Here are some parting gifts for enduring one of the worst games in basketball history. Whether you’re a downtrodden Husky fan or a joyous Cougar fan, you need to know that Helen Keller called and mentioned how freakin’ happy she was that she couldn’t witness what took place in Hec Edmundson Pavilion on Sunday night. That’s all. Let’s go.
*Editor’s note: Correction. Keller Morse Coded it to me. Obviously.
Parting Gift No. 1: The Most Egregious Call In The Entire World
If you watched the game, you know what call I’m talking about. The continuation and-one on DeAngelo Casto early in the second half. That call was so amazingly horrible that it managed to stand out from the usual crap we’re used to seeing from Pac-10 officials.
Yes, the Huskies played absolutely horrible. And no, they did not deserve to win that game. Similarly, that one call did not directly impact the outcome of the contest.
But good lord. It was such a bad call that the ref who blew the whistle — then thought about his call, then half-heartedly made the “count-it” motion with his arm — deserves to be fired. Yes. He deserves to lose his job. Based on one mistake. And I know how horrible that sounds. But this call was that bad.
Casto gets the ball just beyond the strong-side block. He has his back to the basket. He dribbles, fakes baseline side, then curls back towards the key. Mid-curl, a Husky player (possibly Darnell Gant, maybe Aziz) is whistled for a foul. Play basically stops at that point. Except Casto doesn’t stop. He plays through the whistle, as he should. Well, actually, let me clarify: he doesn’t just play through the whistle. He dribbles a few more times, grabs a hot dog at the concession stand, high-fives a fan in the upper deck, takes a five-minute nap, then casually makes his way to the cylinder and lays the ball up and in.
At this point, everyone’s attention is redirected to the ref who originally blew the whistle on, let’s face it, what was otherwise a pretty ticky-tack call. Realizing the spotlight is now on him, said ref raises then lowers his hand — count it! — with all the gusto of a dog headed to the vet to have his testicles chopped off. Like an unholy spirit had taken over his body, possessed him for a few seconds, forced him against his will to make the count-it motion, then quickly departed leaving only a corpse behind.
It was egregious. It was a call unfitting of a kids’ rec league game. It was poor execution of the rules and a bad decision made in the heat of the moment. We all make mistakes. But I seriously think this one should cost this man his job. He butchered it that bad. Fire him.
Parting Gift No. 2: The Roller Coaster
If you’ve been to a few games recently, you may have seen the Dawg Pack perform a cheer they like to call “The Roller Coaster.” Except it’s not really a cheer. It’s just kind of a thing. A thing they do during a media timeout in the first half.
Listen, I love the Dawg Pack and I think they’re great. I’m a Dawg Pack alum, after all. I can’t hate on those guys. They’re my kin.
And I will say that the first time The Roller Coaster was performed, it was amazing, nearly mind-blowing.
But (there’s always a “but”), this Roller Coaster has been ridden for far too long. It’s been like four or five games now and it’s not that cool anymore. Plus, a lot of the Dawg Pack members have lost their passion for the ride. The motions are out of sync, the snappiness isn’t there. Go hard or go home, right? If everyone isn’t buying in, it’s hard to execute to perfection.
It’s probably time to park the Roller Coaster for a while. Give it the Matterhorn treatment. Close that thing for repairs. Bust it out again when the time is right. That’s all I’m saying.
Parting Gift No. 3: Aziz’s hands
My goodness. I really like Aziz, don’t get me wrong. But he has Statue of Liberty hands. Straight concrete. It’s so disheartening watching him try to hold onto the basketball. Whether it’s receiving an entry pass or securing a rebound, he’s like a Tyrannosaurus Rex out there. You can’t possibly fathom how a man who can cradle a full-size basketball in one giant mitt like it were an orange is this terrible at containing that ball when it’s in motion.
Someone needs to get a bottle of oil and soften those paws up like they were two brand new baseball gloves. A squirt a day should do the trick. Maybe get some shaving cream in there, too. Gillette it up.
Either that or just start tossing eggs at him. Like in The Mighty Ducks. Confidence, not strength. Soft hands. Where’s Coach Bombay when you need him?
Parting Gift No. 4: Abe Lodwick and Brock Motum
I’m convinced they’re the exact same guy. They never appear on the floor at the same time together, and from the upper bowl they look exactly alike. They also sub for one another all the freakin’ time. It’s like they’re twins and they’re pulling the switcharoo gag where both siblings pretend to be the same person. I’m pretty sure that the entire series Sister, Sister was based off this premise. They’re like Tia and Tamera Mowry. Lodwick is Tia, of course, and Motum is Tamera.
And, um, Faisal Aden can be Roger. He kind of looks like Roger. You remember Roger, right? Roger was f**kin’ Batman from the R&B group Immature. Then Batman grew up and became Marques Houston. Here. Just go here. Wikipedia will explain everything.
Also, for those of you who follow everything I’ve just written, a video for your viewing enjoyment. You’re welcome:
Parting Gift No. 5: Matthew Bryan-Amaning’s double-clutch reverse dunk to cap off the loss, delivered roughly one full second after the game was over
NEVER DO THAT AGAIN.
Parting Gift No. 6: The gold jerseys
Perennially bad luck. My good friend Dave (@DP4H on Twitter, for your following pleasure) and I had the exact same reaction when we saw the Dawgs wearing the gold: “Oh, God.”
Let’s just abolish the gold jerseys now. We can have a steady rotation of white, purple, and black. Gold is unnecessary.
Are we all in agreement? Fantastic.
Parting Gift No. 7: The odds on who would win a fight between the two teams
Scene: Late second-half. Marcus Capers commits a personal foul on Matthew Bryan-Amaning under the Huskies’ basket. As play is being stopped, Venoy Overton love taps Capers on the back. Taking offense to the love tap, Capers shoves Overton. A minor spat ensues. DP4H and I then hold the following conversation.
Dave: We would beat their asses so bad in a fight…well, except they’ve got numbers.
Context: Washington State has 16 players on their roster and enough people on their bench to form a land bridge to Asia.
Me: Yeah, and [assistant coach Jeff] Hironaka probably knows karate.
End result: Even odds. Washington passes the look test, but Washington State has enough fighters to run tag-team style. And, of course, the X-factor in Bruce Lee over there.
Parting Gift No. 8: Free throws
My friends and I play this game. It’s a game we like to call Zero, One, or Two. It’s a game that you, too, can play. In fact, just about anyone can play it. Allow me to explain the rules.
When a Husky player gets to the free-throw line, someone in the group kicks off the contest by asking the question, “Zero, one, or two?” At that point, everyone in the group wagers a guess at how many free throws will be made by the Husky player on this trip to the line: zero, one, or two. Under the ideal scenario, there are three contestants and you each choose a different number, with one person making their selection first, then a second person making theirs, then the third person getting stuck with whichever option is left on the table.
To be perfectly honest, there are very few times in playing this game when the answer “two” is voluntarily chosen by one of the participants. I would say that the most popular choice is “one,” followed shortly thereafter by “zero”. You can pretty much put money on it that when Aziz is at the line, nobody will choose “two”.
So here’s the thing. Today when Dave and myself were playing Zero, One, or Two, neither of us chose “two” all game long. And for the most part, one of us always won.
Fact is, the Dawgs only shot 62.5-percent from the stripe. The Cougs, meanwhile, went an impressive 32-36 at the line, good for 88.9-percent. At one point, Washington State had made 19 of 20 charity shots. They were that solid.
Now I’m not saying free throws ultimately would have made the difference in today’s battle. But the Huskies could certainly do a better job knocking down the welfare buckets.
Oh, and for the record, Dave and I came up with a newer variation of Zero, One, or Two today, too. We call it “Zero, One, or Lane Violation.”
Parting Gift No. 9: The 2-3 Zone
We still haven’t figured it out. It’s absolutely disappointing. I have nothing more to add. I’ve spoken at length about our struggles with the 2-3 in the past. I just couldn’t ignore the fact that this is still a major issue. And it sucks. We should be better than that.
Parting Gift No. 10: MBA Dribbling
Every time MBA dribbles, a starving child misses a meal.