Here’s what you may have missed if you spent the past weekend under a rock, in Afghanistan, or just generally being ignorant to the world around you.
Perhaps the only weekend of the season where all three major in-state football teams — the Huskies, Cougars, and Seahawks — had a legitimate shot at winning games. Well, at least we thought it was a legitimate shot. We were wrong about one team.
The Huskies began the day, smoke machine and all, by treating the Idaho Vandals the way any WAC team should be treated.
From kickoff, the game belonged to Washington. Scratch that, it actually belonged to the referees, who went all Ike Turner on the Vandals. Idaho racked up penalties on seemingly every first quarter play. Maybe it was Washington’s talent overwhelming them, or maybe they’re just notorious cheaters. Either way, I can’t say I’ve ever seen more than one first-and-30 situation for the same team in any given game until Saturday. Thank you, Idaho.
The Dawgs went on to a 42-23 victory, pleasing any Husky fan who didn’t put money on Washington to cover. Come on. You really thought a team that was winless a year ago would cover a 21-point spread in their first victory in nearly two years? This isn’t Xbox.
No matter where you placed your money, though, it was nice to see Washington football celebrating a win once again. Gotta love a victory after such a long layoff.
Shortly after the UW-Idaho game finished, Washington State kicked off at Qwest Field against Hawaii. I know what you’re thinking. Hawaii. They’re a pretty good team. They almost went to a BCS bowl game a few years ago.
That was Hawaii then. When June Jones was the coach, Colt Brennan was the quarterback, and the spread offense was still a relative novelty in college football.
These days, the Rainbow Warriors are your typical WAC team. Undersized and underwhelming. Their coach is gone, their stud quarterback is in the NFL, and they have essentially become the island version of Idaho.
All of which leads us to the game. If you can call it a game. Because even in front of a pro-WSU crowd, the Cougars got absolutely waxed by the Rainbows from the very get-go. (And for the record, I realize that Hawaii has made it a point to drop “Rainbow” from their team nickname. They’re just the “Hawaii Warriors” now. But I don’t care. You need to have that Rainbow there, even if it does have a gay connotation. You can’t deny your heritage, Hawaii.)
The final score of the game was 38-20, but that number didn’t do justice to how badly the Cougs were beat. At halftime, the Rainbow Warriors were up 35-6. By the third quarter, they had put on their mercy gloves and were playing with all the gusto of a team that was already thinking about the post-game victory dinner. I guess that’s when the Cougies really came alive, if you want to look at it that way.
A brief aside for a minute here. Paul Wulff, head coach of the Washington State football team. There are mixed feelings about him out there, but it seems like more and more I hear my Cougar friends bashing the guy. We’re one year and two games into the Wulff regime, and the guy is quickly turning into Tyrone Willingham II. But I don’t even know if I’d give him that kind of credit.
Here’s the difference between Ty and Wulff. It took Husky fans about three years to catch on to Ty. It’s taken Coug fans less than two to catch on to Wulff. Ty used to roam the sidelines with no gameplan and no idea what he was doing, but he at least managed to look like he was in control. He had that steely glare and you just got the feeling that he could win ballgames if he had a little more talent on the field. Never mind the fact that the lack of talent was a result of Ty’s poor recruiting efforts.
Anyways, the thing about Wulff is he’s losing games like Ty, appears to have no gameplan like Ty, seems to have no idea what he’s doing like Ty, and has zero talent around him like Ty. Only unlike Ty, Wulff actually looks like he realizes all these things when he’s coaching. When he’s not freaking out, he’s got the look of a five-year-old who’s afraid there’s a monster under his bed on his face. It’s like he’s just waiting for someone to run down from the stands, punch him in the face, take his headset, and gain control of the broken Cougar program. He’s so overmatched, you almost feel bad for him.
At this point, if Wulff were simply to win more than one game this year, you’d have to consider it a moral victory on the season. Not that moral victories allow you to keep your job, or anything. You want to give a college football coach at least four years to get his feet under him, but Wulff might be the exception to that rule. He’s actually regressed from a year ago and now looks like he’s just waiting for the grim reaper to come calling. It’s that bad.
Okay, back to football.
After the Cougies got smoked, USC and Ohio State took the field. Like any knowledgable Pac-10 fan, you had to be rooting for the Trojans to pull this one out. No matter how much you might dislike USC, it looks good for the conference when a team can notch a major victory on the road against a ranked opponent like the Buckeyes.
A great game that was tied at 10 at halftime, USC simply waited until they could wait no more to beat Ohio State and send their fans home in tears. They won it in cold-blooded fashion with a touchdown to take a one-point lead late in the fourth quarter. Then, in order to really show those Buckeye bastards, they knocked down the two-point conversion to take a field goal lead with just minutes remaining in the game. Ohio State wouldn’t score again and USC escaped with a victory. Take that, Big Ten.
The nightcap was a contest between the visiting Purdue Boilermakers and the Oregon Ducks. By the way, remember everything I just said about rooting for the conference team against non-conference opponents? You can throw that out the window when it comes to Oregon.
Sadly, the Ducks managed to beat Purdue, but they really didn’t deserve to. The difference in the ballgame was a two-point conversion for the Boilermakers that was ruled incomplete due to a technality, allowing Oregon to escape on their home field with a win. Just the way you’d expect the Ducks to win, too. In cheap fashion.
What we really learned about Oregon in this game is that they’re going to be hard-pressed to go .500 in the Pac-10. Maybe it’s the Sports Illustrated cover jink, the redux from LeGarrette Blount’s punch, Chip Kelly’s bad-luck visor, or just the fact that Oregon really isn’t that good, but let’s face it, this team has looked flat-out bad in two games this season. And that’s fantastic.
It was the first full Sunday of NFL games, which might very well be one of the least productive days in American history. Did anyone accomplish anything yesterday?
Back in the day, Sundays used to mean waiting around for your local game to kickoff while simply tolerating the out-of-town games early on. These days, Sundays are basically work. From 10:00 AM until 10:00 PM Pacific time, every football game is an event. With a laptop in front of you, you track the progress of all your fantasy teams as you check and recheck stats and watch and rewatch game highlights.
If you’re like me, you were pissed off by noon, thanks to a late-game injury to Donovan McNabb and an early-game injury to Anthony Gonzalez. Luckily, Michael Vick is on my roster, and was there ever a more ominous signing than that of Vick by the Eagles? You could see it in McNabb’s face all preseason that he was actually a little frightened by Vick’s presence, and now by week 3 we might actually see Vick playing meaningful snaps if this injury to McNabb lingers. The Eagles are saying that Kevin Kolb is the starter if McNabb goes down, but Eagles fans didn’t buy all those No. 7 jerseys to watch Kolb throw.
As for Gonzalez, that’s what I get for drafting a white-looking dude with a Mexican last name. Everything about him says, “Genetics told me I wasn’t supposed to play football, but look at me now!” and I should have heeded nature. Plus they’re saying that the Colts wideout could be gone for two-to-six weeks. Two-to-six weeks?! That’s the difference between a game or so and half the season. Now I don’t know whether to sit on Gonzalez, drop him, or what. Come on. Are the Colts having their players checked out by a team dentist or something? You gotta give a better window than 2-6. I’m disappointed.
Once the Seahawks took the field, Gonzalez and McNabb were dead to me anyways. The Hawks came out looking tired and flat against the lowly Rams, though, and it became a little nervewracking early on. Matt Hasselbeck looked like Joey Harrington in the first quarter, throwing two ugly, gross interceptions and forcing fantasy owners everywhere to scour the waiver wire in their respective leagues for a replacement QB fast.
In quarter two, things got much better, however, as Hasselbeck connected with John Carlson and Nate Burleson for touchdowns to put Seattle up 14-0 at halftime. From there, the Rams settled in to being the Rams and the game belonged to the Hawks.
In the third quarter, Hasselbeck hooked up with Carlson for another TD pass, then handed off to Julius Jones who ran for a 62-yard score to put the Hawks up 28-0. That would be the final as each team went scoreless in the fourth quarter, and all became right with the world with Seattle on top and St. Louis on the bottom for yet another year.
Hasselbeck ended up looking good by day’s end, complementing his two early picks with three TD passes. Julius Jones resembled a starting running back, with 117 yards on 19 carries. And the Rams looked like a Jayvee NFL team with their lack of talent and shell of a quarterback in Marc Bulger.
With the Huskies and Seahawks both winning, it marked the first victorious weekend for both our local football teams since the weekend of November 17-18, 2007. On that particular Saturday and Sunday, the Dawgs beat California 37-23 and the Hawks took down Chicago 30-23.
We now have two weeks of college football in the books, and one week of NFL down. If you haven’t got your football fix yet, you’re not trying hard enough.
Oh, and one more thing in case you missed it. Kanye West went all ghetto on Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards over the weekend. West interrupted Swift’s acceptance speech for some made-up award that will probably end up in a storage closet somewhere by loudly professing his love for a song by Beyonce that was up for nomination in the same category. This was basically in the same mold as the outburst by South Carolina representative Joe Wilson (“YOU LIE!”) when he shouted during Barack Obama’s speech on health care, only Kanye decided he would shout what amounted to two full sentences rather than just two words.
Kanye has become notorious for award-ceremony outbursts in past years. Only before, he was throwing tantrums at the likes of Gretchen Wilson and other no-name artists that nobody cares about. This time, though, he crossed the line.
First off, he embarrassed Taylor Swift. Taylor Effing Swift. Even if you don’t like Taylor Swift, you have to acknowledege that she’s pretty much the hottest thing going right now. She’s liked by men and women, adults and kids, and might be the only artist with as much pull as Kanye these days.
On top of that, she’s only 19 years old and a cute, little white girl. If we’ve learned anything as a society over the years, it’s that you don’t pick on the cute, little white girl. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your motive is. God forbid you offend the cute, little white girl. Kanye committed a huge faux pas in doing so. Naturally, the world is freaking out over it now.
So that’s it. Kanye West screwed the pooch and went all LeGarrette Blount on Taylor Swift over the weekend, and you probably didn’t hear about it because you were still trying to figure out what to do with Anthony Gonzalez’s bitch ass like me. It’s okay, this is only week one. Sixteen left to go.