Gilby leaves them laughing
Race Bannon, at the Northwest Championship Cup presentation
Keith Gilbertson must have some show business background, as he remembered the first rule of any show, save the best for last and have the audience go home wanting more. A packed and rowdy Husky Stadium shivered through three quarters of a stern defensive battle, and then exploded as the gutsy Husky team once again snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the Apple Cup. The outmanned Cougars fought gamely but just did not have enough in the tank to hold off the talented and inspired Husky eleven.
It was the sixth straight win in the series and the twelfth in the last fifteen games, the thirty-first out of forty-one Apple Cups played. Yet for some reason the Seattle media awoke Sunday morning mystified as to how the Huskies could possibly have won that game.
Allow us to help. It was a northwest game and the Huskies rule the northwest with an iron fist. Perhaps they missed the Oregon State and Oregon games. It was not the halfway decent teams that gave the Huskies problems; it was teams with losing records, or the two teams that were clearly better than them. While it was a season of turmoil, the Huskies have always been able to rise from the dead and stand and deliver when their backs were against the wall. The Apple Cup was decided about the time that Cal's fourth string tailback scored his first career touchdown to top off the 54-7 rout for the Bears.
Only the Drill, a drunken reprobate gambler and known associate of one Jim Moore picked the Dawgs, and he nearly nailed the final score on the button. We at DFI also picked Washington to prevail 24-18. So make that two drunken reprobate gamblers that called it.
The teams traded turnovers and solid defense for most of the game until Cody Pickett strode onto the Husky Stadium turf for one last shot with his team trailing 19-14 and 4 minutes left in the Huskies legendary 26 year non losing season streak. The school record holder in nearly every passing category had a chance to cement his name on the hall of fame that is Husky Football.
The speedy and aggressive Cougar defense looked like they had stymied the Husky attack once again as the Dawgs were staring 4th and four and defeat squarely in the eye. Cody deftly sidestepped the rush and feathered a pass into the hands of a streaking Charles Fredrick who picked up the first down and moved into Cougar territory.
Just a couple of plays later the Pickett to Williams combo ripped the hearts out of the Cougs' chests and showed it to them one more time.
Except that this time it was Corey Williams, the true frosh sensation, who grabbed the rope and held on for glory.
Cody leaves having started three straight wins over the Cougars, and the entire senior class leaves with never having tasted defeat to the second best team in the state. We salute these Seniors and wish them well. Their time here began on the sidelines at Pasadena and ended in one of the most bizarre seasons on record, but they played to the end and into a special place in the hearts of Husky fans.
We salute the players. Mighty are the men who wear the Purple and the Gold. We welcome them into the victor's fold. In addition, you Cougs may resume the position and BOW DOWN TO WASHINGTON.
Cougs run out of feet to kill
Rob Bobertson, leaving Pasadena for San Diego
Those motha-&*^&ing Huskies did it again!
We killed ourselves in the foot again. Seven turnovers, just like our big wins over Oregon State and UCLA. The Huskies had a punt blocked and five turnovers, but the Cougs could do nothing against the vaunted Husky defense that dominated their little brothers and sent them home empty handed yet again.
The Huskies started the game like we were in Eugene again. Alas, the Huskies are not the Ducks, much to the dismay of the Coug faithful that peppered themselves through out Husky Stadium Saturday night.
Bill Doba showed some rare class from the coach's press conference after the defeat, actually giving the Huskies credit for the win. I guess he didn't learn much from Mike Price after all. The Cougs have tried to get way up for the game, they have tried to get down for the game, but whatever they try the outcome is always the same. A loss.
We can take comfort in the fact that we won the pre game, as all the WSU graduates working in Seattle media predicted a big blow out win. At least we have those clippings to savor this long cold winter.
I really hate the Huskies, and what is worse, is that they could not care less about us. They only use us in those exceedingly rare occasions when they need a win to save a bad season. And we always oblige. Less rare occasions lately, we might add in the interest of journalistic accuracy.
The Cougar Myth explained
Dr. Race Bannon, expert of all subjects
We heard a lot of chatter this past week about the miracle of Cougar success juxtaposed against the worst Husky season in memory. The Cougs were on their way to a third straight ten win season, so we were told. How did that work out for them anyway?
We were told that the Cougs had amassed more talent than the scrappy Huskies who were playing under the worst hand a football team could be dealt, thanks to some inspired leadership from the Montlake offices of Husky Inc.
However, once again, the results on the field showed the Huskies to be superior in every way except one, the Cougar defense really is good. That would be the Cougar defense that loses nine starters this year. Yet the Husky defense stepped up and saved the day, showing that it is not the athletes, it is what you do with them, and how inspired the players are to play. Defense is more effort and emotion than scheme, and the Huskies had all three Saturday night.
So what about this fast fading dream of three ten win seasons? The Huskies best three year stretch was 1990, 91, and 92. They went 31-5 over that stretch, going to three Rose Bowls, winning two and a national championship.
The best the Cougs can muster is a 30-8 record if Colorado is invited to the Holiday Bowl. They have won a Sun Bowl, suffered a humiliating Rose Bowl blow out loss, and now crown the era with a Holiday Bowl.
There are precious few major wins, and three of those 8 losses are to the Huskies. To be fair, the Huskies did lose once to the Cougs in their three-year run, but it was after the Rose Bowl was wrapped up and the program was disintegrating under the Pac 9 witch-hunt, aided and abetted by the UW administration. That is another story.
Of course, we do not want to take anything away from the Cougars flirtation with glory, since it may be a long time before even that modest success is seen again.
The bottom line is that the Washington Huskies do not want to be like the Cougars, do have more talent, and recruiting top players is better than hard working smaller guys. Ask USC. The key is to recruit top players who work hard – the new goal of Washington recruiting.
Do not be dismayed by local columnists looking to dismay you. We know who rules this state and WSU knows who their Daddy is.
From the "Because it Bothers Them" file:
Despite too many protests by the second through fourth place finishers, and mainstream media mocking of the merits of the endeavor, we press on with:
Final Northwest Championship Standings 2003
1. Washington: 3-0 ( Past, present and future champs)
2. Washington State: 2-1 (Former doormat second again)
3. Oregon: 2-1 (Second division for Nike U)
4. Oregon State 0-3 (Somebody has to be last, why not OSU?)
Don James said that you have to beat your own back yard first if you want to beat everybody else. Can we leave the yard now?
Around the world: Lots of rival games were played across the nation...some teams won and some teams lost...We are sure you can read about it somewhere...USC wrapped up their first top seed since 1995 with a rout of the fast collapsing Bruins and the Cougs annual Apple Cup loss...now you know why we always say "annual Apple Cup loss" when speaking of the Cougs...Oregon bashed the Beavers to return to the Sun Bowl...they could have had San Diego if not for the Cougs annual Apple Cup loss...we remain unapologetic...the Olympia Bears are unbeaten and in the semis...Ballard looms...in non athletic news at the U Dub, it was a quiet week...other than a manufactured scandal and a scandal that won't go away...Leadership – a concept that needs to be tried at Montlake...two Reggie Williams issues are being developed – "Unfinished Business" or "Thanks for the Memories"...we review the season soon because we need the check...we thank our readers and apologize to those we have offended...too many to list here, as usual.
Happy Thanksgiving to all! – Race
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