A GRIP ON SPORTS • Assured. Shocked. Alarmed. Pissed off. Indignant. Completely satisfied. Expectant. Disillusioned. Scared. Astonished. Uncertain. Amazed. Celebratory. Loopy. Exhausted.
• The feelings any Seahawk fan skilled Sunday night time have been sufficient to trigger heartburn and a hangover. With out a drop of alcohol passing the lips.
From the flat first-half to the hard-to-fathom last drive, Seattle had no enterprise defeating the Vikings 27-26 in a wet CenturyLink final night time.
However they did.
How? Three elements luck, one half guile and about 9 inches of stupidity. And that doesn’t even embody Mike Zimmer’s choice to go for the knockout blow with two minutes left when a discipline aim would have assured a minimum of additional time.
That’s the play everyone is talking about this morning. And so they have been discussing final night time. It was the Vikings’ chance to clinch the win. A fourth-and-one from the Seahawks’ six. A discipline aim places Minnesota up eight, 29-21. Even when Russell Wilson can march the Hawks down the sphere, he has to discover a option to manufacture a landing (which he did) and a two-point conversion (which he didn’t). Barring these two accomplishments, Minnesota wins. Heck, even when Wilson had pulled each off, the sport would have gone to additional time.
However Zimmer’s choice there would have been pre-ordained if he had made a greater one some quarter-hour earlier than.
As soon as once more, an NFL coach chased factors he didn’t want. And as soon as once more it value him a sport.
With greater than three minutes left within the third quarter, Kirk Cousins hit Adam Thielen for a three-yard landing. The cross pulled Minnesota, which had led 13-0 at halftime, inside 21-19. And Zimmer made the error that value the Vikings. He went for a tie when he didn’t must.
Kick the additional level and Minnesota trails 21-20. A discipline aim or a landing nonetheless provides it the lead. Heck, if Seattle solutions with a landing, the Vikings are nonetheless inside one rating, down eight. However go for 2, fail and the Hawks can put the sport away with one other landing and the PAT.
Guess what? The choice mattered. Kick that further level there and the fourth-down name turns into a no brainer. The 23-yard discipline aim would have given Minnesota a 30-21 lead. The sport would have been over.
It occurs manner too usually within the NFL. Some coaches nonetheless don’t notice you don’t go for 2 till you don’t have any different alternative. All the time – all the time – do no matter you possibly can to remain inside one rating.
Ah, properly. I personally find out about 75 people who find themselves pleased with Zimmer’s choice. None of them, nonetheless, have ever been on his sideline.
• In 1962, the Boston Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers within the NBA Finals. At that second, the 2 franchises every had 5 titles. However the Celtics have been within the midst of a run that earned them 11 championships in 13 years. And 7 of them got here on the expense of the Lakers.
One Laker fan, Vince Grippi, balled his eyes out after every subsequent defeat. I hated the Celtics. At one level in my life, my complete aim was to develop as much as be 6-foot-6 and common 37 factors a sport in a finals’ sweep of Boston. For sure, fourth-grade desires die laborious. Nonetheless, by the point I left highschool, Boston had 12 titles and the Lakers six.
However since then Los Angeles, with Magic, Kareem, the recently departed Kobe and Shaq, have finished higher. Solely two of the Celtics’ last 5 titles have come on the Lakers’ expense. And L.A. has amassed trophy after trophy, together with 5 within the Eighties and 4 extra within the 2000s.
Sometime, I found out about 15 years in the past, the Lakers may catch Boston and its 17 NBA titles.
It was longer than anticipated – the Lakers had received title No. 16 in 2010 – but it surely lastly occurred.
Los Angeles did what it always does, entice the sport’s greatest gamers to town of everlasting sunshine and allow them to do their factor. LeBron James and Anthony Davis have been the duo this season, becoming a member of such pairs as Magic and Kareem, Kobe and Shaq, to overpower the remainder of the league.
Mercenaries? Certain. So what? It’s not the place you begin. It’s how you finish. And, for the seventeenth time in historical past, the franchise that began in Minneapolis – therefore, the Lakers – ended a season with a trophy.
• Joe Morgan died this morning. He was 77. He’s additionally the sixth member of baseball’s Hall of Fame to die in 2020.
We are going to memorialize Morgan tomorrow however this morning I simply wish to ask two questions: Did any individual coming of age whereas Morgan was enjoying not imitate his hen wing transfer; and does anybody not assume 2020 sucks?
WSU: A very powerful place in school soccer? Quarterback, proper? The Cougars can be selecting a starter from amongst a gaggle that has thrown zero passes in school competitors. Theo Lawson examines the options in this morning’s practice report. … Theo additionally has his Monday morning staple, a look at how players with local ties did in NFL games yesterday. … Around the Pac-12 and school sports activities, the polls are out. Oregon stayed in the same spot in one, moved up in one other. And USC joined them in each. … COVID numbers are rising within the Eugene space. … Colorado has slightly teaching continuity. … Utah could pass more this season. … UCLA’s linebackers are largely unknown. … In basketball information, observe is starting at Colorado.
Drag racing: A Spokane driver has earned NHRA Corridor of Fame honors. That’s a part of our weekly local briefs column.
Seahawks: The perfect column from the Hawks’ win? I’m prejudiced, but I think it comes from our John Blanchette. He’s all in with their caveats. … Art Thiel and Larry Stone have ideas as properly. … The Hawks never converted a third down. However they did make good on two crucial fourth downs, so there’s that. … K.J. Wright caught one. … Will Dissly caught a landing cross almost exactly a year after his harm. . … DK Metcalf is Wilson’s go-to guy this season. … There are all the time grades.
Sounders: Earlier than the Seahawks posted a principally lackluster efficiency, the Sounders did them one better. They have been terrible for the whole match, losing 3-1 at LAFC. … The Timbers received towards San Jose.
• My youngest son turned to me final night time and mentioned “that is the perfect hamburger I’ve ever eaten.” That’s it. I’m finished. I can die a contented man. Besides Kim did a lot of the work was finished, because the pouring rain close to halftime meant we needed to make our “Jucy Lucy” burgers with the cast-iron frying pan. Who knew it might make them crisp on the surface and, with American cheese within the center, excellent on the within? Oh, by the best way, the meal not solely was a Seahawk particular, it additionally served because the household get-together for my birthday. Jack and his spouse Nicol gave me the right reward. They’re donating $50 in my identify to my favourite charity, Second Harvest. Much more than his burger remark, this makes me delighted. A burger connoisseur with a social conscience? Kim and I did one thing proper. I’m unsure what, however I couldn’t be prouder this morning. Till later …