Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wulff Speaks, Plus Other Stuff


Can it really be, a WSU FOOTBALL story!? Wow. But it's true. And hard to believe they are going to tee it up in just over a week? Also true. Spring ball is nearly upon us, ready to roll on March 26th, and the first round of media is starting to hit cyberspace. Paul Wulff spoke to ESPN's best college writer on the planet, Ted Miller, and gave some pretty good answers to some pressing questions, including the fact that Wulff isn't exactly "phased" by the arrival of the Twitter King, Steve Sarkisian?:

Did things feel any different in recruiting when Washington hired Steve Sarkisian?

PW: Not really. Everything was pretty much the same. Anytime you have a coaching change, a staff change, there's always that new energy and hope. Any school you are recruiting against, regardless of the team, when there's a new staff there's always renewed energy for a little while. But I think that all slows down after a year or so. There was obviously a breath of fresh air on their side of it, no question.


There's some other good stuff here, including Wulff singling out some players who have had a pretty good off-season. And oh yeah, Marshall Lobbestael is not only going to participate in 7-on-7's, but he's already been reinstated from the whole puke-in-a-McDonalds-bag-gate thing...



Meanwhile, the UW Husky Stadium money grab is starting to look pretty real. Even though some media outlets are downplaying the reality of it happening, I don't know if that's necessarily the case. Others who follow this stuff and read deeply into the comments of these state reps believe this thing has a chance. A bill in the Senate has been released, called SB6116. This bill has some language pertaining to the county's ability to tax for things like "stadiums" and "arenas", but it doesn't specifically say Husky Stadium or Key Arena by name. However you get the drift. Basically the word is if this bill passes the gaze of house speaker Frank Chopp, well, then UW is going to pull this thing off.

Our friend "Stiffmiester" asked last night in comments, but it's a very good question - how do the WSU faithful feel about this? Maybe there is a bigger picture angle here, that if they DO in fact toss some tax money UW's way, that President Floyd and Jim Sterk will be running up the steps in Oly, with future renovation plans under their arms, "shovel ready" and all that? Maybe in a way, we lose...but we could also win? And if it greases the skids for a Seattle Center renovation, which includes a Key Arena remodel in an area that so desperately needs not only a renovation but also an anchor tenant that can deliver 15,000 fans for at least 41 nights a year? See where I'm going with this? YES, it would suck if UW gets their $300 million dollar facelift. But if it means WSU can now ask for the same thing with a straight face? And Sonics 2.0 rise from the ashes, under the umbrella of Steve Ballmer?? Hmmm, maybe it's not so bad after all....

Oh, Darth Vader. He's at it again. This time, just being a total smart-ass:



So, the Madness BEGINS today! Who ya got? I don't know about you, but I have a feeling about Gonzaga this year. This seems to me like it's their best team in forever, maybe since their Elite 8 team so many years ago? They seem to have it all, including a bum ankle on Ty Lawson, Carolina's amazing point guard who makes that engine run. Don't forget, Gonzaga took down Carolina in NYC two years ago. Granted, the characters are different for both teams than they were back then, but that upset was with a healthy Josh Heytvelt causing all sorts of problems vs. Psycho T Hansborough.



We shall see. My Final Four was a little odd, but I've got Louisville and Memphis on one side, while yep, Gonzaga, and Pitt on the other side. Louisville cuts down the nets on Championship Monday.

But what do I know?? Nothing. :)

Finally, have you heard the Casey Casem prank call? Howard Stern's guys did a call where they took some sound clips of him and had him call a Chinese restaurant. Check it out:



That's it for today. ENJOY YOUR THURSDAY, and GO COUGS!



4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Funny youtube clips. That vader clip is hilarious! Only you could be so bold Darth. And Casey casum is wonderful. Keep it up.

I hope the redhead can get the job done but as someone who had knee surgery, is anyone else worried about 300 lb linemen falling into his knee. I have a hard time thinking he will be fully recovered by the season. The el toro offensive line will require a qb with the ability to run and he could be dead lobster meat back there.

'03CouveCoug said...

Good stuff in the Miller write up on ESPN. I don’t know about anyone else, but every time I read or hear a comment from Coach Wulff, I always get the impression that he’s calling it like he sees it and telling the truth…the guy doesn’t mince words, does he?!? I’m glad to read that he’s excited about several of our guys that redshirted last year. One can only hope that the redshirts (particularly on the D-line) will be the ingredients on the team that (dare I say?) double our win total from last season. At the very least, here’s hoping that with a great offseason and some more talent on the field, our Cougs will be competitive in each and every contest.

Boy am I geared up for the Madness! Just wish we Cougs had a team in the mix. At any rate, like Sedi, I have white suit-wearing Rick Pitino and his Cardinals winning the whole thing. Unlike Sedi, I see Gonzaga getting bounced in the Sweet 16 (because they lack a go-to scorer) by the Tar Heels, who will get away without playing defense until the Final Four when Pitt takes them out. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Memphis get ‘r done this year, either. They are just as talented on offense as they were last season, and boy do they defend!

Lastly, on the whole stadium deal…I’ll preface my thoughts by saying that I’m a resident of Clark County, so if the folks up in the “People’s Republic” of King County want to allow the powers that be to tack on (or in this case) extent yet another tax on yourselves, so be it. It won’t be coming out of my wallet, except for the rare occasions that my family and I dine at a restaurant or stay at a hotel in Seattle. Plus, if it helps renovate Key Arena (and Memorial Stadium for that matter) and gets the NBA back in Seattle, that is a good thing. My caveat is this…if UW gets $150 million to renovate their crumbling stadium WSU had better damn well have the ability to get their hands on some State funds that allows them to finish off Phases III and IV of Martin Stadium. Problem is how do you do it? I don’t think that there is any tax on Whitman County residents that could possibly cover even a fraction of the cost. It’s not like we could request the diversion of funds from the King Co. tax…so where does the $$ come from?

It appears to me that we’re SOL. It’ll end up being another case of the rich getting richer by using somewhat dubious methods, and the little guy getting screwed. Oh well, I guess when we eventually do complete our renovation, we can be satisfied that we maintained our facilities on our own, like we are SUPPOSED TO.

Okay, diatribe over. Enjoy the Madness fellow Cougs!

sedihawk said...

Hey Couve, good points as usual. As to Martin Stadium, you are right in that it would be difficult to raise an out-of-town tax and see a huge return right away? It's not like we are bringing in 100,000 people a weekend for six weekends a year. More like what, 20K from out of the area? Figure we average in the low-30k range and what, 10K are students? That wouldn't be enough to finish it off. Then again, I believe even to finish off all phases of Martin is like 1/3rd the cost of UW's request? Isn't it like 50 million total to complete both phases? Maybe I am confused but I thought I heard that. So maybe a smaller potatoes tax COULD get it done? All I know is Sterk has said all along that we are "monitoring the situation closely" and have been very careful to not campaign against it, probably with an eye towards the future IF UW succeeds? I really wonder what the state would say to Floyd and Sterk if they approve the UW request. How could they deny WSU the same advantages? We'll see but the little guy gets screwed all the time. Let's hope it comes back around and we all come out ahead.

You are also right on Wulff. Very little filtering going on! That is great but can backfire. I heard a rumor last year that he was told to cool it on the whole throwing the kids under the bus criticisms early in the year when we were getting our pants pulled down obn a weekly basis! Not sure if it is true or not, but he seemed to change his tune around midseason last year? I also love the fact that we are going back to the full offense (hopefully?). Last year needs to be put behind us as fast as possible, and what better way than to get to the excitng style of play we were all expecting??

Finally, Gonzaga - it used to be my favorite sport of picking against them, and I had been successful lately doing just that. But not this year. They just see to have everything you could want in a tourney team, including a big chip about last year's early exit. I just think this will be their year, but man I have been wrong before!!! So they probably won't get out of the first weekend again. :)

'03CouveCoug said...

Sedi-

I think we were more in the neighborhood of $40 million to get both Phases completed. I also recall that we were real gung-ho to get going because materials and labor costs are at a low point. I should preface all of this by saying I’m by NO means an expert on any of this stuff…just have a basic understanding. In terms of “getting our piece of the pie,” I’m guessing that about the only thing we could do is ask the State for help by issuing municipal bonds backed by the additional gate revenues that we’d receive from Phases III and IV.

Of course that is what the University was already trying to do when they were asking for commitments from purchasers of loge boxes, luxury suites and premium seats. However, my understanding of it is they were trying to get private bonding from banks, which of course have all but dried up. If they can get the State to back the bonds, we’re likely to get many more buyers because of the guaranteed payment (governments don’t default on bond payments) and because muni-bonds are 100% tax deductible. In an investment market like this, even though munis offer a relatively low rate of return, they’re basically a tax free guaranteed investment, which is VERY appealing to those of us that have watched our 401(k)’s and mutual funds drop in value by 50% since last summer!

I think you’re right regarding the Athletic Dept. telling CPW to not be such a straight-shooter. If I recall correctly, shortly after the Stanford drubbing CPW really started to back off the “our kids suck” talk and really shift all of the blame to himself and his coaching staff for our numerous deficiencies. Additionally, we shall see if our guys actually open up the playbook…I get the feeling that it will really depend on how quickly Lobbestael heals and performs in fall camp. I think we can all agree that Lopina is probably not capable, and Levenseller may still be too young.

Lastly, I happen to believe that Gonzaga’s fate rests on the performance of Austin Daye. You know that Pargo is going to bring it, that Boldin is going to provide an outside shooting presence and that Heytvelt is going to get around a double-double and some blocks. If Daye is shooting well and forcing defenses to mind him, GU is very tough. But, if he gets lost, GU is in big trouble. If UNC (or any team before them) figures out that Daye disappears when you get physical with him, I think that’s when the Zags will once again head back to Spokane disappointed.

Oh, and what happend to "Tuesday's with Moron?" That was good stuff!

I’ve gotta stop writing this much…