Week Two in our season-long series covering an alternate reality for our Washington State Cougars football team. Go here for an explanation.
Welcome back Coug fans, to another episode of Washington State Football! When we last left our boys, they were overcoming giant cheeseburgers, a freak extender arm injury, and a late deficit to pull a road upset over the Oklahoma State Cowboys. This week, they open up their home season at Martin Stadium with the Montana State Bobcats.
This week we have good news! Our humble little show has been picked up by the popular SyFo network. That's the Science-Football network, for all you old-schoolers (I believe it is on Channel 124 in the Portland area). Don't worry too much though, as the presentation will go on with limited commercial interruption. While we welcome our corporate overlords, we'll do our best to hold on to that original artistic vision! With that being said, now a word from our sponsors:
Hello there football fans. Are you constantly worried that your science fiction obsession will come out in front of your buddies? Wondering if they share the same guilty pleasure that you do, but don't want to risk the humiliation and wedgies?
Well say hello to the latest in subliminal messaging: The Nerd Test.
How does the Nerd Test work? The guide has several key phrases that you can drop into regular football conversation to test your friends' reactions. All without them knowing that you are a total geek!
Excited by your star running back's latest long touchdown? Try this one-liner:
Oh man, he put that into WARP DRIVE!
Does your friend give a high five? Or does he look at you awkwardly, not knowing what to say? Either way, you will be comfortable knowing whether or not you can move forward with the nerdy conversation.
So run out and buy The Nerd Test today! Available where they sell those Magic Cards and other loserish type-things.
Sure sounds like a swell product. Now, without further adieu, click the jump for this week's installment.
It is a few days prior to the game, and the scene is set in Bozeman, MT. Montana State Head Coach Rob Ash is addressing his players in a poorly lit meeting room.
Rob Ash: Alright boys, I've just not been impressed with your intensity in practice. That team we are playing this week doesn't just have intensity, they have FOCUSTENSITY, and if we want to match them, we are going to have to ratchet it up. Reid Forrest is the most unstoppable force in the history of college football and I'm not about to let....
A mysterious lemur-like human creature appears in the back of the room holding a wooden chest. When he steps into the light, it can be seen that he is wearing head-to-toe purple.
Ash: Who in the hell are you? This is a closed meeting.
Mysterious creature: I AM SARK!!
Ash: Sark? Like the guy who coaches the University of Washington? What are you doing here?
SARK: Mr. Ash, I think you will be very interested in what I have to offer you. Here, open this.
SARK hands Coach Ash the wooden box. He opens it to reveal a series of medications.
Ash: What is this? I'm not about to give my guys performance-enhancing drugs and risk my job.
SARK: Don't worry coach, these have been developed at the world-renowned University of Washington Medical Center, with a grant from Bill Gates himself. They are completely undetectable by any drug screen.
Ash: Okay, but it is just two days before game time. There is no performance-enhancer that would help us stop Reid Forrest in that short of time.
SARK: ARE YOU NOT LISTENING TO ME? This was developed with a grant from Bill Gates. It will give magical FBS power!
Ash: FBS power? Oh my. I've been searching for this my whole life. How long does this last? Why, we could be a WAC team by next year!
SARK: Unfortunately, that is only one dose. But if you defeat the Washington State Cougars on Saturday, I will have much more for you.
Ash: Sounds great. But why do you care to help us?
SARK: Because once you defeat them, the Pac-10 will be forced to rescind their membership, and I will rule Washington! MUHUHUHAHAHAHAHA
SARK disappears into the darkness. At the very same moment in Pullman, WA, CPW awakes suddenly.
Todd Sturdy: (rushing into CPW's office) Are you alright Coach? I heard a sound.
CPW: I'm fine Todd. I just have a really bad feeling about the game all of the sudden. I think Montana State is going to put up more of a fight than we think.
Todd: Never fear! I'm working on a new variation of my spread offense. Take a look at this!
Todd holds up a diagram showing the five offensive linemen spread across the entire width of the field, twenty feet apart.
CPW: I don't get it.
Todd: Don't you see? We are maximizing the line splits! We will really spread these guys out!
CPW: I like your enthusiasm, and you've been with me a long time, but I'm still not sure. Maybe some other time.
Todd puts his head down and mopes out of the room. CPW reaches for the phone and dials Heisman Candidate and team therapist, Reid Forrest.
Reid Forrest: Hey Coach, what's up?
CPW: I'm not feeling so great about the game Reid. For some reason Montana State is really starting to scare me.
Forrest: While I cannot understand your emotions, as I am an android sent from the future to win Heisman trophies and save the human race, I can assure you that an FCS team like Montana State has absolutely no chance to stop me. Unless of course they are taking some sort of magical FBS pills or something like that.
CPW: Magic FBS pills? Oh Reid, you crack me up. Thanks for making me feel better.
Forrest: No problem Coach. I hope someday I can share in this "cracking up."
CPW hangs up the phone, and returns to sleep. Reid Forrest returns to his quest to cure cancer.
It is gameday at Martin Stadium. WSU has already taken the field and awaits Montana State for the coin toss.
Jeff Tuel: It is so strange. MSU hasn't even come out for warmups. What is going on with them?
Suddenly, the Bobcast burst out of the tunnel.
Tuel: Oh my, they seem a lot bigger and faster than they did in video, Coach.
CPW: They certainly do. Looks like my bad feeling was right. Reid!
Forrest: Yes, Coach.
CPW: Do you think you can handle these guys? What is the damage to our chances of winning?
Forrest: Well Coach, I calculate that our chances have went from 100% to somewhere below 5%.
CPW: Oh no. I don't know if I can handle this. My job is on the line here!
Forrest: We'll do our best, Coach.
The game begins and Montana State is clearly dominating. They easily score on their first four possessions, while Washington State is unable to gain a single yard. As the first quarter ends with the score 28-0, a giant wolf, completely engulfed in flames, enters the stadium through the tunnel.
Random fan: Fire Wolf! Oh my gosh, Fire Wolf!
Soon the whole crowd has noticed the the giant flaming wolf and the "Fire Wolf" chants become deafening.
CPW: (head in his hands) This is it. It's over. The whole crowd is against me.
Tuel: Coach, I don't think that is what they are yelling about.
CPW: How could it not be? "Fire Wulff!" Sounds pretty clear to me.
Tuel: Coach, take your head out of your hands, and look over there.
CPW looks up to see the flaming wolf headed straight for him. Within seconds, the wolf has CPW in his hands and is moving in for the kill.
CPW: Help, somebody help!
Forrest: I'm on my way, Coach!
Reid Forrest, using skills from the future, takes the flaming wolf down with his bare hands. He sets CPW free and banishes the wolf to the rolling stacks in the bottom of the old library.
The game continues through the second quarter and Montana State duplicates their performance to take a 56-0 lead into halftime. Despite this, the stadium remains full in anticipation of a fire wolf return.
And now a quick word from our sponsors:
The ultimate in lemur-human football coaching hybrids!
Tune into SARK WEEK! Only on SyFo!
The Washington State football team meets in the locker room for halftime. CPW is clearly worried.
CPW: Well, team. It is pretty clear that these Bobcats are unstoppable, and the Fire Wolf stuff doesn't help either. Any one have any ideas? Maybe they really did take magic FBS pills, Reid.
Forrest: That is exactly it, Coach! Did you think I was joking yesterday? We need to give them the antidote. If we can get these guys back to their normal states, we can easily overcome this halftime deficit.
CPW: But how? Where are we going to get the antidote?
Suddenly, a tall man appears holding a bottle of Jack Daniels.
CPW: Coach Akey? What are you doing here?
Akey: (In the tone of a badass) I know how to beat these guys. You need to fight with the power of the mustache.
CPW: The mustache? A lot of these guys can't even grow mustaches.
Akey: No worries. Have them rub a little of this JD on their lips. Their mustaches will grow in just a few minutes.
CPW: What do you think Reid?
Forrest: I have searched my databases and have found no reason why it should not work.
The Jack Daniels bottle is passed around. Within minutes every single member of the Washington State football team has a sweet handlebar mustache. The team heads out for the second half.
The Washington football team comes roaring back in the second half. Using the power of the mustache and on the strength of eight rushing touchdowns from Reid Forrest, they come all the way back to 56-55 with no time left. They are left with the decision to send it into overtime with an extra point, or go for two and the win.
CPW: (over the radio) What should we do, Todd?
Todd: I really think our lineman need to spread out.
CPW: Please turn you radio off now, Todd.
Todd: Yes, Coach.
Tuel: You know what to do, Coach. Use the power of the mustache. What would the mustache do?
CPW: The mustache would go for two.
The Cougars send the offensive unit back out to the field and complete a successful 2 point conversion. The crowd is sent into a frenzy as Washington State completed it's greatest comeback in school history. Reid Forrest is immediately named the front-runner for Heisman by all national publications. Many Heisman voters, swept up by the moment, decided to send their ballot in extra early.
Ash: (drops to his knees) NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! We were so close.
Meanwhile, in a large tree near Seattle, WA.
SARK: Curses! How could we have not anticipated the power of the mustache?! This won't be the last time they hear from me! I'll get you Cougs! I'll get you!!!!!
Stay tuned next week as our Washington State Cougars battle the SMU Mustangs. What surprises are in store down in Texas? Is this the last we've seen of the Fire Wolf?
Thank you for watching Washington State Cougars Football on the SyFo network. Stay tuned for "The week in sports-related science fiction" with everyone's favorite nerdy host, Scott Van Pelt.