Husky fans are Sick and Tired of being Sick and Tired (Bring on Sarkisian!)

By Derek Johnson

As Washington’s demoralized football team staggered across the seasonal finish line at 0-12, I considered the on-field failure in olfactory terms.  Just 16 years ago, Husky football had inhaled the musky fragrance of three consecutive Rose Bowls and a 12-0 record.  Now, in the wake of the Willingham era, the program reeks of a whorehouse at low tide.

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Sarkisian and Matt Leinart

When I first heard of Sarkisian’s hire, I felt the remaining wind disappear from my psychological sails.  I felt like UW President Mark Emmert and athletic director Scott Woodward went on the cheap.  I felt UW a school worthy of hiring a big-time coach.  I also realized that I had reached a personal crossroads.  Did I want to continue to follow Husky football?  I had felt last year with all my being that Emmert’s decision to retain Tyrone Willingham for the 2008 season would be disastrous, and it certainly proved out.  The longest fifteen weeks in the history of Husky football.    

I asked myself if I really wanted to continue following a program that had clearly de-emphasized football.

 But two things changed my mind.  First, I harkened back to that quote last year from my friend Nathan Ware, when he addressed on his old P-I blog why Husky fans wouldn’t jump ship.  “For those of you on the I’m giving up my season tickets bandwagon, I feel your pain,” Ware said.  “Although, I’m not completely sure I believe that you’re actually giving up your tickets. Husky football is like crack and Jake Locker is your dealer.”

Jake Locker continues to be the one shining hope that things can turn around quicker than expected.  His injury in the fourth game this year expedited Willingham’s departure more than anything else.  For it had been Locker’s epic scrambling ability that managed to mask so many deficiencies from the poor coaching of Willingham and offensive coordinator Tim Lappano.  With the Locker fig leaf suddenly snatched away, the prideful Willingham acted like the Black Knight from Monty Python.  With each sliced limb/catastrophic loss, he responded in essence by shrugging defiantly and saying “it’s just a flesh wound.” 

Secondly, as I learned more about Sarkisian, the better I felt about Emmert and Woodward’s selection.  Sarkisian knows the west coast in terms of recruiting.  He comes from a USC program that has won 7 Pac-10 titles in a row.  He is young (34), energetic and hard-working.  If college football’s greatest coach deems him worthy of being OC, that’s worth something.  And Sarkisian will do what Willingham wouldn’t, and that’s sell Husky football to the public and infuse life into Husky Nation.  That’s why Monday’s press conference announcing Sarkisian’s hire will instantly galvanize the increasingly glum Husky fan base.

As 2009 progresses and Sarkisian performs triage upon this broken and dispirited team, a healthy Jake Locker will mask many of the team’s ills.  No longer will Washington trot out a disheveled version of the spread option offense.  Word is that Sarkisian will bring a pro-style offense with a reliance on power football – at least once he feels confident that his new players can carry it out.    

Having followed Husky football for so long, I have decided to throw caution to the wind and give the Sarkisian Era a chance.  I look forward to seeing the Washington Huskies build themselves back up.  I look forward to enjoying football again.  And I look forward to witnessing the Huskies recapture their rightfully prominent perch in the Pac-10 pecking order.

 

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4 Comments

Filed under Washington Huskies

4 responses to “Husky fans are Sick and Tired of being Sick and Tired (Bring on Sarkisian!)

  1. Jordan

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am excited for Sark (some might blame it on my eternal optimism) and I am just excited for having SOMETHING to believe in and hope because of in Husky football. Listen, I’ve been as frustrated as the next guy, I shed tears last year when the press conference made Ty’s return official. Yet, I don’t follow football just because I want to follow a winner all the time (though, I’m not saying I wouldn’t enjoy it), but because I love being a part of something bigger than myself. Sure, I hated Ty and resented him for most of this last year, but as far this this unobjective eye can see, I don’t see reasons to doubt Sarkisian. I see reasons to have hope. And that’s refreshing. Anyway, this ramble needs to be over. Good words, Derek. I hope you encourage some wafflers to stay aboard the good ship Washington.

  2. ayarborough

    Thanks for the post Derek. I don’t know if such an inexperienced coach is the appropriate solution for Husky football. Sarkisian seems to have something about him that makes an impression on people and hopefully that translates to good recruiting classes and quality assistant coaches. After watching the SEC championship today, this team has a long way to go if it wants to compete with the top teams in the country. Good luck Coach Sarkisian and go Dawgs!

  3. Denny Andrews

    Good stuff as always Derek;
    Thanx for your insight. Yeah, I’m one of the ones who was thinking of dropping my tickets and probably won’t. Sark better bring some cattle prods with him to stoke this moribund program. Did you see that letter that claimed he challenged the whole K state team to a rumble?
    I don’t think it’s any more of a gamble to bring him on than it was when UW picked an obscure coach from Kent State. Remember how that worked?

  4. Timothy A. Joslin

    Derek, We Husky fans are standing at the bottom of a very deep hole. Way up there is just a faint light. Could it be that a rope is being lowered? Whether that rope can actually lift us to brighter heights depends on three words: Sarkisian,Locker, and Recruits. Great assistant coaches, an offense that keeps Locker out of harms way and convincing local quality recruits to stay home and play for the UW will help a great deal. Go Huskies!!

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