Thursday, April 29, 2010

Seattle Sports: In the Morning

#thankyouwalter:
Walter Jones was to the Seahawks what gravity is to the Universe. Not flashy, not one to provide many memorable moments. Just a steady and indispensable force that holds everything together.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
"I tell people, the two greatest athletes I ever played with were Deion Sanders and Walter Jones." -- Robbie Tobeck, via Seahawks.com

"It was once said of Jim Brown that there are many superstars but only one Superman. It was my good fortune to watch Walter Jones ply his trade for over a decade -- and to understand, for a time, what Superman actually looked like." -- Doug Farrar, Yahoo Sports (full column on Jones.)

"I faced a number of other Hall of Famers who were fantastic players, and Walt was head and shoulders above them...It was like wrestling a bear for three hours." -- Patrick Kerney, via Seahawks.com.

"It will be a great honor to have our #12 hanging up next to Walter's #71." -- @JonAxell.

"It’s the feeling that you have when you have a left tackle that can play like he does, and you don’t have to monkey with your protections that much that way. You just can say, ‘OK, you’ve got that guy and we’ll help in other areas.’ Very few teams can say that.” -- Mike Holmgren, via TNT.

"'Invisible" was how Big Walt liked it. Wasn't invisible to the RE's who tried for years to get past him. Most overlooked runblkr." -- Jim Mora Jr., via Twitter.

"As much as we all love Steve Largent, he was never a DOMINANT player, and he was probably never the best player in the NFL at his position. Walter Jones is the indispensable man: He is the one player MOST responsible for the Seahawks golden age from 2003-2007." -- Johnny Peel, Dave Krieg's Strike Beard (full column on Jones for HOF.)

"Walter was probably a better athlete than everybody on the field other than the defensive backs," Bryce Fisher, via TNT.

"Walter will always be connected to us and will always be a huge part of the Seahawks family.” -- Pete Carroll, via Seahawks.com.

MORE JONES
This story, which Matt Hasselbeck told to the Times' Danny O'Neil, is awesome: "At Super Bowl XL in Detroit, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Joey Porter spent days leading up to the game working up a verbal lather. When the game started, Hasselbeck said he started talking back. That's when Jones told the man he'd be protecting not to worry. 'He just grabbed me,' Hasselbeck said. 'And it was maybe the loudest I'd heard him on the field. "Please don't. I got it. Don't worry. Don't say anything to this dude. I got this."'"

The Seahawks video tribute to Jones. Best part comes about three minutes in, from the 2005 NFC championship, of Jones blocking Panthers DE Mike Rucker about 15 yards downfield. Jones is like a truck with arms.

The team immediately retired Jones' #71.

The Seahawks asked fans to share thoughts on the Twitter hashtag #thankyouwalter. Pretty neat to read.

By declaration of Governor Gregoire today is Walter Jones Day in the State of Washington.

A photo of Jones' locker.

There will be no farewell press conference per Jones' request.

The stats: In 180 career starts, Jones was called for holding just 9 times. As Seahawks Addicts points out, Jones had as many Pro Bowls as holding calls. In 5,703 career pass plays, Jones allowed just 23 sacks.

IN OTHER NEWS
Seahawks
Pete Carroll and Bill Simmons got in another Twitter battle, it ended with Simmons accepting Carroll's invitation to visit Seattle this fall.

Patrick Kerney's post-football life will begin...at Columbia Business School? Apparently so, he was accepted this week.

Huskies
Two UW football players are under investigation for throwing beer bottles off of an apartment balcony.

The Huskies' new women's hoops assistant coach used to be Michelle Wie's agent. He's also the father of one of the best 8th graders in the country. Hmmmm....

Phil Steele ranked the % of offensive production each college football team has returning, and UW is 2nd with 99.13%. (via Bob Condotta)

Husky RB Brandon Yakaboski's career is over after he failed to recover from a knee injury, Coach Sark told Bob Condotta.

Mariners
CLIFF LEE STARTS TODAY WOOOOOO! I'll be there, Field Level sec. 143. Switched over to the third base side especially for this one.

Former M's catcher Miguel Olivo passed a kidney stone during a game Monday. Ew.

Sounders
The Sounders have reportedly traded MF Stephen King to DC United. King scored the game-winner in the U.S. Open Cup semifinal win over Houston last year.

Freddie Ljungberg told reporters he thinks the Sounders will do good things on offense against attacking Columbus on Saturday.

Other/National
Blazers are done for the year, losing Game 6 at home to Phoenix. Brandon Roy, playing less than a week after knee surgery, was just 4-16. "I couldn't imagine being in a suit, seeing these guys get knocked out of the playoffs. I just wanted to be out there with them," he told Blazers Edge after the game. Awesome.

The Mavs and Jason Terry are also done, after losing 3-2 to #7-seeded San Antonio.

San Antonio vs. Phoenix begins Monday night in Phoenix.

Jackson High kid Travis Snider had a homer and a double last night for Toronto, hopefully he'll start to pull out of a dreadful (8-64) early season slump.

TODAY'S ACTION
Terrence Ross and Terrence Jones announce their college choices, 3:30 p.m. (Live blog here.)

Atlanta @ Milwaukee, 4 p.m., ESPN (Milwaukee leads 3-2).

Lakers @ Zombie Sonics, 6:30 p.m., ESPN (Lakers lead 3-2).

Mariners vs. Texas, 7:10 p.m., Lee vs. Lewis.

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