Category Archives: Husky Football

The Kids of Don James’ Generation

donjamesDon James walked away from the University of Washington and I didn’t understand why. I was eight years old at the time, so I did what most eight-year-olds do when they don’t understand something and asked my dad. My dad had a way of whittling down the most complicated situations into an explanation that a kid could comprehend.

Take, for instance, the Rey Quinones situation. Earlier in my relatively brief existence, my dad had relayed a story to me about Quinones, a backup shortstop for the Seattle Mariners who holds the unique distinction of being the last Mariner not named Randy or Ichiro to don jersey number 51. Quinones, you see, was a crybaby. That made him unlikable. As an unlikable crybaby, Quinones’ departure from the team made a whole lot of sense. Why did Quinones get traded to Pittsburgh? Because he was an unlikable crybaby. I understood. No one likes a crybaby. Although I assumed at the time that Quinones only cried because he had either been spanked or sent to his room. I therefore made it a point to try my hardest not to cry when spanked or sent to my room from that point forward.

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Defeating the Ducks and Altering Adulthood

dog-on-duck-1My entire adulthood has been spent hating the Oregon Ducks. That day in 2004 when the Ducks beat Washington 31-6, kicking off a nine-year (and counting) win streak against the Huskies? That was my 20th birthday, October 30, 2004. Since then, the closest the Dawgs have come to knocking off their johnny-come-lately rivals is a 34-17 defeat at Husky Stadium in 2011. Suffice it to say a great deal of vitriol has been built up over nine years of losing.

Anytime an opponent waxes the floor with you for nearly a decade, it’s hard to tolerate just about anything having to do with that opponent’s existence. I’ve learned to loathe Oregon with a passion outweighing similar levels of disdain held for any other rival in any other city in any other sport. Nothing evokes pure disgust, pure detestation, pure revulsion quite like the University of Oregon. I don’t want to beat them every year; I want to destroy them. I want to run up the score on them. I want to embarrass them, to crush them, to make them look as inferior as inferior can be. And yet my team hasn’t supported me on this quest for a proverbial mountaintop borne out of spite. They, like so many others, have been unable to topple the mighty Ducks. And so each year as the annual matchup with our hated foes arrives, we sit here and stew in a cesspool of frustration, anger, and hope.

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A Flagging Concern

cougflagThis is stupid. Everyone is getting worked up over a goddamn flag. And not some flag that speaks to a powerful political agenda or anything like that. A stupid, stupid flag that bears the logo of Washington State University.

Now don’t get me wrong. I get why people are a little testy over this flag. Fact is, Cougars and Huskies are conditioned to despise each other. We’re rivals. It’s alleged that we don’t get along. And so it’s understandable why Husky fans, like myself, would bristle at the thought of Cougar fans raising their big, ugly flag on the Washington campus come Saturday morning, flying it in honor of a tradition (a tradition that’s been made fun of, mind you) that’s lasted a decade on the set of ESPN Gameday.

I’ll admit I’ve gone back and forth on this issue. At first I thought it’d be humorous to needle the Cougs a bit, stir up some shit and make them lose a little sleep while they pondered how, exactly, they’d get that flag safely onto campus later this week. But then I saw the unadulterated hate that flowed from the keyboards of Husky fans over this flag, fans who were prepared to all but kill people over menial garbage. Likewise, a good number of these very same, very angry Husky fans have gone and wished ill will unto other Husky fans because those Husky fans, you see, aren’t prepared to throw down in fisticuffs over, again, a flag.

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Game 1: The Dismantling of Boise State

newhuskystadium

By my count, I had only ever witnessed nineteen victories in-person at Husky Stadium. Nineteen. Not even twenty. Not even a great number. Not old enough to drink, not even old enough to really be considered an adult as far as society’s concerned. Nineteen, Jay Buhner’s number — Jay was great, but he was no Hall of Famer. Nineteen. Meh.

The first victory I ever witnessed live in that stadium? Idaho. The Vandals. And that was back in 2005, by a team that wouldn’t repeat the feat once more at home that year.

I had only enjoyed occasional flirtations with success in the old stadium. My college tenure kicked off with Keith Gilbertson at the helm of an underwhelming Husky squad; it ended a few years later with a winless 2008 campaign. The whole journey fell far short of what I expected, far short of what I thought the ride would be like when I was a kid. It was just plain bad.

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The Essence of Gameday

311079_10150271592352397_165747_nAn alarm will wake me at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday. I’ll reach for my phone, likely knock it off its nightstand, then be forced to rustle my body from its abbreviated slumber in searching for the source of my momentary discontent.

Groggy and confused, I’ll look out the window and be forced to think, actually think, before I understand why I’ve chosen to rise so early on — What day is today? Do I have to go to work? Is it…Saturday? — a weekend. The realization will hit me and I’ll be up, sleep washing away from my brain as quickly as the initial bout with irritation set in a minute earlier. And from there, maintenance. Shower, clothes, shoes, stuff.

I’ll pace the apartment checking off a list in my mind, ensuring I’m leaving nothing behind, as my girlfriend does whatever it is girls spend so much time doing in the bathroom. Friends will arrive. We’ll load up the back of the car until it’s weighed down by the excess. We’ll run through the mental checklist once or twice more — tickets, don’t forget the tickets — and then go.

A grocery store first for all the things we don’t need but do need. Because no one needs that much Busch Light, but come on. Water, get lots of water, this is an all-day affair, we’re going to need water. So we’ll get water. And maybe some hot dogs, bread, snacks, things that don’t necessarily correlate but will ultimately satiate, no matter their nutritional relationship — a three-to-one male-to-female ratio does not an efficient shopping trip make. Self-checkout line and at least one person asking the ultimate question: “Oh, you must be going to the game today. What time is that at?” Seven. “Seven?” Seven. And then confusion mixed with intrigue on the part of our interrogator. It will be 8:30 a.m.

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Predicting the Outcome of All 12 Husky Football Games

titusyoungGame 1: Washington vs. Boise State; Saturday, Aug. 31, 7:00 p.m. PT; Husky Stadium, Seattle, Wash.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Boise is not a state. I don’t know when this geopolitical sham will finally cease, but it needs to. How can we preach “No Child Left Behind,” then mislabel our institutes of higher learning? And not only that, but it leads to a bigger question of how valuable the education at such a disoriented house of academia can possibly be.

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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.

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