Tag Archives: Husky Football

Huskies, Cougars, meet once again to see who’s worse

It’s Apple Cup week, and you know what that means — rounding up the records, rolling down the windows and throwing said records out said windows, writes Bob Condotta in his Seattle Times Husky Football blog.

Though the way the Cougars and Huskies are going these days, they’d probably earn a fine for littering in the process.

For the third straight year, neither Washington nor Washington State has a winning record entering their annual rivalry game at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Husky Stadium — UW at 3-7, WSU at 1-10.

In fact, only once since 2003 has either team come into the game better than .500 — WSU at 6-5, falling to 6-6 when the Huskies won 35-32 in 2006.

It doesn’t help soothe the pain to know that just to the south, Oregon and Oregon State are gearing up for one of the biggest Civil Wars ever Dec. 3, the winner assured a spot in the Rose Bowl.

Read more: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/huskies/2010333429_apple23.html

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Washington’s Napoleon Kaufman goes 79 yards vs. UCLA

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Christmas Gift Idea for Washington Huskies fans

www.derekjohnsonbooks.com

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The Dawg Days of Dori Monson

By Derek Johnson

Many people of the Puget Sound region know Dori Monson as the witty and hard-hitting host on KIRO radio.    To others, he’s known for leading the charge on the pregame and postgame shows for the Seattle Seahawks, also on KIRO.

Monson’s roots, however, run deeper than that in Seattle soil.  For it was twenty-eight years ago that he broadcast football games for the University of Washington’s campus radio station.  As it turns out, his love of the Huskies goes way back.

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“I was one of those kids who grew up in Seattle who listened to the games on the radio,“ Monson said.  “I just have this vivid memory of the Ballard Ice Arena, which doesn’t exist anymore.  They would always have the Husky game on every Saturday during the fall.  I have always connected my falls to Husky football, because that was the only game in town in the early seventies, when I was eight, nine and ten years old.  I loved the Hairbreadth Husky cartoons in the newspaper.  I loved listening to the games. I could never afford a ticket to go to the game, but I was a gigantic fan.

“They were an average team then, but Sonny Sixkiller captured every kid’s imagination, just due to his name,” Monson added.  “And I loved watching the coach’s show on Sunday afternoon.  I loved watching Bruce King and the coach go over the previous day’s game.”

During his senior year Ballard High School, Monson interned for an Everett radio station.  As he prepared to enter the University of Washington in 1980, he was looking to make a career in radio.  The timing turned out to be perfect, for UW coach Don James was returning Husky Football to national powerhouse status.

“I met a guy who did the play-by-play for the campus radio station,” Monson said.  “I told him I was coming to the University of Washington.  He asked me if I knew enough about football to do color (commentary).  I lied and told him yes.  I wasn’t a football technician, but I wanted to be on the broadcast.  So I did color for one year on KCMU with Scott Ellenson.  Then after he graduated, I did the play-by-play for the next two years.” 

In the years Monson covered the Huskies, the team’s records were 10-2, 10-2 and 8-4.  This included a trip to Pasadena, as Washington played in the 1982 Rose Bowl.

“The university was so good to us,” Monson said.  “Don James treated us the way he treated the KOMO crew.  Bob Rondeau, who was also broadcasting back then, was incredibly good to me.  The Sports Information Director was Mike Wilson, and he gave us amazing access to the coaches and treated us like professionals, even though we were college kids.

“They gave us a booth on the forty-yard line at the Rose Bowl,” Monson said.  “When it was very difficult to get satellite time, we actually got it.  We did the play-by-play at the Rose Bowl that year, which was the highlight of my college life.  The Huskies beat Iowa 28-0.  The atmosphere was absolutely electric.  Just being there, after having watched it every year on TV, just felt like I was living a dream.”

Monson also recalled Jacque Robinson, the charismatic UW running back, who became the first freshman named MVP of the Rose Bowl. 

“What I remember about Jacque Robinson was how many times he got hit at the line, and he would still go forward and get two to three yards,” he said.  “He never went backwards when he got hit.  There was a toughness in his running.  I loved that about those Husky teams.  The toughness and how they physically overmatched their opponents.  I don’t know if it was raw force or just an uncanny desire that James would instill in them.”

Monson also cited one other defining moment in his UW broadcasting days.  That was when the late Freddie Small recovered Chuck Nelson’s kickoff in the end zone, to lead the Huskies to a 13-3 win over the powerhouse USC Trojans.  The game entered into lore due to the sixty MPH winds impacting the play on the field.     

“Before the game, when were in our booth, I looked out on Lake Washington at the bay,” Monson said.  “There was a guy out there trying to windsurf.  He would struggle to put up the sail, and each time he did, he would get slammed down by the wind. 

“But that game was such a battle, such a defensive struggle,” he said of the contest which was tied 3-3 with 5:00 left.  “When Freddie jumped on the ball, there was a beat of silence in the stadium, because everyone was trying to figure out if it was a live ball or a touchback…  And then the official’s arms shot up and then came the roar of the crowd!” 

In life, the lessons learned in youth are critical in shaping us for who we become.  This holds true for Monson too, as he reflected upon his weekly interviews with UW’s legendary coach Don James. 

“What I learned more than anything was from Coach James,” Monson said.  “For as kind, accessible and gracious as he was to me, if I came in unprepared, he made it clear that he did not like that.

“It happened to me once,” Monson said.  “Here was this guy who had bent over backwards for me.  He didn’t say anything specifically.  But just from the way he was answering my questions, it was clear that he was running out of patience with me.  And I deserved it.  I was less-prepared that day than I was in all my other interviews with him.  Just as he sent a message to his players in what he demanded from them, he sent me a message too—in a very subtle and effective way.  I’ve always tried to be careful to be very prepared for interviews.  But I learned that lesson during my first radio job, when I got to talk with Coach James every week.”

 


			

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Nathan Ware Breaks Down UW-ASU Game

It’s inconceivable that a team suffering through a six-game losing streak could enter Husky Stadium as 15-point favorites.  But that’s the reality, as Arizona State takes on our beleaguered yet beloved Washington Huskies tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m.

These days, even if the Huskies were playing Western Washington, I’m not confident that our boys could win.  My prediction:  ASU 34, Washington 17

In any event, here’s Nathan Ware’s take and breakdown on tomorrow’s matchup over at Montlake.

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Willingham Exit Strategy Damning UW to Football Hell

Back in December 2004, as Tyrone Willingham was being introduced as Washington’s football coach, he made a statement that– in retrospect — was strikingly bizarre.

“It is time for the University of Washington to return to being the Dawgs,” Willingham said.  “It is my understanding that a dog is a vicious animal.” 

Now eight games into his fourth and final season at UW, Willingham’s football team has lost all hope.  The Huskies are 0-8 and riding a 10-game losing streak.  Last Saturday’s 56-0 loss at USC was beyond an abomination.  Willingham’s players weren’t vicious, they were listless.  They weren’t tough as steel, they were soft like Play-Do.  They weren’t full of spit and vinegar, they were demoralized and flatter than a training bra for a 10-year old. 

Against the Trojans, the Huskies clearly gave up on their coach, whose 11-33 record is horrible by epic proportions.  As the only BCS Subdivision team without a win in 2008, Washington football has been reduced by Willingham to a smoldering rubble.

In daily life, when doctors and lawyers make colossal errors, they become vulnerable to malpractice lawsuits.  Conversely, when an incompetent coach like Tyrone Willingham destroys a football program, he’s given a $1 million buyout and publicly lauded for being a man of character and integrity.  

The reasons for this warrant discussion in a different article.  But rest assured the University of Washington is taking precautions to avoid any accusations of bullying their black head coach, as befell Notre Dame when they fired Willingham back in 2004. 

If Tyrone Willingham is a man of integrity and honor, he will resign immediately.  If he truly wants what’s best for the University of Washington, he will put the program above his own interests.  If he’s honest, he will admit that he has completely lost this football team.  He’ll realize that his overbearing pride causes him to cling to the wooden facade that he is a quality football coach.  If he only knew that some of his contemporaries at other schools mock him behind his back.  If he only knew that his coaching skills are not respected by his colleagues. 

If Willingham can look past his own ego, he will see a football team that is hurting and rudderless.  He will see a team devoid of self-esteem and a desire to win.  He will look into the faces of senior players like Juan Garcia, Michael Gottlieb and Jordan White-Frisbee, and realize that by finishing out the season, he is dooming them to additional misery and a possible 0-12 conclusion.

There’s a saying that goes, “Where there is no hope, the people perish.”  If Willingham truly wants to do right by his players, he can proffer them the gift of hope.  He can resign immediately, and remove his toxic presence from the team’s collective psyche, allowing for a potential spark of hope.

If only Tyrone Willingham could realize that by continuing to stay on as UW coach, the only interests served are that of Tyrone Willingham, and no one else.

 

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College Football’s White Boy Gangsta Wannabes

Anthony Kelley (4Malamute.com)

Anthony Kelley (4Malamute.com)

I was listening to Michael Savage’s radio program today;  he was talking about the white kids in this country who go around with sagging pants that hang down below their butt and displaying their underwear.  Savage speculated that this trend comes from suburban kids emulating what they see in the hip-hop culture– which (in theory) emanates from the nation’s black ghettos.

It got me to thinking about an interesting three hour interview I had a couple of months ago with former Washington Huskies linebacker Anthony Kelley.  AK talked about his white teammates that mimicked the inner city kids on defense on the Huskies from 1999-2002.  

We all had our struggles and our baggage, but it was a genuine love we had for each other.  We never judged each other for the baggage we had.  When we came into our locker room, we all knew each other’s stories, and it was okay.  That was a big thing.  In that locker room, a lot of us came from bad backgrounds around LA.  That group of us understood that we had a great opportunity here and we understood that pain. 

A lot of the other players on the team were thinking that we came from gang-infested neighborhoods and they thought it was a cool thing.  What they didn’t realize that the reason we came to damn Washington was that we were trying to escape that damn life.  They would try to emulate it.  Some players would come on and think being hard like a gangster was really tough. 

Guys from the suburbs would act like they were a true gangster.  Jeremiah Pharms would put that straight to the test.  Because we realized that it wasn’t cool.  We knew how to function in it and survive in it—but we got away from it for a reason!

You would have guys from the suburbs who felt that being big, black, angry and intimidating was cool.  They would try to follow that.  Their friends would say to us, “I don’t even know why he’s acting like this.  Trying to be some gangster.  He comes from a middle class neighborhood.  He has nothing to do with that.”  It was crazy.  They thought being a wannabe gangster was so cool.  That was one thing I noticed about Seattle.  People would watch Menace II Society and Boyz in the Hood and they would go on a How to be a thug kick.  They wanted to identify with us, and yet we were trying to escape that.

-Anthony Kelley

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