So Antonio Brown doesn’t like the new NFL helmets that are supposed to make the wearer safer and wants to wear his old one. I think there should be a compromise. He can wear the leather helmet that Jim Thorpe wore to his all-world status. It was good enough for Thorpe and I’m sure AB would be surprised how well it wears.


Wow, the Houston Astros denied access to a Detroit Free Press writer at the press conference at the end of the Astros’ 2-1 loss to Detroit in which Justin Verlander tossed a two-hitter but suffered the loss. Verlander has been unhappy with the Free Press writer and refused to appear with other writers if the Free Press writer was there.

So the Astros would not let the Free Press writer attend the conference with Verlander.  Major League Baseball said the writer should have been allowed into the clubhouse for the conference. This is uncharted waters. Verlander doesn’t have to speak to reporters, but to ban a reporter is a no-no, and is stain on freedom of the press.

In my long years of covering baseball for the Bremerton daily newspaper I have had players unhappy with me and at least one who refused to speak with me, but never was I banned from a press conference, and I can’t recall that any other beat writer was either.

It was wrong what the Astros did.

I remember when women were first allowed into the clubhouse after games (before they had to ask to see a player outside the clubhouse) and the tension was high at first. The Mariners had a button outside the clubhouse that was pushed if a woman was about to enter. That gave players time to cover up. Still there were some high-jinks that came into play.

One time, a player came out of the shower buck naked and defiantly stood in the middle of the clubhouse while a couple women reporters milled about. Another time a woman photographer faked taking a couple pictures as a naked coach came out of the shower.

Then there was the time I stood next to a woman reporter in the visitors’ clubhouse as Dave Kingman, showering nearby, tossed a bar at soap at the woman. The bar hit the wall behind us and flakes of the soap showered both of us. This was the same woman that received a dead rat in a box send to her in the pressbox by Kingman.

It’s now always easy to be a reporter covering a pro baseball team. There are bound to be tensions caused by something a reporter has written. But most of those things usually get ironed out behind the scenes. But to be banned? No. It should never happen.



No matter how well intended I try to visualize Washington as the dominant football team in the country, I can’t do it. Yeah, the Huskies have a great coach in Chris Petersen and he has as good a coaching staff as anybody else, but try as I might I can’t see the Huskies winning the national championship.

I could be wrong, and I would be the first to admit it. But there seems to be a mystic about college football in the Southeast that make is almost like a religion. Kids at a young age are pumped to play for the big-time schools back there ‑  Clemson, Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Miami, Georgia, Florida and Florida state are some of the prime ones – and in the Midwest teams like Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State draw the top players like cats attract fleas.

Washington last year opened up against Auburn in Atlanta and there was a sense even before the game was played that the Tigers were just a bit of a class above the Huskies. And it showed in the first half of that game as the Huskies seemed awed with the Tigers, even though by the end of the game, a 21-16 Auburn win, I thought the Huskies were finally realizing, hey, we are just as good as they are, if not better.

It was too late, however. And that mystic gives those teams in the Southeast and some in the Southwest (Texas, Oklahoma, Texas &M primarily) an edge when it comes to playing them.

Having said that, I covered the 1991 Washington football team that was the best I ever saw. It was co-national champions with Miami, but I believe the Huskies would have beaten Miami.

Husky coach Don James built that national champion team piece by piece. I had a conversation in his office once where he said the goal was to duplicate what USC had built on the football field. To do that, James told me that his teams needed to get quicker and faster. And they did and eventually supplanted USC as the dominate power on the West Coast.

Can Petersen duplicate what James built?

Yes. Until then, though the SEC is the model to emulate.

That’s enough for today. Prep football is poised to start soon, as is Husky football so soon the air will be filled with the smell of hot dogs being cooked.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.