A Culture Change on Montlake: How the Attitude of the UW Athletic Department is Perceived by Fans

newhuskystadiumFighting 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:

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.

(Heh.)

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?

28 responses

  1. Thanks for writing this. The UW Athletic department is extrememly out of touch, and their actions around social media should be a case study in how NOT to use twitter.
    What’s scary about Daniel Hour is that he oversees New Media. This isn’t some 40-something who hasn’t quite figured out how to navigate the internet yet. Working on New Media is his job, and he is making all the mistakes they teach you not to make. I’m shocked he wasn’t fired.

    His about.me page also makes him look like an entitled douche. Which means he fits in well with the current staff of the athletic department, I guess.

    I do think the athletic department should try to ‘protect’ its athletes as best they can, but there is a right way and a wrong way to do that. Daniel Hour picked the wrong way. And then went wronger. I’ve got a feeling you wouldn’t have written this article if he was polite about it, and did it in private. The guy who oversees New Media for UW should have been smart enough to figure out the right way to handle that situation.

  2. Maybe, just maybe, if this were the Alabama or South Carolina athletic departments, I could understand it. Folks in those areas have no other choices and pretty much have to take whatever those departments dish out to them, and the departments know it. But here in Seattle, we have options. If the Husky athletic department continues down this road, they are in trouble. Soon we’ll have another option for our sports dollar in the Sonics, and potentially an NHL team. Keep treating your fans (and especially alums) like this, and you’re pretty quickly at the bottom of that sports dollar totem pole.

    When I was in the UW hospital for a few weeks this summer, the view out my window looked directly at the new Husky Stadium. The excitement of being able to go to games in that place helped distract me from the excruciating boredom of those weeks. Now, to hear and see things like this coming from this athletic department, my enthusiasm is definitely dampened. Maybe instead of Husky tickets this year, I’ll upgrade my Seahawks tickets. At least they don’t give me the virtual finger-wagging on Twitter.

  3. Show me the Money

    Great article, written like a true Nordstrom past employee, customer service first and the money will follow. Perhaps the UW needs to seek out it’s own graduates (put your money where your mouth is) to hire, the ones who have a true love and understanding of the Husky mentality.

  4. I am really pissed that I took the time to read that entire nonsense-filled sceed. I’ve been going to Husky football games since my dad started taking me in 1948. I graduated from UW with a degree in Radio-TV, and spent my junior and senior years as a sportscaster on KUOW for all the Husky home football games and home basketball games. I was into Dawgman only shortly after Dave started . And in all that time I’ve heard a few fans bitch and moan about every aspect of the Husky experience. But never, not even once, have I read more self-righteous claptrap in any single article.

    Congratulations. With that post you became Mr. Irrelevant of the Dawg athletic world.

  5. Jack Frost :

    I’ve been going to Husky football games since my dad started taking me in 1948.

    You’re out of touch, old timer.

  6. Jack Frost :
    I am really pissed that I took the time to read that entire nonsense-filled sceed. I’ve been going to Husky football games since my dad started taking me in 1948. I graduated from UW with a degree in Radio-TV, and spent my junior and senior years as a sportscaster on KUOW for all the Husky home football games and home basketball games. I was into Dawgman only shortly after Dave started . And in all that time I’ve heard a few fans bitch and moan about every aspect of the Husky experience. But never, not even once, have I read more self-righteous claptrap in any single article.
    Congratulations. With that post you became Mr. Irrelevant of the Dawg athletic world.

    Can you give at least one reason why you disagree? Instead, you list some worthless resume of your “Husky-dom” that makes your own comment FAR more self-righteous than Alex’s article.

  7. Jack Frost :
    Congratulations. With that post you became Mr. Irrelevant of the Dawg athletic world.

    GET OFF MY LAWN.

  8. And on a side note, according to UrbanDictionary, a “claptrap” is “a person who is prone to catching Chylamidia, or one whose sexual hygiene (or lack thereof) is questionable,” or more succinctly “an STD infested slutty girl.” That’s cold blooded, man.

  9. Jack Frost :
    Congratulations. With that post you became Mr. Irrelevant of the Dawg athletic world.

    Or Alex is a voice speaking for the CURRENT generation of Dawgs that feel like we are being left out in the cold. This may be irrelevant to the Sun Dodger generation but as it is now, we DO feel taken advantage of and it is one big reason the Dawg Pack is absolutely horrid compared to past years (not just basketball, volleyball I felt like I was drowning in a sea of apathy). The athletic department has done some things right – axing Babs was a good first step – but they need to care more about the students or they are going to lose the reputation that makes the best fans want to be a part of the greatest student section in the country.

  10. Don't put down the Dawg just cause he's old.

    Ageism doesn’t become you Alex…why don’t you ask Jack Frost to respond point by point in his own article….he obviously has some history being a Dawg. I would love to read his response.

  11. You’re right. I reacted to one jerk by being a jerk back, and that’s not cool. I’d invite the old Dawg to let us know where he disagrees. There seem to be a number of questions as to what his argument may be, beyond just disliking the overall spirit of the article.

  12. Alex,

    I have no problem with you using your website to publish an article bashing Daniel Hour or the Atletic Department, but instead of trying to point out all the perceived problems how about writing something about how to fix the problems as you call them.

    I am not sure what year you graduated, but how many years since then have you purchased season tickets for either Football or Men’s Basketball? If the answer is zero that tells me no matter what the Athletic Department does it won’t be satisfactory in your eyes.

    If I’m not mistaken over 85% of Husky basketball season-ticket holders are Tyee Club members, UW hoops fans have the youngest median age of any local sports team as well as a median household income of over $100,000. Attendance numbers may be down the last few years, but is that due to supporters of the program or your typical bandwagon Seattle fan who only will go to a game if the team is winning?

    I don’t have the exact numbers in front of me, but I do believe that the Young Tyee club is currently at an all time high as far as membership and donations. So your argument that the Athletic Department will need “us” is factually not true. It seems to be doing just fine without you.

    You claim that alot of fans come to you and share the same opinion as you do. I’m not arguing that fact, but I also know UW alumnus and fans that can’t stand your continuous negativity toward UW Student Athletes as well as your “self-proclaimed” voice of the young UW alumni/fan.

  13. Eric :

    Alex,

    I have no problem with you using your website to publish an article bashing Daniel Hour or the Atletic Department, but instead of trying to point out all the perceived problems how about writing something about how to fix the problems as you call them.

    Did you read the whole article? It involves treating people better.

    I am not sure what year you graduated, but how many years since then have you purchased season tickets for either Football or Men’s Basketball? If the answer is zero that tells me no matter what the Athletic Department does it won’t be satisfactory in your eyes.

    2009 after six years in school because I’m s-l-o-w. The answer is greater than zero.

    If I’m not mistaken over 85% of Husky basketball season-ticket holders are Tyee Club members, UW hoops fans have the youngest median age of any local sports team as well as a median household income of over $100,000. Attendance numbers may be down the last few years, but is that due to supporters of the program or your typical bandwagon Seattle fan who only will go to a game if the team is winning?

    While I question the accuracy of your numbers, I’d argue that it’s not being a “bandwagon” fan if you choose not to go to invest time and/or money in a game because the team you’re watching isn’t entertaining. Under the basis of your argument, the Mariners should still be selling out Safeco Field 81 times a year and we shouldn’t have any concerns over the future of the organization. Consider that.

    I don’t have the exact numbers in front of me, but I do believe that the Young Tyee club is currently at an all time high as far as membership and donations. So your argument that the Athletic Department will need “us” is factually not true. It seems to be doing just fine without you.

    If you don’t have the exact numbers in front of you, why bring it up? You’re just guessing now. And it is a fact that the AD will need “us,” as in fans. Without fans, they have no money. Tell me what Hec Ed would look like, in your mind, without fans. Tell me what Husky Stadium would look like, in your estimation, without fans. Without fans, there is nothing. At all. You, as a fan, just deemed yourself irrelevant. You just said that they don’t need YOU. Not just me. You too. We’re both fans, are we not?

    You claim that alot of fans come to you and share the same opinion as you do. I’m not arguing that fact, but I also know UW alumnus and fans that can’t stand your continuous negativity toward UW Student Athletes as well as your “self-proclaimed” voice of the young UW alumni/fan.

    You can despise me. I don’t really give a shit. You can gather your buddies and they can despise me, too. That’s fine. But if commenting on crap play and underperformance when things are going bad is “continuous negativity,” then you and I just won’t see eye to eye. And I can live with that if you can. On the flip side, when things are going well, I’ll rejoice in the moment just as much as any other fan would. This is real life. Sports are emotional to me. They aren’t just this thing I contribute money to so I can say I’m part of a social club, or so I have something to talk about at the office. This is my LIFE. I don’t know you, and I don’t want to pretend to know you. But I hope you share that same passion I do. If not, then hey, whatever. At the end of the day, if we’re both UW fans here, then I think we want the same things. But again, who knows for sure.

    And you may have misplaced those quotes there, but never have I used the words “self-proclaimed” to proclaim myself as anything more than a fan who likes to write. If people read it, they read it. I can’t control that. I can’t tell someone to read this stuff if they don’t want to, and likewise I can’t tell them to go away if my words are in the public spectrum. You may see me as some “self-proclaimed” something-rather – which is pretty cool, I’m glad I can be that for you – but as for myself…I mean, I think I outlined it pretty well in the article.

    Thanks for reading and taking the time to share your thoughts.

  14. Good read.

    I was only in the Dawg Pack for the very beginning of the new regime and huge turnover in the athletic department so I can’t really attest to being misused by the marketing staff but reading the Twittersphere now definitely has me believing that they are using the Dawg Pack very poorly. During my years as a student, when they would try to get the Dawg Pack of my tenure to do whatever random things they wanted at the time, we generally said no and that was the end of it but I’m sure that now that the staff has been there for a few years, they are pushing their agenda much more aggressively.

    I still find it hard to believe that any athletic department misused, mistreated, betrayed, and divided a fan base more than the Todd Turner regime though. Under Turner, a football coach was hired essentially under the self admitted pretext of “white guilt” or whatever else you want to call the social agenda that he alluded to pretty often throughout Tyrone Willingham’s time at Washington. During the 2007 football season and Turners closing days at the university he, along with Willingham turned what was once one of the strongest collegiate fan bases in the country into one of the most divided and self hating. He actually thought it would be a good idea to question Husky fan’s loyalty simply because they wanted to watch a winning team, and he played the race card to try an instill guilt among our fans on an issue that wasn’t even about race. As far as we know, to this day he remains disgusted with the fact that Husky fans simply wanted to watch a good product under a good leader, which Tyrone Willingham definitely was not. He even got to “resign” on his own terms saying, “It was just was enlightening about where our society, culture and support group has gone in their expectations of what constitutes a quality program on a campus of higher education.”

    I mean really Todd? You single handily created the problem you just described by letting and extremely toxic leader drive your biggest program straight into the ground. Don’t get me wrong, Turner’s athletic department probably had a MUCH better marketing department that the one currently in place. I mean hell, they someone marketed a team that had no chance of having a successful season in 2008 so well that most of us still bought season tickets. I just believe that despite whatever the current athletic department is doing to alienate fans, the athletic department under Turner truly burned their greatest asset, their fan base, to the ground only to be slowly built back up over the past few years. Just remember how dark those days were. There’s no way our fan base will ever be as damaged as it was then.

    I understand it’s two different sports but right now we’re dealing with the athletic department in regards to a struggling program just as we were in 2007 so the generally point is still there.

    I just hope the current athletic department can realize what they have and let it be what it can be because if we’re about to go into a few dark years of performance on the court, the marketing department isn’t going to be winning any supporters by doing what they’re doing now.

  15. I do remember now one event during the early years of Scott Woodward when a random UCLA player was threatening to serve me with a lawsuit, when the athletic department didn’t have our backs at all. Instead of defending their independently creative Dawg Pack members, they kind of threw us under the bus for being “inappropriate”. I’m glad nothing came of that and I’m actually surprised it didn’t happen more often to be honest.

  16. It’s sad that UW has even come out and stated they are willing to take an out of state students for admission, as opposed to an in state student, for the increased revenue. Thats pretty damning right there. I’m a WSU alum, but a uw employee. I feel both schools should be the higher education of choice for most students in the state of WA. Things like the UW althletic department are doing will drive more HS students to WSU (which is fine), Gonzaga, Seattle U etc.

    At WSU a student can pay $120 for an all sports pass. That’s Football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, soccer, even feild hockey (j/k). $120 to go to all sports home games for the calender year. Pretty nice incentive, and hellva a lot better than UW….I know WSU and UW are different in who shows up for games, total students on campus, etc, but maybe UW can learn something from WSU in student game day experiences….

  17. Kyle :
    …..but maybe UW can learn something from WSU in student game day experiences….

    HA! The WSU student game day experience requires a blood alchohol level of 0.16 or above to be effective.

    Sorry….you left yourself open for that one Kyle….and you can’t deny there’s a little bit of truth in that.

  18. Kyle :
    It’s sad that UW has even come out and stated they are willing to take an out of state students for admission, as opposed to an in state student, for the increased revenue. Thats pretty damning right there. I’m a WSU alum, but a uw employee.

    The choice for the UW administration is a) decrease or b) raise tuition (and/or get more out-of-state students). The state is decreasing their support the UW despite the cost of educating a student. This is a state government issue, which is kind of off topic as well.

  19. I think I saw this mentioned on twitter earlier but DH will most likely never get fired because he and OD Vincent (Associate AD) worked on the UCLA golf team together. These type of connections are what make up UW Athletics. I’d compare it to the culture of an elite golf club, where you need to know someone to become a member. Once you’re in that golf club, you start to embrace this elitist attitude and soon the opinions of others become meaningless.

    I worked with DH a couple years ago before I had to leave. I’m not one to bash someone online via public forums because it’s a blatant form of bullying, but trust me, there are a lot of things I want to say about this guy. The word that keeps coming to mind to describe him is “pompous” – That’s enough bullying for today.

    DH is only part of the problem, let’s make that clear. In my opinion, UW Athletics’ strategy is completely backwards in that they place the importance of athletes before the importance of the fans (ie Featured Athlete, Gregg Bell’s articles, etc.) They NEED fan input, they NEED participation from the student body (ACTUAL participation, none of this via twitter stuff). It’s difficult for me to offer suggestions on how UW Athletics can improve because I know that the people that work there aren’t capable of adapting to the demands of fans – they’re too proud to admit they were wrong and they lack UW pride. That whole “white-out” fiasco last week was actually planned in the summer – they plan all of these themes early in the year. I remember the Oregon State football game where a lot of students wanted to have another black-out game because they felt like black was good luck, but no, UW had to stick with the pre-planned theme. Good job staying in touch with your fans, UW.

    An idea: It’d be better if UW Athletics left it up to the students. Let the students/fans build a relationship with the athletes and then the twitter bashing will stop. If you ever get a chance to meet Gaddy you’ll find out he’s one of the NICEST people you’ll ever meet. Same with Aziz. Andrew Andrews? Did you know that kid takes computer science and engineering classes and passes all of them? That guy is a genius, but no one knows!!! When I watch all of them play, yes I think they suck but I’m not saying shit about them because I know their personality and I know that they are GENUINELY trying their best on the court and quite honestly that’s all I can ask for. I keep thinking of those UNC basketball videos where the athletes played against students – UNC failed to live up to expectations last year but people LOVED that team. Or those Matt Vs videos at USC where students and fans had a chance to see the real Matt Barkley – Barkley was shit last year but fans still LOVED him. Both of those videos btw, created by students.

    What UW needs to do is loosen their interview restrictions for athletes. Allow students/fans to know the personality of their fellow athletes. We need to remember that these athletes represent our school NATIONALLY and we should have control of how we want to be perceived.

  20. *a) decrease quality*

  21. Down in the meadow where Bananas grow, Alex SSN stepped on Dave Softy Mahler’s toes. Softy cried with tears in his ears…

  22. Speaking of masturbation, I have NEVER masturbaited in my entire life! I have a friend who does it TWO handed, I kid you not!! He can shoot baskets from 30 feet with ease with strong wrists, and now we know why his wrists are so strong! No kidding, his Grandma, who lives with his family came into his room and said “PU, your room has smell of guy who mastirbait a lot!!” We all laughed at him!

  23. Alex, who’s your Dancer friend that you always Twit with? She’s kind of pretty!

  24. the_insider :

    Kyle :…..but maybe UW can learn something from WSU in student game day experiences….

    HA! The WSU student game day experience requires a blood alchohol level of 0.16 or above to be effective.
    Sorry….you left yourself open for that one Kyle….and you can’t deny there’s a little bit of truth in that.

    I fully except a game day BAL of 0.16. Solid start to the evening. haha

  25. Alex,

    I zoned out by “strike five.” Moreover, I don’t like your negative, critical, petty, crappy attitude.

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