Coach's Corner

I can't stand this time of year, so I'm getting out of here. The NFL draft, high school signing date, and especially the NFL combine, just don't do it for me. They all involve way too much projecting and procrastinating by way too many experts.

March at least has the NCAA men's tournament and April begins the baseball season as well as the NBA playoffs. April, of course also means spring football so I can get my football fix until August rolls around.

I'm currently even in favor of bringing back the XFL just to make February better. It's really a dead time of year.

The sports media literally has to create sports stories at this time of year. There is simply too much analysis, speculation, and public evaluation going on at this time of year. I think that's what I dislike the most. It's all a bunch of number crunching that has little relevance other than make believe teams. It's almost like fantasy football.

So, considering the Huskies are now out of the NCAA, unless of course they win the Pac-10 tournament, I might as well vent a little.

1) Why do TV football analysts have to have a pen or pencil in their hands? I've never seen them taking notes or using the pens as a writing instrument. Might as well be holding a harpoon.

2) My recruiting rant is multi-pronged. Why do they insist on ranking college football recruiting classes? How can you possibly compare classes that include JC's with those that don't? How can you compare or contrast two classes when one school signs 10 and the other signs 28? How can you establish any true criteria to measure classes when nobody wants to wait years to get the actual facts? Why does a recruiting site threaten a kid if he doesn't give them an "exclusive?" How sick is that???? If this site EVER did that, I'd be out of here. Trust me, it goes on elsewhere though, it's just plain sick. And one other thing - how do kids become a 5 star and not even make first team all-league?

3) Why do we even care about a Wonderlic test? It sounds more sexual than intellectual.

4) Why can't we just have real football games played all year long? That way we wouldn't have to watch a "quarterback's challenge", the pro bowl, the Senior Bowl workouts, the draft or recruiting shows about who gets who and where are they going or even worse, talk about who you didn't get.

5) More on my recruiting rant - After being involved in recruiting myself, any kid who decides to leaves the state of Washington means the Huskies lost him, right? Reality is, you can't even waste your time thinking about those you lose, and you'd better believe in your own evaluation system and be picking players on character as much as athletic ability. Recruiting is a projection. It is very subjective. There is no way you can compare groups of people with no performance involved simply because performance reality is what sports is all about.

6) I get irked when analysts or fans continually want to talk about firing the coach. Coaches don't talk about you getting fired. They don't even begin to question your qualifications for doing whatever you do. The primary reason is coaches probably don't k now what you actually do. Which is my point. Most fans and many in the media have no background or qualifications to evaluate someone in the coaching profession simply because they don't know what a coach does. Of course I have also known administrators who never really knew what coaches did either yet they fired their coach based upon what the fans and media thought. I have no problem with them thinking the coach should be fired but I just find it rude to publicly call for it. It doesn't happen in any other profession with maybe the exception of politics.

7) This football program has been wrecked by administrators who continually changed coaches. They had a great coach in Don James and turned their back on him and his team. Then came Jim Lambright, Rick Neuheisel, and Keith Gilbertson. Three systems, three sets of coaches, three lost recruiting classes, three straight years of losing, and for people who suggest that it's Willingham's fault, God help their stupidity. Washington is damned lucky to have a man of the integrity and character of Tyrone Willingham. He knows what it takes and he knows how to do it. Now let's give him the chance.

8) I'm sick of the illegal drug stories the media seems obsessed with. I don't care if Barry Bonds did roids. Does anyone else? He wasn't breaking the league's rules at the time so why wouldn't he try to make as much money as he can? Let it go already. And the Josh Heytfelt story in Spokane is sad. It shouldn't be in the media everyday. The poor kid is already convicted in the court of public opinion. Let Mark Few and his people make their own decision how to best help his kids. Let the courts decide whether his rights were violated by illegal search and seizure. A lot of college kids make mistakes, some bigger than others. But to read and hear about it every day to me is overkill.

9) I can't stand TO stories. He has too much ego and not enough humility. He is a disgrace to himself, his family, and his coaches no matter where he plays. The media glorifies the biggest jerk in sports. I think he represents all that is wrong with professional sports.

10) There are way too many sports analysts now. I'm one of them, and I can tell you that there really is way too much hot air on the airwaves and - in particular on television and on the internet. The worst for me are the ex-players with more than colorful personal backgrounds who instantly become experts as soon as their careers are over. I understand their want to be still be in the game, but I still wish they would operate more under the "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" approach. People like that should be more forgiving before they start trashing someone on the field from their cozy positions in the booth.

11) I'm also bugged by the overall glorification of our professional football players. All of those strutting, dancing, taunting, or otherwise egomaniacal acts don't seem becoming to a team sport. Basketball is too fast moving for celebratory demonstrations and baseball is way too slow. Football is becoming too much like soccer in the celebrations. Pro football could use a big dose of humility. I like watching opposing players pick each other up or at least have positive interchanges with each other. I dislike any kind of disrespect for your opponent or for the officials and I absolutely detest any public criticism of your teammates or coaches.

I know I'm never going to change any of these things but they still bug me and this is a great time of year to complain because nothing is going on.

12) I can't stand the "Nike" influence. I am a traditionalist and am offended by their obvious attempts to establish sporting styles and fashion. Football is not part of the fashion industry. I wish Washington would go back to Adidas. I like purple and gold for the Washington colors not lavender and ‘old" gold or khaki. The "weasel" really bugs me and I also think that team captains or senior leaders should have say in anything related to team wear.

13) Act like you have been there before, already. Give credit to your team mates and deflect credit from yourself. Anything you do in a game is the result of doing your job. If you happen to make a good play then simply be pleased with yourself and the fact that you helped your team mates towards winning. You don't need to beat your own chest then point to the heavens. You don't need to go into gyrations and dance around trying to draw attention to yourself.

14) Coaches and players who use officials as excuses deserve to have lost. Once it's over, let it go. They never change the score no matter how bad the officials were. I think that dignity in losing is as important as it is in winning. Players can be taught to act right. That's part of coaching.

15) I'm down right offended by the recruiting of junior high school kids. Right now there are no rules against recruiting grade school kids, is that the next step? I don't even like the idea of offering scholarships until a kid's senior year. Although I do confess that I have offered underage kids scholarships in the past. When I was recruiting Marques Tuiasosopo, I offered every kid in the house a scholarship because I knew they were all winners.

And on that note, I'm off to go get warm on a beach. I am too blessed to be stressed. These are just minor irritations and I know I can't change any of them so I just wanted to vent them here. Thanks for ‘listening', and I'm sure I'll get back to being my more positive-bad-self in the future. Aloha. Top Stories