Dear Dawg Pack,
You’ve been getting picked on a lot lately, and I don’t like it. University of Washington message boards are overflowing with venom directed at you. Alums are bored by your antics. Kim Grinolds over at Dawgman.com even has a post-game grading system for you guys. And sadly, he just gave you an “F” for your performance against Long Beach State.
Frankly, if this whole experience has taught us anything, it’s that a fan base can actually be as compelling as the team they support. Because this “down year” in the Pack is becoming a story line unto itself. And that’s a testament to how far we’ve come to this point.
Here’s the thing. I personally think that the UW faithful are being too hard on you guys. They’re treating you the way Rick Neuheisel treats his quarterbacks, bashing you on the sideline and killing your confidence in the process. That’s never going to work. You need to be embraced, not shunned. The old folks don’t get it. All they want to do is bring you down. And I hate it. Which is why I’m here to motivate you.
I was in the Dawg Pack from 2003 to 2007. It was a great experience. One of the best experiences of my life, without a doubt. Part of the reason I had so much fun being in the Dawg Pack is because we had a great time. It was like a party in which you got to watch a basketball game, all while jumping up and down and yelling. Basically, it was like being a kid again, only better.
The entire college experience should be about having fun, and part of the reason the alums are being so rough on you is because, to be honest, you don’t look like you’re having much fun at basketball games. I imagine that most of you want to have fun. Why else would you go to the games in the first place, right? But maybe it’s not so easy for you guys. I know a lot of you have expressed concern over living up to some legacy or doing right by the old Dawg Pack members, but that’s ridiculous. At the end of the day, you’re a student section. You’re not replacing a Hall of Fame quarterback or taking over in the broadcast booth for Dave Niehaus. Don’t put yourselves on such a lofty pedestal like that. You’re a collection of college students. You’re in the primes of your effing lives. ENJOY IT!
Here’s what I suggest to you. Forget about us. Me, the dudes over on the message boards (they’re on message boards, after all), the alums, your predecessors in the Dawg Pack, the players, the team, whatever. Forget about all of it. And just go have some fun.
Forget about the dude behind you who won’t jump or yell. F**k that guy.
Forget about the girl two seats over who’s texting on her phone. Screw her.
You’re here to have a good time and no one’s going to take that from you. Jump as high as you can. Yell as loud as you can. Say whatever pops into your head. If you notice that an opposing player is sweating profusely, let him know. If the other team’s head coach won’t shut up, start talking over him. If a waterboy looks you in the eye, spend the rest of the evening up in his grill.
Sports are supposed to be fun. Why we always choose to forget that is beyond me.
What you need to understand is that in roughly four years or fewer, all of this will be behind you. And it won’t be coming back. Trust me. I’m 26 years old. I’m on a career path and five-sevenths of my life is devoted to sitting in front of a computer screen and typing (probably more like six-sevenths, when you factor in the writing I do in my spare time). This is the real world, and eventually it will greet you, too.
Once college is done, you get jobs. Those jobs become careers. Those careers ultimately lead to retirement. Retirement leads to old age. Old age leads to death. We will all die one day. Do you really want to leave this world knowing you wasted your college years by not having a blast?
Party and get laid. In your free time, study a little bit. Enjoy a meal plan and the ability to wear sweats from sunup to sundown. It doesn’t last forever. And if you worry about what others are thinking, you’re going to let the good times pass you by. You shouldn’t care what anyone else thinks. This is your time. It’s the last period in your life that is truly yours to own. After this, you’ll spend most days obligated to someone or something else, whether it be a job, a boss, a spouse, a family, or something else entirely. I’m not saying this is a bad thing necessarily. It just happens to be the way the world works.
Long story short, it’s you against the world right now. Don’t let the world win. You’ve got it in you to succeed. And in order to succeed, you need to enjoy yourselves. I’m asking you to have a great time. The only way you can let me down is to not have a great time. How hard is that to accomplish?
Do it. You’ve got it. I believe in you, and no matter what happens, no matter what anyone else says, I love you guys and think you’re awesome at what you do.
The guy who runs this site