Would you believe that I am actually busy in graduate school? Wild! 😉
Alas, I am alive. I’m working my tail off here at Ohio University and trying to be a really good student and instuctor, thus, the blog has taken to the back burner. But here is to hot front burners, too!
First thing is first… last Saturday afternoon, I went to Buffalo Wild Wings with one of my very best friends ever (whose name is also Molly), tipped the bartender $10 before ever ordering a drink, and had the Washington-USC game on the TV right in front of me. (Molly, who is a Notre Dame grad, coincidentally got the Irish game put on right in front of her, too.)
Yes, I watched every snap of the most beautiful upset I have ever seen. Was the football perfect? No. Was it even sharp? Again, no. But after enduring the last four years of Huskies football — including that winless season last year — watching Washington beat third-ranked USC was a thing of absolute beauty!Jake Locker wasn’t the sharpest he has ever been, but he looked like a quarterback. I’ve seen him throw beautiful balls and orchestrate a couple drives, but I had not seen him look like a quarterback until Saturday. (I have a theory about this… Tyrone Willingham’s offensive coordinator at UW was a great guy named Tim Lappano. Lappano himself was a running back from the state of Washington. He prides himself on being a downhill runner with that same tough-guy mentality. Lappano had a quarterback who could run that way, just like a running back. But Lappano also knew he was playing in the Pac-10 and needed to air it out. So Lappano wanted to run a spread offense with a smashmouth mentality. In other words, Lappano’s message was muddled. The offense the last couple years showed that. Locker’s development showed that, too. Lappano is a great guy and a good coach, but his vision was too broad and did not seem to be focused. Now, the Huskies have a black-and-white approach, and I believe the players know their roles better.)
Chris Polk will rush for more yards, but he looked physical. He put his helmet down, stuck his foot in the ground and ran the damn ball. Again, he knew his role.
James Johnson is going to be a star. Hell, he probably already is in Seattle, but I’m thinkin’ big things for this kid.
Was it just me, or does Ryan Tolar look damn near svelte compared to what he looked like last season? The offensive line looked good. I think this was the best-coached unit the last few seas0ns and, now, with the conditioning, commitment and fire, this unit is looking decent and physical.
I spent the better part of my time covering the Huskies lamenting over the defense — missed tackles, missed opportunities and (at times) a general sense of bewilderment. On Saturday, that sense of belwilderment transformed into a sense of purpose. There is a fire that I haven’t seen in years. The maturation of the linebacking corps is remarkable and players will follow Donald Butler, Mason Foster and E.J. Savannah (whose own maturation is a thrill to see.) These guys were finally freed up to play well because the defensive line was doing its job. God bless Daniel Te’o-Nesheim — who deserved that day. And, I don’t know about you, but I loved seeing Talia Crichton’s long locks flowing under his helmet. (Could you imagine if Willingham had told Troy Polamalu to cut his hair?!)
Let me not leave out praise for Erik Folk! Think that kick was easy? Ask Jeff Reed… says the Steelers fan. 😉
Now, Huskies fans, visions of Rose Bowls are dancing in your heads, no doubt. Ease up. Does this win mean crapola if the Huskies lose at Stanford? Sure it does, but not nearly as much as if UW wins on The Farm. Your program just got over a difficult rung — and, yes, there were tears welling in my eyes when the fans charged the turf at Husky Stadium — but the climb remains. Don’t hang ridiculous expectations on this team just yet because you’ll be setting yourself up for disappointment.
Remember when Stanford beat USC two seasons ago? (I was in Vegas; it was during a Huskies’ bye week… I remember!) Stanford beat USC and still hasn’t been to a bowl game. I think the Huskies will do better, but give it time… Enjoy the moment (like Hawes and Nate!), enjoy the growth, enjoy the journey. It’ll make the destination all the better!
(Trust me, I can’t wait to watch the Stanford game, either!… If I can here!)
I have tickets to the game in two weeks at Notre Dame — and no one to go with me! I may try to sell the tickets and just stay home and watch it on TV. 😦 It’s a long drive and it’d save me some hard-earned, grad-student cash to stay, but… hmmm…
I’m enjoying teaching. A gal in my class is childhood friends with Huskies’ centerfielder Kimi Pohlman. When Kimi was a junior in high school, I wrote a big profile on her… talk about a small world. The class I am teaching is News Writing, mostly sophomores and juniors… very fun. I let them out early every session because the session is supposed to be two-and-a-half hours. REALLY?! How do you do that?! I just want them to do well and engage. Most of them do. So, why not let them out early?
As for the classes I’m taking — Research Methods, Content Analysis, Media Law and a teaching seminar — they’re hard. It’s all paper-writing and research. Not really what I had in mind when I came here, but interesting. And I get to do sports stuff in a weird way. In my Content Analysis class, I’m going to be analyzing the coverage of college football/hoops scandals and comparing how national outlets (SI, ESPN.com, Yahoo Sports) cover them compared to how the local newspapers do it — yep, that’s going to be my big project and will hopefully tie directly in to my thesis.
In Research Methods, I’ll be furthering that idea (again, for the eventual thesis) and surveying college football fans on what they expect/want of their coverage and how they respond to the coverage of scandals.
I’ve been to a few football games here, myself. One Ohio U. game (a loss to UConn in which I wasn’t impressed at all.)Also went to Morgantown, WV for the first time in my life. Great venue for a game — and the Mountaineers of WVU beat East Carolina.
I’m making friends, eating too many chicken wings, working out (down a total of 20 pounds, if you can believe that!), pumping my neurons, sleeping poorly (uncomfortable bed), playing fantasy football, missing home and everyone in Seattle VERY much, but still enjoying myself.
I’ll do better on here. Really, I will. It will be my new means of procrastination. And God knows I do plenty of that!