typical bright red sea of jumping fans, the student section at last night's insane 94-42 win over Saint Joseph's wanted to blend in. Many Zags tossed some camouflage over their Kennel Club shirts to "hunt the Hawks," while others chose outfits that would stick out a little more for those ESPN cameras. It wasn't just these getups that distracted St. Joe's to the point that they only scored 10 points in the first half, but it might have helped.

"The G.I. Fairy"
Tonight we are hunting, so we're coming out in camo to support the Zags in taking down the Hawks!

"A Bunny of a Different Color"
I saw this pink bunny costume on Amazon, and just knew I needed it for games.

"The Big Bush"
I figured I might as well go all out for camo night and be a bush.

"The Bo-Nanner"
Well, I just had this banana suit lying around, and I combined it with my friend here's shirt!

"The Job Hunter"
Hunting the hawks is a great excuse to pull out all of my camo, and this sign probably can't hurt either.

The Zags finish up their four-game opening home stand on Saturday night against St. Thomas Aquinas, a Division II school from New York. They head to Madison Square Garden after that for a Thanksgiving Eve matchup against Georgia in the NIT Season Tip-Off. That game is at 6:30 pm on ESPN2.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Zags beat up on SMU, Kevin Pangos is not human, a Kennel Clubber's miracle shot

Posted By on Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 12:43 PM

  • Ryan Sullivan
Last night was supposed to be the night we saw what Gonzaga's men's basketball program was really like. That merciless thumping of Sacramento State didn't really give us any insight, we were told.

Well, consider last night's destruction of No. 22-ranked SMU your official introduction to the 2014-2015 Gonzaga Bulldogs, a team so deep in talent that you need water wings just to approach their bench. The final score of 72-56 doesn't do the game justice. When Coach Mark Few unleashed the walk-ons with a couple minutes left, the Zags were up 71-47.

With a national television audience that arrived late to the telecast due to a big overtime upset in women's hoops, the Zags let the nation know just how dangerous they're going to be, as ESPN's Fran Fraschilla realized.
Here are a few more observations from the game.

Pangos is back, eh!
He never left, but that nagging toe injury made him a shadow of his former self at the tail end of last season. Well, last night he had the Kennel wound up to a frenzy. At one point, Kevin Pangos nailed a three, then about five seconds later dove on the floor to cause a turnover. Somewhere in there I think I saw him save a baby from a burning building and then text a cure for ebola to the CDC. It was hard to tell amidst the mania.

  • Ryan Sullivan
He finished with 17 points, seven assists and five rebounds in a performance that seemed even bigger than those numbers. In his senior campaign, it's nice to see the friendly Canadian off to a fiery start.

Also, his three-pointers last night were half the reason everyone in attendance got free diarrhea Taco Bell tacos!

Sabonis is better than his beard suggests!
Despite sporting a beard that doesn't quite live up to the established standards of the Pacific Northwest yet is completely appropriate in the discotheques of his native Lithuania, Domantas Sabonis is going to be Gonzaga's next mega star. Evidence to the right. 

The freshman came off the bench to score 13 points and snag nine rebounds in just 20 minutes of play. He made some silly fouls, as freshman are wont to do, but this dude is the real deal.

Kennel Club costume report
What's with the guys in banana suits? There were 10 of them throughout the student section last night.

Also entertaining was the dude dressed as the pope, a guy in a shorty shorts highway patrol uniform and a group of students who arrived in shirts, ties and dark sunglasses, only to remove said shirts to reveal that their painted chests spelled GONZAGA. Sneak attack!

Not entertaining was the kid in the Native American headdress. Look, dude, we've established that isn't a cool thing to do some time ago. Also, no one behind you can see.

The craziest shot of the game was not part of the game
At halftime, three Gonzaga students came out on the court to try their hand at a half-court shot in the hopes of winning $500. The very first contestant let it rip, and then this happened.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

MONDAY MORNING PLACEKICKER: Seahawks-Chiefs postmortem, NCAA men's tourney returns and time to Zag Up

Posted By on Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 12:37 PM

If you're having a case of the Mondays this morning because of that should-have-won-it Seahawks loss, you're not alone. But you know who's not in the group? Dan Nailen, who's one half of the Monday Morning Placekicker Team. He's bouncing around and wearing a goddamn Chiefs hat around the office.

We both documented the game as we watched, me from the perspective of a lifelong 12, and fan of the morally superior Seattle Seahawks, and Dan as a Chiefs fan, because he lived there once or knew someone who lived there or something. We noted our thoughts at each quarter break. Here's how it went: 

Marshawn Lynch ran for 124 yards on the day. - SEAHAWKS.COM
  • Marshawn Lynch ran for 124 yards on the day.


DAN, insufferable Chiefs fan:

I'm feeling pretty good about KC’s chances. Seattle hasn't been the force it was last year, and it's cold at game time. Midwest cold is a lot different than Seattle cold, so that could be an advantage. Alex Smith won't lose the game with quarterback mistakes, and if the Chiefs can run, they'll be able to keep Wilson and Lynch off the field.

MIKE, 12th man:
These 10 am starts really make it hard to commit to anything of substance for the morning and I'm fine with that because the rest of my household is watching Frozen for the third time this weekend, so I can focus on the first in a series of tough games for the Seahawks. Oh, and it's 19 degrees in Kansas City, which should be good for Beast Mode, Rusty Wilson and the rest of the ground game.

END OF 1st Quarter: KC 7, SEA 0

Feeling pretty good with the KC long drive for a TD. 15 plays, and nine minutes off the clock — that’s how it has to go. Seattle is starting to run the ball, though. And that was a crazy-fast first quarter — 25 minutes in real time for the first 15 minutes of the game. This game could be over in two hours if it weren't for commercials.

This game is going quick. Out in my living room, Elsa hasn't even turned the town into ice yet and we're already in the second quarter. This is some old-school, ground-and-pound football right here. Hawks have the ball in Chiefs territory to start the second and Marshawn is getting some of that action, boss.


I’ve gotta be pretty happy to be leading the Super Bowl champs at the half. The turnover in the two-minute drill that gave the Seahawks the ball and a chance to take the lead at the half could have been a disaster. Thankfully, the Chiefs held them to a field goal, even though Russell is starting to run all over them.

A Baldwin touchdown catch, some sexy kicking from Stevie Hauschka, and a key fumble have the Seahawks down 17-13 at the half. But damn, if they could have punched that red zone series in for a touchdown, we'd be sitting pretty. Instead, I'm at the grocery store looking for children's nose drops and waiting for the lady in front of me to find her coupon for green beans as halftime ticks away.


Turnovers. They’re a killer against any team, but especially good teams. It was bad enough the Chiefs had to settle for a FG after driving to the two-yard line. But Jamaal Charles’ uncharacteristic fumble at mid-field led to a Seahawks TD — by former Chief Tony Moeaki, no less. Grrr.

Jamaal Charles is allegedly a good football player and all that, but thanks for the fumble. The Hawks took four plays to score, which was key because things were looking a little sour after Ricardo Lockette got tossed from the game for punching a dude in the face. Now, the Seahawks defense needs to clamp down. In other news, it's nap time and I've regained the household's main television.

FINAL: KC 24, SEA 20


I wasn’t feeling good when Wilson got the ball back down 4 with less than 3 minutes to play after the Chiefs were forced to punt. Not a good spot for Chiefs fans, but the D did its job. It was basically a Jamaal Charles vs. Marshawn Lynch game. I'll take our guy — all due respect to Beast Mode. 

Aww shit. Uggggggh. Man, that one hurt. We had two legitimate chances to take the lead on fourth downs and couldn't make it. And ref, that was a pass interference you missed when Baldwin got bumped en route to the corner of the end zone. The defense held up, but the Seahawks couldn't make it happen. It's only 1 in the afternoon and I have to live with this loss for the rest of the day. Looks like we're watching Frozen again, so there's that.

Jamaal Charles ran for 159 yards and two TDs. - KCCHIEFS.COM
  • Jamaal Charles ran for 159 yards and two TDs.

NCAA's Coming Back!
College basketball is back in full effect with all our regional teams' seasons underway, but this morning we got additionally awesome news in that the NCAA men's tournament (aka the World's Last Great Sporting Event) is coming back to Spokane in March of 2016. It's the 10th time the Spokane Arena has hosted the event since 2001. Ticket info should be coming soon.

The Zags are on ESPN2 at 8 pm tonight, facing No. 22 SMU. - GONZAGA ATHLETICS
  • Gonzaga Athletics
  • The Zags are on ESPN2 at 8 pm tonight, facing No. 22 SMU.

Zags Back in Action Tonight
There was a common refrain this weekend: "Did you see the Zags?"

You didn't need to discuss it much further than the fact that Gonzaga dismantled Sacramento State 104-58. The Zags look damn tough, and newcomers Kyle Wiltjer, Byron Wesley and Domantas Sabonis are going to be key for this squad.

Tonight, Gonzaga is back in action at the McCarthey Center and will have their hands full with SMU. Coached by former NBA Champion Larry Brown, the Mustangs of SMU are ranked #22 and were similarly successful in their opener on Friday, a 93-54 win over Lamar. Tonight's contest tips at 8 pm on ESPN2.

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Basketball for Breakfast: A report from the nation's first college hoops game at EWU and some Zags notes

Posted By on Fri, Nov 14, 2014 at 1:05 PM


College basketball is not a dish best served the first thing in the morning. It's a sport that requires kids between the ages of 18 and 22 be functioning at a high level, and that's counting the kids in the stands, too.

The thing is, college kids prefer not to strive for any goal beyond the edge of their mattress at eight in the morning, which is when Eastern Washington tipped of its season this morning with the intention of being the first college basketball game of the season. Well, mission accomplished. And surprisingly, 1,600 fans, including an impressive number of not-so-bleary-eyed students, showed up to eat a wide offering of breakfast foods and cheer on what's looking to be a super-entertaining Eagles squad.

And Eastern won big, too, which made that "what-the-hell-am-I-doing-outside?" walk across campus in sub 20-degree temperatures worth it. They knocked off Texas Southern, a squad coached by former Indiana boss Mike Davis that made the NCAA tournament last year, by a score of 86-62. It's not entirely clear why Texas Southern agreed to indulge EWU's novelty-fueled decision to tip off at a time before most folks have brushed their teeth. "Hey, wanna travel a few thousand miles to our semi-rural campus and play early in the morning against our a team that's going to be a lot better than you, even if you don't know that yet?" Yeah, sure. Let's do it.

The experiment didn't get off to a great start. Neither team shot well, especially not the Eagles, aside from Tyler Harvey, a guard so exciting that I'd watch the dude tie his shoes if he let me, who hit five threes in the half. He'd hit a couple more in the second half, for 21 points on the day. The Eagles were down 26-18 with four minutes left in the first half, but the caffeine or circadian rhythm or something kicked in and EWU finished the half up 32-30.


From there, the Eagles slaughtered the Tigers from faraway Houston in the second half. Venky Jois, the bearded, bulky Australian, woke up, too. He was all over the rim, pouring in 20 of his 22 points in the second frame, despite missing all his free throws (ya, need to work on that, mate.)

Leaving the game, I couldn't have been the only individual wondering what the hell to do with his day. I'd already seen a college basketball game, complete with the pep band and a mascot dressed in pajamas, and did the YMCA dance with my son and spilled soda on my shoes. But now it was time to work? Talk about a letdown. It was like having a birthday party on a Monday morning and having to act competent at your job with a belly full of cake. But yes, I'd do this again. Count me in for next year, Eastern.

A final note — it's pretty damn refreshing to waltz up to the box office at EWU and get to see high-quality college hoops. As opposed to the selling of a semi-essential organ or entrance into indentured servitude required to gain entrance into Gonzaga's McCarthey Center.

But the Machine that is GU hoops continues to roll forward, so don't expect that to change, especially not tonight when the much-hyped No. 13 Zags take on Sacramento State. Quick lesson, Sac State (as the kids call it) is in the Big Sky with EWU and finished 14-16 last season. Their mascot is a Hornet! Cute!

That game tips at 6 pm and is televised on KHQ, which is where you'll be watching it unless you're one of the Fortunate Few who will enter the Kennel's hallowed gates this evening.

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Monday, November 10, 2014

MONDAY MORNING PLACEKICKER: Celebrations throughout the land!

Posted By on Mon, Nov 10, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Monday Morning Placekicker is here to get you up to speed on the weekend's sports so you can chat it up with your co-workers, friends and/or in-laws. And in terms of football, it's hard to get much better for Eastern Washington than the weekend we just enjoyed, so folks are likely to be talking it up. 

An Eastern Washington win over rival Montana? Check. 

WSU Cougars avoid Cougin' it on the road and beat Oregon State? Check. 

UW loses to UCLA, leaving the Huskies just one game ahead of WSU in the standings three weeks from the Apple Cup? Yup. 

Seattle Seahawks finally looking a bit more like the Super Bowl champs they are and putting a beat down on the New York Giants? You bet. 

Let's break it down. 

All-everything quarterback Vernon Adams, Jr., returned from injury to lead Eastern Washington to a huge win over the Montana Grizzlies. The dude was gone four games with a broken foot, and all he did in his comeback game was throw for 410 yards and four touchdowns. Here are a bunch of photos from the game

What's the win mean in the big picture? Eastern sits atop the Big Sky standings with a few other one-loss teams. After a bye this coming week, they finish the conference season with a game against Portland State. More importantly, it keeps them ranked No. 5 nationally, setting them up nicely for the FCS playoffs starting the weekend after Thanksgiving. 

Full disclosure: This blog is being written by a Montana alum and Griz fan, so you'll understand my lack of superlatives and exclamation points while discussing the beat-down the Eagles put on my beloved Grizzlies. The red turf on the Eagles home field always makes me queasy, never more so than on Saturday as I hit Poole's Public House on the north side of town to join a bunch of fellow Griz fans to watch the game. 

Why Poole's? Easy — the joint is owned by the parents of injured Griz player Trevor Poole, a one-time Washington All-State player at Ferris High School. Even being the parents of a Griz player, they were nice enough to let Eagles fans in, too, on Saturday, and those fans got to watch the Eagles' onslaught of big plays and cheer while those of us in Montana gear groaned. Thankfully, the $2 Moose Drool specials — Moose Drool being one of Missoula's finest quaffs — helped the losing go down a little easier. 

Given the way the season has gone so far for WSU — a lot of losses, most significantly the season-ending injury to Connor Halliday — you'll be forgiven for expecting the Cougars to flail their way toward the end of the season. 

But after seeing them fight from behind Oregon State on Saturday, then hold on for a tough Pac-12 road win, at least the Cougar fans can start looking toward the 2015 season with some hope. Maybe even anticipate that showdown with UW later this month. And you can go ahead and start rooting for the new QB, Luke Falk, who set some first-start records yards and TDs for the Cougs on Saturday. Take a look, folks, this guy is your future — at least for the time being: 

Cougar QB Luke Falk - WSU ATHLETICS
  • WSU Athletics
  • Cougar QB Luke Falk

No doubt some of you serious Seahawks fans have been stressing out this year as the team deals with its Super Bowl hangover. They haven't looked great up to the halfway point of the season, but Sunday, they took apart the Giants when Marshawn Lynch went full Beast Mode in the fourth quarter, and Michael Bennett did a Ravishing Rick Rude dance all over Eli Manning after a sack — Deadspin has the video

The Vandals lost. Again. The less said the better. 

Monday Night Football tonight has the Philadelphia Eagles facing the Carolina Panthers — and I almost fell asleep while writing that sentence. Philly has a good record, but starting QB Nick Foles is out and Mark Sanchez is starting. Carolina is just not very good this year. 

On Friday, Gonzaga has its first real basketball game against Sacramento State. It'll be shown on KHQ and ROOT Sports at 6 pm.

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Monday, November 3, 2014

MONDAY MORNING PLACE KICKER: An ode to Connor Halliday, Zags suit up, replacement Seahawks win and the Boz!

Posted By on Mon, Nov 3, 2014 at 12:15 PM


Maybe it was the rainy Saturday or the thought of Halloween being 364 days away, but damn it if I didn't wallow in a cocktail of televised sporting events this weekend. It's a good time of year, with college and pro football in full swing, the NBA getting out of the gate and college hoops waiting in the wings. It's easy to get in too deep. So let me bring you up to speed, the best I can remember.

Spokane's own Connor Halliday was having a hell of a season for the Cougars. And for fans who realized pretty early on that WSU wasn't going anywhere and who shifted their intentions from cheering on the Cougars to focusing on Halliday's assault of the record books, be they for his own school, conference, or the whole damn history of college football. At least that's what I've been doing.

I was driving around on Saturday afternoon and heard the call over the radio that Halliday had gone down and wasn't getting up. My heart broke (as did many others) for this kid, who had finally gotten some national attention thanks to his record-breaking game against Cal a few weeks ago. Just a few days before a USC defender broke the senior gunslinger's leg, Halliday had been the focus of an intriguing and moderately sad feature story on Grantland.

But with that one play, Halliday — a hard-luck guy who once played a game with a lacerated liver — was done at WSU and by the end of the day the Cougars would have lost another game. For Halliday, it meant that his approach on B.J. Symons' (also a Mike Leach product) single season record of 5,833 passing yards was going to fall short. It was going to be tough anyway, but you never know with the Leach offense.

After surgery, it's very unlikely Halliday will make it back this season. But look for him to get a shot to play on Sundays. At the very least, NFL teams know the kid can throw the ball.

  • Ryan Sullivan
I learned that while hanging around campus (and the nearby bars, of course) before Saturday night's exhibition game. Part of that was likely just the prospect of getting back in the Kennel after seven months of exile, but folks seem universally optimistic about a men's squad that won 29 games last season.

The Zags exhibition contest brought Thompson Rivers University (already Googled it for you — it's in British Columbia) to town and properly disposed of them 95-69 in a Kennel full of nutty students still in their Halloween costumes from the night before. If you didn't tune in because there were a million big football games going on or you don't watch college basketball on November 1st, let me give you the gist of it: The Zags are absolutely stacked.

They have 10 guys — not exaggerating — who would start on pretty much any team in the WCC, and all of those guys could probably start for the Zags if needed. Coach Mark Few said as much after the game, which gave us our first look at several new additions to the 13th-ranked squad.

Kyle Wiltjer (a transfer from Kentucky) and Domantas Sabonis (son of Arvydas Sabonis, former Portland Trailblazer with an amazing flat top) and Josh Perkins (a highly recruited freshman who ESPN calls a top-100 player in his high school class) all looked as advertised on Saturday night. But the newcomer who's going to make some waves is Byron Wesley, who took advantage of an NCAA rule that allows players to transfer and play immediately if they've already graduated. Wesley wrapped up at USC (where he was the leading scorer last year) and hightailed it up to Spokane. He had 15 points, which was impressive, but was hustling all over the place to snag eight rebounds.

And keep in mind that the Zags still have Kevin Pangos, Gary Bell, Jr. and Przemek Karnowski. These dudes are going to be straight terrifying this season.

If you wondered who the hell you were watching play yesterday afternoon when the Seahawks took on the piss-poor Oakland Raiders, you weren't alone. With six starters injured, there were had-to-Google-it names all over the field for Seahawks.

Examples: the guy playing linebacker was a dude named Brock Coyle out of Montana, making his first NFL start. And then there was the offensive tackle who went in for James Carpenter who promptly got flagged for a handful of face-palming penalties. And then there was the rotating cast of characters in the defensive backfield not named Richard Sherman (who got a nice interception, BTW!).

So, if you're wondering why the Hawks didn't rout the Raiders, that's why — they are about as injured as an NFL team can get and still win. Here's hoping they can get some magic healing power over to their practice facility before their schedule gets a little bit hairy later this month (remember to schedule Thanksgiving dinner around the Hawks vs. Niners game. It's at 5:30 pm., so send a family-wide email immediately. Tell Uncle Ron he can eat his goddamn pie a little early this year.)

Eastern Washington got back into winning form by dismantling North Dakota 54-3 out in Cheney on Saturday. They have a big matchup with Montana on Saturday at home that will shape the look of the Big Sky positioning.

Down in Moscow, Idaho football tried to start a winning streak for the first time in years, but got cranked in the second half by Arkansas State.

And if you haven't seen it yet, you really need to take a look at the ESPN documentary Brian and the Boz, an incredible look at the life and bizzar-o career of Brian Bosworth. In case you don't remember, Brian Bosworth was a linebacker who was a really good football player in college before becoming a really big asshole. He played for the Seattle Seahawks for a couple of injury-laden years, but not before convincing kids like my own brother to shave lines in the side of their mullets.
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PHOTOS: Curling Clinic

Posted By on Mon, Nov 3, 2014 at 11:14 AM

On Sunday, the Lilac City Curling Club held their annual clinic at Riverfront Park's Ice Palace. Six students were taught the basics of throwing rocks and sweeping during the first hour of the clinic. This sport of finesse looks deceptively easy. Students initially struggled to throw their rocks from the hack, a footbase, down the length of the ice rink to the house, a bullseye-shaped location. Sweeping, where players sweep a broom in front of a thrown rock to affect its speed and trajectory, also proved difficult as students lost their balance and struggled to keep up with the rock at first. They caught on quickly, though, and soon played their first game. Some of the rocks even made it to the house, where points are awarded. The Lilac City Curling Club will begin league play at the Riverfront Park's Ice Palace on Sunday, November 9. For more information, visit

Student Christina Akinlosotu, center, throws a rock towards Lilac City Curling Club board member Dale Garraway. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Student Christina Akinlosotu, center, throws a rock towards Lilac City Curling Club board member Dale Garraway.

Lilac City Curling Club board member Dale Garraway gives a talk at the beginning of a curling clinic. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Lilac City Curling Club board member Dale Garraway gives a talk at the beginning of a curling clinic.

Student Dave Jackson puts on a slider over his shoe. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Student Dave Jackson puts on a slider over his shoe.

10-year-old Lilac City Curling Club member Ethan Thompson kneels next to some curling rocks. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • 10-year-old Lilac City Curling Club member Ethan Thompson kneels next to some curling rocks.

Lilac City Curling Club board member Dale Garraway, right, instructs student Reed Cody on how to hold a curling rock. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Lilac City Curling Club board member Dale Garraway, right, instructs student Reed Cody on how to hold a curling rock.

Continue reading »

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Spokane Indians win minor-league "Game of the Year" honor

Posted By on Mon, Oct 27, 2014 at 3:25 PM

Derek Thompson started the game for the Spokane Indians. - SPOKANE INDIANS
  • Spokane Indians
  • Derek Thompson started the game for the Spokane Indians.

Minor league baseball has a lot of charm, thanks to small ballparks, oft-wacky fan promotions and the chance to see future big-leaguers learning the ropes. 

Once in a while, the actual games between the foul lines live up to anything a major-league game can provide. Such was the case for the Spokane Indians last season when four pitchers combined to pitch the Northwest League's first extra-inning no-hitter

Now, thanks to the public rallying to vote for the game, that memorable Indians moment was awarded the Minor League Baseball, or MiLBY, "Game of the Year," garnering 32 percent of the vote tallied between eight nominees. 

The four players who tossed the no-hitter were Derek Thompson, Shane McCain, Adam Parks and Luis Pollorena. The Indians eventually won the game thanks to Luke Tendler's three-run homer in the top of the 11th inning. 

Well-played, voting public! And kudos on a great game, Spokane Indians!

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MONDAY MORNING PLACEKICKER: Seahawks win (barely), EWU loses (barely), WSU loses (crushingly)

Posted By on Mon, Oct 27, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Watching Big Sky Conference football on television is not for the casual fan. It takes the patience of a true football junkie, or at least one of the schools' students or alumni, to search out games on obscure cable networks, or tolerate non-HD pictures in an era when it's actually harder to find televised sports not delivered in hi-def than ballgames that are.  

On Saturday, though, Eastern Washington's second-ranked Eagles got what amounts to royal treatment from the media powers, a daytime slot delivered on the HD-friendly regional ROOT network for their game against Northern Arizona. Of course, after witnessing the disastrous end of the game, Eagles fans might have preferred a media blackout. 
Eagles running back Quincy Forte - EWU ATHLETICS
  • EWU Athletics
  • Eagles running back Quincy Forte

At risk of pulling the scab off a fresh wound for Eagles fans, the game in a nutshell came down to the last minute. EWU was seemingly in control, mainly thanks to a monster day by running back Quincy Forte, who returned from an injury to reel off a career-high 219 yards rushing the ball. The Eagles were leading 27-22 and facing a 4th-and-3 on the NAU 23 yard line with 47 seconds left to play. A field goal could have put the Eagles up eight, forcing NAU to drive the length of the field, score a touchdown AND convert a two-point conversion just to force overtime.

Instead, and somewhat inexplicably considering kicker Tyler McNannay was 2-for-2 on the day in field goal attempts, Eagles coach Beau Baldwin decided to try for the first down, and the long pass toward the end zone fell incomplete. Three plays later, NAU had scored a touchdown via one short run and two long passes, and EWU's 14-game conference winning streak was history. 

While the loss is certainly disappointing due to the "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory" ending, Eagles fans can take heart that the team is still in fine position as it waits for the return of injured star quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. They have two sold-out home games coming up, versus North Dakota and Montana, before finishing the season at Portland State. The Big Sky standings are top-loaded with one-loss teams, including the Eagles, but their high ranking — even with a tumble to No. 6 overall post-NAU meltdown — virtually assures them a playoff spot if the Eagles win out. 

Rolling into a road game with Carolina "boasting" a two-game losing streak, controversy in the locker room and the very real threat of falling under .500 for the first time in a couple years, the Seahawks uglied-up their way to a win. You might have noticed Jim the copier repairman at your office has a bit more bounce in his step this Monday. That would be why. 


Russell Wilson (naturally) rallied the team with a touchdown drive in the last five minutes of the game to squeak out a 13-9 win, and yes, it was as scintillating to watch as that score would indicate. As Hawks fans are used to by now, the defense was stellar, the special teams pretty special, and the offense did just enough to get a win. With two patsies coming to Seattle for home games the next couple weeks in the winless Oakland Raiders and the clueless New York Giants, the Seahawks might just get up to full cruising speed around mid-season. 

You can watch highlights from the game right here — it won't take long. 

If Cougars fans didn't start watching the game against Arizona from the start, there's little chance they tuned in after catching the score in progress. The Cougars fell behind 24-0 in the first quarter, and it never got more interesting from there. We hate to pile on, but the Cougs seem lost right now. Maybe coach Mike Leach should spend more time finding a defense, and less time with his diary

If you're a hoops fan and missed Gonzaga's Kraziness in the Kennel, you can catch some highlights right here: 

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Monday, October 20, 2014

MONDAY MORNING PLACEKICKER: What is happening with the Seahawks?

Posted By on Mon, Oct 20, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Get it together, Pete.
  • Get it together, Pete.
If you're reading this, I trust you have not run to your emergency bunker in the woods to escape the Seahawks Panic of 2014 — Like Ebola, But Worse. Maybe you haven't burned all your gear and pulled the sticker from your car and changed your baby's name from Percy to Russell. If that is you, congrats. You're a true Seahawks fan and know that the run of greatness had to have some bumps to follow.

But to the bunker dwellers, it does make sense after this weekend, which begun on Friday afternoon with Seattle trading away Percy Harvin, their highly paid wide receiver/kick returner/frequent injury sufferer.

This happened, reportedly, as the team was getting ready to head to the airport for the flight to St. Louis. Not the best way to start a road trip. And to make it a little worse, the Seahawks didn't really get much in return for that trade. This is, it turns out, because Harvin is an a-hole who punches teammates and refuses to play in football games, despite clamoring for playing time.

So the Hawks take the field in St. Louis yesterday and looked like the shock hadn't worn off for the entire first half. They couldn't move the ball, got tricked by an insane punt return and went into halftime down 21-6. Things were not looking good. But a very, very different Seahawks club came out in the second half, with Wilson and Lynch marching down the field, and the defense finally stepped up. Then, the Seahawks Panic of 2014 hit a fever pitch when St. Louis managed a fake punt that prevented what seemed like a likely Seahawks comeback. And then there was a ridiculous fumble that went inexplicably unreviewed and the game was over, and panic continued. Here's a great rundown of everything wrong with the team right now from Grantland's Bill Barnwell.

In a typical season, veteran Seahawks fans would be fine with a 3-3 record in late October. But this is not a typical season. The Seahawks travel to Carolina next week and here's hoping for a antidote to Seahawks Panic soon. If that doesn't come, I may build my own bunker.

For the first time since September 28, 2013 the Idaho Vandals won a football game. The homecoming win over equally awful New Mexico State ended a 13-game losing streak, the longest in all of the FBS.

The victory ensures that second-year head coach Paul Petrino will not go winless in the Vandals first season in the Sun Belt Conference, which has seen them lose games to squads like South Alabama and Georgia Southern. If history is any indicator, Idaho may not win another contest, seeing as how the team has just one victory in each of the two prior seasons. In 2011, they were better, winning two games!

On Thursday, the USA Today preseason coaches poll was released and it had Gonzaga's men squad in the 13 spot, above teams like Michigan (23) and last year's national champion UConn (15).

Last season, the Zags were ranked 14 going into a season that saw them win 29 games, including 15 WCC contests. In case you forgot, the Zags advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament last year, where they were utterly destroyed by Arizona. Speaking of which, Gonzaga heads to Arizona on December 6 to play what is currently the No. 2-ranked team in the country.

So, does it matter where Gonzaga is ranked preseason? Judging from history, not really. Their deepest run into the NCAAs came when they entered the season unranked back in 1998-1999, and were at No. 22 going into the 2012-2013 campaign when they won a school record 32 games.

The Zags open their regular season against Sacramento State on Nov. 14 at home.

Continuing our reputation as Basketball City, USA (or something like that) the Spokane Arena again scored the privilege of hosting the NCAA tournament.

The Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight rounds of the NCAA Women's tournament will land in Spokane on March 28 and 30. This is the first time since 2001 that Spokane has hosted such a prominent round of the tournament.

Tickets go on sale Friday, Oct. 24 at and at the Spokane Arena box office.

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