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Jerry Brewer explains the thinking behind his columns and invites readers to express their views on the sports world.

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November 27, 2008 1:46 AM

Crystal Helmet, Week 14

Posted by Jerry Brewer

First of all, let me wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. I'm very thankful to be in this community, with so many wonderful readers and generous human beings. You inspire and challenge me every day.

Now, how about some prognostication to go with your cranberry sauce?

NFL picks

Dallas 27, Seahawks 17
Despite all their drama, the Cowboys are starting to get right at the right time. Terrell Owens will have a big game against the smaller Seahawks cornerbacks, and the Seahawks' offensive woes will continue.

Philadelphia 34, Arizona 28
New York Giants 19, Washington 10
Pittsburgh 20, New England 17
New Orleans 27, Tampa Bay 23

College picks

Hawaii 38, Washington State 28
After a double-overtime victory over Washington, the Cougars will play loose in their season finale. But Hawaii quarterback Greg Alexander, who has thrown for at least 200 yards in three of the last four games, will continue his steady play. In the end, the Cougars defense just isn't good enough to get a victory.

Oklahoma 49, Oklahoma State 21
Florida 50, Florida State 28
USC 42, Notre Dame 17
Oregon State 35, Oregon 30

Last week's record: 5-5
Season to date: 88-42 (67.9 percent)

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November 26, 2008 11:02 AM

Life could be worse: Notre Dame fans pelt their team with snow

Posted by Jerry Brewer

So the Huskies are primed to go 0-12, huh?

So the Seahawks are 2-9 and trying not to make a turkey of themselves on Thanksgiving Day, huh?

And you think that's as low as it can get?

Well, check this out. Notre Dame played so poorly in its home loss to Syracuse last Saturday that fans threw snow at the team. Here is an excerpt:

Fans at first threw snow in the air, but then quickly switched to tossing snowballs toward the Notre Dame sideline. Defensive lineman Ian Williams got hit in the helmet, defensive end Ethan Johnson was struck on the left cheek and a St. Joseph County police officer on the sideline looking into the crowd got hit in the chest. An NBC camera man also was a frequent target and several snowballs reached the field, although none landed near where play was occurring.

I poked fun at the Cougars fans who stormed the field after beating the winless Huskies, but you know what? I'll take that kind of exuberance over turning against your team any day.

Being upset over a bad performance doesn't give a fan the right to turn into an idiot. I have no problem with booing, but Irish fans are supposed to be better than maniacs who hurl objects at unsuspecting people.

Yeah, yeah, I know: A tiny percentage of the crowd -- a few bad apples among thousands -- participated. But that's enough to damage the reputation of the whole.

So, now I can appreciate the excitement of Washington State fans who got lost in the joy of a thrilling comeback victory -- regardless of their team's record or the opponent's record. I still chuckle a little at the thought, but I respect their passion.

And I leave bereaved Seattle sports fans with my weekly reminder: Life could be worse.

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November 24, 2008 3:46 PM

Powerless Rankings: Drops, firings and an embarrassing new peer for our state's woebegone teams

Posted by Jerry Brewer

Our weekly tracking of the 10 most hapless stories in sports:

10. Koren Robinson
Mr. Drop's much-discussed second chance with the Seahawks might be coming to an end soon. With all the errors Robinson makes during a game, why not just lean on the young wide receivers? It's not like the Seahawks can avoid a losing season anymore.

9. Eddie Jordan
If you still care about the NBA, then let it be noted that Jordan, after leading the Wizards to four straight playoff berths, was only given 11 games this season. The hot seat is a vicious animal.

8. Rich Rodriguez
First, RichRod told rabid Michigan fans last week to "get a life." Then he lost to Ohio State by 35 points Saturday to conclude a 3-9 season. If he doesn't improve dramatically next season, Wolverines fans will be saying, "Take a hike."

7. State of Michigan athletics
Speaking of Michigan, the state is fast becoming Washington's competition for futility. Michigan football just finished its worst season ever. The Detroit Lions are 0-11. And the auto industry is struggling so much that General Motors Corp. can no longer afford Tiger Woods. What's next? The downfall of the Pistons? Well, they did lose by 26 to Minnesota at home Sunday.

6. Matt Hasselbeck
He's entering bless-his-heart territory, which is no place for a competitor to be. Clearly, he's trying to grind through his back problems. It's quite admirable, but you fear he might never get back to his Pro Bowl level.

5. Charlie Weis
Syracuse? Really, Syracuse? Even Tyrone Willingham could handle the 'Cuse. Here's guessing Weis won't be around past the 2009 season.

4. Tyrone Willingham
Washington State? Really, Washington State? Here's guessing Willingham won't be getting any head-coaching offers after he leaves the Huskies.

3. Bad field-storming etiquette
Not to belabor the point (OK, who am I kidding?), but c'mon, who storms the field after beating a winless team? I can't get over that. I'm sorry. Just can't.

2. Donovan McNabb
No doubt, his Philly career needs to end after this season. Eagles coach Andy Reid, his most steadfast supporter, benched him Sunday. There's no turning back.

1. P.J. Carlesimo
He was stopped before he could board the team plane Friday night and told he was fired. Clay Bennett is now 2 for 2 in awkward firings. Remember when he canned Bob Hill on the same day he had surgery? You'll be better off with having to deal with Bennett, P.J. Trust us.

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November 24, 2008 10:19 AM

Weekend recap (if you dare to look)

Posted by Jerry Brewer

This is a not-so good videotaping of a television showing the end of the Apple Cup. I'm only posting it because it captures Paul Wulff's goofy, galloping celebration at the end. He acted like he had just clinched a Rose Bowl berth.

And I still can't get over the students storming the field after beating a winless team. After improving to 2-10, for that matter.

I've seen it all now.

Continue reading this post ...

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November 21, 2008 11:43 AM

Crystal Helmet, Week 13

Posted by Jerry Brewer

College picks

Washington 21, Washington State 20
What happens when bad meets worse? A great game, of course. The Huskies win a contest of big plays and big goofs, with the Cougars making the ultimate mistake -- botching an extra-point to seal their rival's victory.

Oklahoma 49, Texas Tech 45
Oregon State 34, Arizona 31
Stanford 28, California 24
Utah 27, BYU 17

NFL picks

Seahawks 17, Washington 16
The Redskins are fading, mostly because they can't protect quarterback Jason Campbell. The Seahawks have accepted that they will miss the playoffs this season, and it should translate to them playing more freely and angrier. I smell a trap game for the 'Skins.

Tennessee 24, New York Jets 13
Miami 20, New England 17
Philadelphia 23, Baltimore 17
New York Giants 35, Arizona 14

Last week's record: 9-1
Season to date: 83-37 (69.2 percent)

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November 20, 2008 3:16 PM

Life could be worse: Clay Bennett's wretched NBA team gets booed

Posted by Jerry Brewer

After another futile week in Seattle sports, we're left to ponder once again: Could life be any worse?

Well, just think about how bad this autumn would be if it also included the team formerly known as the Sonics.

The Thunder (ick) lost its ninth straight game Wednesday night and fell to a league-worst 1-11. Even more embarrassing, the fans in Oklahoma City booed their new team for the first time.

Clay Bennett hoped to revel in a year of firsts, didn't he?

I miss the NBA in Seattle, miss it something terrible. But I don't miss watching a team that was built to lose for several years so it could acquire lottery picks and cap space in order to rebuild.

Imagine if the city hadn't settled with Bennett, and we were subjected to another year of bad basketball while trying to rally support for the Sonics to stay. It would've been an impossible task, fighting for a once-proud franchise floundering under a clueless owner. And then Bennett would try to blame us for being apathetic about his awful product.

Having nothing isn't a consolation prize, but I must admit to grinning after learning that the Thunder had irritated their new fans within three weeks of their debut.

Maybe karma is a dish best served cold, too.

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November 19, 2008 9:03 AM

And for those who question Jack Zduriencik's logic, a message from his twin, Dr. Evil: Zip it!

Posted by Jerry Brewer

If you recall, I wrote last month that Zduriencik, the new Mariners general manager, looks like Dr. Evil from "Austin Powers." So click on the video above to see how I think he should combat all critics who think he should've hired a more seasoned manager.

Don Wakamatsu is the new field manager. Zduriencik and Wakamatsu -- what an unlikely pair to lead the Mariners into ... well, who knows? It'll be a fun ride, though, guaranteed. And in today's column, I told you I'm willing to give this new brain trust a chance.

In the comments section of my column, I've noticed there was talk that Wakamatsu got the job mostly because he has Japanese blood (Wakamatsu's father, a third generation Japanese-American was born in a detention camp near the California-Oregon border during World War II, and his mother is Irish-American), which pleases the Mariners' Japanese owner, Hiroshi Yamauchi. Well, that's hogwash. He was Jack Z's guy all the way. For proof, check out this excerpt Geoff Baker's blog:

There were people within the Mariners organization who favored Joey Cora for the job. But in the end, Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik got total say over the decision and Wakamatsu was his man.

So, there. Wakamatsu was purely the best choice, and I'm happy to say major-league baseball has its first Asian-American manager.

He's a worthy hire. So, to ridiculous thoughts of a token hire, we go back to Dr. Evil.

Zip it!

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November 18, 2008 2:19 PM

Don't worry too much about Hoops Huskies -- yet

Posted by Jerry Brewer

We interrupt your regularly scheduled futility for a voice of reason:

So the newest hope for our dilapidated sports market, the University of Washington men's basketball team, lost to Portland on Saturday and plays its home opener tonight against a Cleveland State squad capable of dropping the Huskies to 0-2.

We've seen this before, huh? Every bit of fresh hope has gotten squashed early and never recovered in 2008. But I'm not here to tell you to start counting down the days to spring training. My mission is to convince you to give this basketball team more time before fretting about this season.

Reason No. 1: It's no longer surprising to see a team from a major conference lose to a little guy, especially on the road. This was a set-up game from the minute the Huskies agreed to it. And although many have questioned the logic of playing a season opener in Portland's house, the Huskies are sure to be better for it in the long run.

Continue reading this post ...

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More from this blog

Recent entries

Nov 27, 08 - 01:46 AM
Crystal Helmet, Week 14

Nov 26, 08 - 11:02 AM
Life could be worse: Notre Dame fans pelt their team with snow

Nov 24, 08 - 03:46 PM
Powerless Rankings: Drops, firings and an embarrassing new peer for our state's woebegone teams

Nov 24, 08 - 10:19 AM
Weekend recap (if you dare to look)

Nov 21, 08 - 11:43 AM
Crystal Helmet, Week 13







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