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A decade has sped by faster than Usain Bolt can run.

Shortly after 10 p.m. on Sunday night, I celebrated my 10th anniversary of living in Boise.

Doesn’t seem remotely possible that this is true. I thought NFL seasons flew by in a matter of weeks when I was covering that team that used to call San Diego home but here we are talking 10 years of living somewhere.

Ten years flying by like it’s been three.

The bridge at Celebration Park.

There were way too many challenges my first six years in the Potato state (Oh yeah, the natives can’t stand that people from the other 49 states refer to them that way). But the last four have been pretty darn good.


Off the top of my head, there were these bad things …

–No jobs available in my profession in 2009, and no real-person jobs for me to land until finally finding one that called for duty from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. (Not good for someone who prefers going to sleep at 3 a.m., as opposed to waking up at that hour).

–I landed my first online writing job in 2010 but it wasn’t fitting well with the 4 a.m. job. I slept two hours here, three hours there for 17 months. I often went to the 4 a.m. job with one or zero hours of sleep. I would pound 40 ounces of Diet Coke in me before I entered the place. At the same time, I got crushed on taxes and was making monthly payments until August. I also had gigantic credit card debt from my move and not having work that I had no chance of paying it off. I finally hit the wall hard. Major anxiety disorder in June of 2011 and a super tough summer.

–All seemed well in 2012. I had reached an agreement on a financial plan the previous summer and told the person I dealt with I was so glad I wouldn’t need to buy a car for five years. Minding my own business at a stoplight in April 2012, I looked in the rear-view mirror to see a car traveling way too fast. A second later, it plowed into me, totaling my lovable red Mustang and leaving me with six months of back pain with weekly visits to a physical therapist and chiropractor. Oh yeah, and now I had car payments ahead of schedule. Idiot woman was texting while driving, something Idaho folks do all the time for some reason.

–Undergoing another skin cancer surgery in early 2013 was familiar ground but this time, the aftercare didn’t go right. The wound, on my left arm, became badly infected. About six weeks after surgery, things were finally under control.

The Mustang rests in heavy snow in 2010.

–Was trying to buy a house in early 2014 and I felt it was about 100 times more stressful than it should be. Then another hefty tax bill ensued and I finally called it off. But I still felt horrible every day and it just kept getting worse — way worse than the 2011 anxiety issue. That lost summer was the hardest time period of my entire life and I finally hit bottom in mid-August. But it got me in front of a doctor who had solutions rather than the typical guesswork. Things stabilized and I made the slow climb back to normalcy.

–Again, I thought things were great in early 2015. Then I get the call one day that 50 percent of the work was going away at my online gig. Well, I just got hit with another high tax bill and was still rebuilding my financial life so this was a horrible development. Lost $7,000 out of the savings account in six months until I reached my turnaround point. At this point, I’m kind of like — ‘Is anything ever going to go well living here?’


Off the top of my head, there were these good things from that point forward …

–Talk about blessings in disguise. Turned out I knew one of the main managers at the company that was responsible for 50 percent of the work going away. So I got hired there at the start of the 2015 football seasons and that stabilized a lot of things. We worked out of a virtual database so I actually had journalistic co-workers for the first time in six years. Good for relationships. I was getting paid hourly for editing shifts and that was a boon for the income as that was the first hourly pay I had received for journalism work as my own self-employed business entity. And I was still getting paid per writing assignments and now I had two companies giving me writing work. I had so much work and not enough time that I cut out all the live local freelance game coverage I was doing.

–In 2016, my income was finally on an uphill plane. So good that it didn’t appear real. I was actually able to save money again and my awesome bank branch manager got me working with their financial planner and I got all my retirement stuff consolidated and began growing that as well. It hurt to find out Obamacare could penalize you after the fact per the amount of premiums you pay so taxes remained a problem, but after sinking for so long with very little hope, I knew I was really truly moving in the right direction.

Awesome Camel’s Back Park.

–Back to the house purchasing hunt in 2017 and boy were there hurdles. A $2,712 car service bill in January – my car literally froze to near-death in polar bear weather – and then $9,500 in taxes to pay. I was close to giving up again but the mortgage officer somehow found a plan to where my interest rate would still be the same and my down payment would be a little less but I would still get approved for the amount I was shooting for. Unbelievable. So on June 29 I closed on the three-story mansion. A better house than I ever dreamed of being able to buy. Would cost close to $1 million in San Diego. After all the years of cramped apartments, I feel like I live in a miniature village. On top of that, my income for the year was the highest of my entire life. Being my own entity was paying off big.

–Talk about more good fortune. I made the second-most money I’ve made in my life in 2018 because I had the foresight to change jobs. Had a lot of help as my favorite co-worker had made the move and he kept calling and emailing me, telling me I had to leave. The same guy who hired me in 2015 was one of the two co-owners of the company too. Funny thing is, I discussed a job but had no vision of how it would work out for me so I initially stayed put and was going to watch how things go. A week later, I knew I had to take the job. Nearly 18 months later, I can say it is the best job I’ve ever had (sorry, newspaper that no longer exists). Oh yeah, the company I left? It folded on Dec. 31, 2018. #Blessed


Kind of interesting to look back at 10 years off the cuff like this. I faced way too many challenges the first six years of living here. Some of it doesn’t even seem real any longer.

But things finally got going in the right direction in the latter part of 2015 and have continued to move on a good path. My current work gig is awesome. Great co-workers and all my skills are used in a proper manner. My house is outstanding. Have my own work office, have a partial view of the foothills (a true perk in Boise) and my garage is twice the size of multiple apartments that I’ve lived in.

San Diego will always be Paradise but I’m not lying when I refer to Boise as Paradise Jr. You are doing pretty good if those are the only two places you’ve lived in your life.

And nobody cares any longer that I’m from California. They did in 2009, I can tell you that. Especially that police officer that pulled me over from a half-mile ahead and ticketed me even though I did nothing wrong. (My co-workers insisted it was because he saw the CA license plates). But I fought it and the prosecutor agreed and the charge was dismissed.

Spectacular Shoshone Falls.

Somehow, I am now a local. I know this because last summer I was out getting exercise and a couple interrupted me. They flew over from Seattle for the day, and after I answered their questions, the man said ‘Sure is a nice town you have.’

As I continued my exercise, it was going through my mind — ‘Nice town I have? My town? This is my town?’

It started to sink in … if I’m able to give directions and answers at that high of a level, I guess it is my town.

So here on my 10th anniversary, I will finally say it: “Boise is my town.”

Now if the next 10 years can go just a little bit slower.


Week 1 of the college football season means it is time for the return of Weekly Links.

Our opening-week assignments included Alabama, Ohio State, Washington-Auburn, San Diego State-Stanford and Boise State.

Sorry, no baseball previews for you. Short shelf life. But hey, I can probably dig up an MLS preview.

Anyway, here we go with Weekly Links: 

Nick Saban can’t figure out who should quarterback Alabama between holdover Jalen Hurts (26-2 record) and Tua Tagovailoa (hero of last season’s title game) so both guys are listed as co-No. 1 on the depth chart. I say he could start an offensive guard at QB for the fun of it and still beat a Louisville team trying to regroup after the departure of former Heisman winner Lamar Jackson.

Here is the stellar preview —

If you prefer a preview with team formats, here is this stellar preview —

Stanford running back Bryce Love was the runner-up for the Heisman last season and he will look to get off to a good start against the Aztecs. Love was the nation’s second-leading rusher last season. The leader was former San Diego State star Rashaad Penny. Now the Aztecs will see if Juwan Washington can keep up the school’s recent trend of big yardage campaigns.

Here is the stellar preview —

Ohio State’s program has been a mess leading up to the season so Urban Meyer won’t be on the field for the opener against Oregon State, the first of his three-game suspension for his less-than-stellar handling of the Zach Smith situation (coach accused of beating his ex-wife). Funny that Meyer can’t always remember important things due to a faulty memory. Hmmmm, wonder if he recalls Iowa putting up 55 points on the Buckeyes last season?

Here is the stellar preview —

Washington and Auburn are both ranked in the Top 10 and their matchup is the best of the week. But isn’t it weird that the national experts (term used super loosely) say Washington has to win to have any chance of reaching the College Football Playoff? What happened to that saying that “every week matters?” If the Huskies’ season is over because they started 0-1, then 85 percent of the teams can join Washington on the sidelines. Funny that Auburn’s playoff hopes can continue with a loss.

Here is the stellar preview —

Speaking of the poor system in college football, Boise State hopes to be in a New Year’s Six bowl at the conclusion of the season. Remember the not-too-distant past when a team could at least dream of being in the national title game? The big schools have closed the door on the minor conferences.

Here is the stellar preview —

And last but not least. If you can write MLS previews, you can write about ANYTHING. Even WNBA games (oh, yeah, I’ve done that too). So enjoy all you need to know about the Portland Timbers visiting the New England Revolution … where Tom Brady plays in Foxborough!

Here is the stellar preview —

I never knew I had a favorite country singer. “Now I Know.”

I learned this Jan. 23.

Was doing one of the 40 or 50 online searches I do during a work shift and I saw a familiar face but the headline was out of my view.

I scrolled downward and the headline was crushing: ‘Now I Know’ Singer Lari White Dead at 52.

Whatever sports stuff I was searching for quickly took a backseat. I had to read that story immediately. Totally saddened me to learn how a rare abdominal lining cancer that she was diagnosed with four months earlier took her life and left three teenage kids without a mom.

They are holding a “Celebration of Life” for Lari White in Nashville on Monday evening and I decided I am going to do my part to keep her memory alive.

I once wrote an item on this website about rock singer John Waite’s top 10 songs and it remains one of the most searched things that causes people to land on my website. So five years from now, 10 years from now, people can still reminisce or learn about Lari White by seeing this post.

That works for me.

In case you didn’t know, Lari White would help people pronounce her name correctly by saying “it rhymes with starry night.” That is fitting because that certainly will be her star shining in the sky when you look upward at night.

Funny that I learned about her due to her three gigantic Top 10 hits off the “Wishes” album in the mid-1990s. But upon her death, I learned that she is famous to millions of other people due to her acting.

That is Lari White playing alongside Tom Hanks in the dramatic final scene of the movie “Cast Away.” … Yeah, I never knew … but here it is for you …

The other thing that has stuck out to me since White’s death is reading hundreds of comments from people who either knew her well, knew her slightly or had a chance meeting with her.

Every single person raves about her. I’m talking gushing remarks with details of her unparalleled kindness and caring nature.

Most people reaching a high level of fame who sing their hits on the Letterman and Leno shows develop a bit of an ego. Remember, I cover sports for a living and have lots of firsthand experience of seeing arrogance at its highest level. Or lowest level (Hey, Ryan Leaf!)

So it is rare for someone this accomplished to remain so grounded and be so beloved by everyone. Usually, a person’s success alone is going to create jealousy from someone at a minimum, and typically the increased demands and attention pull out some hidden warts.

I can’t find a single person who didn’t like Lari White. All I find are people who adore her. Pretty touching.

Oh yeah, so you are wondering how the heck I even know of this woman since I grew up listening to The Cars and The Doors and whatever band John Waite was in (Babys, Bad English) when he wasn’t a solo act … OK, here are the details.

I only know country music from 1994-98 because my sister and one of my brothers used to hang out at the big country bar in the Mission Valley area of San Diego.

So pretty much, if I wanted to hang out with my sister, I had to go to that place. (Um, please refrain from jokes about hanging out with my sister. Someone might read this to her).

It was different music than I was used to on some levels, but there were plenty of songs that weren’t too far off my comfort level.

The first time I heard “That’s My Baby” at that country bar, I had no idea who was signing it but I instantly knew it was someone with a stellar voice. Then I saw the video for the song and it was amazing just how much fun the woman was having. Such magnetic personality with a total goofy side. Impossible not to like her.

This video was my first time seeing Lari White sing that Top 10 hit …

Then a few months later, I heard the stellar “Now I Know” and I somehow recognized the voice. I ended up buying the cassette tape (wow, might need a picture of that for the younger folks) as one of my few country music album purchases.

That song was not only a Top 5 hit, but it proved therapeutic for me following the end of the 1994 college football season. For whatever reason, when the work slowed down, I was hit with a lot of depression over a three-month span that I couldn’t seem to shake. So I would lay there at night (picture 3 a.m.) and play “Now I Know” five or six times in a row just looking for inspiration.

Eventually, I would get some sleep.

Here is Lari White’s biggest hit here …

Also on the same album was “That’s How You Know (When You’re In Love).” During the past few weeks, I have seen dozens of accounts of people saying that Top 10 hit was their wedding song and how people would write White to tell her that.

That is kind of cool. Almost as cool as having David Letterman inviting you to come sing it to the studio audience …

And like all albums with three major hits, there is another song on “Wishes” that would be the best song on most people’s albums. Got to say “Go On” is a pretty good fourth-best song for one cassette tape (Yeah, I have the CD now) …

My country music window closed a few years later and I never heard any other songs from White at the time of their release. I know now that she eventually put the music career aside and was concentrating on acting and starring in a Broadway musical and with being a mom.

But I did find a very lively hit song called “Take Me” from her “Stepping Stone” album. And I think we get a good glimpse of her personality at the beginning.

She is trying to teach a kid how to pronounce her name and he is saying “Larry” or “Lori” and she just can’t get him to say it right. Her reaction when the kid calls her “Lori” is pretty funny …

The title track song was new to me as well and here’s the link for that …

So I was thinking … I really knew nothing about what was going on in Lari White’s life for about 23 years. Nothing about her music, nothing about her acting. Flat-out nothing.

But this whole situation hit me kind of hard — she was just 52! — and I have been reading a lot of things about how fast Lari’s health went downward.

As 2017 reached its midway point, White probably figured she would live another two or three decades. She even released her first album in 13 years earlier in the year.

Heck, I saw an interview of her that is from February 2017 where she is so full of life and encouraging her fans to get on her email list or contact her on social media.

More Heck, I saw a video of her singing at a concert from early September. Less than two weeks after that, she was diagnosed with cancer.

She had been teaching online songwriting and voice lessons to people and in mid-November, she penned a letter saying she needed to step away due to the cancer. Two months later, she was gone.

We all know life isn’t always fair. We never understand why a creep like Charles Manson gets to live to age 83 while some 8-year-old kid gets a rare disease and dies without getting a chance to live.

So yeah, somebody who is a fabulous person by all accounts dying at age 52 is bothersome. And I’m not even factoring in the talent part of the equation.

I think that is why it hit me so hard and continues to have an effect. This was one person the current world needed … badly.

But perhaps heaven needed some reinforcements too. As in another angel.

RIP to Lari White, the best country music singing voice I have ever heard.

There are undoubtedly a lot of people who knew her personally singing one of her spectacularly sung lines:

“I always wondered how I’d live without you. Now I know.”

This will probably sound mean at first but I am really, really glad NASCAR star Jimmie Johnson had skin cancer surgery this week.

Of course, it isn’t that I wanted Johnson — or anybody else — to have a skin cancer situation. It is just that he is a very visible and well-respected public figure who can help awareness.

Johnson had surgery to remove basal cell carcinoma from his shoulder — and that type of skin cancer is something I know very, very well.

I’ve had too many basal cell carcinoma situations to count. My first experience was the scariest — the spot near my nose on the left side of the face required major surgery and the tumor was bigger than a quarter inside my face. Somewhere there is a Polaroid photo of the hole in my face before I was stitched back up.

Nobody I meet ever can tell this occurred without me pointing it out to them so my surgeon did a superb job. But it is hard to forget laying there and having your face cut open — it took 42 stitches to close me back up — and every time the doctor sensed I could feel it, there was another shot to the face.

A needle into the face.

Yeah, 3 1/2 hours of super, duper fun. Not.

I have had three others surgically removed and probably two dozen others frozen off with liquid nitrogen, which is negative 321 degrees. That is also the preferred way to be treated — a 10-second squirt and it freezes the area and the cancer falls off in less than two weeks.

Oh, another reason why I am glad Johnson was dealing with basal cell carcinoma — he didn’t hear the dreaded ‘M word.’

That would be melanoma. That’s the worst word you can hear when you are visiting the skin doctor and he or she identifies something suspicious.

Melanoma leads to things like chemotherapy and radiation and is a death sentence for some people. But basal cell carcinoma doesn’t spread, it is a local cancer and it doesn’t kill you.

Johnson learned the same thing I did during my first experience — if you have to get skin cancer, this is the type to get.

“Carcinoma doesn’t spread. It doesn’t go to the glands,” Johnson told reporters Friday at Pocono Raceway prior to this Sunday’s Pocono 400. “They just have to dig it out and you’re good to go. Once I understood that, my reaction to the ‘C’ word calmed down.”

Good time to mention to read this stellar story about Johnson’s experience —

Johnson grew up in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon and was often outside in the Southern California sun.

I can relate. When I was a kid you played outdoors all day and there was little talk about sunscreen. I went to hundreds of day-time sporting events while growing up to watch the Padres or Chargers play and I know I was unprotected most of the time.

The sun damage accumulates over time and I have to constantly be aware. I’m diligent and nearly always have sunscreen with me and I still regularly get a new spot or mole that needs to be checked.

There is better awareness this century and that is why I am glad somebody like Johnson can tell his personal skin cancer experience.

People listen to a legendary figure like himself — his Twitter post below from Monday has so far received 763 retweets and more than 2,700 likes.

“Wear sunblock kids. I’ve spent the morning on a table having Basal Cell Carcinoma cut out of my shoulder.”

That type of reaction doesn’t happen when I post about a new skin cancer. I don’t have that type of pull.

But Johnson does and that is why I wasn’t the least bit mad that he joined me as someone who deals with basal cell carcinoma. He is someone who can raise the awareness and I hope his experience leads to some people getting into the habit of applying sunscreen.

Welcome to the club, Jimmie. Hope you never hear the M word.

Ever think where the San Diego Chargers might be if they didn’t have Philip Rivers on their team?

Um, no, smartass, saying “in Los Angeles” isn’t the proper answer.

They also wouldn’t have been in the game against the unbeaten Green Bay Packers if not for Rivers having a superb contest.

The Chargers suffered a painful 27-20 loss to the Packers on Sunday in what was an absolutely stellar effort by the veteran quarterback.

Rivers had the most prolific game by a quarterback in Chargers history – the type of performance that would even make Hall of Famer Don Fouts blush.

Rivers set clubs records for completions (43), attempts (65) and passing yardage (503). He broke his own club record for passing yardage – 455 against the Seattle Seahawks in 2010 – while becoming only the 17th player in NFL history to top 500 yards in a single game.

Receiver Keenan Allen caught 14 passes – one short of the franchise record he shares with Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow – before leaving with a hip injury.

But all that production didn’t equate to a victory. The Chargers only scored 20 points despite accumulating 32 first downs, possessing the ball for 38 minutes and running 89 plays to Green Bay’s 49.

The Chargers had a chance to force overtime but a third-and-goal run by Woodhead was halted for a 1-yard loss and Rivers’ fourth-down throw into the right flat never reached Woodhead as the pass was broken up by Green Bay cornerback Damarious Randall.

Just like that, Rivers’ big game wasn’t enough.

Here’s the number why the Chargers head home disappointed – 20.

All that production and San Diego only scored 20 points.

Rough way to drop to 2-4 and pretty much know that you are out of the AFC West race with the Denver Broncos being undefeated.

The Packers remained unbeaten with the victory and recorded their 13th straight home win. Oh yeah, they are also 10-1 lifetime against the Chargers.

So the history wasn’t good as San Diego’s lone win against the Packers came on Oct. 7, 1984 and you may know it is also one of the most-ignored victories in franchise history.

That’s because the Padres beat the Chicago Cubs to reach the World Series for the first time that same afternoon. Winslow set his franchise record during that contest but the only receptions most San Diegans saw were on the Monday Night Football halftime highlights the following night.

So considering the history, it wasn’t looking too good for the Chargers when they spotted Green Bay a 17-3 lead.

Aaron Rodgers threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to James Starks in the first quarter and Starks later added a 65-yard touchdown run. Starks appeared stuffed in the middle of line before reversing to the right and taking advantage of the fact the Chargers backside defenders over pursued and meandered down the field for the score.

But the Chargers regrouped and scored a significant touchdown right before halftime. Allen caught a pass near the goal line with 12 seconds left – a review confirmed he was a foot short – and San Diego nearly let time run out before using one of its two timeouts.

Nearly a pretty major gaffe by coach Mike McCoy, who has made a habit of curious decisions during his head-coaching stint. There was no reason to be scrambling to the line and trying to get set to snap the ball at the last second. He had TWO timeouts.

If the play gets reviewed, the result can only be improved for the Chargers. The replay officials may have ruled Allen got in as opposed to being a foot short. So no need to hurry and get a play off.

Then weirder, McCoy ran in the field-goal kicking team while the play was under review. It is OK if you used your Nancy Kerrigan “WHYYYYYYY?” voice because that was even sillier than the timeout fiasco.

Finally, San Diego got the offense back on the field and cashed in as Rivers threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Dontrelle Inman. Trailing 17-10 at halftime in Lambeau Field provided hope and that was infinitely much better than trailing 17-3 or 17-6.

Helping matters more is that the Chargers continued to play strong at the outset of the third quarter and tied the contest on Rivers’ 19-yard scoring pass to Ladarius Green.

But Rodgers finally got Green Bay moving again after going more than 20 minutes without a first down. Once the Packers went ahead 24-17 on Rodgers’ 8-yard pass to James Jones with 46 seconds left in the third quarter, it wouldn’t have been a surprise if things fell apart.

It didn’t happen as the Chargers moved back within four points on Jeff Lambo’s 32-yard field goal and were able to make the Packers settle for a 28-yard field goal by Mason Crosby with 2:37 remaining.

But the final drive didn’t produce the tying points. Rivers drove the Chargers down the field but the offense stalled after reaching the 3-yard line. Two Woodhead runs and two incomplete passes later, San Diego walked off the field with its third road loss of the season.

Just don’t put any blame on Philip Rivers.

Sure, he only guided his club to 20 points but what more could he do?

He did it all on Sunday and it still wasn’t enough for a victory.

Sometimes you get a reminder that life is good.

No matter how messed up the world is and no matter how screwed up things like the Idaho Health Exchange are – highest premiums I’ve ever paid for the worst health coverage I’ve ever had – you need that occasional reminder that you have it good.

Monday, June 9th is one of those days and I first want to express my condolences to the families of the three people killed in two separate crashes on Highways 55 and 95.

These accidents caught my attention for this one simple fact: I stayed up late Sunday night to get some NBA Finals responsibilities done so I could have my first complete day with absolutely no work since the mid-February Friday during the NBA All-Star break.

So Sunday night I pondered what I could do with this day off with the bad thing being that Boise is six-plus hours away from any real cities. Once I moved past that stark reality I decided that perhaps I should head about two hours north to McCall, a resort town in Idaho that at least has a nice lake to look at.

I thought about how I could leave around 10 or 10:30 and head due north up Highway 55 to McCall. Then it hit me that I have never been on the Highway 95 route to McCall. It would take me through Payette, the hometown of baseball Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew and through an outpost called Weiser, where apparently baseball Hall of Famer Walter Johnson lived for a while shortly before beginning his pro career. The Highway 95 route would add about 50 miles to the trip but I could see things I’ve never seen.

I had some concerns about the Highway 95 route as I’m unfamiliar with the road and I’m aware accidents occur on the highway. Then I remembered my two times being on Highway 55 – in 2009, stuck in traffic both coming and going for lengthy times due to construction and a 2006 drive back from Montana with my brother’s family in which we sat on the road for a while waiting for an accident to be cleared.

I filled up the gas tank late Sunday night, cranked up the ice maker and cleaned the cooler. Figured I’d see how I felt Monday and make a decision on which road to go.

Apparently this is when fate intervened. I started doing my NBA work for Tuesday’s Game 3 and was up late getting it done. Relaxed with a couple beers and before I knew it, it was 2:30 a.m. (In other words, like nearly every other night in my life!).

I went to bed – but forgot to set an alarm.

I needed the sleep badly and I slept 8 1/2 hours – yes, 8 1/2 hours with no interruption – and was lying there in bed pondering the situation. Finally, I decided leaving around noon to make a day trip to somewhere in which the round trip is more than 200 miles made no sense and I used my afternoon to run errands and even vacuumed for the first time since, um, 2013.

Basically, I figured there will be another chance this summer to go to McCall on either the direct route or the roundabout route before my work commitments heat back up when college football season arrives. Thought I was done thinking about it for the day.

Well, until I saw these new stories crossing my path on social-media sites.

An accident on Highway 55 occurred between the towns of Smiths Ferry and Cascade around 11:30 a.m. in which two people died and four others were transported to hospitals. Definitely could’ve been right around that area myself if I had departed around 10 a.m. Most certainly would have been stuck in the traffic – this article says the road was blocked for more than two hours – if I had left later. (

Guess what happened approximately 50 minutes later on Highway 95? Yep, another fatal accident near the town of Midvale. Never heard of Midvale until I was studying the map on Sunday trying to figure out how many little towns were between Weiser and McCall. The crash happened at 12:20 p.m., which would again be within the timeframe if I had departed around 10 a.m. I had decided I would stop in Weiser to check out the field named after Walter Johnson so if I hadn’t already made it past Midvale, I would have been likely sitting in traffic on that highway as the road was closed for 3 1/2 hours. (

So if I had gone through with the hatched-out plan to go to McCall, it would have at least been a very frustrating day. Since I didn’t, it becomes one of those days that reminds you how well you have it.

The odds are certainly very, very, very slim that I would have been the one involved in either of those crashes. But you can also count on it holding true that the people who died today had no clue Monday was going to be the last day of their lives even two minutes before the respective accidents.

I remember getting this type of reminder once before since relocating to Boise – right around Thanksgiving of 2010. Two drunk drivers ran into each other on a road – one was on the wrong side of the street – and three of the four people died and the one woman who survived suffered major injuries. One of my brothers and I made it through the area about 45 seconds to two minutes prior to the  2 a.m. crash and only learned of it in the morning. (

Sooooooo – sometimes not setting the alarm clock is the best thing one can do.

The San Diego Padres have the best record in the majors — at 1-0 — after rallying for a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday night.

Seth Smith hit a tying pinch-hit homer in the eighth and Chris Denorfia ripped the tiebreaking two-run single later in the inning as bearded Brian Wilson took a beating. Huston Street then dominated the Dodgers in the ninth to wrap up the victory.

The best thing about Opening Day is that everybody has high hopes for their team. But hours after the Padres’ stellar comeback, there were two questions on my mind.

One involved Adrian Gonzalez. If Petco Park is such a terrible place for power hitters, how come Gonzalez hit 30 or more homers in each of his last four seasons with the Padres and hasn’t hit 30 in a season since departing?

The other was this: Where the heck is Khalil Greene on a Sunday?

Oh, I think I found him.

He plays for Home Depot.

Khalil Greene was once a very popular player for the Padres.

Khalil Greene was once a very popular player for the Padres.

San Diego State’s loss to Arizona in the Sweet 16 can be summed up this simply:

winston.shepard.ballhandlerJohnson was scoreless over the first 37-plus minutes of the game but the easy basket after Shepard’s ill-timed turnover turned his night around. The Pac-12 Player of the Year was 0-of-10 shooting prior to the gift basket and ended up scoring 15 points in the final 2:46 as Arizona pulled out a 70-64 victory.

The Wildcats move on to Saturday’s West regional final against Wisconsin while the Aztecs get to head back down Interstate 5 lamenting that an eight-point second-half lead slipped away. (see stellar game recap —

San Diego State finishes the campaign with a stellar 31-5 record – the second-best mark in school history – but the celebration over a strong season will begin sometime next week.

In the aftermath of a stinging defeat, players and coaches wonder what they could have done to change the outcome and pundits assess where the blame goes.

The Aztecs led for the first 12-plus minutes of the second half before Arizona took its first lead. The momentum had shifted to the Wildcats but San Diego State was just a 3-pointer away from tying the score before the ghost of Brandon Heath emerged.

Heath is the former guard who carelessly dribbled the ball off his own calf when the Aztecs had the lead in the final half-minute of the 2006 NCAA tournament against Indiana. The Hoosiers stole the game and San Diego State would wait another five years to win its first-ever NCAA tournament game.

Shepard’s miscue set the tone for what happened down the stretch. T.J. McConnell stole the ball and the play ended with Johnson’s first basket of the night. He then hit a 3-pointer with 1:50 to play and with his mind no longer clogged up about his poor shooting night, Johnson made 10 consecutive free throws over the final 90 seconds to thwart the Aztecs’ attempt at reaching the Elite Eight for the first time ever.

Obviously, the loss isn’t to be solely pinned on Shepard. San Diego State allowed Arizona to shoot 61.9 percent from the field in the second half and had just three assists all night while shooting 38.9 percent.

Then there is also this huge factor: The top-seeded Wildcats are, well, pretty good themselves.

Arizona is a program used to playing in the Sweet 16 and other big games and the Wildcats picked up their level of play in the latter part of the contest.

Aztecs coach Steve Fisher is trying to get San Diego State’s program to that level – and hard losses like Thursday’s contest is often part of the process.

“We’re newbies to this stage – we’ve only been to the Sweet 16 twice,” Fisher said in the postgame press conference. “And we want more.”

The Aztecs will take another shot next season and it will have to be done without the services of do-everything guard Xavier Thames and rebounding dynamo Josh Davis. But several key players will be back and a highly regarded recruiting class is also on its way.

So we will see next March whether lessons are learned. Remember, the team the Aztecs lost to in the 2011 Sweet 16 went on to win the NCAA tournament. If Arizona joins Connecticut in cutting down the nets, it makes the final game of the 2013-14 season just a little bit less painful when it is recalled years down the line.

Regardless, 30-win seasons sure beat all those 20-loss campaigns San Diego State was once known for.

What do you know – Cable One helped itself to some of my money today due to the fact that it currently provides me with cable, phone and Internet usage.

Funny though, my bill was the same as any other month despite the company claiming refunds were in order for the fact that they were involved in a bitter dispute with Turner during the month of October. You know, the silly quarrel that prevented millions of customers in 19 different states from seeing the National League baseball playoffs.

Cable One used one of the bare Turner channels to make it clear how they weren’t at fault and how customers would be getting a credit once the dispute was over. Well, the dispute ended right before the NBA began season in late October and a month later, there still hasn’t been a refund.

Of course, if Cable One cares so little about customers that it can’t figure out a way to keep one of the most important sporting events from being blacked out, you know how little people like you and I mean to them.

The only time any of us matter to Cable One or Turner or Major League Baseball is when they can get their greedy hands on our money.

Pretty much makes you want to laugh when you see the Cable One advertisement where the theme is “Common Sense.”

But in the social media age, normal people who were once powerless have a lot of pull. Cable One can blow you off on the phone all it wants or send stupid emails with links to – yes, a PAY site – but it also can be exposed for its practices by any customer at any time.

Companies seem to forget consumers have choices. I’m hoping to buy property when my lease next runs out.

So what should we rate Cable One’s chances at keeping my business?

Hmmmm, they weren’t able to show me the baseball playoffs that I already paid to watch via the previous month’s bill?

Strike One.

They don’t have the NFL Red Zone channel like the more-popular and more-respected DirecTV does? Doesn’t offer the MLB package either?

Strike Two.

Oh, they promised a refund for the failure to provide agreed-upon services and it still hasn’t come? Perhaps they are still figuring out a way to where I only have to pay half my bill next month, right?


We all know whatever refund eventually comes will be skimpy – because that what these greedy companies do.

So yeah, you can guess what my response will be sometime next year when a Cable One representative wants to know why they no longer have my business.

I will be telling them that they struck out.

You know, because it’s “Common Sense.”

Anyway, the month of October was a mighty fun time when snarky tweets about Cable One, Turner and MLB became the real national pastime.

You can re-live the fun below:



Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 1 Oct

Looks like @CableOne did own shutdown per #Turner@CNN & @HLNTV no longer on my TV. But worse — no @TruTV when @NCAA tourney arrives.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 1 Oct

Received email from @CableOne saying #Turner has now pulled #TNT & #TBS from the lineup. My advice: Get it sorted out before @NBA starts up.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 1 Oct

Uh oh, just realized @CableOne pissing match with #Turner means I can’t see NL wild-card game tonight. That is atrocious & very poor timing.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 1 Oct

OK, @CableOne sure makes it difficult to send complaint about #MLB playoffs not being on TV. Had to jump through hoops to issue a complaint.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 1 Oct

You better put TBS back on for baseball playoffs. RT @CNNPR Turner Broadcasting was unable to reach an agreement with Cable One for @CNN.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 1 Oct

“Common sense” is theme. RT @CollinGarner @cableONE @ErraticElle drop turner channels in the middle of the playoffs? It’s just common sense


Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 2 Oct

Looks like @CableOne is failing at “common sense.” My complaint email per baseball playoffs led to them sending link to their spin control.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 2 Oct

When you turn to #TBS today, @CableOne is displaying a “Turner Negotiations” update & saying customers will receive a credit on next bill.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 2 Oct

It also says, you DO NOT need to call. Think that means @CableOne doesn’t want to have to hear from millions of baseball fans they shafted.

Marty McFly@LaidbckinAz 2 Oct

Cable One “It’s just common sense” To me common sense is paying for cable and being able to watch MLB playoffs #tbs #cnn #tnt C’mon

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 2 Oct

Hey @MLB if you care that MILLIONS of fans aren’t watching playoffs because of childish #TBS & childish @CableOne then get this fixed NOW.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 2 Oct

Time to turn on #Rays vs #Indians … oh wait, I forgot — @TurnerSportsPR & @CableOne have decided baseball playoffs aren’t worth showing.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 2 Oct

Can’t make this up: @CableOne just now sent me an email telling me I can watch playoff games on  #MLBChargesYouIdiots

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 2 Oct

Hey @MLB_TBS you and @CableOne need to quit acting like government politician buffoons & get this baseball game on my TV set immediately.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 2 Oct

TV news just reported on @MLB_TBS & @CableOne dispute saying “no timetable” to reach agreement. Hurry up @Fox & take over baseball playoffs.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 2 Oct

What?? The #NLCS is on @MLB_TBS too? Yikes — this will be recalled as the baseball postseason a large chunk of nation never saw. @CableOne


Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 3 Oct

Was just thinking I should turn to #CNN to see what all this White House shooting stuff is about. Oooooops — no longer on @CableOne.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 3 Oct

Hey @MLB & @MLB_TBS there is an #NFL game & a good college game on tonight since you don’t want millions of us to see playoffs. @CableOne

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 3 Oct

@ROSSatACA Why can’t Turner just unblock @MLB_TBS when baseball starts & block it again when it ends? This is so small-minded loser stuff.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 3 Oct

Something called the American Cable Association has sharply criticized @MLB_TBS for shutting out millions of fans from baseball postseason.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 3 Oct

Looks like it is that time to find a #Dodgers vs #Braves stream. Thanks for nothing @MLB @MLB_TBS & @CableOne … You all are failures.


Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 4 Oct

Thank you @MLB @CableOne & @MLB_TBS for freeing up my Friday to run errands & get exercise in great weather. #BaseballAndCableProvidersFail

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 4 Oct

So @MLB_TBS @MLB & @CableOne don’t care if people watch the baseball playoffs? No problem. I see #SanDiegoState playing #Nevada on @ESPN.


Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 5 Oct

So @MLB_TBS @CableOne & @MLB don’t care if anyone watches baseball playoffs? Not a problem — all three TVs on college football games. #IWin

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 5 Oct

Thanks @MLB_TBS @MLB & @CableOne for not letting us watch baseball playoffs. This #OhioState vs #Northwestern game is awesome. #Winning


Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 6 Oct

Hey @MLB_TBS @MLB & @CableOne — no problem not letting us watch baseball playoffs today. It is Sunday– you can’t compete with #NFL anyway.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 6 Oct

Was just telling boss about not able to watch baseball playoffs on @MLB_TBS. He says I was shafted by Cable provider — that’s you @CableOne

J Bates@Boise_J 6 Oct

@MrSportsBlog talked to @cableONE Thursday. They were surprised more people weren’t calling. I wasn’t. Not a baseball town.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 6 Oct

@Boise_J @cableONE I didn’t call. Just emailed them. People in St. Louis sure are pissed. Pretty sad that customers don’t matter to them.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 6 Oct

A thrilling 51-48 #NFL game. Once again we all get the last laugh on @MLB_TBS @MLB for the @CableOne dispute. #NobodyWatchingBaseball

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 6 Oct

Thanks @MLB_TBS @MLB & @CableOne for your collective failures on baseball front. Just got hour of exercise in 75 degrees on a Sunday night.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 6 Oct

Hey, the #WNBA Finals are on my TV & the @MLB playoffs aren’t. Baseball now trails women’s pro hoops. Good work @MLB_TBS & @CableOne. LOL


Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 7 Oct

A playoff game is on @MLBNetwork?… LOL @MLB really doesn’t care if anyone sees the product. @MLB_TBS & @CableOne dispute silly enough.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 7 Oct

Baseball playoff games were easier to watch when I was a kid as they were only on major networks. Not on fifth-rate channels like @MLB_TBS

Chris Beale@Nodozz_BL 6 Oct

@cableONE When I bought my cable I said I would only purchase if I could watch playoff baseball on @MLB_TBS. You have breached this contract

Matt Morgan@MM_23 7 Oct

Hey Turner Networks and @cableONE, thanks for making me miss the @MLB Playoffs!

Josh Friesen@Friesen_Joshua 4 Oct

Shoutout to @MLB_TBS for yanking the channel off @cableONE. I didn’t want to watch postseason baseball or anything. #sarcasm #jerks

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 7 Oct

Worst EVER. None on my TV. RT @MLB Best Monday EVER. OAK-DET, 1pm ET, @MLBNetwork STL-PIT, 3, TBS BOS-TB, 6, TBS ATL-LA, 9:30, TBS Excited?

David Henry@imau2fan 7 Oct

You can’t spell TBS without BS.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 7 Oct

Somebody is pitching a no-hitter through seven innings of a baseball playoff game? Glad @MLB_TBS @MLB & @CableOne won’t let millions watch.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 7 Oct

Dear @CableOne — you are complete failures. Dear @MLB_TBS — you are complete failures. Dear @MLB — shame on you for not stepping in.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 7 Oct

So @MLB_TBS @MLB & @CableOne don’t want me to see #Braves vs #Dodgers? No problem — there is #NFL game on @ESPN. LOL #AllThreeOfULoseAgain

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 7 Oct

Lot of people on my timeline talking about great ending in #RedSox vs #Rays game. Thanks for nothing @MLB_TBS @MLB & @CableOne. #YouAllFail

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 7 Oct

That’s OK @MLB_TBS @MLB & @CableOne — seeing dramatic game-winning & series-winning HRs in the playoffs is overrated. #YouAreAllFailures


Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 8 Oct

It is time for #Athletics vs #Tigers? Not where I live due to @MLB_TBS @MLB & @CableOne shutting MILLIONS out of postseason. #ExerciseTime

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 8 Oct

More people watched NFL on @ESPN than all THREE baseball games on @MLB_TBS on Monday!!! But @MLB & @CableOne & @MLB_TBS won’t let me watch.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 8 Oct

@Tamara_Harumi Best part is when @cableONE told me I wasn’t shut out of postseason & sent link where @MLB wanted me to pay $4.99!! @MLB_TBS

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 8 Oct

@Tamara_Harumi So yep, @cableONE @MLB_TBS @MLB are complete failures & have no respect for customers or fans or anything but own greed.

Tamara Davis@Tamara_Harumi 8 Oct

@MrSportsBlog @CableOne @MLB_TBS @MLB shocking! MLB sucks at everything they do, and no one will do anything about it.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 8 Oct

Hey @MLB_TBS @MLB & @CableOne – I am watching #NBA preseason game due to you all not caring to make baseball available to millions of folks.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 8 Oct

Thanks @MLB_TBS @MLB & @CableOne for not wanting millions of us to see postseason baseball. Really enjoying #LeagueOfDenial on #PBS.


Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 9 Oct

#ThingsThatAnnoyMe@MLB_TBS @MLB & @CableOne not letting millions of people watch playoff baseball due to their ineptness as companies.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 9 Oct

Oh, is there a decisive Game 5 tonight? Too bad @MLB_TBS @MLB & @CableOne won’t let MILLIONS watch. #AndTheyWonderWhyRatingsAreSoAwful #LOL

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 9 Oct

Not for MILLIONS of us thanks to you two & @CableOne. RT @MLB @Cardinals @Pirates The #NLDS reaches its epic conclusion NOW on @MLB_TBS!

Van Stragliati@Stragzalicious 9 Oct

Hey @cableONE you suck! Give me back TBS!

Ryan Perreault@ndsuryan 9 Oct

Intended to watch my first MLB playoff game tonight until I remembered I have @cableONE where TBS stands for Too Bad Sucker!

B. Kempf@brkteach 9 Oct

Just want to thank @cableone @CableONEsupport for my MLB playoff experience. (Insert sarcasm) Please, bring back @MLB_TBS, thank you.

Katlyn Schaefermeier@KatSchaef 9 Oct

This is a sick joke cable one. My TBS channel better not still be black in an hour or I’m going to start freakin out!! #CardinalNation

Morgan Walker@MorganWalker731 9 Oct

Seriously Kansas!? Cable one doesn’t carry tbs so no Cardinals game in the whole town. Grrr

Brian Julian@brianjulian 9 Oct

@cableONE is less popular than Congress which has a 5% approval rating.

Bradley Schmalenberg@Bradley229doug 9 Oct

Thanks Cable One I can’t watch the Pirates!!!

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 9 Oct

I’m going to be sad 10 days from now when @MLB_TBS goes back to its irrelevant status & I won’t get to mock them, @MLB & @CableOne every day

Tamara Davis@Tamara_Harumi 9 Oct

@MrSportsBlog JERKS!!! @CableOne

T.J. Huettenmueller@Thuettenmueller 9 Oct

.@cableONE @tbsveryfunny @MLB_TBS Quit fighting like little girls and make a deal already. I can’t watch baseball.

Linh Nguyen@LinhhhNguyen 9 Oct

Cable One is not doing it for me right now….. I JUST WANT TO WATCH THE CARDINALS GAME. #GetItTogether

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 9 Oct

#Cardinals & #Dodgers in NLCS? Perhaps I’m fortunate @MLB_TBS @MLB & @CableOne don’t want MILLIONS to watch. I look forward to ALCS on #FOX.


Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 10 Oct

Oh, Game 5 of the #ALDS is tonight? Not for MILLIONS of folks shut out of baseball postseason by @MLB_TBS @MLB & @CableOne. #ThreeIneptMice

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 10 Oct

Thanks @MLB_TBS @MLB & @CableOne for assuring that all three of my TVs can be turned on to FOOTBALL! #2013IsTheInvisibleBaseballPostseason

Max Luesebrink@The_Lightweight 10 Oct

I would watch the Tigers Game, But cable one got rid of Tbs, Rghhh

Jeff Heyer@heyerarchy 10 Oct

.@BarackObama Turner Networks and @cableONE haven’t struck a deal yet. Mind stepping in?

Lithuanian Nightmare@jlorno 10 Oct

Sure am glad cable one got rid of TBS so I cant watch the tigers game…smh

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 10 Oct

Justin Verlander has perfect game in sixth in Game 5? Good work @MLB_TBS @MLB & @CableOne making sure millions in 19 states see no playoffs.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 10 Oct

Wow, just saw a @CableOne house commercial where some executive rips #Turner for not living up to the contract. No @MLB_TBS again forever.


Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 11 Oct

Is the #NLCS starting tonight? Well, I will enjoy getting paid to cover #NBA hoops since @MLB_TBS @MLB & @CableOne don’t want me to watch.


Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 12 Oct

Oh, the #NLCS is during day? Since @MLB_TBS @MLB & @CableOne don’t want us to watch, all THREE TVs on football! I will watch #ALCS on @Fox

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 12 Oct

Baseball is on my 40-inch TV! Thanks @Fox for #ALCS game as @MLB_TBS @MLB & @CableOne have shut out millions of people from postseason.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 12 Oct

Glad @Fox has #ALCS. Think of the millions who would miss this possibly historic @MLB game if it were on @MLB_TBS due to @CableOne dispute.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 12 Oct

Keep games off @MLB_TBS RT @MLB Classic pitching duels. No-hit drama. Two 1-0 games for 1st time in #postseason history. This is October.


Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 14 Oct

#NLCS game? Not with @MLB_TBS & @CableOne acting like preschoolers. @Colts vs @Chargers it is. NFL gets superior ratings over spineless @MLB


Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 15 Oct

I would stay in & watch #NLCS but is on @MLB_TBS & that network, @CableOne & @MLB have shut out millions of us in 19 states from watching.


Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 16 Oct

#NLCS on today? Not for millions of us in 19 states due to @MLB_TBS @MLB & @CableOne not finding baseball dispute important enough to solve.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 16 Oct

Will concentrate on work since @MLB_TBS @MLB & @CableOne don’t feel postseason baseball is must-watch TV. Will watch #ALCS on @Fox tonight.


Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 17 Oct

So @CableOne made big deal about how there would be a bill credit coming due to them not being smart enough to figure out @MLB_TBS dispute.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 17 Oct

But here I am looking at @CableOne bill for Oct. 15-Nov. 14 & it is the SAME AMOUNT as usual. No CREDIT at all. Give us @MLB_TBS then. #Ugh


Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 18 Oct

Oh, is the #NLCS on tonight? Not for MILLIONS of us in 19 states as @MLB_TBS @MLB & @CableOne feel baseball isn’t must-see TV any longer.


Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 19 Oct

Good thing @MLB put #ALCS on @Fox & not @MLB_TBS … otherwise, millions of people would be missing great series due to @CableOne dispute.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 19 Oct

@UNLVRebelNation All I know is @MLB_TBS & @NBAonTNT & everyone at Turner better start negotiating with @cableONE NOW per #NCAA tournament.

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 19 Oct

Panic thought — three-fourths of #NCAATournament games are on @MLB_TBS @NBAonTNT & @truTV … Start negotiating NOW @CableOne#DISASTER


Brooke Baldwin@BrookeBCNN 25 Oct

Big BIG day for my pal @Rachel__Nichols — her show debuts at 10:30pmET!!! #Unguarded #CNN

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 25 Oct

@BrookeBCNN @Rachel__Nichols Millions of people in 19 states will never see it due to Turner dispute with @CableOne as @CNN no longer exists


Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog 10h

#NBA season opens tomorrow & there is no @NBAonTNT on my dial. Does @NBA have more pull than @MLB & will @CableOne make it happen? #HaHaHa

The Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers played in Boise on Friday night, marking the first time since 2003 that an NBA preseason contest was played in Idaho’s capital city.

Portland point guard Damian Lillard scored a game-high 23 points and two-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge added 20 on 8-of-9 shooting as the Trail Blazers posted a 96-86 victory.

Gordon Hayward led the Jazz with 20 points in the contest played before a standing-room only crowd of 6,268.

It surely won’t take another 10 years for the NBA to return to Boise. The Idaho Stampede of the NBA D-League have a working affiliation with the Trail Blazers and the enthusiasm in cozy CenturyLink Arena left a good impression.

Stampede coach Michael Peck told me he believes Boise can land into a preseason rotation system of hosting a Trail Blazers’ game.

“Absolutely. I think that’s very realistic,” Peck said. “Every year, I don’t know – and to be honest with you, I’m not in that decision-making process. I think every other year is very feasible and realistic and I think it makes sense.”

Lillard, last season’s NBA Rookie of the Year, stood out in Friday’s game as he repeatedly schooled Utah point guard Trey Burke, the consensus college player of the year last season at Michigan. Burke had just seven points on 3-of-10 shooting.

“Playing against him, I felt like I had to set the tone,” Lillard said afterwards. “He was the first point guard taken. He’s kind of in a similar situation as I was coming in. When I came in, there were guys who wanted to show me something and set the tone on me because it was my first year and I was summer league MVP and there was all this hype. Same goes for him.”

All in all, it was a fine night of basketball in Boise. And it definitely won’t take 10 years for there to be another such evening.