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September 2012 - Ketel One Vodka Major Championship Challenge Trip to Pebble Beach
By Miles Liatos Sports Radio KJR
Nothing good can come from the suspension of a top pass-rusher for a team on the verge of a historic season.
Unless Russell Wilson is the quarterback.
Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times addressed the team’s reaction to Bruce Irvin’s suspension on Mitch in the Morning today. Condotta said Wilson made an impression at a press conference after an OTA practice, asserting players need to take responsibility for their own decisions.
“You got the sense he knew he was talking as the leader on the team,” Condotta said. “And I think now, that when Russell Wilson does say things like that, everybody in the locker room is going to follow that … and he’s going to be the one that sets these sorts of tones the rest of the way.”
Wilson appears to be the definitive leader of the team, Condotta said, because of the way players respond to him during practice.
“One of the biggest ways you see that is when they begin every drill and you see the guy that everybody gravitates around, and it is [Wilson],” Condotta said.
Marshawn Lynch’s absence from voluntary OTAs was another topic Mitch raised. Condotta said missing Lynch during these practices will not affect the Seahawks’ season record, but it could affect the team intangibly. With the team on the verge of “Superbowl aspirations,” Lynch’s presence at practices would be preferable.
But with Wilson at quarterback, the Seahawks have everything they need.
Listen to the full interview with Bob Condotta below. Follow Bob Condotta on Twitter: @BCondotta.
Houston Astros employee brings sno-cones into the bathroom stall...
By Trenton Jocz, Sports Radio KJR
Winner: Nick Gilbert
Loser: Nerlens Noel
Assuming Cleveland keeps the pick, Noel is the likely choice. How could being the number one pick and going to play with Kyrie Irving be a bad thing? Because he has to play in Cleveland instead of Orlando, that’s why.
Loser: NBA lottery conspiracy theorists
People convinced that David Stern and crew had a couple scenarios to hitch their wagon to this year:
Scenario 1: After Cleveland won the lottery in Year 1 AL (After LeBron) and New Orleans won it the year after losing Chris Paul, Orlando, who had the best odds, wins the lottery as the league pays the franchise back for losing Dwight Howard. They ended up with the second pick.
Scenario 2: The league worked hard, even ran the team controversially, to keep the Hornets/Pelicans in New Orleans and sweetened the deal for new owner Tom Benson by promising him a chance at Anthony Davis last year. It only made sense for Stern and Co. to sign off on delivering a huge marketing boon to the Sacramento fan base right? They finished with the seventh pick, one below their projected pick thanks to Washington leapfrogging into the top 3.
(The most logical retort though: Why rig this year’s lottery? This weak of a draft is the perfect time to throw people off the scent and come back strong next year with Andrew Wiggins, the best prospect since LeBron.)
Winners Ben McLemore and Victor Oladipo
Both are shooting guards and with Dion Waiters already in Cleveland, neither of these draftees were in the cards for the Cavs. With Noel the likely top pick regardless of how the ping pong balls bounced, the Kansas and Indiana products wouldn’t have gone #1 anyway and now a team that wouldn’t have selected either in the first place won’t be in a position to bypass them.
Winner LeBron James
This is a win-win scenario for LeBron.
If the much ballyhooed idea of the prodigal son (even though he’s from Akron) returning in the summer of 2014 really does come to fruition, Cleveland winning the lottery just provides more talent to surround him with.
If he stays in South Beach or goes to Los Angeles like so many of the transformational players that have come before him? Well, at least the Cavs got two number one picks (the Irving pick came via the Baron Davis deal, but still) out of him leaving.
Loser: Mock draft prognosticators
2013 is a bad year for mock drafts. Last month’s NFL draft lacked star power and saw its most talented players clustered at the same positions, leading to mocks with the authors essentially admitting they were throwing darts. Next month’s baseball draft, after Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray in some order at the top, is anyone’s guess. Now the first NBA draft without a no-brainer number one since the 2006 draft which saw Toronto take Andrea Bargnani at the top gets even more uncertain with the rumors Cleveland is interested in shopping the pick to accelerate their return to contention.
Winner: Washington Wizards
The Wizards have decided they’re done rebuilding, and while their personnel moves have at times been questionable to say the least, they’re not crazy in that assessment. This was a team that was above .500 when they were healthy and in the East, a team with a winning record is a lock to make the playoffs. They jumped up to third via the lottery process (the top three picks are the only ones pulled in the lottery, while picks 4-14 then go by record) and that’s perfect for a team whose timetable wouldn’t align with the time needed for Noel’s torn ACL to heal.
Loser: The rebuilding teams
Missing out on Noel isn’t a death blow for teams like Phoenix and Charlotte but being able to draft and stash him had a secondary benefit: tanking for 2014. The fabled draft class will presumably include Wiggins, Jabari Parker (the Duke recruit from Derrick Rose’s old stomping grounds, Simeon High School, who was on the cover of Sports Illustrated at 16) and a cadre of other young prospects and the contributions of any rookie from this draft class will just push the team that drafted them further away from the real prize.
Winner: Chicago Bulls
This might seem like an odd choice but for a couple years now, the Bulls had a trump card in their back pocket in the form of a future Charlotte first-rounder. Thanks to a deal involving Tyrus Thomas from when the Bulls were trying to clear cap space for the hallowed free agent class of 2010 they acquired a pick that sees its protection loosen year by year. In 2016 the pick becomes unprotected, meaning the Bulls get the pick even if Charlotte wins the lottery. The key to the value of this pick is Charlotte missing out on Wiggins and this year’s lottery aided in that process, if even a bit. Also, Washington makes sense as a potential suitor for a Luol Deng trade, making their leap up to the third pick beneficial to Chicago as well.
Winner: The Jay Bilas Drinking Game
Not that this changed with who won the lottery, but with Noel at the top, get ready to hear a lot about wingspan.
By Miles Liatos Sports Radio KJR
Chris Williams is the player of the year in college golf after winning the Ben Hogan Award Monday. He is slated to be a PGA Tour player next year as well.
Here’s the kicker: he plays for the UW.
The Hogan Award is considered the Heisman of college golf by the golf community.
Williams joined Mitch today, and said he was excited to go the UW as a freshman in 2010. But it wasn’t a foregone conclusion he ever would. Mitch wondered how the UW, where the weather isn’t as golf-friendly as warmer-climate regions, could field the top player in college golf.
He also asked Williams where he would have played hadn’t he come to the UW.
“I don’t even want to think about it,” Williams said. “It was down to some places where I didn’t even really want to go.”
Williams said WSU was an option in where he might play. But that all changed after he met the UW golf head coach Matt Thurmond. Thurmond was the last coach Williams met with in his recruiting process.
“It was just an instant friendship,” Williams said.
Williams said he didn’t get a spot on the team initially. But Thurmond would eventually call the Moscow, Idaho native to tell him there was an opening for him, if he wanted it.
“I didn’t even hesitate. I took it right away,” Williams said.
The senior said it took awhile for him to get on the team because he didn’t believe in himself. But then-senior golfer and now-PGA Tour player Nick Taylor told Williams the UW needed him to win.
But Williams helped the UW do a lot more than win. He gave them the best player in college golf.
By Miles Liatos Sports Radio KJR
Antoine Winfield had a chance to return to the Minnesota Vikings for more money than he may have received anywhere else, but Seattle was still the most appealing option.
Winfield joined Mitch today to talk about his role on the Seahawks. He signed a contract with the Seahawks after the Vikings had released the cornerback and wanted to bring him back at a lower price. Winfield’s salary called for the highest amount he would have ever received with the Vikings, so the team opted out. But Winfield said signing with Seattle was not about money at all.
“I just want to compete for a championship, and I thought my best opportunity was here with the Seahawks,” he said.
The Seahawks will provide Winfield an opportunity to do what he does best: defend the run. He posted a grade of 14.6 in run defense last year, 6.9 points better than the next-best run defender at Winfield’s position, according to Pro Football Focus.
Winfield agreed defending the run is his biggest strength.
“I’m going to leave the big guys (Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner) on the outside where they can run with the Calvin Johnsons and the Brandon Marshalls,” he said. “I’ll man the slot.”
At 36, Winfield is the oldest player on the Seahawks roster. The distinction has helped him to earn the nickname “O.G.” (Original Gangster) from his teammates.
But Winfield isn’t ready to concede to his critics he’s lost a step, he said.
“I’ve been very successful in this league for 14 years and I don’t see it stopping in my fifteenth.”
Check out the whole interview here: