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Anthony Gordon shines in Senior Bowl, WSU basketball fades in Utah

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Football good, basketball bad.

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning. Let’s start with the good part of Saturday. In his final appearance in a Washington State Cougars uniform - well a Cougar helmet anyway - Anthony Gordon made the most of his prolonged wait at the Senior Bowl. Before the game even began, Gordon had already left his mark on the week’s proceedings.

On Saturday, after watching Jordan Love and Shea Patterson manage only one North touchdown in the first half, Gordo led his squad to three touchdowns (throwing two) and a 31-10 lead.

The final of those two touchdown passes was a beauty. Gordon avoided pressure from his left and dropped an off-balance dime in the end zone for a score.

And of course they ended the clip as the analysts were about to give Gordon some kudos. For the game, Gordon completed eight of 12 passes for 68 yards and the aforementioned two touchdowns. Gordon took home MVP honors for the North side, but despite a rigorous and transparent voting process, was not named the game’s top player.

Oh well. Gordon should be used going unrewarded despite outplaying Herbert by now.

For some reason, NFL.com doesn’t make video clips secure by internet standards so I wasn’t able to embed the video, but if you want to watch a Gordon highlight reel, you can click here.

Up next for Gordon will be the NFL Combine - assuming he gets an invite - in Indianapolis at the end of February. A solid performance there will almost guarantee that he will be the third consecutive WSU quarterback drafted.

Washington State’s Anthony Gordon lights up Senior Bowl with 2 TDs, Spokane’s Evan Weaver anchors North defense in 34-17 win | The Spokesman-Review
“Gordon does not have a huge arm, but the timing, anticipation and accuracy is how he gets by,” Jeremiah said. “This ball is already up and right on him.”

Washington State QB Anthony Gordon shines in Senior Bowl - NFL.com
"I came out swinging when it was my time," said Gordon, who wore the No. 3 jersey in honor of late Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski.

Now for the bad news. In the afterglow of last week’s incredible basketball weekend, I included this tidbit near the end:

Next, Kyle Smith leads the Cougs into the mountains, where they have never emerged victorious as members of the Pac-12 (0-14). Hopefully that changes soon.

Welp.

Saturday night was more of the same. I was able to stay up for the first half, and early on things didn’t look too bad. The Cougs hit their first three 3-point tries and led for much of the half. It was also apparent that Utah isn’t good, and the Cougars had about as good a chance to end the streak as they may get for a bit.

But as I said in our Slack chat, there is probably no bigger false positive in sports than starting off hot from long distance in a basketball game. WSU then proceeded to miss its next 11 three-point tries and, coupled with some mind-bogglingly incompetent officiating, dug a halftime deficit that it could not overcome.

Even for a pedigree-bereft program like WSU, when you get 16 tries in nine years, shouldn’t you at least luck into one along the way? I know both Utah and Colorado have had their moments, but it’s not like WSU has been traveling to face the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels. However, in those 16 games, WSU has managed to stay within two possessions just three times (in addition to a seven-point loss in 2OT). More often than not, the Cougars are completely non-competitive on that road swing, as the average margin of defeat in those 16 games is 16.9 points. Yuck.

The Cougars head back home to face the Arizona schools this week and, despite the two losses on the road, are still looking down in the standings to find the future lottery picks at Washington. So there’s that!

Rylan Jones, Mikael Jantunen power Utah past Washington State 76-64 | The Spokesman-Review
Utah ended the first half on an 18-2 run and took a 37-25 lead into the locker room.

Jones scores 24 as Utah tops Washington State 76-64 at the Huntsman Center - The Salt Lake Tribune
The Utes registered an improbable win over Washington on Thursday, then shot 63 percent in Saturday’s win to rise to seventh, two games behind Pac-12-leading Stanford.

This Week in Parenting

I mentioned last week that the older boy was on a sledding trip to Switzerland. As we were driving to pick him up from the base late Sunday, the 8 year-old was telling us that he was excited to see his older brother. Then for some reason he decided to dive in on worst-case scenarios.

First he asked if we thought his brother had been hurt at all. “No” was the answer. Then he said, “What if he broke his arm or something?” I replied that I assume mom and I would have been notified. Finally, he went for the kill shot with, “What if he’s constipated?”

After a typical week, it was time for a busy Saturday. Originally, we had basketball games scheduled for 10am and 1015am, followed by the annual Cub Scout Pinewood Derby at noon. Though not ideal, the schedule was fine since we would be able to easily finish up basketball and get to the derby on time. So of course, in typical base youth sports program fashion, we learned Friday night that there had been a schedule change, and the 8 year-old’s basketball game now started at noon. Problem.

Ok, time to make a plan. The Pinewood Derby’s flow always goes from youngest to oldest, so my kid wouldn’t go until the third group (he’s classified as a Wolf this year). Last year, the event took forever, with neither of my kids even starting to race for a good 30 minutes. Drawing upon that experience, we decided to ask the basketball coach (who alternates players each quarter) if our kid could just play the first half, and then leave in order to make his portion of the race on time. The drive between venues was about 15 minutes.

The coach agreed to our request, so we headed out at halftime and arrived to the race about 1240. In 2019, this would have been plenty early. But apparently someone in charge took note of the interminable event in 2019, and decided to significantly accelerate the process. This meant that we’d missed “Wazzu” - both the design and name were 100% his idea - race against the other cars.

As far as the drawing, I’ll just say that he’s a chip off the old block when it comes to artistic acumen.

Luckily his den master took some videos, and his car actually won one of the heats. However, it was not fast enough to qualify for the regional finals, which are being held an hour’s drive from here and would have sucked up another Saturday. Mom and I were elated incredibly disappointed by this turn of events.

Speaking of basketball, the 11 year-old’s team had a much more successful go of it than they did in their first game, chalking up a win. While the younger boy has taken to the game fairly quickly - at least for someone who had never played - the older boy is, shall we say, a project. As much as I can, I try to hammer home that he can be a very valuable member of the team by being in the right spots, playing defense and just hustling in general. He seems to be taking that to heart.

On the down side, as much as I want him to succeed, I don’t have the heart to tell him that we’re burning his jersey at midcourt roughly one second after the season ends.

Never forget.

Beer

Best beer I had this week: Still making my way through Evil Twin’s 12 Beers of Christmas, and this week it was time to try their collaboration with 3 Sons Brewing. It was near the top of the bunch. I’ve got one left, from Tampa favorite Angry Chair. Next weekend, we’re driving up to Bruges, Belgium to partake in their local beer festival, so hopefully I’ll remember enough from the day to determine which was the best of the many beers available.

As far as the article, I’m reserving judgement until I find out which beer the man is taking with him.

Brooklyn man registers beer as an emotional support animal
Brooklyn resident Floyd Hayes took an unusual step in December to register a pint of beer as an emotional support animal.

Non-Sports

The Mysterious Lawyer X — The California Sunday Magazine
Nicola Gobbo defended Melbourne’s most notorious criminals at the height of a 
gangland war. They didn’t know she had a secret.