TOP OFTHE TOWN ‑  I feel sad the Seattle Storm appears to be on the decline from its pre-season hopes that future Hall of Fame point guard Sue Bird and superstar Breanna Stewart would go out this season on a high note and probably win another WNBA title. That’s not going to happen. I watch most of the Storm’s games and it’s frustrating to me to see those two giants struggle in coach Noelle Quinn’s crazy system. My philosophy, along with many others, is you ride your best players to get the best out of your team. Quinn seems to believe that all her players should play and she often subs out the entire starting five, even at the worse times. And her second unit is not close to the quality of the starting five that includes Bird and Stewart. Her wholesale sub pattern is reminiscent of the play days girls used to have before Title IX time became law in 1972. The Storm also don’t have the good shooters it had last season and opponents know that so they put up zone defenses against them and dare them to make shots they can’t. As good as Bird has been and continues to be, she has lost some because of age (she will be 42 in October). She’s not the great defender she once was and isn’t the great shooter she once was. She’s still awfully good for her age, but it’s clear she’s reached her max physically and needs to retire, as she will at the end of this season. The Storm will also likely lose Stewart, probably to the New York Liberty, which is closer to her childhood home, Cicero, NY, a northern suburb of Syracuse, where she was raised by her mother (her dad Brian Stewart was not involved as a parent). As I said at the top of this, I feel sad about the Storm. You look at other teams in the WNBA and the quality of play has really gotten a lot better, even from last season. Take Kelsey Plum, the former All-American that set scoring records at the University of Washington. Plum struggled her first few years in the league, but now, playing for the Los Vegas Aces, she is one of the best in the league. She is playing now like she did at Washington and she is reflective of how the league has gotten so much better. Meanwhile, the Storm under Quinn is treading water. On a given night the Storm can still be pretty good. But those nights are becoming fewer and fewer. Stewart still leads the league in scoring (21.2 points a game) and Bird is still the emotional and physical leader, but other than Jewell Lloyd they don’t have much help. And Lloyd is streaky. When she is hot she is unstoppable. Trouble is when she is cold ice forms. Guess who is the second best scorer in the league? Yeah, you are right. It’s Plum (20.1). I have a feeling this winter will be tough on you and me if you love the Seahawks. They are not going to be very good. Like the Storm, other teams have gotten much better and the Seahawks, no matter what Pete Carroll says, are in rebuild without Russell Wilson, and probably running back Chris Carson (neck surgery recovery). The Seahawks may be lucky to win six games. And Washington Husky basketball? Forget it. Another roster remodel puts them at risk of losing more than they win. Washington football may escape the losing. Even though it usually takes a few years for a team to recover from a coaching change, the 2022 Husky footballers may be alright. It depends on the quarterback. If it is Dylan Morris, all bets are off. If it’s Michael Penix Jr. you may have hit the lottery. Another thing that makes me sad is what is happening to college football. NIL and super conferences being formed, leaving destruction in the wake is beginning to turn me off of college football. The future, and I may not be around to see the full extent of the damage, will look like Pro football B. You will have the SEC and Big Ten and the rest of the country scrambling to make a buck. It’s all about money, folks, and most of the college football money will be going to those schools in the SEC and Big Ten. If the script comes out as I expect, the Washington State Cougars may wind up in the Mountain West counting their pennies. Sad.  Ok, enough of this. Stay safe.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.