So normally we aren't huge around here on gossip, rumors, etc. We generally don't break any news, and if you are a regular around here you know of what I write. That said, there were some interesting "Gossip Girl" style stuff we heard at the spring game, so, thought we might want to pass it along. NOTE - this stuff is GOSSIP, which is often times unreliable. But I can definitely vouch for the source of some of this.....
1) Jim Walden - We heard he was "highly unlikely" to return at the spring game, and now the story is out there. But what we did hear is that there were some people who were extremely, extremely unhappy with him in the way things were handled with Wulff getting fired and Leach coming on board. It wasn't necessarily his performance in the booth, but there were a lot of things said in front of and behind the scenes that really turned off the the people in charge, and to go in another direction. Let's face it, he RIPPED WSU's administration for the firing of Wulff, repeatedly, and painted the people in charge as clueless. You can't destroy your bosses in the media and behind the scenes and expect to not have major ramifications?
2) Walden's replacement - While the details are still being worked out, look for Bud Nameck to ascend from the sideline and in to the booth. Will that be for color commentary, or an even larger role? We don't know. We do know that with Bud coming off the sidelines, a new face will be down there. And it is very likely that it will be a FEMALE sideline reporter.
No, it won't be Erin Andrews (much to her dismay, I'd imagine). But from what was whispered at the spring game, look for a female sideline reporter to be announced. Whether you like the idea of a female on the sidelines isn't really relevant, but the reality is that a female on the sidelines is the rage in the world of athletics, and WSU is more or less signing up to join the party. Personally I love the idea of someone fresh and new on the sidelines (no offense Bud!).
3) Bob Robertson - More than likely what will happen is that Bob-Rob will be "Golden Mic'd", which means he can pretty much pick and choose the games he wants to do. Obviously the man is getting up there a bit, now 83 years old, and is reaching that point of having to reel things in a bit. From what we were told, he also "HATES" the new numbers on the uniforms and has a very difficult time getting an accurate read on the numbers during game play, leading to mistakes in identifying players, etc!
If you are slowing down and you have a hard time seeing the numbers anyway, it just makes it that much more difficult. The mike will be available for Bob when he wants it, but we should expect to hear a different voice on some games this year. Bud sounds like the logical choice right now but we'll see what happens.
4) Sekope Kaufusi - Much as to what has been hinted of late, even from Coach Leach in post-spring interviews, is that the door IS OPEN for Kaufusi to return. That isn't breaking news, I know, but it sounds like behind the scenes they are very hopeful it will work out. There are things he must do, but things sound promising on that front.
5) Paul Wulff - He is still in Pullman, and word is he is still unhappy about the way things went down. He truly believed he was going to be given another chance and was pretty shocked when he was let go. We don't know if he has crossed paths yet with Leach, but it seems like they may have run in to each other by now? I mean let's face it, Pullman isn't exactly huge!
6) HBO show on Coach Leach - From what we heard, even though it is quiet right now this is still very much in the works. They did come in and film about a week's worth of footage already but they don't know for sure if it will happen. They might be back in the summer, or they will go with the footage they already have, but the plan is still there to make it happen.
7) Arkansas - No, Arkansas didn't call after Bobby Petrino was let go down south (at least we don't think so?). But let's just say that a lot of people inside WSU were relieved when John L Smith took that job! AND they were very relieved that the Petrino thing didn't go down in, say, November of last year. If the Cougs had to go head-to-head with Arkansas in openly courting Mike Leach?? I think we know how that probably would have gone down.
8) WSU series with Oregon/Oregon State in Seattle - Like it or not, this is going to be the deal for the next four years as the Cougs play an Oregon school in Seattle. But there already has been a decent amount of backlash against it, and things will probably return to normal when it runs the full course of the contract. Mainly donors are upset with the donations on the new suites/luxury seats/etc, yet giving up a conference home game to a NW rival to Seattle is not going over too well.
9) Stadium seating sales - Word is the luxury/premium seats have gone extremely well, and almost all of it is sold out. The reception to the new amenities has been fantastic, and they can't wait until people can actually experience it this fall. What's interesting is that a lot of ticket buyers are buying the luxury seats, but, they aren't giving up their original seats in the process. That was a fear for some, that they would move up to the boxes and leave empty seats below, but it sounds like that isn't the case. What they have seen is people holding a couple of their original seats, then buying some seats up above. So a longtime season ticket holder with four seats, for example, they have bought two luxury seats and then kept two down below.
10) RV Passes - A big change this year is the new pricing for the RV lots. Basically if you want to get in the premium RV lot by Beasley, well, you have to pay up. The price is now $500 for a season RV pass, and you have to be a $500 level donor as well. This was determined after a study was done that found many other schools were charging a heck of a lot more money than WSU for the premium RV lots, so this is just another step in keeping up with everyone else. It hasn't been received all that well however, but it's the new reality of the Pac-12 and unlikely to change.
That's about it for gossip girl stuff. I hope you aren't offended by any of it, and we never really do this kind of thing. But hey, it's the offseason and all that, and we thought some of the chatter around the spring game might be somewhat interesting in times like this?
All for now. GO COUGS!
I for one, thought it was worth the laughs to have Walden on the broadcasts. He did kind of saw off his own limb by bad-mouthing the termination of PW.
Regarding Robertson: He is right. The new numbers - especially the gray on gray - were very difficult to read from the far corners of the field. Ugly, too. It is a Nike thing, however. How else does one explain Boise State wearing gray or North Carolina basketball team wearing gray in the conference tournament/ What's next: Nike decides the hip color for the year is brown or tan or lavender? All the teams switch to whatever Nike wants?
Is Robertson too old to continue? Let him retire with grace.... give him this next season. He has always known the rules better than most announcers.
What is this, TMZ? When do get back to spreading misinformation about cities we've never visited before? Oh right, thats my job tomorrow!
I like Bud for basketball, but since I watch games in-person, it doesn't matter too much what I think.
I can't believe you are rumor mongering though Hawk! JOURNALISM 101, hahaha. Remember the last time that Adam Lewis kid spread those bogus rumors about Aire Justin being suspended by the NCAA for all of last season for a banned substance?
Oh wait, no, it wasn't a rumor, because guys on the team told him it was going down.
Not a big fan of Bud Nameck on the PBP. But I also rarely listen to football games on the radio, so I probably won't notice too much.
What DO you like Geoff? You and BPCoug are the biggest Nina Naysayers on this site. I prefer to read JasonUW's Husky praise-rants than some of your Sally Sadsack attacks on all things Coug.
And don't say I'm wearing Crimson colored glasses while you're being realistic/objective. (I've got objectivism bifocals in my crimson colored glasses, so I can see both)! But I'm becoming suspicious about whether your glasses are in fact a shade of violet!!!
@WallaCoug I am positive about many WSU things, including but not limited to the following:
*Conference home games in Pullman
*Radio broadcasts on 710 in the Seattle area
*The Pac 12 tv contract
But your McCarthyism is duly noted!
@WallaCoug I know Geoff personally, so I'll vouch that his glasses are indeed VERY crimson. He lives in Seattle and is a season-ticket holder and actually attends every game (including some roadies). He is also a CAF donor and an Alumni Association member.
Why am I telling you all this? He has every right to say whatever he damn well pleases regarding Cougar athletics. Even if its all negative. :)
Cougfan reporting Bud to the booth, as well as Shawn McWashington. Bob ROb will still be around ala the golden mike. Still waiting for sideline reporter but big changes!
@SeanHawkins Bob Curtis, longtime U of I voice went well into his 80s, but he was not very good at the end. His voice sounded like he was VERY elderly, and he really couldn't see anything. He was so far off in his descriptions, that it really did hurt the broadcasts. I felt like Niehaus at the end was going down that trail also. He just couldn't see the game. Both Niehaus and Curtis sounded...confused.
I just don't feel the same way listening to Bob Rob. Sometimes, he gets the number wrong, but he can still see the play and describes it so well. Bob Rob only misses the numbers sometimes.
Part of the reason I believe that Bob Rob does such a good job in describing gmaes is because of his experience from bygone years of calling baseball games without seeing them. He would get basic stats of each at bat (strikes, balls) and the result (fly out, etc.) over the wire and then call the game, describing the minutest detail of what happened even though he was pretty much making it all up. He didn't know if the catch was at the wall, if it was routine, if it was diving, or shoetop. Bob would just make it up, and no one listening ever noticed that he wasn't at the game. That's talent folks. I'll take Bob Rob for another 10 years, thanks.
@WallaCoug @SeanHawkins as someone who went to cooperstown to see dave go into the hall, I had to stop reading this.
I loved Niehaus though. It's been a couple years now, but I wrote a pretty long tribute comment when Niehaus died concerning my childhood memories of him. You can look it up in the archives if you doubt my appreciation for the man.
I have been going back and forth about the Walden situation. Everywhere in this country, freedom of speech and freedom of expression are under attack. I support Walden's right to say what he did. Anyone has the right to disagree with it. I have always admired his candor. So many "color" commentators now just give out the same tired, hackneyed, trite cliches. I hate that. ..
==Walden was strongly in favor of keeping Doba before Wulff was hired. Later he changed his tune and wanted Wulff retained because Wulff had to "clean out the stables" when he took over from Doba. So, which is it.? Calling the Cougar fans "stupid" and being so vocal that the WSU administration should retain Wulff was over the top . If Moos really let Walden go in a letter, rather than a phone call or face to face, that was really weak. I don't believe for a moment that "travel schedules" prevented Moos and Walden speaking directly. What a load of crap.
@bpcoug54 I believe the 1st Amendment legally protects me from things I might say about my employer. However, if my employer deemed comments I made about them, on the radio, they could still justly fire me.
@LucasNurmi @bpcoug54 please. Unless there was a contract saying otherwise, in the state of WA he is an at-will employee and can be fired for nearly any reason. Criticizing the boss is never a good strategy for keeping your job. He's certainly welcome to have his own opinion about WSU Athletics, but publicly opposing the Athletic Director and new football coach makes him unsuitable to be a commentator for our football games.
@GeoffONeil ...like I said on Twitter, if you didn't like Jim Walden, you probably like Joe Buck. :)
I don't remember the name of the color guy at UW who they fired. But replacing him with Huard? Really? There's no comparison in quality between listening to the previous guy and listening to Huard.
@LucasNurmi @bpcoug54 Yeah, but I don't think he was fired just for what he said re: Wulff. But was it part of the bigger picture in making the decision on a change? Maybe/probably? But Moos wanted to make the change in the booth, period, and the slapstick comedy of Bob-n-Jim had pretty much run it's course. This was the time to make the changes anyway, but let's just say that Walden's comments didn't do him any favors? Who knows, maybe Walden was so fierce about his comments back when it happened because he knew he was either on his way out, or was going to quit anyway? It's all gossip girl stuff at this point!
I assume there were many informative and interesting things among the words in this post, but I struggled getting past the pictures. Hot babes sharing ice cream, Erin Andrews, Furney....oh man!
@SeanHawkins Haha. OK, I read the words too. It's a nice rundown of what's on the minds of the Cougiverse. The fact that Wulff is still hanging around in Pullman is the most interesting to me. I picture him showing up at parties muttering about "being the coach here once". As always, my version of reality is terribly skewed.
I think talking about Gossip is okay, especially when framed as such... Its when people like me start just making things up in National Enquirer type fashion, well, that's a whole different deal...
As we've talked about here over and over again, the deal that has to end is the Oregon series. For this year, when we should have a 5-4 home split, we come away with a 4-4 at best. Next year and last year, we'll come away with what amounts to a 3-6. And if you're trying to make it to bowl games, let alone win a championship, well, that just doesn't cut it.
@Sutra I'm on the fence about the Seattle game. I think at this point, it's crucial to keeping fans interested where a huge amount of our alumni live... especially the ones with deep pockets. Our luck has been pretty dismal there lately. But can you imagine upsetting Oregon there next year, what kind of an impact that would have on fans and donors? Until we start selling out most of our home games at Martin, I think the Seattle game remains a good alternative. I know that it brings out a lot of the alumni I know who may be more reluctant to travel all the way to Pullman - it's like a reunion every year. And if the people I know are any indication, then traveling from Spokane isn't a serious issue.
That being said, if in 2015 we're 0-4 at Qwest, but are selling out games in Pullman, then I say we move it back. I think that will be a good point to reassess the Seattle Game
Fall Foundation meetings used to be in Pullman on a football weekend, and could be again. I'm all for a game in Seattle as long as it isn't a conference game. I'd really like to see us schedule a bigger name. I don't think realisticly we could get a good Big 10 team to come to Pullman as is Moos's wish. It would be nice, but I don't think it'll happen until Martin stadium seats more than 60K.
@bpcoug54 @TruCoug89 @GeoffONeil @Soze @Sutra BP, you are the #1 complainer on the entire coug blogosphere. I love that about you, but it means you do have to tolerate complaints about the weather.
The game in Seattle isnt just about the athletic department. Academics has meetings, the WSU Foundation has meetings, and so it's more than just football and athletics. We have to cater to alums with "deep pockets" in the Seattle area because they won't go to the game in Pullman. Call them lazy and cheap, but it's the reality.
--Moos has made it perfectly clear that we will play either Orgeon or OSU in Seattle for the next few years, I think he said 10 years total, then re-assess. Complaining about this is like complaining about the weather.
@TruCoug89 My only problem with your argument is if they happen to schedule the Seattle game before or after Homecoming in Pullman, and then complain that Homecoming isn't selling out. Putting these games back-to-back in 2012 was a huge error in my mind and I think Homecoming in Pullman will pay the price. But we'll see...
Weeks/months ago I suggested the best option is a season-opening game at the CLink. The weather is more predictable and this early game in Seattle might whet the appetite of the Seattle casual fan, and maybe they will make the trip to Pullman in October when they may not have otherwise... September games in Pullman tend to be miserably hot anyways (see: 2011 UNLV).
@GeoffONeil @Soze @Sutra Are people suggesting that as an option? I haven't seen that anywhere, but if that's being suggested I would argue that the end goal should be selling out Martin every game, and part of the goal of the renovations is to make it more inviting for people coming from afar. Besides, Seattle isn't where the students are, and it doesn't have the same atmosphere of campus. Something about Qwest just doesn't feel like College Football. While re-build we need the money, but our long-term plan should be to play our games at a sold-out Martin.
@GeoffONeil @Soze @Sutra It should be added that this is all conditioned on a good product on the field. It looks terrible when you get blown out by OSU, or even Hawaii, in front of all your moderately interested alumni. This is a big thing that tipped the scales against Wulff; going winless in Seattle was just unacceptable.
@GeoffONeil @Soze @Sutra The reason why we have to cater to them is because we can actually have them buy a ticket to a game in Seattle, vs. the alternative which is no tickets to a game in Pullman. Thus, my point about how it is probably a good thing until we start selling out games in Pullman.
But I think, from a marketing perspective, it accomplishes a few other goals: (1) it allows the athletic fund to roll out the red carpet for alums, who in return can be convinced to donate money (even if they never intend on seeing any games in Pullman); (2) it allows the athletic department to host a whole week of events leading up to the game, which reinvigorates the fans who feel distance from WSU, both in time and space; (3) it's great marketing for games to Pullman. Ideally people will go to the game in Seattle and remember how fun Cougar games are to go to, then buy either one or season tickets to games in Pullman.
While I agree with the spirit of the "if they were real fans they would make the drive" sentiment... that's obviously not reality. Why not cater to 50k casual fans who pay more money per ticket in Seattle? Most of the 25-30k die hard fans will still be there, anyways.
gotta disagree re: the game in Seattle. I support the Seattle game against a conference opponent from Oregon. The revenue potential is too great not to. The conference opponent makes it interesting. I have NO desire to see a "body bag" game against the likes of Grambling or a Big Sky team. . I think the "home field" argument is overstated. Home field has meant nothing to us for about the last 8 years. I don't buy the argument that we lost to OSU becuase we had to travel. Oregon State didn't have a problem with travelling. they were just ready to win the game, and kicked our ass. The crowd at Century Link at the OSU game was prepared to support the Cougars. Problem is, we never showed up to play.
--As soon as WSU sells out its home games in Martin stadium , I'll listen to the argument that all conference home games should be in Pullman.
@bpcoug54 @Sutra Dang it, BP. I'm onto you. You were hired by the blogfathers to write incendiary and usually insanely stupid things so as to drive more comments in responese and refutation by myself and others.
Being in favor of giving up a home game in a crucial contest against a league opponent is a great idea??? When? Never. "But it's for the money." Well, if it doesn't pay to have a game here then stopping selling us the garbage about how we're here to build a winner. Don't pretend. Just play all your games in neutral stadiums in large markets or at a road venue that will pay us out well. We can rename ourselves the Washington Generals as that's what we'll be to everyone else's Harlem Globetrotters.
Are you sure you aren't Colin Cowherd, BP? Because I'm thinking you are.
@bpcoug54 Solid take and points, BP. To me, its a chicken and the egg question. On one hand, we need revenue until such time that we win enough games to fill the seats in Pullman. On the other hand, you don't fill the seats in Pullman until you start winning games. And I just don't see how another roadie helps with that cause...
Of course, as soon as we beat the Ducks 45-42 at Clink this September, I'll like the Seattle game just fine...
I agree completely. I think the gossip is fine when noted that it is in fact just gossip. I actually like to hear what others are hearing, especially if it is from a source that is at least somewhat in the know. This time of year we just don't really have anything else.
I can tell you the RV stuff is definitely not gossip though, I have already had to pay that up.
I can only hope that the Seattle game, at least for playing the Oregon schools, dies as quickly as possible. I have not been a fan of that at all.