Welcome to the Doldrums

These days the word “doldrums” is a metaphor used to describe conditions that lead to boredom, but in the old timey days doldrums was more than just a figurative term. Literally, “the Doldrums” are large swaths of ocean around the equator that are notable for the complete absence of wind for long periods of time. This was pretty significant if you happened to be on a ship powered by sails. Just imagine a bunch of smelly guys packed onto a cramped and creaky wooden ship under a blazing hot sun, with limited supplies of quickly rotting food, stagnating water and fast disappearing rum. With no signs of anything on the horizon in any direction and your vessel unable to move at all, its like the perfect formula for an outbreak of complete and utter madness. As someone not shy about hyperbole, I like to compare the time between the end of the NCAA Basketball tournament and the beginning of College football as the sports equivalent of the doldrums; a stretch of uninterrupted nothingness that seems to go on interminably, ultimately driving me mad with a touch of scurvy.

This year I have this terrible feeling that the sports doldrums have arrived early. Sure the college basketball season is still young and the Super Bowl still looms large on the horizon, but with the Seahawks heartbreaking loss and the Cougs recent ineptitude on the hardwood, I’m having a hard time finding much interest in either. If you are feeling the same, read on and together we will try to come up with ways to mitigate our current sports malaise…

That’s right, my fellow stranded sailors, its puppies and rainbows time. Lets start with the Seahawks, shall we?

There are no two ways about it, folks, the Hawks loss this weekend was gut wrenching, BUT… here are a couple reasons to not feel too terribly awful about it and to keep tuning in for the remainder of the NFL playoffs.
1. The Hawks are freaking GOOD. Damn good. Our team, our Seahawks are elite on both sides of the ball and showed a ton character overcoming two large deficits in the face of hostile crowds. Huddy can only dream of a Bengals team ever being this awesom. Also, they did this with a rookie QB who could run for Governor at this point and nobody would dare oppose him. With a young team and some cap room, the Hawks look to have plenty more exciting football in them. Also, as much as we hate those 49ers, how cool is it that our division will likely feature the most exciting inter-divisional rivalry in all of football for the foreseeable future! Buck up y’all!
2. After this weekend’s divisional rounds, this years playoffs have officially become epic. NFL fans all over the country were riveted to the screen for the Seahawks two weeks in a row and then Baltimore totally upped the ante in their stunning take down of the Bronco’s at Mile High in overtime, keeping Ray Lewis’ career alive for at least one more game. There has to be more drama in store, right?

This is how you SHOULD feel about the Seahawks.

Feeling better yet? No? Well, lets try hoops, shall we?

Last week the Cougs went on the road to the Bay area and an audible pfffffffffffffffftttttt sound was heard up and down the West Coast as any lingering hopes for our season were totally deflated. Ken Bone is one of the least loved coaches in all of sports and the recent struggles of the Cougs have predictably amplified the calls for his ouster. Over at Cougcenter, Jeff Nusser had this terrific breakdown of the reasons for and against making a coaching change in our hoops program, and our own Ptown has been all over the interwebs insisting to anyone who will listen that due to economics, all points are moot, we can’t afford to replace Bone right now. Well if you would all step away from your Ken Bone dart boards for just a moment, I have a little something to add to this conversation. It goes like this… Despite how it feels, we are living in a Cougar Basketball Renaissance. Stop laughing, I’m being totally serious! Since 2007, we have been to the post season every year except 2010. During that stretch we have yet to post a losing season, and we have made three deep post-season tournament runs. That represents 5 of the 12 post season appearances in our history, and 10 of our 17 post season wins EVER. In other words, we are living in the Golden Age of Cougar Basketball, people!

Why won't they love me?

Now I know those of you who haven’t passed out from indignation are thinking that the proliferation of post season tournaments, the weakness of the Pac-10/12 and a whole host of things not called Ken Bone are to be credited for all this. I agree. However, at times like this a little perspective is never a bad thing and the fact is by historical measures this is a good time to be a Cougar Basketball fan. Feel better now? I can see that you don't.

Ok, well how about this? That’s right, national LOI signing day is just around the corner and there is a ton to be excited about on that commit list including 10 offensive and defensive linemen. I don’t know about you, but I am on pins and needles to see how these guys measure up on the next Bridgeport Pumped-O-Meter.

Well, thats about all the cheer and optimism I can muster right now, folks. Hang in there and Go Cougs!