The joy of dumping on Turncoat Dennis

IN THE 12-PLUS years Cougfan.com has been cybercasting, one man and one man alone has stood out as Public Enemy No. 1. Sure, there were grenades thrown at Rick Dickson, barbs tossed at Paul Graham, arrows shot at Rick Neuheisel and a little slapstick aimed at Mike Price. But no one has met the ire of CF.C longer or more consistently than former Cougar coach Dennis Erickson.

He's made himself an easy target, too, what with thuggery on the field, minimal concern about academics, zero loyalty to any school, and an affinity for the ol' single malt.

Oh, and let's not forget those run ins with the rulebook.

The man is a walking technical difficulty, with a voluminous body of work that doesn't just beg for, but requires, someone to take a swing at it.

Some might say the guy has no character, though we certainly wouldn't.

Our public derision of Dennis predates the launch of CF.C by a full decade. Back in early 1989, when Dennis pledged he bled only crimson and then hopped a plane for an interview in Miami a day later, CF.C co-founder John Witter penned a letter to the editor of the Seattle Times calling Erickson a charlatan and suggesting that WSU fire him immediately for treason. Mind you, Erickson hadn't accepted the Miami job at that point. He simply had gone on the record moments earlier saying he wasn't leaving WSU, and then was spotted at the Miami Airport.

COMMENTARY

The issue wasn't one of begrudging Dennis the opportunity to take a job he found more attractive. Not at all. It was saying to our collective faces that he was staying when, in fact, he already had one foot out the door. It just doesn't sit well.

And the staff of CF.C has never forgotten.

So here, on the eve of the Sun Devil-Cougar game, we figured what better time to dust off some of our favorite swipes at Dennis over the years. Our search and recon division was a bit overwhelmed by it all, so they only went back to 2007. But what a year that was for Erickson Bashing.

If we had the complete record since CF.C's inception, this compendium might be worthy of a coffee-table book. But this will give you a sense of the fun we've had at Dennis' expense."

All selections here are from CF.C's now-defunct weekly column predicting the winners and losers of Pac-10 games.

From Sept. 18, 2009, ASU vs. Louisiana-Monroe:
Louisiana has some of the laxest liquor laws in the nation. How lax? Denny tried to negotiate a home and home with ULM.

From Aug. 30, 2007, ASU vs. San Jose State:
Educational requirements no longer required in Tempe as Erickson vows to put the athlete back in student-athlete. "Sue may coom lawdy!" Erickson exhorts after halftime hook up with beer-funnelator.

From Sept. 14, 2007 ASU vs. San Diego State:
Panic in Tempe. Scorned in his efforts two years ago to land the SDSU job, Coach Erickson accepts it at halftime. But before Sun Devils can finish the orange slices, Big E realizes he still wants pending Michigan post and returns to home sideline. More panic as players realize Erickson taking Wolverines' job still means they would have to start attending classes again. Erickson also frets over backup plan as his penchant for encouraging personal fouls (five last week alone) may not play well with the Holy Cross Fathers when it's time to replace Charlie Weis.

From Sept. 28, 2007, ASU vs. Stanford
They're calling this one the Lindsey Lohan Cup. Google each head coach's name along with the acronyn DUI. Whoa, Nellie, cut ‘em off Mr. Barkeep! Devilish AD Lisa "Best of My" Love says she's just glad her coach's run-in with the law happened before the Internet was fully underway. "I'm proud to announce that Mr. Hairbaugh generates 1,060 Google responses to only 620 for Coach Erickson." Stanford QB T.C. Ostrander cries foul. "Replace DUI with the word 'drunken' and then see who's on top?" he asks. Regardless of Saturday's outcome, the two coaches insist, the day will be perfect. "One of us gets to party until dawn and the other gets to drown in Maker's Mark," says Erickson. "And when you think about it," notes Hairbaugh, "you're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on."

From Oct. 6, 2007, ASU vs. WSU
Dennis Erickson vows to bring a national title to Tempe. Last time he did something like that, poor ol' Miami was sanctioned for covered-up drug test results, fraudulent Pell Grant applications and more on his watch. Dennis, thankfully, had already bolted to his next job. Out on the Palouse this week, Christmas comes early for the Restaurant and Bar Association, as they welcome Jim Beam's favorite son back to town. Moscow isn't missing out on the opportunity either, with The Corner Club sponsoring a ticker tape parade.

From Oct. 19, 2007, ASU vs. Bye
Dennis Erickson last week refuted a Seattle PI column penned by Jim Moore, saying he never tried to talk Idaho RB Deonte Jackson into transferring. The ASU coach's account differs just a smidge from the one published Sep. 8 in the Idaho Statesman: "Jackson redshirted his first season in Moscow, then said he turned down Erickson's offer to follow him to Arizona State." Our Pick: NCAA ENFORCEMENT DIVISION OF THE INEVITABLE

DESPITE ALL THE BARBS, we must admit that college football is a far more interesting world with Dennis in it. Sure, there's the bouts with the bottle, the disgraceful sportsmanship of his players, and the pathological disregard for the student portion of the term student-athlete, but by golly there's just something about the guy you can't help but love ... dumping on early and often.

And to that we say, barkeeper, another round of Macallan all around!

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