The Dawgs of War: a Remembrance

From the author of Husky Football in the Don James Era comes a powerful and deeply moving new book called The Dawgs of War: a Remembrance. In it, Derek Johnson chronicles Marques Tuiasosopo, Curtis Williams and the Washington Huskies during their unforgettable Rose Bowl season of 2000.

Ostensibly a story about football, The Dawgs of War is really a celebration of camaraderie and the resiliency of the human spirit.

When Marques Tuiasosopo entered his senior season at the University of Washington, his dream was to quarterback the Huskies to the Rose Bowl. Surrounding him was a cast of colorful characters possessing marginal talent. When Washington beat powerhouse Miami and pulled out a series of fourth quarter comebacks, it seemed every deficit could be overcome. But in late October, when an on-field collision paralyzed safety Curtis Williams, football fell to irrelevancy as the team reeled into despair.

Out of that tragedy sprung an epic story of brotherly love and inspired leadership. The Washington Huskies came together and confronted their deepest fears to win the Rose Bowl for their fallen teammate. Derek Johnson weaves together a theater of voices so immediate you'll feel like you're in the huddle. You'll also admire the personalities of the players and coaches who lived through it-from Head Coach Rick Neuheisel, Kyle Benn, Derrell Daniels, Larry Tripplett, Braxton Cleman, Willie Hurst, Chad Ward, Anthony Kelley, Hakim Akbar and Matt Rogers of American Idol.

The Dawgs of War: a Remembrance provides inspirational armchair reading.

"The seed image for this book came to me during the 2007 Washington Huskies football season," Johnson said. "I was sitting in the Husky Stadium stands one hour before kickoff, when I overheard a 10-year old girl talking to her dad. She pointed to the sideline and asked: `Daddy, why is there a 25 with a circle around it?' The dad responded: `That was the number of a player that died a few years ago.' Their conversation ended there.

"I was struck by how the dad didn't seem compelled to tell more of the story," Johnson said. "That emblem, of course, represented the late Curtis Williams. But to his former teammates, it also symbolized the dramatic Rose Bowl season where their faith in life and in each other was severely tested. Those players stuck together through dire times. A book was needed to testify to the joys and sorrows they experienced, and to celebrate the affirming leadership of quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo. That's why I wrote this book."

Available at Top Stories