Last updated 10/4/2023 at 8:47am
I have a few things to talk about after this past weekend. First off, I went to Cheney on Saturday and watched a highly entertaining game between EWU and Idaho. A few years ago when Idaho came back to the Big Sky Conference the powers that be made Idaho and Montana yearly foes because of a suspected rivalry. EWU and Montana had a great rivalry going but the Big Sky said no you get to play Montana State and Portland State each year.
Now Idaho has a really good team. Fans in the stands were respectful of each other which is unusual if this is a real rivalry. I told two guys in the parking lot wearing Idaho gear that I thought their Vandals were a very good team. They came back and said you guys have a really good team. This is the first time we've beaten Eastern on the red turf. It's kind of hard to get into a heated argument when both sides are praising their opponent.
Also on Saturday during the ESPN Game Day broadcast analyst Pat McAfee made some disparaging remarks about WSU. Some would say nasty. Apparently in McAfee's world it isn't okay to stick up for wanting to not be neglected by your former conference partners and other Power 5 Conferences. Ole' Crimson (WSU flag) has been flying high at every game day which is a lot more than he has been part of the panel.
Let me say that early last season at the University of Tennessee when the Game Day panel was making their picks McAfee picked the Volunteers to win by sing the UT fight song 'Rocky Top'. Never mind that the guest making her choice was a UT alum and athlete. She commented that McAfee took away her thunder because she was going to sing Rocky Top. No big deal for the loudest guy on the panel.
I've watched this show for a number of years now and one of the best Game Days was in Pullman. It could get interesting if Game Day would return to Pullman. Would McAfee dare show up? Since the Game Day at Tennessee it has been hard to watch with him on the panel. It might be a lot more difficult after what he said about WSU last Saturday. He needs to go. And if you think he is a great analyst, 'Bless your heart!'
The playoff road for the Seattle Mariners ended Saturday night with a lackluster performance by the home team. I don't get to see the Mariners much and catch them on the radio now and then and certainly follow them in the paper and online to see how they are doing. After such a great rally last year to garner a wild card berth and taking care of the Toronto Blue Jays in the first round only to fall to the eventual World Champion Houston Astros, this year was supposed to be the time the young M's would put it together and have a great season.
It's really interesting how teams approach the trading deadline. Teams are trading for hitters and/or pitchers and teams looking to the future by trading high priced players for young talent. Seattle made an interesting trade to Arizona by getting rid of closer Paul Sewald. I'm not sure if the players the M's got were super helpful but I do know that Arizona made the Wild Card portion of the playoffs.
I've often wondered just how critical the fans of Seattle are of the Mariner organization. The Mariners have gotten rid of some really talented players in trades that have helped other teams but for some reason that Jay Buhner trade has been lacking in the last few years.
The Seattle fan base waited 21 years to get back into the playoffs and only because they added a couple of playoff spots through the Wild Card route. In 2002, the year after the Mariners won 116 games; Seattle won 90 and didn't make the playoffs. They won the same amount of games in 2003 and missed out on the post season. Some players are speaking out about the need for management to go after talent that can get them to the playoffs and maybe a World Series spot.
If players are frustrated then the fan base should be as well. Or maybe Seattle is happy to be close but don't take away my chance to watch the Seahawks. It took a long, long time for the Mariners to even have a winning season from their inception. I think Manager Scott Servais is doing all he can with what he has to work with and also injury issues. Just give him a couple more tools in his tool box and make the Mariner faithful happy.
- Dale Anderson is a sports columnist from Ritzville. To contact him, email [email protected].