The wide world of sports

By JOEL WILLITS

  • Monday, June 2, 2008 3:57pm
  • Sports

By JOEL WILLITS

Sometimes, there is just too much going on in the sports world to contain itself to one simple column.

Which is never a bad thing for From the Sidelines, when we can take you around the wide world of sports from your couch, lunch break or office (just don’t let your boss catch you).

MARATHON MEN: No, I’m not talking about the Boston Marathon, I’m talking about the NHL playoffs.

If you’ve been a faithful reader of this column, you’ll know we give the official From the Sidelines Seal of Approval to the NHL and the NHL playoffs. And if you haven’t been watching, well, you’ve been missing out on a lot.

With the Stars 2-1 overtime victory against the San Jose Sharks in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals, Dallas finally advanced to the Western Conference Finals.

I say finally, because it took seven periods to do it. Brenden Morrow scored 9:03 into the fourth overtime period to eliminate the Sharks. Four overtime periods. That’s two full games plus the start of another. Most players had over 50 minutes of ice time. There were 117 shots.

Think about that the next time you skip through the NHL playoffs on Versus to watch the ESPN Spelling Bee.

HOW BOUT THEM HAWKS: Some interesting picks the Seahawks made in the 2008 NFL Draft. I must say, I’m very happy with what the ‘Hawks got: a defensive end with a chance to make a big impact, the tight end they wanted all along and, most intriguing of all, Owen Schmitt, the big, crazy fullback from West Virginia Seattle picked in the fifth round.

This is a guy who bench-pressed 225 pounds 26 times at the NFL combine. A guy whose neck resembles a large oak tree. A guy who once smashed his head with his own helmet in frustration on national TV. Seriously, check out that video online; this is the guy who will be the next Seattle cult hero.

THE KIDS CAN PLAY: Last week the Mariners designated starting right fielder Brad Wilkerson and bench player Greg Norton for assignment and brought up highly-touted prospects Wladimir Balentien and catcher Jeff Clement. In his first game with the club this season, Balentien hit a three-run home run against Cleveland.

With the Mariners struggling at 13-19 and tied at last place in the AL West, its now or never for some of Seattle’s older, struggling players (see: Raul Ibanez and Jose Vidro). The M’s can’t afford to fall further behind the division-leading Angels or they may have too much ground to try to make up.

Joel Willits is the sports reporter for the Bellevue Reporter. He can be reached at 425-453-4270 ext. 5060 or at jwillits@reporternewspapers.com.

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