Greetings Cougs, and a happy Monday to all of you. Yours truly has just returned from a weekend of camping with a bunch of cub scouts, so let's just say I'm just running a little low on energy this morning. But we'll try and get through it together.
So, last week I posted that Athlon's had once again "dissed" WSU by not giving the Cougs a presence on the regional cover. This was looking like the third year in a row that WSU didn't make the cover, when WSU's own Dwight Tardy made the 2009 Pac-10 edition. But I was quickly corrected by Steven Lassan from Athlon's, who pointed out that this year's cover did in fact include a WSU figure - Mike Leach - but we just couldn't see it in the online version of the cover. Steven then sent us the updated cover, and sure enough, Leach is now there at the top-right of the cover. Note that they have now updated the online version to include Leach's mug as well:
While it's not a player-in-action pic, still, it's better than getting shut out. And when WSU did last have a player on the cover, they actually went with four players, so it would be nice if they could have found a way to put Marquess Wilson, Jeff Tuel or Travis Long on there, somewhere.
But even if it is just Leach on the top-right, we'll take it!
And even better, Steven points out that they have the Cougs rated #51 this year in the preseason, and even goes as far as to say that an eight-win season isn't out of the question! Thanks again to Steven for the clarification, and I definitely look forward to getting my hands on this year's edition of the Pac-12 preview.
There's a new pic of Martin Stadium, this time taken from the student section point-of-view:
Thanks to Pullman Football Rentals for the shot. Can't wait to see the finished product and when all the WSU colors, signage, etc, starts to show up, but another great look at the progress of the new addition.
Finally, I know some/many of you still loathe the NBA and have stopped paying attention since the Sonics were ripped from Seattle. But with OKC making the Finals with Lebron vs. Durant, are you going to watch?
I have to admit that as a big fan of the green-n-gold, as a guy who enjoyed the amazing ride of the Sonics in the 90's, it is VERY HARD TO WATCH OKC DO WHAT THEY ARE DOING RIGHT NOW. They are a fabulous team to see running up and down the floor, and hard as it is, I will be watching. Granted I'll be pulling for Lebron and D-Wade - HUGE - in the Finals, because the very thought of Clay Bennett hoisting the NBA trophy is just too much to comprehend right now. And this article does a great job of spelling out the reasons why we should all be rooting for Miami. But even with my Sonics-NBA heart still broken, I will find a way to check this thing out. GO HEAT!
All for now. GO COUGS!
It's hard to not like the guys on the court in OKC. They're no LBJ, Kobe or Metta World Peace in em. But at the end of the day, I will be rooting for the Heat. Sorry, just can't watch my old team win the 'ship.
What is weird is that Athlon only has 2 recievers listed on their AA teams, but they have two RB's. I guess they found a way to keep Wilson off of their AA team as well as he is the first receiver on the 2nd team.
OK, I admit I was never a huge fan of the Sonics, and while the dishonesty of Clay Bennett is off the charts (did you ever actually believe any of it even from the start?), to say that you will be rooting for LeBron & D-Wade is like saying you're going to root for the Soviet Union to win the Cold War, because Richard Nixon really peed you off.
Go OKC!! I want LeBron's prediction to come true: "Not one, not two, not three, not ANY championships!
@WallaCoug But isn't rooting for LeBron and D-Wade rooting AGAINST communism? Isn't the Big 3 joining forces all about the free marketplace??
Yes, Sean, you are right.
The NBA itself is communist in that it has a hard salary cap--ensuring equality for all. But just like in communism, human beings who were born with freedom in their hearts choose other ways to compete. In communist countries, you compete for power within the government or the cushier government jobs. In the NBA, players can't earn whatever the richest teams can afford, but they can choose within the salary cap and free agent system where they want to play.
Several teams had the ability to get them, but they chose "to take their talents to South Beach". Their choosing is free market.
@Soze @SeanHawkins And as for owner hatred, I would hold much more contempt for Schulz than Bennett. Schulz either lied or was an idiot to believe that Bennett would keep the Sonics in Seattle and that he would'nt have sold them if he knew they would leave.
Everything Bennett ever did pointed to the Sonics moving. He hosted the Hurricane Katrina refugee New Orleans Hornets to great success. They had tons of fans show up to watch and cheer on a team that wasn't theirs. Then the hornets played some home games there the following year. Bennett told the OKC people to show up en masse to these games if they really wanted a team. He promised he'd get them one.
Then he goes and buys the Sonics and says to the Seattle people he has no intention of moving them, even though he'd been promising OKC a team in the two years before he bought the Sonics.
You should blame Schulz. Because he held the key to the Sonics leaving. He could've sold it to a local group or someone from a city that already had a team. But he chose the guy who had been up front before about his desired to acquire and move a team to OKC.
Blame Schulz guys, not Bennett.
@Soze @SeanHawkins I guess i was never really a Sonics fan. And the mild interest I had in them melted away as did my interest in the NBA (for a while) when Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp were the Soncis' stars. Payton was arrogant and Kemp was one of the biggest doofuses I've ever seen. Payton was the typical Jordan wannabe with the giant ego, who had to take the last shot, and screw his teammates and ALWAYS missed said last shot.
I was always more interested in the Blazers. I'd only been to Seattle once before age 16, but I'd been to Portland dozens of times. It's much easier & faster to get to Portland from here than it is to get to Seattle.
And of course who can forget Bulls vs. Blazers? Drexler, Porter, Williams, Duckworth... Then when they became the jailblazers it was just funny/absurd.
I liked Stockton, Malone, Hornacek, Russell, Eaton (Utah) better than the Sonics during that time.
And yes, I voted for Safeco, was for CenturyLink, and AGAINST building a new Key Arena. I hated the NBA for the thug ball it had become, and what it was teaching the younger generation about how to act and play what i consider "the beautiful game". I wasn't going to miss the NBA at all.
@SeanHawkins And lastly, if it makes you feel any better, i was rooting for the Spurs.
@SeanHawkins Also, in A-Rod's case, in wasn't about the money--although that was the way we chose to needle him. It was about signing for all that money with a DIVISION RIVAL. If he'd gone to the National League or to say the White Sox, I wouldn't have cared that much.
It's all about how you do it, not what you do.
@SeanHawkins @WallaCoug I don't begrudge LeBron for leaving. it's how he did it. He could have left for more money to go play at Miami or anywhere. It's the leading people who love you on in thinking they are very much in the running to keep you when in reality there was no way in heck he wanted to go play there again--he wanted a championship--AND even that would've gone away if he hadn't held a one hour "The Decision" special on ESPN, that ESPN had to clear programming for on a week's notice.
It's like this: your marriage is rocky and your wife knows you are thinking of getting a divorce. Then you call all of your and her friends together together for party. You tell her you will announce your decision there about whether you will stay in the marriage or divorce her. But you lead her to believe in the days leading up to the dreaded party that you very well will stay in the marriage--though you have no intention to do so. Then in front of everyone and her you say you're divorcing her and to boot you show up with your hot new girlfriend who is replacing your wife and start introducing her to all your mutual friends.
Yeah, for that I don't like him.
@WallaCoug Well I cannot root "against" Kevin Durant. He's great and he's classy. Nor can I root against Nick Collison, a reportedly great guy who still enjoys the great northwest. And Presti is a great GM, and will probably some day write a book about how to build a championship team from the ground up. But I cannot root for his team owners to have any success whatsoever, nor will I root for those OKC - Chesapeake Energy employees/fans who keep telling us to shut up about Seattle and the Sonics! And I know I am in the minority in this but frankly I don't give a damn - I have nothing against LeBron for choosing to leave Ohio. he spent 25 years of his life there, he gave them everything he had and carried a Cavs team to the finals. At what point in life do you stop doing what everyone else wants you to do and start doing what YOU want? He took LESS MONEY to go to Miami, but he wanted a change of scenery in his short window of opportunity to win a championship alongside DWade and Bosh. It's not like he was A-Rod who bolted for 252 million and said it wasn't about the money when we all knew it was. LeBron did what he had the opportunity to do, pure and simple, and he chose to pursue his career goals elsewhere. Walla, we just agree to disagree.
@WallaCoug @SeanHawkins Besides, if LBJ is going to win a title, why not it be this one? It's already been said that this title will have an asterisk next to it, whoever wins, because of the shortened season and all the injuries to superstars. I'm rooting for LBJ to win ONE title his entire career, and why shouldn't it be the * title, so everyone can discredit it and him further! :)
@WallaCoug @SeanHawkins We don't root against the players, the fans (well, except for the ignorant ones) or Sam Presti. Hell, I hope Durant wins multiple championships somewhere other than OKC and Sam Presti is a genius basketball mind. But, as a resident of Washington, I will not (and neither should anyone else) root for owners that FUCKING HOSED SEATTLE OF THEIR BASKETBALL TEAM OF 41 YEARS!
But the Cold War was about more than free market principles. It was about good vs. evil as well. And nothing says "evil" in the make-believe world of sports like leading on a small market fan base that LOVES you desperately, then holding an entire television network hostage for an hour so that you could screw the fans that love you in front of everybody. (Unlike Clay Bennett, I actually thought LeBron might return to Cleveland). Then after that fiasco, holding a giant media day to announce that you will win 7 championships when you haven't done squat? Now that is arrogance-central. And it's what makes you evil in my book from a sports perspective.
I don't care much about owners. I watch the players. LeBron is the best in the game, but his foolish arrogance (he doesn't understand why people think what he did was arrogant) has cost him a ton of fans. Me being one.
As for the Thunder, is it Sam Presti's fault that he put together an awesome team like he helped to do in San Antonio? Is it the second best player in the league (Kevin Durant's) fault that he was drafted by the former Sonics or Westbrook, Ibaka, or Harden for that matter?
And what of the superstar of the Thunder? Quiet as can be. Not an arrogant bone in his body. His game does all the talking.
I will root for OKC.
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@WallaCoug That's exactly the point. No one believed Clay Bennett from the start. He lied to everyone in order to steal a team from Seattle. To see him hoist the NBA trophy would be a travesty.
4 years ago, when CPW was hired and started the rebuild, I had us pegged for 9 wins in 2012. Barring injury (like losing QB1 and QB2 last year), this is my expectation.
With all due respect, I don't see how it was possible to predict 9 wins in 2012 had Wulff remained coach. We never won more than 4 in any of Wulff's years, and that occurred in 2011. Two of the 2011 wins were meaningless "body bag" games, (Idaho St. and UNLV), beating Colorado was a gift, and so basically we played one good game (ASU). I guess it's the "wait till next year" mentality. I've been "waiting for next year" for many years. Given the poor recruiting results and lack of talent on this team, 6 wins in 2012 would be a success, I think.
--Every team has injuries. WSU doesn' t have any more injuries than any other team, on average.
@bpcoug54 I made my predictions based on talent that I see (and with CPW as coach)... 1 win in 2009 (no talent), 3 wins in 2010 (young talent), 6 wins in 2011 (young talent with some experience, but would lose some close games) and 9 wins in 2012 (team is lead by talented juniors and seniors). With Jeff Tuel at QB, we win 6 games last year. And there is NOTHING you can say that would prove otherwise in my mind.
Again, you see "poor recruiting results and a lack of talent." I see: Jeff Tuel, Connor Halliday, Rickey Galvin, Marcus Mason, Carl Winston, Marquess Wilson, Kristoff Williams, Rahmel Dockery, Andrei Lintz, John Fullington, Toni Pole, Travis Long, Logan Mayes, Chester Su'a, Eric Oertel, Deone Buchanan, Casey Locker (plus many others I'm probably missing)...
One point that I would like to point out, is that most of the guys I named are offensive skill positions. Questions on OL and defense could hurt a TON this year. And I think switching coaches will hurt a bit as well, because the offense needs to quickly pick-up a new and complicated offense. I'm ok with 6 wins, but it is seriously bowl game or bust for this group, in my mind.
I'm not sure why I am replying if NOTHING will change your mind, but we won 4 games last year. Period. If the season were replayed, would we have beaten Colorado/? Maybe. Maybe not. Tuel didn't play defense. Tuel's injury had NOTHING to do with pitiful defense and special teams play. We had a 10=point 3rd Q lead agains SD. State and the defense blew it.
-- I will give you that Wulff recruited Tuel, Buchanon and Wilson. Fine. Of the other players you listed ,are any of them stars? Dockery hasn't played. pole is gone, right? Long is an OK DL player, nothing more. Where is the evidence those listed are great players? The on=field results would suggest they are mostly mediocre players, unless you are suggesting we have great players and lousy coaching. In fact , Buchanon had a crappy second year and got beat frequently.
==You are right, questions on OL and defense could hurt. Wulff and Co. were pititful at OL and DL recruiting.
If you haven't read the about the Sonics, do it. It says everything I felt from the time Stern even mentioned renovating the Key. He's a jerk of the first magnitude and always will be. He and Bennett deserve each other. Unfortunately they and all those like them can and will hold franchises hostage until they get their way.
I love how losing two starting LBs is downplayed and we are predicted to win 8 ballgames. CML just raises the level of expectation. I just want to start winning more games than we lose and be a concern for any team that plays us!
@ptowncoug3012 To be fair, Oertel and Su'a makes it very easy to downplay losing Mizell and Kaufusi (I hope I spelled all those names right, too lazy to Google em). I was always high on Su'a and expected him to, at the very least, get meaningful minutes in every game this year but Oertel is definitely a surprise to everyone.
Now... I do agree that everyone seems to downplay lack of depth, however. If we get some injuries at LB, I think we will quickly go from a squad that doesn't lose games for our offense to having to have a shootout every single game.
Going from a base 4-3 defense to a base 3-4 defense is a concern with loosing CJ and Sepoke, not to mention loosing Max Gama who could have switched to LB. We are thin at a key position on defense, so let hope we don't suffer the injury bug.
On that note: Ian Knight left the team recently, so did Gama. I wonder A) how many player we lost from the switch to Leach and B) how will that affect us. Arron Dunn left too and he was a hugh recruit snag for us. Hmmm....
And lastly to Mike Leach: GO OUT AND HUNT QB RECRUITS INSTEAD OF HUNTING BEARS!
No. I was a Sonic season ticket holder for several years. I haven't watched an NBA game in person or on TV since my team was kidnapped. And I won't until Clay Bennet and David Stern are both dead.
It's hard to root against Durant, but NO WAY do I want to see Bennett hoist that trophy. On the other hand, I'm no LJ fan at all. I don't follow the NBA at all anymore and probably won't even if Seattle lands another team. I just can't see the point of supporting a bunch of spoiled rich jocks complaining about how tough they have it. The same could probably be said about other pro athletes too, but the NBA seems to have more than their share.