The top sports stories from today’s edition of The Herald:
130,000 strong and growing
Gary White, a native Brit who lives in Snohomish, is the new technical director of the Washington Youth Soccer organization, which has 130,000 players from ages 5-18 and 15,000 coaches statewide. All those players and so few goals. Oh soccer, how you tease us American sports fans.
Hey, shhhhhh, don’t tell him
Husky quarterback Jake Locker has apparently made such strides in Steve Sarkisian’s offense that NFL draft experts are taking notice. With Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford down with a shoulder injury again, Locker has become the No. 1 quarterback on some draft boards and may go in the top five of the draft if he comes out after his junior season. Just the Huskies’ luck, they start to turn things around and the NFL wants to steal their players.
Johjima opts out; M’s fan rejoice
Kenji Johjima walked away from $16 million, opting out of the final two seasons of his three-year, $24-million deal to play closer to his family in Japan. It’s too bad Jarrod Washburn’s in Detroit because he’d be doing back-flips after hearing this news.
Tatupu not done yet
A day after it looked like Seahawks middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu would be shelved for the season, news came out that he may be able to return at some point this season. “After further review and further imaging, we’re not certain yet that Lofa is done,” Seahawks coach Jim Mora said in his Monday press conference. “They did an MRI test, and it doesn’t look like the muscles and tendons are completely detached from the bone.” The Closer just let out a shriek and started blubbering like a baby.
An emptier barn
Herald writer Nick Patterson writes that attendance is down in the WHL this season. The Closer is sure that if there were more goals like the one below, attendance would be through the roof.
THE WARMUP PITCH
Broncos keep buckin’
The magical mystery tour of the Josh McDaniels’ All-Stars (aka the Denver Broncos) kept right on chugging Monday night with a win over division-rival San Diego. So let’s see, quarterbacks under the tutelage of McDaniels are 33-5 over the past three seasons and Bill Belichick is the genius? By the way, McDaniels vs. Chargers head coach Norv Turner was a little like watching Albert Einstein talk quantum physics with Jessica Simpson.
Singin’ the Dodger Blues
With their closer, Jonathan Broxton, on the mound and two outs in the books, it looked like the Dodgers were going to even up the NLCS last night. Well, Jimmy Rollins had another idea. Rollins knocked in two runs to lead Philadelphia to a 5-4 win over L.A. and crush the hopes of Dodger Blue Nation. Somewhere Tommy Lasorda is crying into his linguine.
Halos keep hope alive
The Angels overcame yet another Alex Rodriguez home run to win Game 3 on Monday and climb back to a 2-1 deficit in the ALCS. Jeff Mathis knocked in Howie Kendrick for the game-winner in the 11th inning. The biggest news, though, may have been the video below, which seems to show Yankees closer Mariano Rivera adding a little extra to the ball. So that’s Rivera’s special pitch: The Spitter-Cutter.
Brockman puttin’ up big numbers
The King of Snohomish is putting up some ridiculous numbers down in Sacramento and his teammates are taking notice. How many rebounds is he averaging, you ask? Oh not those numbers. He’s got 60,485 Twitter followers, silly, and teammates like Sean May (4,605) and Donte Greene (7,892) are feeling a little jealous. My how things have changed. When The Closer used to “follow” people, the only people they’d boast to it about were the police.
A few notes from Montlake caught The Closer’s attention. First, on Dawgman.com, a commentator wrote — after watching four seasons of Tyrone Willingham-coached football — that Saturday’s loss to Arizona State was “the worst coached game I’ve ever seen.” Best reply: “Mrs. Willingham, isn’t it past your bed time.” Next, check out the video below from Midnight Madness at Hec Ed. Make sure to stick around for the finish:
In the Zorn Zone
Here’s few items concerning Redskins coach Jim Zorn. Dan Steinberg of the blog “D.C. Sports Bog” has started collecting the “Faces of Zorn.” There’s “What?”, the “Trout Face”, “Ooaach expression”, “The Frothy Rock Star”, “The Big Orbs”. Also concerning Zorn, former Redskins running back and Hall of Famer John Riggins chimed in and had some interesting things to say. All The Closer can say is “Linus lose the blanket.” Enjoy:
With the above item in mind, The Closer takes a look at the top five candidates to replace Zorn in Washington. Now these aren’t the top five coaches The Closer would pick (that’d be Mike Holmgren in spots 1-5), but rather the top five coaches that Daniel “Moneybags” Snyder would hire.
1. Mike Shanahan: The former Broncos quarterback knows how to win (two Super Bowl titles) and is an offensive guru, which Snyder prizes over everything.
2. Bill Cowher: The Chin is known for his fiery personality and defense, but his name is bigger than just about any other out there — and we all know what that means to Snyder.
3. Mike Holmgren: The Big Show would be No. 1 on this list, but many think he wouldn’t want to take over a job vacated by a pupil (Zorn), plus he’s a West Coast guy — in more ways than one.
4. Jon Gruden: Another fiery coach and another Super Bowl winner, Chucky would be higher but he seems to be positioning himself to go to the college ranks.
5. Joe Gibbs: You know he still wants to coach.