How uninspiring are the Huskies right now? Forget bad. Forget inconsistent. Forget boring. They are clearly all of those things. It’s their absolute inability to inspire that should drive you up the wall.
Coming off a 32-31 last-second victory in Southern California a week ago, I expected to be inspired on Saturday. We all did.
The Dawgs were back home facing an Arizona State squad that hadn’t won a contest in nearly a month.
The rain was pouring down, the kickoff was in prime time, and the momentum prior to the opening whistle belonged entirely to Washington. The stage was set for this team to put together back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
And then that happened.
That soggy mess of a game that was punctuated by the Arizona State fan sitting next to me who shouted out, “That just happened!” after nearly every single Sun Devil play. Yes, that did happen. Yes, we all saw it. No, nothing about your account is fictional. Okay, you can shut up now. Yes, things are still happening. Yes, I’m this close to punching you in the face.
Not that the dude didn’t have a right to stamp his annoying cliche on every positive ASU outcome. The Huskies left the keys to their house sitting on the doorstep. And the Sun Devils took the liberty of unlocking the door, walking in, and making themselves at home.
Without question, the biggest letdown of the evening was in the way the Dawgs went about their business.
The team lacked life. They appeared tired. Weak. Lazy. Blah.
One look at the purple-clad ball club that took the field on Saturday evening and you would have thought we were back in the midst of an 0-12 2008 season once again. No one would have guessed that this very same group of athletes had knocked off a ranked opponent on the road just seven days ago. Nothing about their body language indicated that such an upset had ever taken place.
These Huskies lacked any detectable fire whatsoever. They went through the motions of a football game and nothing else. They were stale, bland, bittersweet vanilla.
We don’t ask for much from a team that has given us very little recently. Nine wins in three years is bound to keep expectations low.
But at least act like you give a damn. Because honestly, the Washington team that took the field on Saturday night might have been better off forfeiting.
There’s a stupid saying we’ve all heard following losses. Perhaps a coach laid this upon us during our glory years. Maybe we conveyed it to a son or daughter, a friend, or a sibling after a defeat of their own. Often mocked, often joked about, the quip is seemingly hackneyed until moments like this, when it all of a sudden makes a whole lot of sense:
“It’s not whether you win or lose; it’s how you play the game.”
Win or lose, all we ask is that you put up a fight. That you give 100% of yourself from beginning to end.
The Huskies didn’t do that on Saturday. It was evident in the way they played the game.
We all want to be inspired. Even in the bleakest of moments, we search for inspiration. We crave it. We thrive on it. It helps us motivate ourselves as we motivate others.
If anyone in purple walked away inspired by anything they witnessed over the course of sixty mundane minutes on Saturday evening, please speak now or forever hold your peace.
Awfully peaceful, isn’t it?