Monday, February 2, 2015

Monday Morning Placekicker: What the hell happened last night?

Posted By on Mon, Feb 2, 2015 at 11:53 AM

Second down. One-yard line. Twenty-six seconds left. Down by four.

It's not going to be easy to forget what happened. It will haunt me for a long, long while. There will be a day in June when I'm mowing the lawn and the play will pop up in my mind and I'll utter a few obscenities and continue on with my life until it creeps back the next time. I am one of those people who lets silly games ruin their lives.

It will take a few years for history to determine the severity of the boondoggle that cost the Seahawks a Super Bowl, but right now, the decision to throw the goddamn ball when you have a timeout and the league's best running back feels like something just short of Bill Buckner and the Ground Ball.

If you somehow haven't heard or are wondering why people are sleeping at their desks today in your office, the Seahawks lost to the Patriots in last night's Super Bowl in perhaps the most dream-crushing fashion possible. The sadness permeating through the Northwest is so strong as to cast a fog across the entire region. It was supposed to be sunny today, actually.

Sportswriters and civilians alike are trying to make sense of Pete Carroll's decision (or, more likely, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell's decision) to throw a slant pass to Ricardo Lockette instead of letting Marshawn Lynch bulldoze his way to victory. Some have contended that Lockette was actually somewhat open and the Patriots' Malcolm Butler actually made an incredible play. Still the decision to throw in this situation was confounding to the point of feeling somehow diabolical. And, of course, there are some conspiracy theories floating around that the Seahawks needed Russell Wilson to throw the winning pass and be the hero, rather than Lynch. It's mostly nonsense, but can you imagine Roger Goodell (who was roundly booed when he took the stage) presenting the MVP trophy to Beast Mode?

Sadly, that play call and the ultimate ending to the game just about erased from the collective memory of Jermaine Kearse's otherworldly catch, which may have been the greatest grab in Super Bowl history.

OK, that's just about all I can type about this game without becoming physically ill.

Allow the Inland Northwest to now sew its sporting hopes squarely on the shoulders of Gonzaga basketball now that the Super Bowl is over. The Zags are getting into position for a number one seed in the NCAA tournament and are now the No. 2-ranked team in the nation, jumping up a notch after Virginia lost to Duke on Saturday night.

Gonzaga looked like a top-tier team on Saturday when they easily dispatched a visiting Memphis squad. Sure, Memphis is not having its best year and is a shadow of the program it was under John Calipari, but the Zags 82-64 win over the Tigers was a clinic in efficiency. The Zags spread the scoring around and shot better than 55 percent as a team and 50 percent from 3-point land.

I was out at Eastern on Saturday afternoon to witness the most unbelievable comeback I'd ever encountered when EWU took down Idaho in overtime.

Eastern was down by 11 with 90 seconds left in the game and somehow managed to tie the contest and take it to overtime, where they scored 12 points and snuck away with a 98-95 win over a hot-shooting Vandals team. And EWU did it without Tyler Harvey, the nation's leading scorer, who went out of the game midway through the second half with a bruised thigh.

Thankfully, Drew Brandon was around to come just a rebound away from a triple-double, capped by a length-of-the-floor drive to tie things up at the end of regulation.

As we've said in this column just about every week, you should jump on the Eagles' bandwagon. The tickets are cheap and the basketball is as exciting as anything you'll find in the nation

You never know what you're going to get from this year's WSU squad, but they got what might have been their most impressive win of the season by edging Stanford 89-88 on Saturday. 

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Mike Bookey

Mike Bookey was the culture editor for The Inlander from 2012-2016. He previously held the same position at The Source Weekly in Bend, Ore.