Fighting with people on Twitter is about as pointless as it gets. In general, you both come off looking like douchebags, and no matter how heated your discourse becomes, there is no governing body to determine who wins and who loses. You can’t really out-debate one another in 140-character blurbs, and about all you’ll end up doing is pissing off the people who mutually follow you and your sparring partner, victims of timelines filled with petty drivel. You can punch and kick and scream and get worked up over words on a screen and you’ll be no better for it when the day is done.
It doesn’t matter if you have 10 followers or 10,000; the size of the dog in the fight (or perhaps the size of the dog in the fight’s posse) doesn’t necessarily predispose either party to so much as a moral victory. Big or small, with entourage or without, one can find themselves receiving the brunt of another tweeter’s tweet at any given moment. And in those moments of fervor directly before one must decide whether to return fire with similar vitriol, reply with unexpected grace, or neglect to respond at all, there are likely no fewer than a hundred different thoughts running rampant through one’s brain. Ultimately, one’s fingers are forced to take action upon a keyboard or remain still, content to fold for the time being.
As an alumnus of the University of Washington, there’s no denying I love my school. I’ve been a fan of the Huskies since I was born. I grew up wearing purple and gold. I applied to no other university when I was in high school; I knew where I wanted to go to college. I’ve always known I was a Husky at heart.
In spite of all that, my love isn’t blind. No school, no institution, no organization is perfect; that includes UW. Were we relegated to incessantly believing in the perfection of all those things we truly care about, we’d be nothing more than thoughtless zombies, complacently satisfied with whatever came our way, determined to do nothing more than flat-line through our respective menial existences.
But we’re not that. Not at all. We’re human. And in being human, we live, we strive, we aspire, we dream, we think, we move, we act, we do. And so I implore you, before I go on, to consider the fact that you have been designed to be better than the product of a system, to be more than a servant to an organization, an idea, or a belief. You can choose to see the world through rose-colored glasses if you wish. But in doing so, you’ll never reach the potential you’ve been designed to achieve.
I love the University of Washington. But in the past few years, the University of Washington’s Athletic Department has done some stupid shit. I’ve alluded to this once before, but it’s a discussion that deserves to be brought up again. Because no one wants their school doing stupid shit. Especially not me. We need to talk about these problems that persist so we can solve them. And even if you’re not a Husky fan, you may want to follow along. These are issues that plague every school, every athletic department, every alum and every fan across the nation. So we’ll talk about this. And when we’re done talking, hopefully we’ll find ourselves on the path to resolution. Hooray, resolution.
These were the unsolicited tweets I received on Saturday night, shortly after the conclusion of the Husky Men’s Basketball game against Arizona State:
.@alexssn understand the frustration and will make sure I communicate what I’ve seen on twitter about the white shirts..
— Daniel Hour (@dhourr) February 3, 2013
.@alexssn but you might be taken more seriously if you weren’t bashing our student-athlete 24/7. Especially Abdul. Just my opinion.
— Daniel Hour (@dhourr) February 3, 2013
— Daniel Hour (@dhourr) February 3, 2013
In typical emotional fashion (well, typical for me, at least), I had spent much of the game lamenting the play of one Abdul Gaddy, disaster of a point guard that he’s been this year. Similarly, I had mentioned that I found the attire of the student section to be questionable, at best. While half the kids wore the standard purple, the balance had been dressed in unfamiliar white t-shirts. It wasn’t a big deal. But on TV it just didn’t look right.
The student section, the Dawg Pack, they wear purple. That’s just how it is. That’s how it’s always been. And on the rare occasion that they don a different shade, the continuity of that visiting color spans the continuum of the bleachers we see prominently displayed on our TV screens. Baseline to baseline, the students usually wear the same color. I helped build that Dawg Pack. I’m familiar with how it works, I’m up to date on its legacy, and I care about what goes on there. It’s important to me. And so on this particular evening I expressed my frustrations — we’ll call them frustrations, but I wasn’t frustrated so much as I was compelled to just opine (imagine that) — on both Gaddy and the look of the student section.
It was then that the responses you see above were prompted. I thought for a minute about whether to fire back, reply graciously, or follow the Thumper rule (if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all), before deciding to lob grenades of my own.
I did a little quick research and found that Daniel Hour is a 2007 UCLA alum who is currently in charge of New Media and Recruiting Services for the University of Washington. UCLA sucks, so that was strike one. This guy clearly doesn’t grasp the “social” aspect of new media, so that was strike two. And he had kinda pissed me off, so that was strike three.
But that wasn’t all. This morphed into like two full at-bats.
Strike four was Hour bringing Gaddy directly into the conversation by mentioning the young man’s Twitter handle. Here you are trying to protect a student-athlete from criticism, so your way of doing that is by exposing him to the venom felt by fans? Makes perfect f**king sense, right? (No, it doesn’t.) Now even if the kid wants to avoid the negativity surrounding him, he can’t. Because a member of the athletic administration, of all people, has forced him to face it head-on. Brilliant.
Strike five was Hour telling me I “might be taken more seriously if…” As if my goal in life and on Twitter has always been to be taken more seriously. I’m not you, dude. I don’t have sex through a hole in the sheets.
And strike six was Hour alluding to the idea that I bash Gaddy 24/7, which is ridiculous because even if I wanted to bash Gaddy 24/7, Twitter would be over capacity at some point along the line and I wouldn’t be able to do it. Plus, Hour doesn’t even follow me on Twitter and never has, so how would he know that I spend most of my time taking jabs at the Mariners, cracking jokes at almost everyone’s expense, initiating dialogue on Saved By the Bell, and just generally being a grab-ass, smarmy, semi-antagonistic, arrogant punk most of the time? He wouldn’t. So why he pretended he did was beyond me.
Oh, and one final thing. You’ll notice those first two tweets start off with a period. They don’t read “@alexssn,” they read “.@alexssn.” Seems innocent enough, but that’s a big deal on Twitter. Those two dots preceding each of those tweets allow everyone who follows Hour to view said tweets on their timelines. Were he to omit those two dots, only those few individuals who follow both he and myself would see these particular tweets. The reason Twitter acts in this way is so that two parties can carry out a back and forth conversation without polluting the feeds of their entire combined following. Hour structured his tweets in such a way that he wanted everyone to read them. He was hoping for support in his attack on me. It was a bitch move. He got one person to publicly agree with him. Dozens upon dozens of others, however, began to tear him a new asshole.
The problem with the UW Athletic Department is that they’re just slightly out of touch to what their customers, the fans, want. Sure, they’re giving us a new football stadium, and that’s great, but that project was well underway long before the current regime came to power. This was an undertaking that Todd Turner put into motion. He was the starting pitcher and we’ve now tapped the bullpen to close this out. In fairness, the relievers are doing a great job.
The new stadium has cast a shadow long enough to obscure many of the warts of the current Athletic Department. That’s not unprecedented with an infrastructural upgrade of this magnitude, but at the same time we shouldn’t allow the administration to rest on its laurels simply because of one massive erection.
Perhaps the biggest problem facing the Athletic Department right now is the attitude of absolute entitlement that seems to rain down upon all of us laypeople. The administration isn’t afraid to impose its will upon, well, everyone, whether they’re dealing with students, alums, or (especially) media.
Media interactions are perhaps best exemplified through the department’s now-infamous “Twitter rule”, as well as the friendly banter I shared with Hour. Those are seemingly forgivable transgressions from a fan’s perspective; who really cares about the media, anyway?
But the missteps in dealing with students and alums? That’s a different story. Let’s start with the students.
While Saturday night’s t-shirt episode is one isolated incident, the purveying feeling from members of the Dawg Pack is that the administration only cares about them because a) they’re a source of revenue, and b) they’re marketable as all hell. In fact, that t-shirt episode served as Exhibit 1A for the marketability of the Dawg Pack. It also served to display the resistance of the students, who aren’t content to just guzzle the Kool-Aid the admins are trying to force down their throats.
The counter-argument would of course be that in order to pay for projects like the new football stadium, the university needs to uncork previously-untapped revenue streams. That’s certainly true, and definitely understandable. But messing with something as organic as a nationally-recognized student section that kind of sprung up on its own seems to go against the spirit of college athletics. I’d wager that most students would probably be willing to pay a little extra in ticket fees if it meant they didn’t have to be exploited. And you can’t tell me there aren’t other ways to make money, ways that won’t noticeably hurt the fan experience on gameday.
Failing to respect the students now will come back to bite this regime in later years. Those students will grow up to be potential donors who won’t have any reason to give back to UW Athletics if they felt mistreated during their time on campus. That’s a dangerous path for any administration to embark on.
In addition to how the students feel, there are semi-recent alums like myself who see through the glitz and the glamour of that structure coming to fruition near the corner of Montlake and Pacific. When we compare our own college experience to that of those current students, we notice a clear difference. As someone who grew into adulthood while jumping and screaming with my friends in that student section before it became a meal ticket, I can tell you how impactful that experience was. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: for all the blemishes on Todd Turner’s record at UW, the one thing he was great at was relating to students. He made us a priority, and as a result we delivered on gameday. What reasons are there for students to deliver now? That’s a question I doubt the Athletic Department is prepared to answer.
For many alums my age, the biggest issue we all agree upon is that the administration seems to be over-saturating the game environment with its ongoing quest for cash. That’s not really anything new, but perhaps it’s just more glaring than it used to be. There’s a certain purity to amateur sports that’s being threatened. Maybe it’s all across the board and Washington’s just part of this machine. Either way, the fan experience has taken a back seat to dollars and cents. And as fans, we have to hope that doesn’t become the trend.
What Daniel Hour represents is the elitist attitude perpetuated by the current UW Athletic Department. It’s the idea that the shopkeeper can tell his patron what to buy and he’ll simply buy it. That he doesn’t have to understand what his patron may want or may need, because at the end of the day, he knows more than his patron ever will.
This is an attitude that may not have affected all Husky fans, but certainly affects my contemporaries, students and alums alike. They’ve told me so face-to-face, on Twitter, and via email. They feel this every day. They feel like they’re being ignored and talked down to by the Athletic Department. That’s not good, and it’s certainly not sustainable for the long-term success of UW Athletics.
There’s no Husky fan who wants to see the school suck at sports. Our football team has improved in recent years (some would say it hasn’t improved enough), but in many other areas, most glaringly Men’s Basketball, the level of play has declined. There will always be ups and downs with any athletic program; to expect perennial success might be ideal, but it certainly isn’t the status quo.
That said, the success of the football program has come as a direct result of funding and money — the current administration has shown a commitment to devote financial resources to football that the previous administration could not or would not display. Again, this is all great, but where’s the sustainability in that financing? The university has seemingly patched together funds on the fly (thanks to donations, et al) that won’t be there five, 10, or 15 years down the road because of one simple fact: the customer isn’t being serviced the way he or she needs to be. And if the customer isn’t being serviced the way he or she needs to be, then the customer will be unhappy. If customers are unhappy they won’t come back, and if they don’t come back they won’t spend money. Which leads us to a whole new set of problems of what to do when the money runs out. Because seriously, what do we do if and when the money runs out?
I’m not saying this will happen, but it could. Just look at Daniel Hour. For every person like Hour working in the Athletic Department, there are bound to be a few pissed off fans. I know I don’t like the guy. I know a number of my Twitter followers don’t like the guy. So what happens if he’s just following orders? That means there are others like him, willing to burn their customers for…for what? For the good of the program? To “protect” underperforming student-athletes who won’t even be here in a year? There’s no method to the madness — it’s just bad customer service, pure and simple.
The reality is this. As time goes on, the younger generation will continue to grow up. We will replace the rich, old people who donate bushels of money now. We will become those rich, old people. And if we’re unwilling to part with our cash as rich, old people because we don’t like how we were serviced way back when? That’s an issue that begins to take on plague proportions for the university.
I’m not here to tell the Athletic Department how to do their job or how to treat people. But they should know that in a few years, they’ll need us a whole hell of a lot more than we need them. If that’s not reason enough to change the culture, then what is?
Filed under: Husky Basketball, Husky Football
Okay. That wasn’t the best Seattle sports weekend. The Huskies (both the football and basketball editions) lost, the Seahawks lost, and word came out on Sunday evening that both Hawks starting cornerbacks — Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner — are facing four-game suspensions for performance-enhancing drug use. So yeah. Admittedly, things could get better.
Scrolling through the Twitter timeline over the past 24 hours has revealed varying stages of grief from Seattleites. We’ve seen everything from denial, to anger, to depression, to acceptance. Some fans are ready to jump off a ledge, some are cursing out anyone who so much as talks to them, some are claiming it’s all a conspiracy, some have the blinders on and refuse to speak one ill word about any of our downtrodden ballclubs, some are coping with humor, and some are just plain sad. No matter one’s progress through the grieving process, it’s clear that these are dark times for us right now. And so as a result, I’m here to offer perspective.
The other day, I got these new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sleep pants. They’re great. The thing about sleep pants is they’re often too heavy, too warm, and too cumbersome to serve any purpose to me whatsoever. Not so with these pants. They’re thin, cool, and stamped with the likenesses of Donatello, Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo. In addition, they have this flap in the front which allows a nice breeze to flow into and out of my attire. The flap also provides easy access for other things, which for purposes of modesty I won’t go into detail about. Regardless, these pants are great, they were a cheap Black Friday purchase, and they make me happy in ways that my sports teams cannot.
There’s this game I play. It’s called Word Whomp. It’s kind of a stupid game. So stupid, in fact, that I hide all Facebook-related posts about it so no one will see that I’m playing, or when I’m playing, for that matter. I’m very private about my game-playing. Anyway, this Word Whomp game, I’ve been playing it for years. It’s an absolute time-killer. Which isn’t always a bad thing. I’m no athlete. I’m not one of those “no days off” guys. There are days off. I need to kill time occasionally. And this game helps me do that. The objective is basically to form as many words as possible from a selection of six letters given to you onscreen. You have two minutes to achieve this. Should you manage to form every possible word, you win the game. And when you win, there are these animated gophers that do backflips across the page. It’s awesome. Extremely fulfilling in a borderline non-sensical way.
I have a DVD of the Husky basketball triumph over then-No. 1 Stanford in 2004. I queue it up whenever things aren’t going so great, no matter what those things may be. When Tre Simmons knocks down a barrage of threes in the second half to give us all the momentum we need to win, I swell with emotion every time. It’s one of the greatest games, irrespective of sport, that I’ve ever witnessed. I’ll watch it tonight. And it will be fantastic.
There’s this. If you need a laugh, go ahead and fill out your application and submit it. Or better yet, make a similar application for a friend of your own. You’ll feel great when it’s all said and done. And everyone will get to chuckle at the expense of someone else. That’s always fun.
It’s sunny outside. It’s not warm by any means, but wouldn’t you know it, it’s not raining. For November in Seattle, that’s near-incredible. I couldn’t be more thrilled about that. And at the end of the day, after I’ve hit the gym and used up all the caffeine I’ve been sucking down like oxygen at work, I’ll sit in a hot tub and do absolutely nothing. That nothingness won’t last forever. Eventually I’ll have to return to the somethingness of everyday life. But for that brief moment in time when I’m sitting there achieving my lifelong dream of doing nothing at all, I’ll be at peace. And my knees won’t hurt, my muscles won’t ache, and my head won’t be swimming with priorities and deadlines and requirements for the days ahead. It will be glorious.
The point is, the sun came up today, we were all still alive, and our happiness was still controlled by no one besides ourselves. I’m not saying you can’t be upset about the state of our sports teams — if you’re a fan, you probably should be. I’m just saying that we need to keep it all in perspective. I’m a huge sports fan. I’m a little disappointed right now. But am I unhappy? No. Am I going to let a few bad breaks take a hold of my entire existence? No. None of that. And I feel better because of it.
There are any number of things in your life that will bring you joy. Find them. Embrace them. Life isn’t perfect. Sports aren’t perfect. We can’t control wins and losses, talent, ability, results, effort, the choices others make, any of that. But we can control how we feel. And really, that’s all that matters.
Now come on and help me find a nice woman for Ryan Divish. His biological clock is ticking…
Filed under: Husky Basketball, Husky Football, Seahawks
Earlier this week, we found out that the University of Washington athletic department has imposed an interesting policy regarding sports and Twitter. Basically, media members reporting on any Husky basketball or football game are limited to the number of times they can tweet during a contest. Yep, it’s like that.
As a proud UW alum, I’ve been schooled on recognizing stupidity. And this is about as stupid as it gets.
Putting clamps on those giving you the time of day? Really? If there’s anything we all know, it’s that in America, the media cannot be controlled. You can’t stop the media, you can only hope to contain it. And yet trying to contain it usually doesn’t work out so well.
Knowing that this will undoubtedly spiral into an abyss of long-running jokes and never-ending punch lines, I figured I’d take the opportunity to ask my alma mater why on earth they’d want to censor their guests. I’ve come up with 11 questions. I was allotted no more than that.
11. Do you want the media to hate you?
Professional media members are trained to be objective, judicious, fair, equitable, and unbiased. At the end of the day, however, professional media members are still human. They still have emotions. They still have preferences, prejudices, ethics, morals, and personal beliefs. Yet there are people out there who are crazy enough to think that a credential and a paycheck somehow turn a living, breathing being into a robot. Which, unfortunately for the naive, is just not true.
I can’t speak for those credentialed media members tasked with reporting on Husky athletics, but I can give you my opinion on the subject as an outsider: If someone who wasn’t my immediate colleague imposed unnecessary job restrictions upon me, I’d go to work each day hoping against hope that that holier-than-thou bastard came down with a raging case of crabs. I imagine that many of the media members who have had Twitter limits imposed upon them might think along similar lines.
Fact is, when you’re in for a long season, which the Husky basketball team very well may be, the time is not right to make enemies with journalists. For some odd reason, the University of Washington doesn’t seem to care. This will backfire. The school has already received negative national press on the matter. With each ensuing loss to teams like Albany, it can only get worse. Godspeed, UW.
10. What happens if every credentialed media member reaches his or her tweet limit before the game is done?
Seriously. What happens then? I want to know. Because I think it’d be funny as hell. And personally, if I’m a media member, I’m conspiring with all my cohorts and picking one game to test this theory. Here’s what I suggest:
Everyone blow through 20 tweets by halftime. Go silent throughout intermission and shortly thereafter. Certainly, someone affiliated with the university will have to take notice. Where did the coverage on our game go? Why is no one talking about the Dawgs? Panic ensues. Holy crap, someone realizes, they’ve used up all their tweets! At this point, you either repeal your incredibly ill-advised Twitter law or risk looking like goons to all those fans who depend on Twitter — and in turn the media — for updates on the game.
Do it. Come on, media. I know you’ve got it in you. They can’t rescind ALL your credentials. Unionize. It’s time. We shall overcome!
9. Have any of the credentialed media members ever really hurt your product by over-tweeting?
If anything, most beat writers might take themselves a little too seriously. To my knowledge, they certainly aren’t saturated with emotion during a game they happen to be covering. They aren’t fans. They don’t react to every blown call, every skirmish, or every go-ahead basket the way we do. So what damage can really be done by tweeting upwards of 21 times a game?
I don’t see it. Maybe you want to drive people to your university-hosted online chat or other content you control. But that’s awfully petty, don’t you think? If I want to read your in-house writer (Gregg Bell, a true talent and one of the most upstanding gentlemen in the biz), I will. And I do. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be privy to full disclosure from others covering the game, too. Why can’t we all just get along?
8. Do mentions directed at other Twitter users count towards the tweet limit during a game?
Here’s the rub about Twitter. If I issue a tweet that leads with another user’s Twitter handle, that tweet can only be read by those followers of mine who also follow that user I’m directing my tweet towards. God, just reading that last sentence makes almost no sense at all. Let me try to give you an example. A tweet reading as follows will only be viewed by users who mutually follow me and @UW: “@UW is a great place to go to school!” See that? Only my followers who also follow @UW would see that tweet. That’s how the product was designed. It’s called a “Reply” in the Twittersphere. Plain as day, I hope.
So, in essence, if I reply to another Twitterer (Twit? Twittee?), only a limited number of my followers will even see that tweet. Is it really fair to count Replies towards the 20-tweet limit? Probably not. Have you taken this into consideration? Probably not. What we have here is an old-fashioned Mexican standoff. Or something like that. I don’t know. I’m not Mexican.
7. Do tweets unrelated to the game itself count towards the tweet limit during a game?
Let’s say I’m covering the game and I want to know what one of my buddies is up to. I tweet to my pal and say, “Yo, @RyanDivish. Are you coming to the game tonight, or are you catching up on the latest episode of Gossip Girl?” That tweet has nothing to do with the game itself. Yet I’ve posted it during the contest. Am I being a charged one of my precious 20 tweets for issuing my inquiry? These are the questions people need answers to!
6. What are the different levels of punishment a violator of the 20-tweet rule can expect to incur? And similarly, what specific actions will trigger each level of punishment?
Sure, we’ve heard about media members getting “reprimanded” for exceeding 20 tweets in a single game. We’ve also heard that the university might go so far as to pull a violator’s credential, if need be. But there’s quite a bit of grey area in between those two levels of comeuppance. It doesn’t seem like we have any real guidelines for issuing discipline. I’d like to offer my assistance in helping clear things up.
Here’s what I feel like we should do to those who overstep their bounds (or over-tweet their timelines, you might say), based on the number of tweets they issue during a single game:
Tier 1 Punishment: If 21-30 tweets are issued, the violator is subject to a public flogging of sorts via the @UWAthletics Twitter account. Call out said violator’s Twitter handle, then bash him or her incessantly over the course of 140 characters.
Tier 2 Punishment: If 31-40 tweets are issued, the violator is subject to a one-game Twitter ban. They are also required to don Harry the Husky’s mascot costume during that one-game ban and wander around the arena doing whatever it is mascots do.
Tier 3 Punishment: If 41-50 tweets are issued, the violator is subject to a two-game Twitter ban and must also post a TwitPic of himself/herself wearing a sign explaining his/her idiocy, much like the dogs over at DogShaming.com.
Tier 4 Punishment: If 50+ tweets are issued, the violator is subject to losing his/her credential. Furthermore, he or she must also spend a day officiating UW intramural basketball, which is arguably the worst punishment anyone can receive.
5. Do you really think this is going to get more people to either a) come to games, or b) watch them on TV?
Because I feel like that’s the end goal here. I think you believe people are getting a free pass via Twitter, following along with reporters providing insight to the goings-on at Hec Ed, instead of paying to attend the contest, or even watching on TV. And to you, that free pass equates to potential revenue lost. Hence, the Twitter limitations.
Prove me wrong, I suppose, but I see no other logical explanation as to why a credentialed media member’s tweets would be limited.
And do any of us really believe that limiting a journalist’s ability to report on the game will drive up attendance or TV ratings? No. No one thinks that. Give up the dream.
4. Did you really think this rule through before imposing it? Or did some suit at the top come up with it, while everyone else just sat around a table and nodded out of fear and/or apathy?
You don’t have to answer either of those questions. They’re rhetorical.
3. Is this all Todd Dybas’ fault? Do you guys not like Todd Dybas?
Before Tacoma News-Tribune beat writer Todd Dybas became the inaugural media member reprimanded for over-tweeting, we didn’t even know this tweet rule existed. Dybas took over the TNT’s Husky beat this year, after our good friend Ryan Divish was on the job last season. Initially, I thought maybe you guys just had a problem with the TNT (there’s some history here, as a Google search will reveal), but Divish was never busted for his plethora of tweets in the past. So what’s the deal?
Clearly, it’s Dybas. You guys don’t like him. Fair enough. But what did he do to warrant this treatment? I want answers. We all do. You’ve turned this man into a martyr! Don’t you realize what you’ve done?!
2. Why do you feel the need to stifle the creativity of talented wordsmiths?
If I had to think before I issued every tweet (and believe me, I don’t), my tweets would suck. So if someone told me I could only tweet 20 times a game, you bet I’d start considering my syntactical ejaculations before blasting them unto the web.
It’s the same for any media member. With only a score of tweets to work with (that’s Abraham Lincoln speak for 20), a reporter has to carefully evaluate the importance of each in-game update before he or she goes through with it. That’s ridiculous! How is anyone supposed to know if reporting on a CJ Wilcox trey is worth five-percent of a tweet allotment?
Not only that, but each tweet issued is probably going to lack for flavor. We won’t hear about the comical bench antics, the reactions from the Dawg Pack, or any other color commentary that might allow us to, you know, connect with our team on a more personal level. Instead, each one of those 20 tweets will strictly be relegated to play-by-play. That’s damn unfortunate.
1. Do you really want non-credentialed members of the media like myself tweeting our asses off during games because our credentialed brethren cannot?
Challenge accepted, friend. Challenge. Accepted.
Filed under: Husky Basketball, Husky Football, Top 11
I am a firm believer in patience. We live in a world that’s all about moving quickly, reacting, and analyzing big, important topics in, say, 140-character blurbs of irreverence. We expect certain outcomes in life, and when those outcomes don’t immediately transpire, we tend to freak the hell out.
Take, for instance, marriage.
We grow up thinking we’ll all be married by our mid-twenties. We don’t even consider alternatives, really. We’ll graduate high school, then either enter the working world or head off to college. We’ll meet someone in those formative years just outside our teens, fall in love, and be bound by law no later than age 25. Might as well be a theme park ride.
But ultimately, what happens? We exit our youth, forge our way into adulthood, meet people, try ‘em out, have our hearts broken a few times, break some hearts simultaneously, then settle into our mid-lives wondering how the Tunnel of Love became this odd little roller coaster. And it’s not a bad thing. Not at all. From a guy’s perspective, it’s great. Maybe not as great if you’re a girl, but I wouldn’t know because I’ve never been one. Though if I was a girl, I’d play with my boobs every day. I’d probably just stay at home and sit there topless while I enjoyed this beautiful gift that had been bestowed upon my chest. I realize I’m trending down an awkward road here, so we’ll just go ahead and move on.
This potpourri of marriage and boobs and whatnot leads me back to the topic at-hand: patience. And here’s where my message gets targeted mostly to the gentlemen in the crowd. Apologies, ladies. But please, bear with me.
Guys, listen. Be patient. That girl you’re with at 18? You don’t love her. You think you love her because she’s the first person outside of your own damn self who will do things to your penis. That doesn’t constitute love, as your twenties will later reinforce. That’s just a good time.
And let me tell you something else. As you get older, that good time gets better. Really. And you know why? Because the girls get more attractive. They do. Those attractive girls are much more willing to settle for your average ass as time goes by. And why is that? Because that pond of romantic solitude has lost so many good-looking fish over the years. Consider that in high school and college, everyone is single (relatively speaking). So what do the attractive girls do? They go after the very best. Makes sense. Muscles, good at sports, and a decent student? Who wouldn’t want that? Can’t blame ‘em. But as those good-looking guys go off and marry the women they’ll later divorce, a whole host of eligible bachelorettes are left standing on the sidelines, waiting for Mister Right to come along. And when there are no more lecture halls or frat mixers to aid prospective romance, it gets that much more difficult to find a suitable mate.
That’s where you come in, average dude. You’ve done nothing to improve yourself, yet all those above-average dudes you once competed with for attention are now cheating on their wives (or, in special cases, actually remaining faithful to their young brides). You look that much better in your late-twenties or early-thirties than you did as a semi-fit twenty-one-year-old. Good for you for making the most of that middling hand you were dealt! And what has led you to this haven of good fortune? Yes, gentlemen. Patience.
You might be wondering where in the world this conversation we’re having is going. That’s a good question, to which I have an answer. This lesson in patience, you see, brings us to the world of college football, and more specifically coaching college football.
The business of coaching college football is one that is absolutely overwrought by a lack of patience. It’s one thing to analyze a situation; it’s a whole ‘nother matter when you hastily and reactively scrutinize that same situation. There may be no job title more hastily and reactively scrutinized than that of Head College Football Coach. And among the scrutinized in the professional realm of head college football coaches is none other than the University of Washington’s own Steve Sarkisian.
Two weeks ago, there were actually people out there who were questioning Sarkisian’s job security. The man who had seemingly rescued Husky Football from the abyss that was the Tyrone Willingham era, who had taken his team to two straight bowl games, and who was sitting at 2-1 on the year, no less, was being thrown under the bus by a subset of UW fans. It made little to no sense. But again, we’re an impatient society. So in some ways, it made perfect sense.
Sure, people were disappointed in a season-opening win (a win!) against San Diego State. And yeah, there was legitimate outcry over an absolute drubbing that resulted in only three points against LSU. But there was a 52-13 beatdown (okay, anticipated beatdown) of Portland State to fall back on. Yet still, the masses were unsettled.
Just a few days later, Washington took to the gridiron and knocked off eighth-ranked Stanford. It was an improbable upset. Washington hadn’t just been beaten by Stanford in the teams’ most recent meetings, it had been annihilated. And so as thousands upon thousands of Husky fans stormed the playing surface of CenturyLink Field on an unseasonably mild Thursday evening, I couldn’t help but wonder what the Sark scrutinizers were thinking at that moment.
With one game, Sarkisian had jettisoned his critics, sending the internet cynics back to doing whatever it is internet cynics do when they’re not being cynical. He had changed public perception with the help of a defense that had allowed a whopping 65 points to the same Stanford Cardinal a year earlier. A Stanford Cardinal team that, on this particular evening, had managed 52 fewer points than a season prior. It was an unbelievable victory, made even more unbelievable by the lukewarm start to the 2012 campaign and the ensuing criticism that had spawned from that tepid commencement.
Eight times the sun has set since the kickoff of that decidedly unexpected victory. We are now one sunset away from a matchup versus second-ranked Oregon. Who knows for sure what will happen in Eugene on Saturday night. A win would be surprising, certainly, but not nearly as surprising as it may have been one fortnight in the past.
Win or lose, though, Sark will enter the night’s contest with greater support from the Washington fan base than he previously had nine nights earlier. Which is saying something. Since all it took was a single matchup to change, well, everything.
It is said that fifty-percent of marriages in America end in divorce. We get married young, we get married spontaneously, we get married believing in an ideal fantasy that never quite materializes. We expect utopia, but are greeted with a dystopic reality. Which makes patience that much more important. It’s better to wait for the right outcome than to try and force the wrong one.
Steve Sarkisian has his faults. He could be a little nicer to the media, for one. Maybe work on the wardrobe a bit, lose the visor. He’s not perfect by any means.
But when it comes to coaching Husky Football, I urge everyone to exercise patience with the Huskies’ patriarch. Eventually, Sark and the University of Washington will divorce. He’ll retire, get fired, or leave for greener pastures. It happens. Nothing lasts forever. There are any number of cliches to describe it.
In the meantime, Steve Sarkisian will continue to be the Mister Right this school found when they went searching for a coach nearly four years ago. He’s done good things so far. I’d wager the best is yet to come.
Filed under: Husky Football
Most people might pen a preview article objectively and with a keen eye on such things as statistics, player bios, and other stuff I really don’t care about. You want a bio? Keith Price is the greatest quarterback in the land and a future Heisman Trophy winner. Boom. Bio. There you go. Bishop Sankey committed to Washington State before decommitting, then finding his way into Washington’s backfield. That’s freakin’ awesome, and frankly, kind of hilarious. There’s another bio. How about one more? Our defensive line coach, Tosh Lupoi? He may not own a boat, but he pulls in teenage athletes like a big-breasted, blonde-haired sorority sister. We can all appreciate that. Three bios for you. That’s three more than I was planning on writing.
So yeah. Bios? No, I don’t really do that. Stats? Eh. Stats require research, plus does anyone outside of East Asia actually process numbers? You could read a piece of paper a hundred times and you might remember words like “big-breasted, blonde-haired sorority sister,” for example, but this number right here — 156,929 — will be forgotten. And don’t look into that number at all. It has zero significance. I just pulled it out of my ass. It’s the most insignificant number I could think of. Completely worthless. Oh, wait, hold on. Upon further review, it’s actually the population of Eugene, Oregon. My bad. My bad, everyone!
You already forgot that number. Don’t lie. You remember the joke but not the number. Yeah, you could just direct your eyes back to the number, but that’s cheating and you know it. Don’t be like USC. Don’t cheat.
The moral here? Numbers suck. Forget numbers. Let’s talk about the reality of the football team, instead.
The 2012 Huskies, they excite me. I’m excited by this team. And yeah, I get it. There are question marks here and there: the defense as a whole, the offensive line, the running game, special teams, blah, blah, blah. Focusing on the negative is no fun. We know there are areas for improvement on this ballclub. Chances are, we’ll dissect those areas all season long. So for now, while we’re undefeated, let’s turn our attention to the positive. Because I, for one, am optimistic. And you should be too. Why? Three words: Keith Motherf**king Price.
Keith Price is a demigod. He’s truly becoming KP4H. Two years ago, when I joked about Price one day winning the Heisman, I never thought he’d actually insert himself into the conversation. Price is on watch lists now. He’s mentioned in the same breath as the top quarterbacks in America. And here he is, as a redshirt junior, coming off one of the greatest seasons any Washington signal-caller has ever produced.
No matter what Keith does from here on out, I will always remember being in the building to witness his performance in the 2011 Alamo Bowl. Absolutely amazing. Even in defeat, there is no denying that what I watched that night was one of the greatest — if not the greatest — football games I will ever see. And spearheading that greatness was none other than Price, who threw for four touchdowns and ran for three more, amassing 438 passing yards in the process, and nearly out-dueling his Baylor counterpart, Robert Griffin The Third (I like to write it out phonetically).
Despite the fact that his defense couldn’t hold off Baylor’s equally-potent offense, Price was magical that evening. Every Husky fan that walked out of the AlamoDome afterwards, disappointed as they were in the contest’s outcome, knew that Washington’s quarterback had not only left an indelible mark on the 2011 season, but had set the stage for an even better 2012.
This is where we find ourselves now. Yes, we’ve lost Chris Polk to the NFL. Sure, we graduated Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar to their own professional careers. But who do we still have? We have No. 17. We have Keith Price. We’re poised for something special. Because our quarterback is that fantastic. You can point fingers at the O-line, if you wish. You can lament about the much-maligned — though much-improved — defense, if you must. And you can point at the schedule, as tough as it comes, and shake your head. None of it matters. We know — I know, you know, everyone knows — that our quarterback is among the game’s elite. And elite quarterbacks win ballgames, plain and simple. So without further ado, let’s take a look at how each game will play out for our Dawgs. Because, well, why the heck not.
Game No. 1: Washington vs. San Diego State, September 1, 2012 – WIN
I didn’t know San Diego State played other colleges. I had heard they fielded a Lingerie Football League team, but a men’s team? No clue. Good for them.
Game No. 2: Washington at Louisiana State, September 8, 2012 – WIN
Honey Badger don’t give a shit? More like Honey Badger don’t get to play. We take what we want!
Game No. 3: Washington vs. Portland State, September 15, 2012 – WIN
Portland. Not a real state.
Game No. 4: Washington vs. Stanford, September 27, 2012 – WIN
A lot of people think this game may determine the Pac-12 North champion. It might. If Washington wasn’t destined to win every effing game.
Game No. 5: Washington at Oregon, October 6, 2012 – WIN
There are 156,929 people in the city of Eugene. That’s about 156,929 more than the world needs. Oregon sucks.
Game No. 6: Washington vs. USC, October 13, 2012 – WIN
Matt Barkley leads the Trojans into Seattle for one of the season’s biggest games. Or as I call him, Vanilla Keith Price.
Game No. 7: Washington at Arizona, October 20, 2012 – WIN
I imagine the Wildcats will have already given up on Rich Rodriguez at this point in the year.
Game No. 8: Washington vs. Oregon State, October 27, 2012 – WIN
For a D-II school, Oregon State is pretty…wait, what’s that? They’re not? They didn’t get moved down? We don’t do it like the European soccer leagues? My mistake. Never mind then.
Game No. 9: Washington at California, November 2, 2012 – WIN
Cal coach Jeff Tedford is selling his $5.5 million Danville, Calif. estate. You know what this means, right? Fired by midseason. Book it. This team is toast.
Game No. 10: Washington vs. Utah, November 10, 2012 – WIN
If I was an English teacher giving a lesson on the proper ways to identify irony, I’d write Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn’s name on the white board, point to his surname, and say, “See that, kids? That is irony.”
Game No. 11: Washington at Colorado, November 17, 2012 – WIN
Colorado is that one team that only shows up for the post-game snacks. Cookies and Capri Suns? For everybody?! I’ll be there!
Game No. 12: Washington at Washington State, November 23, 2012 – WIN
Come on. Really? All the sword swinging, all the bear hunting, the pirate references, the hype, the fabricated excitement. These are the Cougars. You honestly think they are going to be the ones to halt our perfect season? No. No way. Operation Air Aid is underway in Pullman. God save the Cougs. It’s over. Done. Season kaput. At least Mike Leach tried. He just happened to be a victim of circumstance.
So there you have it. Yeah, I predicted a perfect season. No, it probably won’t happen. But guess what. If it does happen, I’ll be the only guy in the nation who forecasted this shitstorm. And everyone will be like, “Oh my god, oh my god! I can’t believe this guy called it!” Yeah. I’m going for that. Swinging for the fences. I’ll either go yard, or strike out miserably. It’s the Carlos Peguero approach. And as you can see, it’s worked out well for…wait, what? He’s back in Triple-A? Really? Crap.
Filed under: Husky Football
One year is gone and another is just beginning. We experienced quite a bit in 2011. From college football scandals galore, to divine quarterbacks, to dual lockouts, to more whimsical things, like every local sports team finding its way to a mediocre finish.
So where do we go from here? Great question. I don’t have ESP, but I like to think I do. Here are my predictions for everything that may or may not happen in the coming year. Just remember, sixty percent of the time, these work every time. Unless they don’t. In which case, at least we had fun pretending.
Without further ado, here are your absolutely ridiculous 2012 Seattle sports predictions. Because predicting the future is super fun.
11. The Seattle Mariners will shock everyone and win the American League Western Division.
The Angels’ Albert Pujols will regress dramatically after switching to the American League. The Rangers will be stricken by a bevy of injuries. The A’s will be…well, the A’s. And the Mariners? Behind the leadership of MVP candidate Dustin Ackley, Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez, and offseason free agent signee Prince Fielder, the M’s will become 2012′s surprise team in Major League Baseball.
On top of all that, the team will pull off the move of the century during Spring Training when they sell Chone Figgins to Japan for 80 yen, which is equivalent to one U.S. dollar. The Mariners will then use that dollar to buy a pack of Bazooka Joe bubble gum, validating the deal entirely because Bazooka Joe is awesome and comes wrapped in comics.
Oh yeah, and Larry Bernandez will finally make his big league debut. So get ready for that.
10. Ian Furness will receive a well-deserved extra hour of airtime on Sports Radio KJR, but…
It’s no secret that Furness’s daily, two-hour radio show is not unlike frequent guest Ryan Divish in that it’s a little short. That will all change in 2012, however, when the Furness Show gets a fifty-percent raise in airtime.
The extra five hours each week will start off well, what with the recurring segments for fresh faces in media — like Erin Hawksworth and Alex Akita, perhaps — but quickly spiral out of control as it becomes painfully clear that Josh Sabrowsky is ill-equipped to handle the extra daily hour of production duty. Between leaving early to go shopping at H&M, spinning music that is borderline good on Bad Music Friday, and struggling to play a mean air guitar the way he once played it, Sabrowsky’s downfall will cost the show its extra hour just two months in.
But don’t worry about Sabrowsky. He’ll continue to produce those two hours at an A-plus level. He’ll then utilize the newfound extra time to get his hirsute modeling career off the ground. Just what the world needs.
9. The Washington Huskies Men’s Basketball team will win the Pac-12, receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, and make it all the way to the Elite Eight.
After a slow start to the season, the Dawgs will post a record of 14-4 in Pac-12 play AND win their final non-conference game against Seattle University, bringing their overall regular season record to 23-9 on the year. They’ll win the Pac-12 Tournament, gaining automatic entry to the Big Dance, and proceed to overwhelm opponents with relentless athleticism and a speedy, four-guard lineup.
Upon finishing the season, both Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten, Jr. will be viewed as first-round NBA prospects and debate entering the draft. Both will ultimately return for another season, however, when they come to grips with the fact that college is arguably the greatest experience of any person’s life ever.
While each will want their shot at a 2013 National Championship, Wroten will also come back to help the university promote the Wroten Workout Plan, a fitness regimen that will sell millions of DVDs worldwide. The WWP will eventually supplant P90X as America’s favorite workout video.
8. The 2013 Men of Seattle Sports Media calendar will be the must-have stocking stuffer of the 2012 holiday season.
With unique beach scenes, neon clothing, humorous poses, and little left to the imagination, the Men of Seattle Sports Media calendar will revolutionize the charity calendar game and blow up across the nation. All proceeds will benefit a couple of special foundations that are near and dear to our hearts. The photography will be high-class and professional. There will be wardrobe and lighting. Models will coach the media members on how to pose. Women will inexplicably flock to the public signings. The married media members will get more love than they’ve ever received from their spouses previously. The single media members will be among the city’s most eligible bachelors. It will be, in a word, amazing.
Now to talk everyone into it…
7. The Seattle Sounders FC will win the MLS Cup.
I have no basis for this prediction. I just think it’s time. And there’s a track record to support the success. Make it happen, Sounders.
6. The Seahawks will select Robert Griffin, III in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, then go on to win the NFC West behind…Tarvaris Jackson.
They’ll trade up to nab Griffin, then give him a year to study under Jackson. Jackson, in turn, will seize the opportunity to become a capable, playoff-caliber starting quarterback. His solid performance throughout the 2012 campaign will cause Hugh Millen to go on a profanity-laden rant on the airwaves of Sports Radio KJR, the likes of which the FCC has never seen before. In the process, Millen will drop 15 F-bombs and invent three new profanities which had not previously been introduced to the English-speaking world.
Jackson won’t be alone in his endeavors, as Marshawn Lynch, who was re-signed to a lucrative contract in the offseason, will become an All-Pro running back in his third year with the ballclub. Second-year wideout Doug Baldwin will emerge as a 1,000-yard receiver, safety Kam Chancellor will continue down the path towards greatness, and the entire defensive unit will find itself among the league’s elite.
In spite of all this, the Seahawks will not win the Super Bowl, as the world will be ending on December 21, 2012. This, according to the Mayans and various Hollywood films of a similar theme. Also, this song by Jay Sean and Nicki Minaj:
You know what? F**k it. For the sake of this article, let’s just assume the world won’t end. To hell with it, just give the Seahawks the 2012-2013 Super Bowl title right now. Boom. I’ll go on record with that optimism.
5. Mike Leach will lead the Washington State Cougars football program to their first winning season in nine years, then promptly retire to become a real-life pirate.
Shortly after winning the 2012 Las Vegas Bowl, Leach will move to Somalia and adopt the nickname Captain Mike Black Raven Leach. As a pirate, Leach will command the high seas on a yacht that he purchases with the money he earned during his one season at WSU. As most pirates navigate the waterways on slow-moving ships, Leach will have a clear advantage over his competitors in this respect. He will dub his vessel “The Spread,” a nod to the high-flying, fast-paced spread offense he employed during his days as a football coach.
Stunned Cougar fans will lament the abrupt departure of their fearless leader. They will decry his name at first, but eventually come to grips with Leach’s destiny, even going so far as to brew a liquor in his honor. While Captain Black Raven Spiced Rum will become a hit in Pullman, the nation will be hard-pressed to buy into the low quality of the Cougars’ attempt at alcohol. Black Raven will sit at the bottom of most store shelves, right beneath the likes of Admiral Nelson.
4. Heisman Trophy winner Keith Price will lead the Washington Huskies football team to their first Rose Bowl appearance in more than a decade.
Self-explanatory, really. Three letters and a number to sum this up: KP4H.
3. Two former Huskies will represent the United States at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
You may have heard about my buddy Norris Frederick. He’ll be tearing up the track in London come summertime. Bank on it.
You may not have heard about my other friend, Jeffrey “Crossbow” Anderson. Crossbow is a future Olympic archer and one of the most skilled marksmen in the entire world. He’s like a modern-day William Tell. We call him Crossbow because it sounds cooler than Bow-and-Arrow. We’ve also tried to get him to bring his weaponry out in public on numerous occasions, which he sadly refuses to do. Regardless, he’s the next great American archer and once earned All-American honors shooting targets at the University of Washington. To prove to you how badass Crossbow is, here’s a picture of him eating a sandwich:
Ladies, he’s single. Now’s your chance to get in on the ground floor.
In all seriousness, I couldn’t be more proud of these two friends of mine. I’m pulling for them all the way and hope to see them in London a few months from now. Get ready to book that vacation…
2. Plans for a new multi-purpose arena in the Seattle area will finally come to fruition.
This should give everyone a little hope. It’s bound to happen.
1. The Sonics will return to Seattle.
You’re probably wondering how this will all go down. I’ve thought it out in great detail. Here you go:
David Stern will fall into a coma after choking on a pastry at a Starbucks in Oklahoma City. His lunch partner, Clay Bennett, will attempt to perform the Heimlich maneuver on Stern, only to fail miserably when he slips on a coffee jacket and knocks himself unconscious. The blunt force damage to Bennett’s skull will cause him to develop amnesia; the resulting memory loss will render him incapable of holding his position as head of the NBA’s Relocation Committee.
With both Stern and Bennett incapacitated, Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver will assume everyday operations of the Association and, in a panic, appoint Mark Cuban as head of the Relocation Committee. This will set off a chain of events that eventually leads to the New Orleans Hornets exiting Louisiana, headed for the Pacific Northwest.
A friend to fans everywhere, Cuban will entertain a sit-down meeting with the guys from Sonicsgate. The Sonicsgate crew will then convince the Mavericks’ owner to overthrow the incompetent Silver as acting commissioner of the league. Cuban, enamored by the prospect of ultimate power, will oblige to the suggestions of the Seattle faithful.
Armed with seemingly endless pockets, Cuban will hire a posse and stage an old-fashioned coup of the NBA offices. Scared out of his mind, Silver will flee the building naked, screaming like a little girl. Onlookers will wonder why he removed all his clothes before running away. For this, we will have no answer. Silver will never be heard from again.
With the league under his control, Cuban will do a solid to the gentlemen who helped conceive his reign by forcing the Hornets out of their less-than-ideal circumstances in New Orleans. The team will be relocated to Seattle, where they’ll adopt the Sonics name, logo, colors, and history. The city will rejoice in the midst of its good fortune.
Shortly after the move is made official, Stern will awake from his coma and try to seize control of the league once again. The coalition of owners, having been paid hefty sums of hush money from Cuban, will instead transfer Stern to a nursing home in suburban Oklahoma City where he will spend the rest of his days.
Bennett, meanwhile, will never regain his memory, yet still live a long and productive life as a drag queen named Glitter. Dancing in front of millions of tourists each year under the lights of Las Vegas, Glitter will become one of the most renowned and respected transsexual celebrities in the history of the world.
Sonicsgate. Believe it, baby.
Filed under: Top 11
So we go to this liquor store today to buy Crown Royal. There’s a history with Husky football tailgates, my friends, and Crown Royal. First of all, Crown comes in purple-and-gold packaging, so there’s that. Secondly, we are undefeated (1-0) in bowl games that we bring Crown to, which is also quite important. Long story short, we go out of our way to bring Crown Royal to games and there’s a very limited track record that tells us this is a good idea.
Anyway, we get to Twin Liquors in San Antonio, find our desired purchase, and make our way to the cash register to pay. The following conversation then ensues:
Cashier No. 1 (upon seeing our Husky and Sonics attire): What are you guys in town for?
Side note: Big sports fans in this town, as you can plainly see.
Me: Football game, the Alamo Bowl.
Cashier No. 1: Oh, yeah. That’s today isn’t it. Isn’t that today?
Cashier No. 2 (in borderline Rosie Perez voice): I don’t know. Don’t look at me. I’ve never watched a football game before.
Me: Yeah, it’s today.
Cashier No. 1 (having rung up our purchase): Okay, your total is $28.10.
Me (having misunderstood the total): Sorry, how much did you say? $20.10?
Cashier No. 1 (having now misunderstood me): Yeah.
Me (reaching into my pocket, pulling out a $20 bill and a dime): Here you go.
Cashier No. 1 (handing me the receipt): Hold on, I’ll get you change.
Me (thinking, Why is he getting me change? then looking at the receipt and realizing I’m $8 short): Wait…
Cashier No. 1 (waiting for the change I don’t deserve from Cashier No. 2): Alright, go Baylor Bears!!!
Me (deciding if he’s going to make jokes, I will not say anything).
Cashier No. 1 (thinking I must have given him $40.10 and not $20.10, handing me $12): Here you go. Go Baylor! And I overcharged you for that, too (laughs).
Me (laughing): Okay, dude. See you later.
We get outside. We realize we just bought a $28 bottle of liquor for $8. We appreciate the irony of the joke the cashier made at our expense, not realizing that he shorted himself by $20. We figure this can only be a good sign for the rest of the day. We reason that this single act alone will lead us to an Alamo Bowl win.
Small victories. They lead to big victories.
Filed under: Husky Football
Oh, hey, look at this. An anonymous sports fan emailed the good people over at Q13 Fox with a request to send our favorite sportscaster to the Alamo Bowl. No, not Carlos del Valle, Rod Simons, or Gaard Swanson — See what I did right there? Went retro on you — but Erin Hawksworth, who is clearly better looking than all three of those other guys (sorry Carlos, Rod, and Gaard).
The anonymous email happened to fall into my lap and I’ve taken the liberty of reprinting it for all of you to see. Because as a Husky fan myself, I wholeheartedly support the “Send Erin to the Alamo Bowl” movement. For obvious reasons.
Again, we have no idea who wrote this. It’s blatantly anonymous.
As a concerned Husky Football fan, I’m writing to convince you to send Erin Hawksworth to the Alamo Bowl. You’re probably asking yourself why, in these tough economic times, you should consider sending Erin to the Alamo Bowl at all. That’s a fantastic question which I plan to answer. You’re probably also asking yourself why you shouldn’t send Aaron Levine. Also a great question which I will address. Without consuming too much of your time, let’s discuss the importance of this decision.
First of all, everyone knows that Q13 provides Seattle’s most comprehensive sports coverage. That’s a given. And if you pave the way for sports news in this town, it only makes sense to have a representative of your team present at the Alamo Bowl. The Alamo Bowl is arguably one of the most marquee sporting events that fans in this city will get to enjoy in 2011. Coverage is key.
I know for a fact that KIRO is sending Chris Francis to San Antonio for the game. Chris Effing Francis. Nobody even knows who that guy is. And I’ve heard semi-substantiated rumors that he’s a total douchebag. No Husky fan wants to talk to a douchebag. He’ll score about as many fan interviews as Paul Wulff scored victories. Good luck with that, Francis.
I assume KING is sending the likes of Chris Egan down to the game. For an older fellow, Egan can hang. I like Egan. But unless he’s broadcasting from Bonney Lake High School surrounded by at least 50 cheerleaders, he’s completely useless.
I don’t know who KOMO’s sending, but does it really matter? KOMO is like the Kansas City Royals of Seattle media. You watch them for five minutes and you’re like, “Oh, shit, I didn’t know that guy was there. I thought he was dead.” That’s KOMO for you. Ever since Eric’s Little Heroes moved to the news desk they’ve been in complete disarray. Like watching a team of eight-year-olds play Boys & Girls Club basketball. Which is ironic, because that’s what they cover most nights anyway.
So think about it. If you send Erin, holy crap, you’ll have the upper hand amongst all the other TV news stations. Everyone will want to talk to her, rather than the d-bag (Francis), Egan, or whatever intern KOMO provides.
Now let’s discuss cost efficiency, because as we’ve already alluded to, these are tough economic times. You need to save money, and I don’t blame you. Erin can get free drinks at any bar, which Levine cannot. That’s one. Two, if you need to save money on hotel costs, I’m your guy. I don’t have any discounts or hookups, but I do have a room at the Crowne Plaza Riverwalk; Erin is more than welcome to crash. Camera guy is on his own, however. Sorry. Limited space. Three, flights aren’t that expensive. Four, food is cheaper in San Antonio. Five, you can market this, pull ratings, get additional exposure, and in the long run make money off this one endeavor alone. Boom. Cost efficiency.
So there you have it. Sound reasoning. You really can’t go wrong in making this decision. I hope I’ve helped convince you that this is the right move, and I encourage you to contact me with any additional questions you may have.
Thank you for your time.
An Anonymous Sports Fan
Filed under: Husky Football
Let me start by discussing Facebook Groups. What’s up with those, right? They absolutely suck. Why create a Group when you have Pages? Having a Facebook Page gets your point across without messing with everyone’s freedom. Facebook Groups are straight up anarchy. Anyone can create a Group, anyone can add you to a Group, anyone can post in a Group, anyone can impose their Group upon you. I hate that. I’m contemplating creating a Group called “Because I Want To Make Your Life A Living Hell” and inviting everyone I know to it. There’s nothing more unfulfilling than logging into your account, seeing a red notification up there to the left, clicking the notification, and finding out that 50 different people posted in a Group that you don’t give a damn about. Maybe a hot chick wrote on my wall. Maybe someone commented on the one picture I look good in. Maybe I got a “Like.” No. None of the above. Someone posted in a f**king Group. What a f**king joke. F**k you, Zuckerberg.
Speaking of unfulfilling things, how ’bout that Alamo Bowl, huh? That was a professional segue right there. You might not have noticed. Thought I’d call your attention to that. Oh, and in case you’re wondering what that entire first paragraph has to do with the rest of this letter, the answer is nothing. It has nothing to do with the rest of this article. I just wanted to rant about Facebook Groups and rile you up a bit. If you’re still reading, then I’ve accomplished both goals.
Anyway, here’s the thing, I don’t want my Huskies to go to the Alamo Bowl. I know, I know, it’s supposed to be the more prestigious bowl game. Whatever. It costs a couple hundred more bucks to fly to San Antonio and it’s far, far away. Screw those guys. I might not even go to the game if they play there. That’s how badly I don’t want to go to the Alamo Bowl.
But you know what. Let me tell you something. I would like to go to the Holiday Bowl. You know why? Because last year’s Holiday Bowl was effing amazing. Seriously. I had the time of my life in San Diego. And I owe it all to you. Had you not been such gracious hosts for our football program, we likely would not have descended upon your fair city. But you were, and we did, and it was glorious.
I don’t even remember much of my time there. I remember it being chilly. I remember meeting Hugh Millen. I remember the sun being too bright in the morning. I remember partying on New Year’s Eve with Jake Locker. I remember riding a trolley and talking about going to Tijuana, only to be told by a man twice my size that he would never go there, so why would we? Duly noted, large man.
I remember the important things. I remember being with my friends, I remember kissing a girl, I remember waking up with a hangover and forcing myself to run three miles as punishment, I remember trying to start our hybrid rental car. These were awesome memories. Just incredible. And I want to relive them all.
San Diego is beautiful, Qualcomm Stadium is badass (minus the $9 beers), the public transportation is conducive to safe nights, and I still need to get some USD Toreros gear.
So please, have us back. Or else I’m going to create a Facebook Group called “The Holiday Bowl.” And invite everyone I know to it. And post shit every day. To make people’s lives a living hell. Think about that. You don’t want that.
We love you, Holiday Bowl.
Filed under: Husky Football
Two years ago, I wrote an article listing 30 Reasons to Hate the University of Oregon. To say it was one of the more polarizing pieces I’ve ever written would be an understatement, though it should be noted that more positive than negative feedback was received. Which is good. It means that people generally hate the Oregon Ducks as much as I do. That’s how I gauge whether or not I’m crazy. Do they agree with me? They do? Perfect. I’m not insane yet.
Fact is, my disdain for the U of O is only rivaled by my passion for life. I love living, but I hate Oregon. You see the problem here? These two conflicting forces pull my world in opposing directions. It’s a battle that many sports fans — Husky fans or otherwise — wage on a daily basis.
But why do we really hate Oregon? Hate is such a strong word, after all, and one cannot go around spouting hatred without some basis for the emotion. Sure, we joke about the Ducks, we poke fun at their goofy mascot, allude to their constant toeing of the NCAA violation line, and even print t-shirts dedicated to their general suckiness as an institution of higher learning. But none of these actions directly pertain to hatred, per se. And so onlookers shrug their shoulders and move along, convinced that this is nothing more than a complicated relationship between two disgruntled rivals.
Alas, public perception is a tough nut to crack. I’ve made it my mission to convince the masses that UW fans — and perhaps fans the world around — really do hate Oregon as much as we claim to. But perhaps I haven’t been convincing enough.
And so I’d like to take this serious moment to get real with you, loyal readers, and explain in detail why this unremitting hostility towards our foes to the south is so often perpetuated. Hate is a strong word. We can all agree on that. But not a word without its occasional righteous validity. Thus, I elaborate.
Why do we hate Oregon? Better question: Why do we hate terrorism? Oregon fans, you see, are terrorists. Not the kind that go around blowing up buildings or sending anthrax through the mail, bear in mind. Rather, the kind of terrorists that infringe upon our rights as human beings to live wonderful, beautiful, unmolested lives. Which of course lends Duck fans to being molesters, as well.
Terrorist molesters. Can you think of anything worse on this planet? I can’t. Every time I see someone wearing green-and-gold Duck gear, I fear for the safety of everyone around me. Can we trust this person? Are they armed and dangerous? Do they have SARS? These are all questions we need to be asking ourselves when in the presence of the Oregon faithful.
Like rats plagued by rabies, Duck fans foam indecency and exhale putrid, disease-riddled disgust. They are commonly referred to as the worst fan base on the planet. They wallow in their stagnant pigsty of a city and go to great lengths to make that hippie-infested outpost known as Eugene (effing Yew-Gene…it even sounds ugly) a living nightmare for all who mistakenly traipse there.
Why do we hate Oregon? It’s not due to the johnny-come-lately successes of their football program, their suspect relationship with Nike, or even the fact that their student-athletes are a cavalcade of miscreants and criminals.
No, we hate Oregon because of the fans, sorry, godawful excuses for humanity that they are.
Fans. The word itself doesn’t do right by the Oregon Duck following. These aren’t really fans. They’re social degenerates and future wards of whatever state they happen to inhabit when their miserable destiny is ultimately fulfilled.
They are Voldemort’s Voldemort, an entire Population-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
They are the villain you see in the movies, the antagonist who constantly escapes retribution until the very end of the film when our hero, our protagonist, our doer of all that is good in this world socks the smirk right off the pimply mug of that cocky, smug, sorry little bastard punk-ass bitch of a jerk who deserves everything behind that punch, that beautiful freakin’ punch, that punch you can’t help but cheer for when it connects. God, we love that punch.
It is the fans. We hate the fans. Terrorist molesters, those fans. And so to an entire cult of green-and-gold-clad sadists, I offer you these words in parting:
We don’t like you. Nobody likes you. You make this world worse than it otherwise would be without you here. You’re horrible, horrible people. You probably shouldn’t be let out of your homes. You’re awful. Just awful. And words — any more words, any manipulation of the English language — simply cannot and will not ever pay proper tribute to your festering heinousness.
I hope the Huskies beat you on Saturday. I hope we beat you every Saturday. I hope everyone beats you every Saturday.
But win or lose, one thing will never change: there will be hate. And it will be raw and pure like the cane sugar of the Hawaiian islands. Think about that. Think about how raw and pure that is. That’s true hate.
Filed under: Husky Football
It’s almost not fair. Why should we have to make concessions for them? They are the ones who suck. They are the incompetent ne’er-do-wells who can’t do their jobs. They are the malcontents who draw our ire. And yet like a giant traipsing among a crowd of midgets, we’re the ones constantly tiptoeing around their shortcomings. Where’s the justice in that?
For every ill-advised whistle, every hastily-thrown flag, every muddled attempt at an explanation, every boo-inducing, venom-inciting, vein-popping, mind-boggling, dumb-shit-effing-mother-crapping-what-the-hell-was-that-are-you-KIDDING-ME?! call they make, we acquiesce. It’s a manic, unhealthy experience having to deal with these morons. We flip out at their utter asininity one moment, then are forced to bring ourselves back down to earth seconds later when the game resumes. Every time they screw up, we’re left reluctantly rolling over in the wake of their ineptitude.
We’re all subject to their unmistakable follies. For microcosmic evidence, look no further than a head-scratching second quarter from Saturday night’s Washington-Arizona game.
In what should become Exhibit 1A for the reason stupid people shouldn’t procreate, our striped nihilist foes did everything they could to leave their imprint on a contest that was being broadcast to a national television audience. Never mind the fact that football fans would rather watch, you know, football. The clowns in black-and-white didn’t wake up to sit idly by and play the role of Carlton to the game’s Will. Damn it, they wanted to be from West Philadelphia born and raised, they wanted to be the Fresh Prince, they wanted the Independence Day lead. They wanted all that. And no one was going to stop them.
A trio of questionable rulings ensued in that mystifying second period, punctuated by the most surreal incomplete pass one has ever witnessed. Allow me to briefly recap the madness of the play:
A deep, downfield toss from Huskies quarterback Keith Price (KP4H, to the uninitiated) landed in the waiting arms (or, rather, arm) of tight end Michael Hartvigson. The redshirt freshman from nearby Bothell corralled the pigskin in one paw, palmed it with undeniable control, then staggered towards the end zone as he struggled to keep his feet. After taking no fewer than four steps towards paydirt, Hartvigson succumbed to gravity and hit the deck just short of the goal line. As he landed, the ball popped out of his grasp. Whistles blew. The play was dead. The call: incomplete pass. The crowd reaction: anarchy.
The ruling on the field was dead wrong. Everyone knew it except the people in charge of making the call. Catch? Definitely. Catch and fumble? Maybe. Catch and down before the ball came out? Most likely. Incomplete pass? No freakin’ way.
In an ultimately futile attempt to persuade the officials to change their mind, Washington burned a time-out. The officiating booth — which one can only assume is a section of the press box off-limits to all humankind; it’s probably inhabited by monkeys — reviewed the play. They upheld the call. Everyone and their mother voiced their displeasure. It was the worst call I’ve ever witnessed in any sport in my 27 years of existence. It was disgusting. A disgrace to the game.
We’ve relented to these godawful Pac-12 officials for far too long. The aftermath from that single play, that one badly-botched verdict, is a testament to my point. Fans we’re left to shrug their shoulders when the hometown Huskies went on to win the game. Media members were relegated to joking amongst themselves and making witty, snide remarks on Twitter. The broadcast crew was tasked with trying to explain a blatant, egregious error made by the stooges in stripes. And coaches — including Washington’s own Steve Sarkisian — were forced to hold their tongues, make mention of the fact they were holding their tongues when asked, and otherwise do all they could to say, “Yes, these guys suck” without actually saying, “Yes, these guys suck.”
We shouldn’t have to hide behind our politically correct veils for any longer. It’s one thing to complain about a call here or there, whine about an outcome every now and then, lament an entire game, perhaps. But every fan in every Pac-12 borough from here to Tucson knows that these referees are the bane of our collective existence. It’s not acceptable to just scoff at their foolishness any longer. They need to know that they’re terrible. They need to know that they don’t deserve paychecks. They need to read this and they need to be upset and get mad and hate us for hating them.
There is no other officiating constituency in the entire nation that does as poor a job as the one from the Pacific 12 Conference. They are bumbling blowhards with a clear-as-day vendetta against the spirit of athletics. They shouldn’t be allowed to call a friend on the phone, let alone a major college football game. They need to be ripped. They need to be brought to trial. They need to be incensed and embarrassed and accountable for every ridiculous ruling they’ve ever spewed unto the masses.
Pac-12 officials, after further review, the ruling on the field is confirmed: You guys are f**king idiots. Welcome to your nightmare.
Filed under: Featured Articles, Husky Football
Once upon a time, there was this little show on ABC called Growing Pains. What a great effing show that was. Basically, it was the all-American situational comedy, or “sitcom,” as those of us who remember such shows fondly call them.
The premise of Growing Pains was simple. You had this family, the Seavers, and they grew as a unit, albeit painfully. Okay, maybe that’s an oversimplification of the title, but whatever.
The Seavers were your average upper-middle-class household, headed up by dad, Jason (played by Alan Thicke), and mom, Maggie (Joanna Kerns). Jason and Maggie were a fertile pair, spawning four children: Mike (Kirk Cameron), Carol (Tracey Gold), Ben (Jeremy Miller), and Chrissy (Ashley Johnson).
Supplementing the zany-yet-typical lives of the Seavers were a cast of friends and confidants to help carry the script. For the most part, this really just included all the girls who got to first base with Mike (there were seemingly thousands), as well as Mike’s best friend, Boner Stabone (played by the late Andrew Koening…RIP Boner). In fact, despite having a mom, dad, and three siblings, the show pretty much centered around Mike, his Boner, and a female troupe of Seaver Believers. Why? Maybe because Kirk Cameron became a teen heartthrob, maybe because Carol and Ben were boring as hell, or maybe because Jeremy Miller got really weird looking for much of the latter half of the series. No one knows for sure, but I put most of the blame on Miller. He was your standard middle child in a sitcom, only…worse. It’s probably his fault.
Regardless, Growing Pains could have been called Thirty Minutes with Mike Seaver and no one would have cared. Except that towards the end of the show’s run, Kirk Cameron started sucking at his job. Profusely. He “found God,” became a devout religious man, and simultaneously decided to use his star power to shit all over the show like it was his own personal toilet. It was disappointing, to say the least.
To atone for Cameron’s newfound shortcomings, the good folks over at ABC went out and did for Growing Pains what many producers do for dying sitcoms: they added new life in the form of a random kid. In this case, the kid was Luke Brower, a teenage orphan who the Seavers adopted (completely unrealistic; everyone knows you only adopt teenagers when they’re destined for the NBA or NFL…epic fail). And the young man playing the character of Luke? None other than Leonardo DiCaprio, acting in his first major role.
Now I don’t know about you, but adding DiCaprio to the show was like putting peanut butter with jelly, K-Ci with JoJo, and Lewis with Clark all at the same time! Leo didn’t just add to the show; he completed the show. Frankly, it makes you wonder how epic the series could have been if ABC had found their Luke Brower long before Mike Seaver went off the deep end. DiCaprio’s presence alone (possible over-exaggeration forthcoming) convinced the network to keep Growing Pains on life support for one final season in 1992, before canceling and turning their set over to Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper. (Seriously, go back and watch the series premiere of Mr. Cooper. The show takes place in the Seaver house. It’s freakin’ weird.)
So what does this long, drawn-out analogical anecdote have to do with anything, anyway? Good question.
You see, in this topsy-turvy world of ours, the Seahawks and Huskies are two football teams who, like Growing Pains, are currently in search of their Leonardo DiCaprio. They have issues — major ones — and they need someone or something to arrive and provide salvation. Before crazy Mike Seaver sabotages their entire existence. Or something like that.
Interestingly enough, each team possesses what the other happens to be looking for.
The Seahawks, for one, have a fantastic defense to go along with a putrid offense. Their counterparts over on Montlake, however, are in need of some defense to complement a fairly decent offense. It’s quite the predicament these two ball clubs are in, if for no other reason than the fact that it’s become painfully obvious to Seattle sports fans how bad each team really is when their sore spot rears its ugly head.
For proof of these existing burdens, one need not look any further than this past weekend.
You may have seen the Husky defense on Saturday evening against Stanford. Or maybe you didn’t. Because I didn’t. Most people didn’t, I’d wager. They were there, but only in spirit. Relinquishing 65 points to your opponent is never a good thing. Unless you happen to score 66, I guess. But even then it’s frowned upon. Like drinking Four Loko with college girls.
Likewise, you may have seen the Seahawks offense on Sunday morning, but probably not. Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst essentially pitched a shutout, leading his cohorts just close enough to paydirt for kicker Steven Hauschka to knock down a field goal. The three points amounted to the team’s entire scoring output on the day. With that kind of performance from Whitehurst, you have to wonder if the Mariners will come calling for his services this offseason. He might not have a great QB rating, but he leads the NFL in ERA.
As an observant fan, one team’s strife is maddeningly punctuated by the success of the other in that same area. Watching the Huskies fail to stop any opponent (save for Colorado) from charging up and down the field is only highlighted by the Seahawks’ refusal to let other teams do the very same to them. By a similar token, paying witness to the Hawks’ halfhearted attempts at running, throwing, catching and scoring is magnified by the Dawgs’ affinity for such things. From literally one day to the next, it’s hard to fathom and even harder to stomach. As a kid, I once consumed Corn Nuts, beef jerky, and a Slurpee in one sitting. I didn’t leave the bathroom for an entire afternoon. The caustic mixture of Huskies-defense-plus-Seahawks-offense is the only combination of bowel-inducing sickness that can rival such a weak stab at nutrition.
Perhaps it’s not so coincidental that our two local football teams have conflicting weaknesses. This is Seattle, after all. Where it’s rainy one minute, then sunny the next. Where we construct bicycle lanes to address our ridiculous traffic problems. Where we thrive off a coffee company that subsequently jettisoned our longest-tenured sports franchise. We’re a city of warring ideals. The juxtaposing struggles of one football team’s defense to the other’s offense is simply the most recent example of incongruous discord in our township’s storied history.
Where do we go from here? Neither team will be considered a success until their unique deficiencies are addressed. And right now, the aforementioned deficiencies of each squad are so blatant that you can almost picture Kirk Cameron sitting in a room somewhere, chuckling to himself.
There are no easy answers, but it’s clearly time. Time to find a saving grace, time to rejuvenate, time to improve, time to find our Luke Brower. It may not be Leonardo DiCaprio they’re looking for, but if the Seahawks and Huskies want to reach the proverbial mountaintop, it’s time to patch up the respective holes on offense and defense.
Please accept this video as my gift to you for reading this entire article.
Filed under: Husky Football, Seahawks
I’m sold on the Huskies. They are the hot chick you think you might be into, but aren’t quite sure about until all your friends meet her and say, “Dude, that girl is smokin’ hot.” That kind of sold. Validated and cross-checked kind of sold.
It’s not that I didn’t believe before this. I’ve always believed in the Dawgs. It’s just that this team was one giant enigma entering the season. And as a result, no one really knew how to accurately temper their hopes for the new year.
I liken my expectations of the 2011 Washington football team to my expectations of R-rated movies as a kid. Until you see your first R-rated flick, you really don’t have any assumptions about what you might encounter. You figure you might see some things you’ve never seen before, but what those things are, exactly, you can’t quite be sure of. Will everyone be naked? Possibly. Will there be new and exotic swear words, the likes of which you’ve never, ever heard? Potentially. When you’re young, God only knows what secrets lie shrouded beneath that mysterious R-rated label.
Prior to UW’s opener back on September 3rd, I treated this team like a 10-year-old moviegoer might treat The Hangover. Would the season be good, bad, somewhere in between? I had no idea, and I’d wager that most people felt the same way. It certainly wasn’t like last year, when we had the hype machine swirling around Jake Locker and his teammates, when a bowl bid was all but expected. No, while we all secretly hoped that this year’s Huskies would take that next step — yet another trip to a bowl game and a couple more wins, presumably — we were absolutely unsure. Graduating your best players on either side of the ball will present more questions than answers, and that’s exactly where we stood with the 2011 Dawgs.
After five games, the picture is much clearer than it was a month ago. This team is 4-1. They’re just a few blunders away from being 5-0. They have a conference road victory to their credit. They’re undefeated at home. Statistically speaking, they have one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. These are all characteristics of upper-echelon college football programs. Washington has the building blocks in place to join the elite.
There are still questions, of course, but questions will always linger. Injuries remain a factor, the vulnerability of the secondary continues to be an issue, and the schedule — with the toughest games yet to be played — undoubtedly plays a role.
But behind an improving defense, a potent offense, and on the shoulders of a superhero in Keith Price, it’s much easier to believe in the Huskies now than it was a month ago. And that’s saying a lot. Because as Seattle sports fans, scorned lovers that we are, it takes more than a little optimism to buy in to any ball club. Maybe it’s the grey skies or the rain, or perhaps it’s just due to the fact that we’ve endured one of the worst sports decades of any city in America, but either way, we tend to be cynical. As such, we rarely embrace the opportunity to fully climb aboard a moving bandwagon. Maybe this time it’s different.
The first R-rated movie I ever saw was Starship Troopers. It was a friend’s birthday. His older brother bought our tickets and chaperoned the event. I didn’t know what to make of the moment until Dina Meyer took her shirt off. At that instant, I was on board. At that very point in time, my world had changed. Innocence was shattered, any reservations were dead, and I couldn’t help but enjoy the thrill of seeing this beautiful, topless woman projected onto a giant screen before my very eyes.
The 2011 Huskies are our Starship Troopers. Keith Price is our Dina Meyer — well, more or less. Our expectations aren’t changing, per se, but the moment is being redefined. Hope is transcendent. Belief is incessant. You may as well buy in now. This team is for real and they’re treating opponents like giant alien bugs determined to eradicate the human species.
It’s time get sold on the Washington Huskies.
Filed under: Husky Football