A GRIP ON SPORTS
The early morning hours on this Thursday were a bit different. A bout of insomnia wouldn't have been such a bad deal because you could have turned on the tellie and watched Adam Scott set a course record. Can't do that every day. Read on.
• The British Open may be the strangest of all the world's major sporting events. For years you couldn't watch it live here in the states, but it really didn't matter because, unless you worked for a newspaper or made a conscious effort to find out who was winning, it was easy to avoid any mention. So the taped broadcast seemed live. But in this day of Twitter and such (I just read a quote from Tiger Woods to ESPN after his opening-round 67), trying to hold off showing the event until everyone in the U.S. was awake is a lost cause. People who care will find the BBC broadcast online, so your ratings would just melt away. And no one in the television industry wants that. Which brings me to my point. The Olympics. (Didn't see that one coming, did you?) For decades, Olympic Games in foreign locales have meant waiting hours upon hours to watch key events, until the network could broadcast them in prime time. Heck, even some events in U.S.-hosted Olympics were held back in the day. But is that still a viable strategy? For example, if Usain Bolt were to set a world record in the 100 meters early in the morning, West Coast time, that news would be around the world in seconds. And the video of the race, maybe taken off someone's tellie in Liverpool, would appear nearly as quickly. So why wait for that night, when the talking heads can, well, talk, for hour after hour, building up to a race that's already been run – and most if not all the viewers know the outcome? I am interested in seeing how NBC will handle this new paradigm.
• Washington State: Though Ted Miller covers the cornerbacks in his Pac-12 position preview on ESPN.com (WSU earns a “good shape” designation), it seems like a quarterbacks' day to me. The nominees for the Davey O'Brien Award were announced yesterday and three conference quarterbacks made the list: USC's Matt Barkley, Washington's Keith Price and, yep, the Cougars' Jeff Tuel. … Oregon's two quarterbacks are ready to resume their battle for the starting spot. … The Pac-12 Network will kick off Aug. 15. … With the season just around the corner, Jon Wilner shares some dates for the Bay Area teams. … Arizona has named its new ops building. The combined cost to have your name over the door? $23 million.
• Shock: Though the outcome of the season may not be what anyone wanted, two Shock players have put their names in the franchise record books. Jim Meehan has that and more in his weekly notebook.
• Indians: Consistency isn't the hallmark of the lower classifications of the minor leagues. And it shouldn't be. Places like Spokane are where training and teaching begin. But the Indians have taken inconsistency to a new level. After a 10-game losing streak, Spokane has won three consecutive games. Greg Lee was at Wednesday's game and files this report.
• Mariners: A quick quiz. Which major league team has scored the fewest runs at home this season? If you answered anyone other than the Mariners, not only are you wrong, you are too illiterate to continue reading this blog. Move along now. If you're still here, here is question No. 2: Which team has scored the most runs in road games this season? If you answered Mariners to that question you are right and win, well, nothing. Other than the knowledge Safeco Field is a problem for this group of Seattle players and they either have to change or the field does. … The M's scored seven runs again last night, but Billy Butler's ninth-inning solo home run sent them to an 8-7 defeat in Kansas City. … (By the way, as the picture above shows, beating the M's must be a big deal for the Royals; act like you've won a regular-season game before for goodness sakes.) Steve Delabar has been the yo-yo player this year for the M's.
• Sounders: The Sounders offense went on a scoring binge last night in Seattle (well, Fredy Montero did), as did their defense. But it was all in good fellowship, as Chelsea took the friendly 4-2 before 53,309 at CenturyLink. … It was midfielder Roger Levesque's last game (right) as a Sounder before he retires. … The Seattle facilities impress even the British club champions. … A voice from the Sounders' past.
• NBA: Economists think the Sodo arena deal is a fine one for taxpayers, but don't expect a huge uptick in revenue.
• A quick heads up for later in the week. I have some obligations to take care of on Saturday morning, so there will not be a morning post that day. Sorry. There will be no gap tomorrow, so check back then. Until later …