Ask Dawgman - 9/26

Thanks to those that wrote in. The Pac-10 season is here! Has anyone else felt that it's been forever since the season started? Now is the time for the Huskies to show what they are made of and start to click on all cylinders. And now, on to the letters . . .

From David Reasoner in Lynden, WA
Dear Dawgman
I am curious about the uniform contract with Nike. Does Nike dictate what our uniforms will be, or is there a person at UW who decides the uniforms designs? Basically, I just don't like the new logo. The aerodynamic dog doesn't do it for me. It could be worse; we could come out looking as hideous as Oregon's highlighter uniforms. I just love the classic W and search high and low to find apparel that uses the W and not the aero-dog. Thanks for all the information on UW and the great web site. Keep up the good work.

A: Nike had significant input on the new uniforms and UW logo. Washington had some input as well but Nike was charged with delivering the new "UW Identity" program colors, fonts, and graphics two years ago, to make the UW sports of baseball, softball, basketball, and football all look the same. The dog isn't a real popular logo among purists, true, but I do like the way it looks on the large flag.
From Sumner Dawg
Dear Dawgman:
With the injury to Joseph Lobendahn, do you think the huskies have the guys who can step up and have the same impact in his place? What ever happened to LB Will Conwell?

A: I think Tim Galloway had a good game against Indiana, and will be counted on more. Scott White has also moved around inside a bit and made some things happen. The depth at linebacker took a real hit when Joseph went down. Will Conwell left the team, citing not having the desire to play football any longer as the reason. He left before Neuheisel was fired.
From Mike
Dear Dawgman:
There have been valid complaints about the Huskies lacking toughness. I think they should first look at themselves. A couple of Idaho fans sitting in front of us (in the Husky section) got up and started cheering. My brother who was sitting next to me started yelling at them to sit down. All the Husky fans around us started yelling that they could cheer if they wanted to. I was at Ohio State and I don't think that if I was sitting in the middle of the OSU crowd they would let me cheer if I wanted to. A lady infront of us turned around and said that if we gave the Idaho fans anymore trouble she'd go and get security. Well the fans never stood up again, but that didn't stop the lady from getting security even thought we hadn't done anything wrong. I just can't believe that she was sticking up for Idaho fans. In addition to our crowd not being angry at the other team, we don't wear enough purple. I just don't understand why the fans won't wear the teams colors. Everyone at OSU was wearing red, and it was intimidating. I think that if all the fans would start rallying behind the team, they would perform better. Make it tough for the opposing team. I've been going to the games for about 10 years now, and the loudest I've ever heard it was during the Miami game. We got inside Dorothy's head and caused him to perform bad. I know that if our crowd gets more into the games the Dawgs will perform better and maybe even look a little tougher.

A: I do think that all fans have the right to cheer for their team, but it's a shame that you had a run-in with a fellow Dawg fan about it. It's a fine line between being obnoxiously rude to opposing fans, and engaging in friendly and healthy (but rowdy) banter. Hopefully all Husky fans can find a way to make it rowdy in the Dawghouse and difficult for the opposing team, but still be respectful of visitors. Nebraska and Ohio State found a nice balance that way. You are right about the Miami game, sophomore QB Ken Dorsey was impacted by the crowd and so was his OL. The crowd can make a difference, no doubt about it.
From Aloha Mike
Dear Dawgman:
During the spring, seems the talk was to be more aggressive on defense. The team speed on the "D" was better than it has been for many years. Was that just a smoke screen? Your column during recruiting stated speeds in the 40 for the recruits. Were those speeds accurate? Has the firing of coach Neu delayed the aggressive play on defense?

A: The speed on defense is excellent, however the execution of the defense at times has not been. I do think they are getting better on the back end, but the pass rush still needs addressing. I'm hoping that they've kept the lid on some packages until the Pac-10 begins. I never use smoke screens, what good are they? They serve no purpose. As for 40 times, the ones we use are from the Nike summer camps, and are run with no pads on. Keep that in mind. Also, football speed and 40 speeds are often not the same thing. You can run in a straight line as fast as you want, but if you cannot change directions quickly, you won't be as fast on the football field.
From Chris in Gilbert, AZ
Dear Dawgman:
I was upset by some of the stupid, bone headed penalties the Dawgs were receiving but at least they are responding when the other team is trying to disrespect them in the DAWG HOUSE. Do you feel that this team presses too hard to start the game and puts too much pressure on themselves? Maybe they listen to the media and read too many of the articles written about them. It seems to me that when they finally relax they look like a real good team. How much of that comes from Picket's leadership? Is he really the quarterback that is going to lead this team to the Rose Bowl? I enjoy watching him but for the three years he has been a starter nothing spectacular has happened. I also think all Husky fans should lighten up a little bit (especially me). Let's let these young Huskies grow up and play and see what comes from it. It's not Steve Emtman, Mark Brunell, Napoleon, or John Wiatrak (my grandpa - Husky All-American 1938) out there so it's not even fair to compare the guys now to those Husky greats. Let's let Isaiah Stanback, C.J. Wallace, Shelton Sampson, Quintin Daniels, Scott White, etc forge their own Husky legacy so ten years from now we can all wonder when our Dawgs will start playing like the group I just mentioned. GO DAWGS and go Dawgs fans.

A: Great letter Chris. I do think that the team put a lot of pressure on themselves in the first half against Idaho. In the second, they relaxed and just played, and it showed. I like your attitude about supporting the kids that are here and letting them find their identity as Huskies. Great attitude.
From Garrett I
Dear Dawgman:
Hey Dawgman. First things first. Great site, my day wouldn't be complete without my daily dose of Dawg news. One of RN's biggest mistakes was trying to build UW into the FSU-west, instead of a traditional UW team (smash mouth run it down your throat team)..Even in trying, there is simply no speed on defense. If we want to keep up with USC, we have to get a lot faster on D. And no disrespect to #1 (the greatest WR, perhaps best athlete in husky history) but he is simply not ready for the NFL. He's shown that he can beat weaker DBs and even against good teams (e.g., OSU), he can beat a zone, but against great corners (i.e., Gamble, Marlin Jackson), he looks lost. Gamble shut him down and RW only caught balls when he was isolated on a LB or in a zone def. He will have a great NFL career but only after someone teaches him to run good routes and get separation. Don't get me wrong, nobody was more happy when you open up all the pre-season publication and see RW as a 1st team all-American, but the bottom line is wins not stats.

A: Thanks for the kind words about the site, Garrett. I disagree with your statement about speed on the defense. Washington has it, they just need to learn how to use it more effectively. The linebackers have to learn where to be and how to use their speed on the football field. They have speed, though. However, can you ever have enough speed? Probably not. Reggie is totally ready for the NFL. He plays through every injury, bump, bruise, and can block as well as any WR in the country. And he catches the ball when it's money time. Reggie didn't catch much against OSU because he had a safety shading him and Pickett had ZERO time to throw. I think Reggie is as fine of a college receiver as I've ever seen. He works hard, he blocks hard, and his quarterback trusts him implicitly. He'll be a first-rounder this April.
From Matt Norling
Dear Dawgman:
I am hopping on the "Get Husky Stadium Rocking" campaign with you and others. Our little section in the end zone is totally "with it," but you're right, there are many times that the Stadium goes way too quiet, including before the games. It would sure be great, though, if Gilby re-instilled a tradition from the James era: the Husky jumping jacks! The crowd always got going when our 100+ guys lined up and did the 'jacks, followed by the swarm in the middle of the field. We haven't done anything like that recently. It would be great to get it going again. You also mentioned in a previous answer that it would be nice to "Have the band come roaring out of the tunnel and march around the entire track, getting the fans into the game." We have a problem in this area that I would like addressed. His name is J. Brad McDavid, the band "director." Now we all know that following a legend is difficult, just ask Jim Lambright. But McDavid has proven time and again that he is A) not a very good director, as evidenced by a total lack of creativity in both the "shows" and in things like you mentioned before and B) much more interested in going back to Ohio State than making our band the great band that it was under Bill Bissell. Under Bissell our band was noted for its groundbreaking creativity. Now, it is just boring. Did you happen to notice who the happiest man at Ohio Stadium was a few weeks ago? Yes, it was J. Brad McDavid. While he no doubt couldn't care less who won the game, he was just thrilled to "dot the i" at halftime. I was SO EMBARRASSED. Personally, I think he should have pulled off his purple shirt to expose the red and silver underneath and just stayed in Columbus. As long as he is here, our band will continue to suffer. He doesn't care about making it great and helping our team. He needs to go. With that being said, I just want to let you and others know that I will do everything in my (limited) power to get our section rocking even more. I am always there at least an hour before game time, cheering for our guys as they come out to warm up, etc. My friends and I definitely do not shut up until the game is over (just ask those around us!). I have been at road games where our fans dominated the stadium. How many times does the HOME TEAM have to call time out because it can't hear the signals (like happened at California a few years ago)? To all you Husky fans out there, I challenge you to join us. Husky Stadium must become again the most feared place to play in at least the Pac-10, if not the nation.

A: Brad had a very difficult job following Bill Bissell as director. Washington's band will never be a Big-10 band, nor will it ever sound as good as USC's. But the thing that has always made Washington's band appealing was it's creativity and it's "Hey, look at me!" attitude. That does seem to be missing. I was not embarrassed at the honor Mr. McDavid was bestowed with at Ohio. I thought it was a great thing, and kept in perspective what college athletics are all about – sportsmanship. I wish you luck in bringing the roar back to Husky Stadium.

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