It's been two years since this city has seen professional basketball, and fans remain bitter. I remain bitter. It has been impossible to follow the NBA. There is no incentive for me to watch. I have nothing to cheer for. The stat lines of Brandon Roy interest me on the ESPN crawler and I always check on Seattle Prep-grads, Martell Webster and Spencer Hawes, but that's about it. I had no idea Ron Artest was on the Lakers and I was in complete shock when I heard that Kevin Durant was the NBA's leading scorer.
Now that the NFL Draft has come to a close, we get our first opportunity to assess these teams as we get closer to the season. Here are some early predictions of how I see the division races playing out. Please keep in mind that there is still a lot of time before the first snap so these are not locks by any means.
The Seahawks got a pretty good draft pick yesterday with Golden Tate in the 2nd round. The one knock on Tate's game has been his physicality. However, Tate has a chance to establish himself as a solid NFL wide reciever if he keeps on improving. The raw talent is there and he should be able to help the Seahawks from the get-go.
Over the past three games three total minutes have determined how many points the Sounders have come away with. In the past three games there has been three goals in the last minute of stoppage time, resulting in a win versus Kansas City and ties against FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake. These lapses in defense in the ties have cost the Sounders 4 total points in the standings. While a point is still good in any situation, those four points could have been preventable from losing by playing smart defense and playing to the end whistle. Even though we only took away 1 point there were still many good things to take away from it. One thing would be that we were able to score and keep our composure on the offensive end, and the other would be that we didn't allow a shot to go in besides two PKs, one was questionable.
This game should be a little easier on paper than last match with Toronto only having one win against the Union this season. The one player on Toronto that worries every team is midfielder Dwayne De Rasario who is able to create a plethora of opportunities for Toronto. The one thing that will determine this game is Seattle injuries. On Thursday Keller came out of the game with blurred vision and had to be replaced with Terry Boss. Boss was able to step in and make a few good saves to keep Seattle up. While Boss might be good, and have one of the best last names in the league, he is no Kasey Keller and a game without Keller always hurts our odds. The other injury to keep an eye on is the injury to Ljundberg who got hurt last Saturday in the game against Kansas City. He stepped on late in Thursday's game and while he looked to be able to move well he could not be ready to play tomorrow, and I say why risk his health and the team by having a hurting player not going 100% on the field. The Sounders just need to play their game and not give up in the waning minutes of the game. This will be a close game, but I see the Sounders pulling out the road win 2-1.
Update: My bad posted a little early, but game is on Sunday not today.
Cliff Lee, the Mariners big off season signing, is no longer suspended and will return from injury in less than two weeks. With Lee's debut scheduled for April 30th, the debate remains over who the Mariners should pull from the rotation to make room for the 2008 Cy Young award winner. Going into the year, the choice was between two unproven young starters who both had made major league debuts last season.
Doug Fister and Jason Vargas entered Spring Training battling with Garrett Olsen for the final rotation spot. After Lee's injury, two spots opened up and both were inserted into the Opening Day rotation. With Lee's return getting ever closer, Fister and Vargas know they are battling for a roster spot and a chance to stay with a major league ball club.
Fister limped through four innings in his first start against Oakland and although he allowed only two runs, he gave up six hits and walked three and threw 96 pitches. In the past two starts, Fister has gone from unprepared to unhittable. Fister returned to the mound five days later and weaved an eight inning masterpiece against the same Oakland team he had been overwhelmed by in his first start. In this start, Fister allowed no runs on just three hits and struck out four.
Here are a few important recruiting updates concerning some Husky prospects.
2011 Husky recruit Angelo Chol has cut down his list to eight schools. Washington remains in the running along with Alabama, Florida, Kansas, Georgetown, North Carolina, UCLA, and UConn.
Unless Oregon hires a coach real soon, I think it is highly unlikely 2010 recruit Terrence Jones will end up becoming a Duck. Along with Oregon, Jones is considering UW, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA, and Oklahoma. Jones has stated that he wants to make his decision before April 30th. Coach Calipari stands as a huge threat to be able to take Jones away from Romar.
Jones's teammate and friend, Terrence Ross, will be visiting UW before he makes his final decision.
Highly touted 2011-recruit, Tony Wroten has also labeled Kentucky as his front-runner.
Nineteen years removed from the 1991 National Championship season, some Husky fans see the 1991 team as almost mythical.For many young Husky fans it was before their time. But anyone who calls themselves a true Husky fan, or a college football fan in general is familiar with this dominant team.
In the 1991 Rose Bowl, the Huskies beat the Michigan Wolverines to share the National Championship with the University of Miami.The Dawgs went 12-0 and dominated a strong Pac-10 conference.They outscored their opponents by 380 points, and their defense only allowed 115 points.
Defensive Prowess The Husky defense was tenacious.Led by Steve Emtman, the Lombardi Award winner, the Huskies stopped opposing offenses in their tracks.Five members of the defense were selected in the 1992 draft (Steve Emtman, Dana Hall, Donald Jones, Brett Collins, Chico Fraley ).
Offensive Powerhouse Critics questioned the strength of the offense because of Mark Brunell’s spring injury, but back-up Billy Joe Hobert took the helm and ended up becoming the Rose Bowl's co-MVP with Steve Emtman.Hobert’s favorite target, Mario Bailey, who is the career leader in touchdown receptions at Washington, became one of the six offensive players drafted in the 1992 draft (Ed Cunningham, Siupeli Malamala, Aaron Pierce, Orlando McKay, Mario Bailey, Kris Rongen).
Leadership Great players, though, are often just a group of individuals without a great coach.The legend and member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Don James, meshed the Huskies into one of the greatest teams in the history of college football.He won coach of the year, and eventually was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
20 Years Later... As Head Coach Steve Sarkisian's Huskies fight to reestablish greatness of the Huskies, the coaching staff and players must look to the players of the 1991 team for inspiration.There is no doubt Jermaine Kearse looks towards Mario Bailey, or that Sark aspires to help return national attention to the UW like Don James did.When there is such a perfect model of success in UW’s own history, it is hard for current Huskies not to dream of similar greatness.
When Seattle sports fans point to their finest hours, they point to every moment of this famed season.The memories bring smiles to the Husky faithful, and are source of pride for Seattle.
Here is a link to Part 1 of my schedule analysis. Here is my take on the second half of games on the Huskies' schedule.
at Arizona- October 23rd The Wildcats will be looking for revenge after becoming the victim of the "Immaculate Reception" by Mason Foster last season. Highly-touted QB, Nick Foles will be leading his Wildcats in what should be another shoot-out between two high-octane offenses. This game starts a stretch where the Huskies will finish four of their six games on the road. A win here would give the Huskies the necessary momentum to finish the latter part of their season successfully.
The Seahawks have three picks in the first two rounds.There are significant questions looming over who they will take, what positions they should fill, and whether there will be any trades.Here is who I think the Hawks will take, who I think they should take, and other possible options.
#6:Predicted:Russell Okung, OT – Oklahoma State
Trent Williams would be the tackle most people were expecting, but Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com says that he is the tackle atop the draft board of the Washington Redskins at #4.The Redskins will almost certainly be drafting a tackle at that pick, as well.
Okung is a left tackle whom the Seahawks will most certainly want to fill the void left by Walter Jones either this year or the next.He is a much safer pick than Trent Williams – while Williams is larger and stronger, Okung is more established and has better technique.I could easily see Williams having weight problems in the future.Okung is almost surely going to become a starter for a long time at left tackle.Most importantly, he fits every mold of Alex Gibbs’ zone blocking scheme.