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November 24, 2010

The Pres' Palouse Park Bench - The Turkey Day Papers


Being a Cougar sports fan is difficult at times. Especially living in Seattle and being the butt of every joke thrown your way by Husky goobers who have never watched a women's soccer match. But you get through it because you think better days are in the future. Lets face it though: we haven't had much to celebrate lately at all. Even our football victory gets poo-poo'd by many, saying it was only one and at the end of the day, the team is still terrible. Even when the men's basketball team grabs a victory, there is still some skepticism about how well they can perform through a long season (including on my part).

But it's Thanksgiving week. A week of general merriment and stuffing yourself so full of food you swell to the size of Kirstie Alley on a bender. To have an even more wonderful Thanksgiving, some one needs to remind you of all the things we have to be thankful for as Cougar fans. So why don't I just go ahead and do that for you?

Be thankful for Jeff Tuel and Marquess Wilson: Tuel is becoming a better and better young quarterback by the week; surpassing even my expectations. By the time Jake Locker and Andrew Luck leave after next season, Tuel might be one of the three best at his position in the conference. What's helping his development is having the best freshman receiver in the conference by a long shot. What amazes me even more is Wilson is only 17 years old and he's already making a tremendous impact on the Cougars. Whoever the coach is going forward (a discussion to have at length after the Apple Cup) the weapons they have in Tuel and Wilson make it easy to build an offense around them.



Be Thankful for Klay Thompson: I know he struggled at the end of last season. But chalk that up to more athletic players in the Pac-10 conference and the lack of another scorer defenders had to pay attention to. We all know just how talented Thompson truly is and we should all hope the NBA scouts don't realize it until his senior season. Thompson is going to be a difference maker going forward for this team and he will be the one to catapult them to greatness if the pieces around him can pick up the slack.

Be Thankful for June Daugherty: I frankly don't know another coach would have the patience and possess the resume as impressive as hers to try and coach the Cougar women's team to prosperity. This process has been long and will continue to be incredibly tough. But we could not be in better hands than that of Daugherty's. June didn't have to take on such a project so late in her career when Washington let her go but she decided she loved taking her rage out on the Huskies by coaching their main rivals. I watched her put every bead of sweat and care she possibly could into making this team better and eventually, it will pay off.

Be Thankful for A Late Apple Cup: It's not because I think it will affect the Huskies adversely in terms of the weather. In fact, I don't think it gives the Cougars as big of an advantage as many would lead you to believe. What the weather does do though is deter just about every Husky fan that even thought about making their way over the pass to Pullman for the game. Sure, the stadium might be a little more empty than usual (as it has been for a while now) but the more important thing is there won't be as much purple in it.

Be Thankful for Peppermint Schnapps: given a stronger than normal La Nina will be bringing the Pacific Northwest a colder and wetter than normal winter, you're always going to need to warm up. There's no better way to do it than with cocoa and making it an adult beverage. If the storm than slammed into Seattle Monday (here's to being in San Francisco visiting family!) is any indication of the winter to come, you'll need plenty of liquid warmth in the form of coffee and enough schnapps to knock a former Soviet premier on their butt.

Be Thankful You're Not Bill Moos: No matter which way you want to go on the decision whether to retain head football coach Paul Wulff or not, you must acknowledge one thing: this won't be easy for Moos. At the end of the day, all of us spouting off on message boards and screaming at our friends think the decision is a simple one. But Moos has a lot of things to think about. There are financial implications, possible loss of recruits or attrition of players on the roster, loss of donors. But perhaps most importantly, Moos has to do what he thinks is best for the future of the program. There's a reason he's paid as much as he is because these decisions are never easy. At the end of the day, whatever his decision is, I'll know it is one that is in the best interests of Washington State because Moos is a Coug and he only wants what's best for a school he loves so very much.

A very happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.


PICKS:


Last Week: 2-2
Overall: 47-17

This would be a much more interesting game is Oregon wasn't going to absolutely take out their frustration on Arizona

California Got Lucky 41, The Red-Headed Rage Machine 10


I don't think there could be a less exciting game in the conference.

The Devilinas 17, Brehaut's Bruins 10


And once again, Stanford proves they are better than their attendance would indicate.

Andrew Luck For Heisman 42, Washington State Hangover 13


These two teams still play meaningful games?

Still No Bowl For Us 31, Not Fight In These Irish 21


Well the Huskies looked pretty good last weekend. And Cal looked terrible. So, yeah, sorry about this.

Nick Holt Might Keep His Job 31, Jeff Tedford May Not Keep His 14


Obscure Pick of the Week: It's FCS/Division II/Division III playoff time! You know, the system the FBS should have.

Ohio Northern 20, North Central 10


Dunderhead of the Week: In N Out Burger. Get your act together and expand to Washington. You're too good to keep in Arizona, California and Nevada.

And, of course, John Buccigross




+++++++sponsored by Greg Davis Sports Photography+++++++++

The 2010 athletic season is here…and you know what that means…It's time for a whole new season of Cougar Athletics! Football, soccer and volleyball, just to name a few, are preparing for their 2010 seasons. If you need "game action" photographs for your newspaper, magazine, web site, blog, etc., then Greg Davis Sports Photography should be your choice for all things "Cougar" and "Pac-10 Conference"! Coverage for specific athletes or upcoming events is also available. Check out the images from games, practices and events from last season, and be sure to come back often for uploads from all of this season's action.


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