Monthly Archives: November 2007

Biggest disappointment? It’s the Lowering of Expectations

A post the other day from HuskyHalfBrains.com raised an interesting point.  The biggest disappointment of all that has been brought forth in the three years of Tyrone Willingham coaching the Huskies has been the lowering of expectations.

Back in 1998, a 6-6 record got UW coach Jim Labright fired from his job.  I remember Washington’s sixth win that season, which was an unimpressive 16-9 win over the Cougs.  The Husky locker room was bedlam, because the win meant that Washington would continue its string of not having a losing season since 1976.  In other words, to have gone 5-6 that year would have been seen as a travesty.

These days, as the Huskies sit at 4-8 (and a last place 2-7 in the Pac-10), there are supporters of Willingham saying that he needs more time to build his program.  So many people no longer see a 2-7 and 4-8 record as absolutely unacceptable.

The strength of the team this year was supposed to be the front seven of the defense.  And yet, with the defense ranked 98th nationally and having given up a school record 465 yards rushing to Oregon, it’s been a giant disappointment.

Outgoing seniors like Wilson Afoa and Jorden Reffet admirably attempt to deflect critcism by saying it’s the players’ fault and not the coaches.  But with the endless parade of pratfalls as witnessed at the end of last Saturday’s Apple Cup, enough is enough.  Time for a change in leadership.  

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Candid Camera- Show Host goes berzerk

This is pretty funny.  While “interviewing” rising tennis star Sunita Rao, this host goes berzerk, with a camera secretly monitoring Rao’s perplexed reactions.  It’s mostly in English.

 CLICK HERE:  http://youtube.com/watch?v=o6as-AOP4HA

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Luring teams to play Hawaii is tough

 

The likes of Michigan and Michigan State backed out of playing Hawai’i this season.  This has contributed to the Warriors having an extremely flimsy schedule this year.  This Saturday’s game vs. Washington (4-8) looms as the largest in Hawai’i history.  A berth in the Sugar Bowl rides on the outcome.

CLICK TO READ STORY FROM EVERETT HERALD

http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20071129/SPORTS/711290078/1002/SPORTS06

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USC Moving to the Rose Bowl?

Having won five Pac-10 titles in a row, USC is quite at home in Pasadena as it stands.  However, talks are under way that could move all Trojan home games to the venerable stadium.

CLICK TO READ STORY:

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-rose29nov29,0,5043825.story?coll=la-home-center

 

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Hawai’i Prepares for UW, and “Biggest Game in our History”

CLICK HERE FOR STORY: 

http://www.thenewstribune.com/sports/story/215002.html

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This Christmas, I want my Huskies back

 

 This past Sunday, following Washington’s stunning collapse to the Cougars in the Apple Cup, I was talking on the phone to a friend of mine.   “Willingham needs more time,” he pleaded.  “Three years isn’t enough to fill the team with his players and get his system into place.”

My friend’s belief mirrors 98% of the Seattle media, which is firmly entrenched in its limitless defense that Willingham be given 4-5 years.  This despite the fact that Willingham took over a last-place team in 2004 and after three years still remains stranded in the Pac-10 basement, while fielding the worst statistical defense in school history.     

The discussion with my friend raised comparisons in my mind.  For example, back in 2004 it was clear to everyone with half a brain that the Keith Gilbertson regime wasn’t working, even though it was only his second season as UW head coach.  Why wasn’t the Seattle media loudly insisting that he be given more time? 

But the Seattle media’s insistence that Willingham needs more time is curious.  Three years is not enough, they say.  However, the facts are self-evident, and a majority of Husky fans are now fed up.  Brutal losses are stockpiling, recruiting is suffering, team confidence is lacking, attendance is dwindling, fans and boosters feel alienated, the program has become a Northwest laughingstock, Athletic Director Todd Turner behaves like things are progressing nicely, and yet Willingham needs more time?

It reminds me of a conversation I once had with a book publisher.  He told the story of a lady writer who was furious because her manuscript had been rejected.  She had previously glued some of the middle pages together in order to detect whether they had been read.  When she got the manuscipt back she saw that the pages were still stuck together.  “You only looked at half the book!” she shouted at him into the phone.  “You didn’t give it a fair chance!”

“Ma’am,” he replied, “When someone serves me an omelet, I don’t have to eat the whole thing to realize that the egg has gone bad.”

So what now for Husky football?  The hard decision is in the court of UW President Mark Emmert.  The firing of Athletic Director Todd Turner and Head Coach Tyrone Willingham must be done with the expediency of yanking a Band-Aid free from a hairy arm.  Emmert must then hire current Seahawk assistant Jim L Mora to restore hope to long-suffering Husky fans.

Mora’s hiring would send positive shockwaves throughout Husky Nation.  It would make for an extra festive Christmas season in Seattle.  Mora would help tear down walls that have been erected by the Willingham regime.  Fans and boosters would immediately feel reconnected with the program.  The sins of the Hedges and Neuheisel years would be washed away, leaving the UW program united and free of baggage for the first time in almost a decade. 

With his dynamic personality and NFL pedigree, Mora would enter the homes of prized recruits Kavario Middleton and Jermaine Kearse and represent the Huskies well in this critical time.  Spring practice would be a time of fresh optimism and rejuvenation.      

And heading into the 2008 season, fans would be galvanized by hope that Jake Locker’s epic talents will be maximized.  Given Mora’s reputation for being a defensive mastermind, the days of egregious errors plaguing the Husky defense would presumably come to an end. 

And come September 13th, a caravan of several thousand Husky fans would accompany the Dawgs to descend upon Eugene for an early-season clash with the Oregon Ducks.  It would be the first step in a  long journey toward reclaiming Washington’s rightful dominance of the Northwest. 

If President Emmert does the right thing and makes the tough decisions, a new world of possibility awaits.  

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Four Huskies return to their home state of Hawai’i

CLICK HERE FOR STORY: 

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/huskies/2004036804_uwfbnotes27.html

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