Monday, September 29, 2008

Brinkhater Declaration, NOT Prediction

Greetings Cougar Nation and Brinkhater Army. Hope you all had a Happy Monday.

Well, in case you haven't noticed, today is Tuesday. And while it may seem like just any other Tuesday to you, to Brinkhater it is "Semantics Tuesday." And so, in this post, I delve into the simple semantics of the difference between a "declaration" and a "prediction."

Because I am too dumb to read, I couldn't consult Mr. Webster to see if my distinction has any relationship to real words or fact.

With that in mind, I am left to simply tell you what I THINK the differences are between the two words/concepts. Simply put, in Brinkhater's book, a "prediction" is something that you THINK might happen. A declaration is something that is GOING TO HAPPEN (or not).

So, to illustrate the distinction, I will give you a few examples from me own 'lil life.

First, lets get the prediction thing clear: Each week, I PREDICT the Cougs' fortunes. And, in spite of my gaudy record recently (17-0), my predictions are simply that: I THINK that they are going to happen. But I don't really KNOW (if you know what I mean). But in my near 4 decade long tenure as resident Sports Dork del Mundo, I have also been privy or part to several important Declarations.

Like many of you, I spent my wee early days pretty high on Steve Largent and the rest of the expansion Seattle Seahawks.

I remember being SO excited when the Hawks became the quickest team to ever finish with a 9-7 record. "We're going to the playoffs next year" I said to anyone who would hear me.

Unfortunately for me, someone did.

"As long as Jim Zorn is the starting quarterback" roared the voice of my dear Uncle Hummer, "The Seattle Seahawks will NEVER, EVER make the playoffs."

Now, mind you, my dear Uncle is more often funny than serious. So, when he made that statement, I HAD to take notice. I mean, it wasn't as if he was saying that he THOUGHT that the Hawks might not make the playoffs with Zorn, he was saying that the Hawks would NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER make the playoffs with "Jimmy Puke Puke" (as he called him) at the helm.

In short, He was making a DECLARATION.

Years later, at the Red Robin on 5th Avenue in Seattle, Sedihawk and I were enjoying our weekly Football Friday Lunch. After talking about the Cougs for about an hour, we quickly shifted to the Seahawks and their Rookie Quarterback Rick Mirer. "Sedi," I said, "The Seattle Seahawks will NEVER MAKE THE PLAYOFFS with Rick Mirer as their starting quarterback."

Now, at that time, I was really making a prediction. But in hindsight, because I was right, I was really making a DECLARATION.

The Seahawks never did make the playoffs with Rick Mirer. He was, after all, a miserable failure (takes one to know one, right?)

Years after that, I made a similar statement about another #10 (Zorn was the first) and his fate. Although this time, it WAS a DECLARATION. I let anyone (and it was no one besides Rooster, Sedi, and maybe Hooty who may have read one post or e-mail during that time) that Alex Brink would NEVER lead us to a bowl game.

Tragically, I was right. And to this day, I have the world's worst Moniker to show for it as a HORRIBLE battle scar.

But, instead of being humbled by the righteousness of my past declarations (and to quit while I'm ahead), I feel the need for more.

And so, to get to the "lead" of this post, I offer you first a picture:

You all know who this is? Its defensive coordinator Jody Sears.

Grant you, the only thing I REALLY know about Jody Sears is that he was an average player on the first Cougar team that I fell in love with (1989).

I also want you to know that despite being the most unfair person in the world, Brinkhater TOTALLY gets the fact that its unfair to judge Mr. Sears on his record at Eastern. After all, who can get a decent defensive player to commit to EASTERN of all places?

That said, Mr. Sears didn't exactly light the world on fire at Eastern, did he Cougar faithful?

So, if any of you "homers" out there are questioning where I am going with this, I beg of you to look at the state of affairs over at Montlake.

And when you ask yourself why it is that Ty is going to get kicked to the curb in the coming days and weeks, you need to find only one word:


Moreover, when you ask yourself how it is that Oregon State became good after being the laughing stock of the world, you need only speak one word:


When you ask "what wins championships" or "what made us really good from 2001-2003," you can say:


And if you want to know what it will take to turn this program around, the answer is simply:


Now, with regards to Mr. Sears, I am sure that he's a good recruiter and a good coach.

But, as a former WR, does he know SO MUCH about the other side of the ball that he is able to match wits with some of the greatest offensive minds in the game?

Does he know enough to be able to coach up sub-par talent and get them to compete with All-Americans who are bigger, faster, and stronger?

My answer is "N-O, NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"

And so, I give you all this painful, painful, painful, DECLARATION:

The Washington State Cougars will NEVER make a bowl game with Jody Sears as the Defensive Coordinator.

You all can bicker about all the things that you want, but I BELIEVE that Coach Paul and the rest have what it takes to turn this whole thing around.

But how Coach Paul deals with his dear friend Jody will be the most telling and critical decision of his tenure.

He already demonstrated his ability to call a spade a spade and cut ties with Rosey.

Now, the fate of the program rests with this last deep, personal connection.

Sears won't take us where we need to be, folks, its plain and simple.

Take the ball out of his court. Demote him or let him go.

The fate of the program depends on it.


Sedihawk said...

While the results have been laughable thus far, I think the jury is still out on Sears. Give him and Chris Ball some material to work with and see what they can do. But how can they do the #1 thing they want to do, the #1 thing they have stated since the day they took the job, and that is a commitment to stop the run without any inside presence? If you have poor play from the defensive tackles, you will never, ever stop the run.

We touched on this earlier in the summer, but the entire defensive scheme is predicated on having capable talent up front. Losing Roof, Wolfgramm's redshirt, Josh Luapo not qualifying, it all hurt them mightily up front. But our best defenses ever had outstanding play at tackle. 1994 had Eaton and Sasa, both guys played in the NFL. 1997 had Leon Bender, a 2nd round draft choice, and huge Gary Holmes. 2001-2003 had guys like Tai Tupai, Jeremy Williams, Rien Long, Tomasi Kongaika, even Josh Shavies and Steve Cook. We were big, strong, physical and tough as hell inside, and the trickle-down was enormous. Today we have what is likely the worst defensive tackles in the modern era of our history, and maybe one of the worst-ever in BCS history. It is absolutely crippling to everything they want to try.

OklahomaCougar said...

But, they are playing soft on defense. Just like Doba's screw-up last year. Recall how the fortunes of last year's team changed when they sold out to stop the run?

If the weakness of the team is the interior of the D-Line, then load the box, put the corners on island's.

The coaches have to play with the team they have, not the one they want. In the D1 you must stop the run.

bill gray said...

I've been reading this blog for 2 years now, and rarely have I agreed with brinkhater.

Today I couldn't agree more. Sears is a joke. This defense couldn't stop Pullman HS, and as ptowncoug so elegantly pointed out yesterday, how can you go from 9 returning defensive starters to this bullshit?

Sears. Send him packing and get him a sales job AT Sears. Selling washing machines or something. Just get him off our damn sideline before no recruit in the NW will sign with us because they know Wulff and Co. won't get them to the next level.

KA 47 said...

Bring back Akey

Portland Coug said...

Forget the nine starters bullshit because it is just that - bullshit. Does anyone count mattingly as aa returning starter? You shouldn't because he was at a new position and that's right, he didnt start! Chima a returning starter? Not when he's out of his position last year and is now a backup. Mullennix was hurt forever and shouldn't count. Cory Evans is back.....only he isn't as he has been hurt. Alfonso Jackson switched positions only to get hurt in the first quarter of the first game.

Besides, these so-called returning starters were terrible last year. Don't overrate the perceived improvement because the only teams they stopped were UCLA and ther 4th qb and Stanford with the worst O in the conference. Go back and look at what happeed vs AZ, USC, even U-dumb.

Basically you are an uninformed moron who probably thinks Sarah Palin will make a wonderful VP because Alaska can see Russia frm their rooftops. You fall for the 15-second sound bite that you see on the local news and decide it's fact. You see one uninformed article mention 9 returning starters and you glob onto it as fact without doing one iota of research on your own. Bill Gray, you are the worst Cougar fan in America and an embarrassment to the rest of us. I hate you.

bill gray said...

Well in 2 or 3 years, you might just find out I am right, brinkhater is right, ptowncoug is right, and we're in a big mess. A Cougar Depression.

Then again, I (we) could be dead wrong.

How opinions make someone the worst Cougar fan in America, and suddenly turn someone into a closed-minded republican, I don't know.

I'll give you a pass on that rant and just incite you to save your hatred for the Huskies and the Ducks, as no Cougar fan should be disparaging another, regardless of opinion.

Sedihawk said...

Portland, dude, cool it. We love comments here and encourage reasonable venting, but there will be no attacking of anyone else around here. Take it somewhere else.

And we do let the muscle-bound anonymous post without validating who they are. Why? Because good interaction makes for a good blog. We want to keep it that way. But don't make us turn that feature off.

Look, people are mad. And when we are mad fans, we want to vent and point fingers. But are we really going to turn on each other just five games into this thing? WSU fans like ourselves the last few years would just laugh and laugh at UW fans, for the way they were "eating their young" about Willingham the last couple of seasons, at Dawgman and elsewhere. But now we are at the depths that they have experienced. How will we handle it? We always say "real Cougs don't act like that" but we haven't been through what we're about to go through. I hope we can keep it civil, at least around here anyway.

kaddy said...

I actually thought that portland coug's last paragraph might be a bit tongue-in-cheek? I got a laugh, but maybe I'm the one that read it wrong...

Atlantacoug said...

While the performance of the defense is mind bogglingly bad, and make no mistake, we won't beat anyone else this year if the defense does not improve, we can't draw any conclusions now. Perhaps Jody Sears sucked at Eastern and WSU so far due to trying to make Chicken Salad out of chicken Sh*t. The good news is the losses hurt less and less over the years/weeks/months. When the Cougs were good, a loss would ruin my weekend. Now I am fine. Once you give in to the pain. Once you Admit we suck...we start taking pleasure in things like "Wow, Lobster had a nice 2nd quarter drive" or "Gibson still had 100 yards" know. Loser talk. I will numb my Cougar feelings until we are good again.

79coug said...

Shouldn't some of the blame be put on Ball as well? Ball's track record speaks for itself as he's coached outstanding defenses at WSU, Alabama and Pitt.

Until we get DT play with a heartbeat I don't think you can judge these guys. If the defense still had Ropati and AJ somewhat healthy this year with Ahmu in the mix then I'd buy more of Brinkhater's argument.

Steele91 said...

For a Big 10 perspective - senile Beano Cook always says, it's all about the material. Joe Pa is a nat'l coach of year candidate with state college right now. Two years ago they wanted to put him down via lethal injection and just end the old man's suffering. Ron Zook was a retard at Florida, but lo and behold, he beats Ohio St last year and gets to the Rose Bwl. Why? Recruiting. Zooker has shaken it up with Illinois based on Juice Williams, Arrellious Benn and several outstanding linemen. Joe Pa's classes the last couple of years have been incredible. So is Joe Pa suddenly smart after being so dumb, old and out of touch? Did Zooker finally take his meds and regrew brain cells? No. It's recruiting stupid. Always has been, always will be.

Your Doba was god-like when you had good defenses. But he was a part of some awful ones. You haven't always been this defensive powerhouse at all. Trust me, I looked it up. Why doesn't Doba get heat for 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999? Why doesn't Doba take heat for the 2001 Oregon loss when Ontarrio Smith ran for 300 yards on your ass? Did he suddely forget the plays? Did he get bombed with Price and was too hung to read the shot sheets? It is the oldest mistake fans can make and that is blaming the coach for things he cannot control. If Wulf gets some strong classes and you still suck in a few years then fire everyone.

These programs behind closed doors are nothing like you might think to joe average ticket holder. Ask any former player, and more often than not you will always hear that it is more about talent, strength and speed vs the guy in the headset calling a cover-2. Always has been about the players, always will be about the players. And y'all had players when we beat you in '98. Judging your coach so early is unfair.

E said...

Not that I am disagreeing with any of this commentary... But where'd you get the picture of the girls at the top? Reason being... I'm one of them. Little awkward.

Sedihawk said...

Sorry it got weird "E". That wasn't the intention. We actually got this from a site known as:

You are out there, so someone took that pic and gave it to them to upload.

Kind of "pervy", I know. But we only go there for the articles. Seriously though, if you want I will remove the picture from our site.

Anonymous said...

Did you guys see who was just made head coach of the Oakland Raiders?

Tom Cable, formerly of UofI. He led Idaho during that stretch when they beat our ass twice in a row.

Too bad he wasn't on the list last year...might have found a home back on the Palouse, Dennis Erickson style.

Anonymous said...

Thomas Lee Cable, Jr, (born 1964) is a American football coach, and currently the interim head coach for the National Football League's Oakland Raiders after Lane Kiffin was fired September 30th, 2008 by owner Al Davis. Cable was the offensive line coach in 2006 for the NFL's Atlanta Falcons under head coach Jim Mora, who was dismissed at the end of the season. Cable was the offensive coordinator for the UCLA Bruins for two seasons (2004-2005) under head coach Karl Dorrell.

Tom Cable was the head coach at the University of Idaho, his alma mater from 2000-2003. He compiled a record of 11-35 (.239) in four seasons before being replaced by Nick Holt.

Cable played on the offensive line for the Idaho Vandals for head coaches Dennis Erickson and Keith Gilbertson, blocking for quarterback Scott Linehan. He was a starting guard for three seasons (1984-1986), and had a brief stay with the Indianapolis Colts in 1987 before his coaching career began.

Cable played high school football in Snohomish, Washington, northeast of Seattle.

HatefulCoug said...

way to go wikipedia. Not an exactly stellar record at UI, but then again he probably didn't have much to work with.

Anonymous said...

I guess my blood runs more crimson than any, actually throw in a little blue and grey to the mix. That is right, I am a Pullman native and know the Sears family well. You will find no more faithful of a family to the Cougar family, itself. Lay off and give Jody a chance...most of us P-town natives, the ones that matter, love the guy! I have said it before, and I will say it again. I true COUG never lets their pride falter; no matter how grim the record, how bad the coaching staff seems to be. to be a true COUG is not to win every game; that has never been our gig. COUGAR PRIDE runs much deeper than a winning season. So, no matter who mans the helm, have a little faith, and a little pride. GO COUGS!!!

Brinkhater said...

Please remember that since we've had this blog, we have not had a winning season. So, the pride runs deep round these here parts.

Also remember, that "declarative speculation" about someone's ability/current capacity to be among the elite of the elite of a profession is not a knock about their character or competence.

Remember: despite us being down this year (WSU and the Conference), the Pac-10 is an elite conference with a host of the most brilliant football minds anywhere.

Simply put, if you are NEVER going to land the 5 star guy, then you have to out-coach, out-scheme, and win the motivation battle every week.

If you think that he can assume that role and meet that challenge, great.

Like I said with Alex, I HOPE that I am wrong.

Nothing would make me happier than to see a good guy and true Coug do well WITH the Cougs.

Time will tell.

E #2 said...

I'm in that picture too! Nice... Love being informed by a friend of mine via email that there's pictures of me on the Cougar Football blog... very random...

Sedihawk said...

E-squared, as we told E we found the picture elsewhere. But we would be happy to remove the pic if the creepiness factor is just too great.

Original E said...

One of the downfalls of no registration comments is that confusion can happen when a couple of young Cougar ladies go by the unoriginal handle that you've picked, and you happen to be a middle age guy. I've been reading and posting comments around here for over a year, and I am NOT pictured above. Which is good, since posting my pic would drive web site traffic in the wrong direction for the blogfathers.

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