Posted on: January 9, 2011 11:45 pm

Optimism? In Seattle?

So, um, yeah... I'm not used to raving instead of ranting (the last five blog posts have had a negative view of the in-state teams), so this blog post may be interesting.

To start off, you might want to remind yourself how awesome Marshawn Lynch is . Watch that while you can, the NFL will probably remove it by the end of the week.

Wow. Just, wow.

My prediction for the game was a 3-point Saints victory. I remembered what the Saints-Seahawks game looked like in NOLA, and I thought if Matt Hasselbeck could clean up his turnovers, we wouldn't get blown out. Turns out, I was the closest of my friends. Matt threw for four TD passes, including one to the Grammy award-winning John Carlson. Marshawn Lynch became the first Seahawk this year to bust the 100-yd mark in a single game. And the defense played decently enough. I mean, I can't exactly commend them for coughing up 36 points, can I?

So now, all the people who whined about the Seahawks hosting a playoff game may have to deal with Qwest Field hosting two.

The Packers will take on the Falcons as the lowest seed left in the NFC bracket. The Championship game will be hosted by the highest remaining seed. If the Packers and Seahawks both win, then Seattle will host its second NFC championship game in five years.

This is not that far-fetched of a scenario, either. The Hawks already beat the Bears in Chicago back in Week 6. The Packers lost by a field goal in Georgia to the Falcons, though, but hey, bigger point turnarounds have happened this year.

With that perfect segue, let's talk about the Huskies. First off, I'd like to thank the heaps of extremely classy Husker fans I've seen on the boards since the game. There's been a few less classy folks out there, so I want to thank you for taking the high road.

Second, who says Jake Locker isn't a smart quarterback? That's one of the main things I noticed in his senior season. His stats suck, but being a quarterback isn't about padding your stats; it's about winning football games. Jake Locker led his team with a goose egg in the turnovers and made sure to tuck it under or throw it away when there was no good decision in terms of a target. Also, Chris Polk (who says he'll be back next year) was unreal.

But that's enough football.

On top of all this, Gonzaga's receiving votes in the polls again. The Zags just thrashed Portland, who were picked by some to win the conference (HAHAHAHAHAHA). The Huskies are ranked, and the Cougars would be if it wasn't for the stupid LA road trip where they sucked (sigh...).

In other basketball news, the Hornets are still owned by the league, Steve Ballmer still has money, and the Sonic franchise is still in Seattle. However, that story probably won't get moving any time soon; David Stern has thrown around the idea of trimming away a few franchises from the NBA due to the economy, and the league-owned Hornets would probably be the first to go.

But, in general, I'm feeling really optimistic right now. If you talk to me next Monday, I'll probably be less so (either the Seahawks lose and I'm really sad or the Packers lose and I'm pessimistic about our chances in the title game), Still, I'll enjoy my week of possibility.
Category: General
Posted on: September 8, 2009 12:55 am

Needle News: Football, football, and football.

SEATTLE -- Yep, it's that time of year again. Time to get your buddies together in a basement and put some names together. Time to claim that the Seahawks will go 16 and 0 this year. Time to hope the Huskies and Cougars aren't the bottom dwellers they were last year.


First up, the Seahawks season preview. The Seahawks gained quite a few names this offseason, including WR TJ Houshmandzadeh (that's Whoosh-manned-zah-dah) and rookie LB Aaron Curry, but they lost Bobby Engram, Maurice Morris, and, already, have lost Marcus Trufant and Walter Jones to injury.

On the offensive side of the ball, Matt Hasslebeck will, once again, will be carrying the weight of the entire team on his back. Here's the simple equation: Healthy offense = A winning season. If Matt and his receivers can stay healthy, our passing game will work. The problem is, last year we lost not one of those groups, but both Matt AND several receivers spent some quality time with the team doctors last year. Our running game also broke quickly because our offensive line got broke as well. However, this year Matt has a great go-to option in the fresh face of TJ Houshmandzadeh, as well as other options like Deion Branch and Nate Burleson. The running game will be the weakness of this offense, with a frequently broken offensive line and a not-too-powerful Julius Jones baked up by Edgerrin James. Bottom line: The offense this year looks to be pass-heavy, but could put some points on the scoreboard if the line holds up.

Moving to defense, the Seahawks set themselves up with one of the best trios of linebackers in the NFL while ignoring the DB position. With Leroy Hill, Lofa Tatupu, and Aaron Curry starting behind the linesmen, the running games of opposing offenses should be less than phenomenal while the pass rush will get a boost when the 'Hawks blitz one of the LBs. The line itself, though, is less than stellar, with no big names or young talent that jumps out. Still, the Seahawks got 12 sacks in the preseason. The big gaping hole will be the defensive backs. With Trufant out until at least Week 8, the backfield of the defense will have to step it up if they want to keep offenses from passing all over the field. Bottom line: The defense will stop the run fairly well, but will have some trouble stopping opponent's passing game.

Overall, the Seahawks are looking to be pretty average in the NFL this year, and since this is the NFC West they play in, who knows, they could make the playoffs this year.

Moving on to the college teams. While I'm not going to be capable of providing the kind of analysis I did for the Seahawks since college football is not my strong point, I will make some predictions on what the teams will do this year, starting with the Huskies.

The Huskies are coming off of what might be remembered as one of the worst coaching eras in their history. Steve Sarkisian, the offensive coordinator out of USC, has taken over as head coach and, based on the LSU game, turned things around very quickly. While, yes, it was a loss on the record, it was a few crucial UW turnovers that gave the game to the Tigers, and the Huskies played 'em close the entire game. While, yes, we know that the score was only 31-23 because of a touchdown scored by the Huskies with 0:00 on the clock, it wasn't like the Tigers were leading by two touchdowns the entire game. The Huskies did something not a lot of people thought they would do, keep it close. And that might be a foreshadowing to the rest of the season. This was easily their toughest non-conference game (which isn't saying much, since they only have two OOC games this year), and in the top 3 of the hardest games this season. It's not too far out of the realm of possibility that they will get to a bowl game this year, and they probably will be the victors in the Apple Cup (even though the logo in the slot for my college football team has a Cougars logo, I don't really have a bias between the two, I usually root for the one with the best chance at getting into a better bowl game than the other).

On the eastern side of the mountains, we have the Cougars. Ah, the Cougars. Unlike the Huskies, the issue for them doesn't appear to be coaching, it appears to be a lack of recruiting. Not a lot of talent heading into Pullman right now. While the team probably will grow and improve this season, it's really hard to get a favorable record when you play in the Pac-10. They should at least beat SMU, but that may be it. Give them two or three years and they could pick themselves up, or just stay down. Who knows. I think they'll get that one win I mentioned and go 1 for 11.

Category: General
Posted on: April 27, 2009 1:01 am
Edited on: May 13, 2009 11:33 pm

Needle News: Draft Weekend Ends

SEATTLE, WA -- The Seahawks spent their weekend in Detroit, and the Mariners spent it in Anaheim. Not too shabby, but did they win?

Pretty much, yeah.

Needle News for 4/26/09:

The thing that has all the sports pundits abuzz this weekend is the draft. The Seahawks had the embarassing/exciting fourth overall pick, and with it, selected Aaron Curry. Exclamation marks!!! To put this pick into "your wife can understand this" terms, the Seahawks decided to go with a very talented linebacker, who probably will give the Seahawks one of the best combinations of linebackers seen in the league. Problem with that is, they let Leroy Hill dip his toe in the water.

That's right, fans, OLB Leroy Hill is currently not a Seahawk. The team lifted their franchise tag on him, and now he's free to roam the world of offers. Odds are he'll come back, but until then, offseason suspense!

The Mariners went down to Anaheim to take on the Angels in a series that saw Carlos Silva get his first win and Jarrod Washburn his first loss. Before anyone says anything about today's game showing our lack of offense, consider how offense would've helped us beat a team that scores nine runs. I'm more concerned about our arms then our bats. Fortunately, Carlos Silva surprised me Saturday by somehow going five innings on a stiff muscle and nabbing his first win of the season, which was good.

We won the series, 2-1. The problem is, can we do this against out-of-division teams? I'm concerned about our play against the Twins and the Tigers. Those are two teams not doing so well against their divisions, yet we lost a series to them. The Mariners need to find some ways to win outside their division, and we'll find out if they can when they take on the White Sox this week.

Finally, in a game I was on-location for, the Sounders beat the San Jose Earthquakes 2-0. Steve Zakuani scored a goal in the first half off of a cross by Tyrone Marshall and Brad Evans scored early in the second.

In other Northwest news, the Vancouver Canucks swept St Louis to get into the second round of the NHL playoffs. Wish them luck, since they are our closest hockey team.

Category: General
Tags: needle news
Posted on: March 20, 2009 1:43 pm

It's a New Day for Seattle

SEATTLE, WA -- Well, Seattle, things might not be so bad after all.

After what most would call the worst year for a single city in sports period, things are starting to look up for us Seattleites. And here's how:

The Seattle Sounders FC won their regular-season debut against the New York Red Bulls in impressive 3-0 fashion. Fredy Montero, a name many soccer fans will be hearing quite often this season, scored two goals and gave an assist for the third one scored by the Sounders. He left in the game's waning minutes to a standing ovation, although everyone was already standing.

The Washington Huskies beat Mississippi State convincingly, never trailing after the first six minutes. Quincy Pondexter scored 23 points and Jon Brockman got another double-double to lead Washington to a 58-71 victory.

Ken Griffey Jr. played in his first Cactus League game since coming back to the Mariners. They won, 10-8, but that's the more pressing story. He went hitless and caught two flies in left field.

We could be in for a decent 2009.


Category: General
Tags: needle news
Posted on: February 19, 2009 1:17 am

Griffey Comes Home, Dawgs Stare Down Bruins


Ken Griffey Jr, formerly of the Atlanta Braves, will come back to the Seattle Mariners for the 2009 season. The Mariners will have their first full-team workout on February 18.

The University of Washington Huskies are looking to prove themselves against the University of California-Los Angeles Bruins. The Huskies currently have a 1.5 game lead over the Bruins in the Pac-10 standings, and have already defeated them this season at Hec-Ed. The game starts at 8:00 PM and will be televised on FSN Northwest and in other regions.

The Washington State University Cougars look to improve their Pac-10 record against University of Southern California Trojans tomorrow. That game begins at 7:30 PM and will be on the radio in some regions of Washington. Check the Seattle Times or Seattle P-I for details.

The Gonzaga University Bulldogs are playing Loyola-Marymount tomorrow at 6:00. That game may or may not be on FSN Northwest. Check your local listings.

Category: General
Tags: needle news
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or