Thanks to those that wrote in. The Pac-10 season is right around the corner and the Dawgs have picked up a verbal from a JC stud safety. Hopefully that verbal will hold true until the JC signing period comes in two months. Until then, it's exciting news that gives Husky fans something to look forward to, or bite their nails about, depending on your outlook on recruiting news. And now, on to the letters . . .

From Paul A in Bulldogland
Dear Dawgman
The season is well on its way and the Dawgs have not been very impressive at all. I'm not saying the Dawgs can't win it's just that they have not dominated IU like I had hoped for. Enough of the venting. The reason why I'm writing today is because of the article I read in the Seattle Times. What is your take on the possibility that the Dawgs might get a severe penalty for the gambling fiasco in the athletic department? I'm worried that this will hamper things in dawgland and it will definitely be in the players, recruits and coaches minds that the Dawgs won't be competing for anything if severe penalties are handed down, not by the NCAA, but by our friendly conference administrators. It's troublesome that we're the only conference in the nation that penalizes member schools and from what happened in the early 90's, it looks more of the same. I thank you for your time and visiting is definitely something I look forward to start my day.

A: Thanks for the note Paul. If the NCAA can show that Washington was incorrectly enforcing a rule on purpose, or if they can show that the Washington athletic department is not compliant or purposely running outside the parameters of the NCAA and/or Pac-10 rules and regulations, they could very well hammer Washington. I very much doubt that will happen. I think that by firing Neuheisel, Washington has shown that they viewed this entire matter as very serious and it will be taken into account by the NCAA. But I predict that Rick will get some sort of severance from his lawsuit in the end.
From Mad Dawg
Dear Dawgman:
Thanks for THE BEST college football website on the net. You are getting lots of questions about different aspects of the team. Are the dawgs showing up for games? What does the OL need to do to block better. Why can't we get a good running back? Where is the speed on D. So it makes me want to ask the question of Husky fans out there, "Are YOU showing up for games? Wearing purple? Cheering for the dawgs when they come into the stadium? Making as much noise as you can on defense?" Going to the Ohio State game was incredible. Rabid fans – never mind their mascot is an inedible nut. Every fan there even sings the star spangled banner. WE need to step it up as Husky fans. Instead of always expecting the players to bring dominance back we should look at ourselves and wonder if we would make the team as fans or whether it is time we stoke it up a bit. So, the question is: what suggestions do you have to make our fellow dawg fans rabid again?

A: I addressed this in an issue of Sports Washington magazine, but my main premise is to give reasons for fans to want to get into their seats early. You do that by helping create an atmosphere of fun and belonging, The Husky nation. My suggestions were the following:
1) Have the Husky team bus pull up in lot E-1 and have the team walk from E-1 to the locker rooms through throngs of fans that line the walk along the baseball field and in front of the crewhouse. It would get the crowd going immediately, and would make them feel connected to the team because they could see their eyes and yell to them in person.
2) Have the band come roaring out of the tunnel and march around the entire track, getting the fans into the game. I think this might be more important than a pre-game show, so perhaps shorten the pregame show by a few minutes to accommodate the band's personal performances to the crowd.
3) Make the starting lineups a big deal. My suggestion was to have someone else announce the visiting team's starters, and after they are done, hand the mike over to Lou Gellerman. Have the HuskyTron show highlights of past great Dawg hits and fire up Guns & Roses "Welcome to the Jungle." THEN, just before Axel Rose begins singing, cue to Lou Gellerman, who says, "Hellllooooo Dawg Fans," and have him go through the starting lineups for the Dawgs right then. People would WANT to be in the stands for that.

These ideas aren't rocket science, nor are they the cure alls, but they may get more people into the games earlier. Getting people into the Dawghouse early, getting them ready, and bringing back the Husky Defense of old will make Husky Stadium intimidating once again.

From Harberg
Dear Dawgman:
What will it take to get rid of the stupid uniforms we have and go back to what we had in 1994 before Jim Lambright and Nike team sports got the stupid idea to change them?! This is also Barbara Hedges fault in trying to copy Oregon's big splash. I will always take tradition over trying to be cute! (look at USC, Nebraska, Texas, Ohio State) Will we ever see those again??

A: I think uniforms will evolve over time, always. Nike has a heavy hand in that, and it generates money for the school as they sell new merchandise. Even USC has that new "power stripe" up the sides now. Ohio State's uniforms almost clash because they use different colors of silver on the stripes and when blended with the white and crimson, it sort of looks busy. But I do get your point. I would imagine that you'll see the pre-1994 jerseys and pants at one time or another, given that fashions seem to come back every 20 years. Who would've thought those dreadful earth tones from the ‘70s would come back? Miami Vice type pastels ruled the 80's, and then disappeared. Washington's current color scheme is nice in my opinion, the pants are actually gold instead of mustard yellow. But I liked the piping on the visitor jerseys last year better – gold. It was the first time I can remember the visiting jerseys with the actual school color of gold on it, not counting the boxing around the numbers.
From RJ in Seattle
Dear Dawgman:
Could you please let your readers know what qualifications Pete Kaligis and Steve Emtman have to be our strength and conditioning coaches for football? And I mean aside from the fact that both are great weightlifters and trainers themselves. What I am after is whether either got their degree in sports or nutrition science, etc., and whether either or both have completed any special training.

A: Pete has a degree from the UW and is a certified fitness trainer, and is the current Strength and Conditioning Coach for most all of the sports at Washington. Steve, in addition to his UW job, also owns and operates a gym privately. Both of these men are qualified to be the Iron Dawgs.
From Derek S
Dear Dawgman:
When are we playing Michigan again?

A: I don't know that they are on a future schedule right now. They are not listed on any of the ones form 2004-2009.
From Curt Berry
Dear Dawgman:
In your e-mail from Chris it was noted how "very red" it was at Ohio State as it is at Nebraska and that we lack passion at Husky Stadium. I agree. We need to look at our colors. Look at our coaching staff and hats, gray or tan sweaters etc. So many Husky items are not using Purple and Gold. Therefore, the crowd is not looking like a Nebraska/Ohio State. Rick Neuheisel started with the black hats/sweater vest and I was hoping Gilby get back to Purple and Gold. At least RN got us back to the Gold helmets.

A: Ohio State was an amazing game day atmosphere, as was Lincoln, Nebraska. Red everywhere, and not an empty seat 20 minutes prior to kickoff. That pretty much says it all. It would be nice to see more purple in Husky Stadium. The gold helmets were a nice return, for sure. I did love the way the purple helmets looked on the road, when they finally got the color of the "W" correct.
From Josh Melhorn
Dear Dawgman:
Is Reggie hurt? He looked to be favoring his knee last week.

A: Reggie is fine. He gets bumps and bruises like anyone else, but he's tough.
From Alan K
Dear Dawgman:
1) Do you see Dashon Goldson coming in the spring and making a major run at the two-deeps. What role do you envision for him? Maybe a future tandem of Goldson and C.J. Wallace?
2) Why is Matt Fontaine the 5th string Corner? Everyone was raving about him? If he is so good why is he behind Massey and Cunningham?
3) Do you envision the Huskies looking for a JUCO QB this year to compete in the spring? Or are they content in bringing back the option and going with Stanback and Bonnell.

Keep up the good work!

A: Thanks for the kind words Alan. I see Goldson coming in and immediately challenging for some time at free safety in 2004. He is faster now and stronger than he was at Narbonne HS, and could help immediately. His verbal was a huge piece of good news to the Husky coaches. Wallace is certainly the future at the other safety position. He's a little smaller than I thought, but still a potential big hitter from either free or srong. Matt Fountaine is fine, he's just in a battle with some corners that are a bit more mature and slightly better tacklers. Snow is huge on tackling, and Matt will pick it up just fine. Washington is looking at some JC quarterbacks, but the number one guy they'd like to get right now at QB is Matt Tuiasosopo from Woodinville High, no question about it.

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