Of course life as we know it includes the stark reality that our beloved Cougs are probably a lot worse off than we thought they were. That was BIG ouch yesterday. Cougar Football '08 - It's a Re-Building Year!
Speaking of re-building this was our first look at Martin Stadium after Phase 2 of the renovation project and I must say, it was nice to pee in an actual bathroom instead of a porta-potty. A few years back, I probably would have been a little disappointed in this upgrade because we all know it's easier to mix drinks and smoke weed in the privacy of your own little phone booth full of sewage - but I'm an older, milder Hooty now and I appreciate not having to stand in a puddle of pee while I take care of business.
Hard to say if the new bathrooms and concessions in the east endzone will improve flow and wait times because the stadium was only 3/4 full yesterday but it definitely beats the hell out of the old setup. The next step should be to get some local restaurants to inhabit some of those new concession stands. A Sella's Calzone or a Cougar Country Drive-In burger to compliment my urine-free whiskey and Coke would have done wonders to my soul during yesterday's debacle.
For those of us brilliant enough to give up our seats 5 rows up from the field on the 50-yard line for the G-Rated family section, roughly situated 8 miles from the field on the Washington/Idaho border...I give you Supermegacougavision:
Sadly, the score of 0-0 was as close as the Cougs would get to Cal - and this was 2 minutes before kickoff. Approximately 2 minutes and 12 seconds later, the scoreboard started smoking. This is what it looked like from across Stadium Way on my way back to the RV lot:
I'd like to say that I actually toughed it out until 13:33 left in the game, but Mini-McBoob and I actually decided to go on a walkabout right after the blocked FG attempt for a touchdown that put Cal up 28-3 with 12 minutes left in the 2nd quarter. We did a walk-through of the CUB, which conveniently enough, is now home to The Bookie. The CUB remodel is very nice but I gotta say, it lacks the character of the old building. Maybe that's just me yearning for the nostalgia of an old, out-dated piece of my own past (I'm also one of 53 people who actually miss the Kingdome) but it just didn't feel like the CUB.
We did make it back into the Stadium for the tail-end of halftime and the salute to the 1988 Aloha Bowl team which was kinda cool. 1988 was my freshman year and as a kid from husky country, that was my first real experience with Cougar football. There have been a lot of highs and lows since that year but yesterday sure felt like one of the lowest of the lows. I am absolutely confident that Coach Wulff is going to keep our kids fighting this year and turn the program around in the years to come but for now, I'm wondering if that new scoreboard can handle triple digits when USC comes to town.
Hawk hasn't thrown in the towel on Gary Rodgers yet but after seeing that interception on our first posesssion, you have to wonder if he's too overwhelmed and/or too much of a fish out of water in this new offense. For so long, our ideal QB at WSU was the big, strong-armed pocket passer and we envisioned Rodgers being the next big thing. The reality of the new system is that it's simply not suited to that type of player. We need the next Jason Gesser - or dare I say - the next Jake Locker to make this offense hum. With the more mobile junior Kevin Lopina getting some PT yesterday, you have to wonder how long Wulff and Sturdy will stick it out with the senior Rodgers. Is it already time to look to the future?
I'm not laying this loss at the feet of our QB by any means. This was simply a matter of being over-matched in every sense. Our depth and overall talent level just aren't close to that of other teams in our conference right now. That's a tough pill to swallow but hey, the sun WILL come up again tomorrow.