Talking Points: Hillsboro Hops on tap

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We here at Talking Points want to toast the Hillsboro Hops.

That will be the name for the Class A baseball team that once seemed destined to call Vancouver home.

Given Hillsboro's heritage as an agricultural community, and the region's appreciation for craft beers, we find the nickname as apropos as it is original.

We are, however, disappointed that the team isn't calling Vancouver home and celebrating Clark County's agricultural heritage.

You know, something like Clark County Prunarians.

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A Seattle Times story published on Monday describes the Puget Sound region as a hotbed for hockey. According to the story, participation in adult hockey ranks 12th nationally.

The story notes that Seattle has a century of hockey history, and successful Western Hockey League franchises in Kent and Everett.

All of which makes the Puget Sound market an attractive one for the NHL if/when the Sodo District arena is built.

The Seattle and King County councils on Monday approved an agreement to help build an arena.

King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn signed legislation Tuesday on the funding plan for construction of an arena that could be used to lure the NBA back to Seattle.

The executives signed the deal a day after a negotiated memorandum of understanding between the city, county and investor Chris Hansen was approved by the city and county councils.

Our question is for longtime fans of the Portland Winterhawks and before them the Buckaroos: If Seattle gets an NHL team, will you support it? Or will your disdain for Seattle hockey -- built for some over generations -- prevent you from boarding the Seattle hockey bandwagon?

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Looking for evidence of global warming? Consider this: The leaves have only started to change, there is but a trace of new snow on the Cascade peaks … and it's Big Game week. Yep, one of the most storied rivalries in college football takes place on Saturday when Stanford visits California. So Thanksgiving can't be far away, right?

Five weeks, you say?

Welcome to the strange new world where college football traditions are just too old school.

The reason Cal and Stanford are playing in October is that the 2012 college football season spans only 14 weekends. Since Stanford or USC hosts Notre Dame each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, something had to give.

But don't think this scheduling shift will be limited to the Bay Area.

Given a college football climate where teams jump conferences and important games are played while half the nation sleeps, it's a good bet that before this decade ends we will see an Apple Cup played when there are still apples to be picked.