Apple Cup 2012: The most important person vs. Washington is Mike Leach

Mike Leach is, once again, the most important person - Allan Henry-US PRESSWIRE

We've come full circle in a series we began and will end with the head coach of the Washington St. Cougars.

Back in late August, I was a young man full of positive energy and wonderment about life and where mine was heading. I was days away from marrying an awfully good looking woman and my football team was riding a wave of hope the likes of which even the North shore of Oahu has never seen.

Now, it's just a day before Thanksgiving and despite my wife's adoration and fawning over the beauty of Europe, we made it back home and down to Los Angeles while remaining married. How we got hitched, went on a honeymoon and packed up our life to move to Southern California in less than a month and managed to not bite each others heads off I'll never know. Throughout that whole process though I had every disastrous scenario in my head. I could pass out at the alter and she'd be so ashamed she'd leave me, our luggage could be lost, my wallet could be stolen or our passports could be lost. By the end of our September Saga, none of my worst case scenarios had come true and thusly, I was and still am a pretty happy camper.

What's too bad is that was only half of the equation. I'd thought of a lot of what I considered to be bad scenarios for how this football season could go. I imagined maybe three to four wins with some of the losses coming in shootouts and maybe one truly terrible game in my worst case scenario. In hindsight, I was a little on the overconfident side. Perhaps I should've known the transition to an Air Raid offense wouldn't be as smooth or that a few lucky bounces when WSU's way last year that allowed them to win a couple of conference games.

No matter how you thought this season would go, I don't think anyone in their wildest dreams thought it would go this badly. I don't throw the terms "unmitigated disaster" or "catastrophe" around lightly but this season comes close. I never imagined we'd be enduring blowouts just short of being on par with the 2008 or 2009 season or allow a late comeback from one of the worst teams in college football. On top of how bad its been on the football field, accusations of abuse and terrible attention from the national media have made things even worse off the field. No matter how inaccurate the accusations hopefully are and no matter how terribly thought out some of the opinions of newspaper, radio and television pontificators are, it still stings.

In August, I wrote that Mike Leach was the most important person for WSU as they opened the season. Now, we're in the final week of the season as we look towards the most anticipated match-up of the year with the Washington Huskies. It's in this final week that Mike Leach is, once again, the most important person for Washington State.

There aren't many fans who are terribly pleased with the way this season has gone for Leach and I'm amongst them. As I said before maybe I let my pendulum of excitement swing a little too far in one direction but who hasn't been guilty of that at some point? I mean, we'd hired Mike Leach! The guy who had a guest spot on Friday Night Lights! I guess he'd coached a little football as well at some point.

If you guys don't mind, I'd like to talk to Leach alone for a moment. Just give us a second.

Listen coach, I want to rap with you.

/turns chair around to look cool

This game is, well, it's insanely important to your fan base. We direct an awful lot of vitriol in our rival's direction and they're more than happy to reciprocate. How much do they dislike us? Well, they actually went out a few years ago and cheated on us. Yep, hard to believe the Huskies cheating on something I know. In fact, I think they're still doing it. They keep telling us about how they hate this other school more and how much better the rivalry is even though I think they've been getting roundly stomped by them recently. I'm not exactly sure who it is, they just mumble something about "Uncle Phil" every time they come home from seeing them and slam the door shut to their room. They dislike Washington State so much they had to find a new school to redirect some of their displeasure. Truth be told I take it more as a compliment than anything else because we all know who they dislike more.

Year in, year out this is THE game coach. You know how important is right? You should, you get a bonus just for winning it. If you can get the win, an awful lot will be forgiven. I could even look past the implosion against Colorado...maybe. There's not much on the line either. Washington is already bowl eligible and you're not going anywhere near the postseason. This one is just for pride.

It's not often I can say a win in the final game for a team that's 2-9 can deflect or even get rid of a lot of ill will coming your way. But this is one of those times. So please, just win this one; just this one and we'll all be much happier campers.

Also, I heard Steve Sarkisian thought your gravy recipe was terrible. So, ya know, feel free to think about that when you're calling four verts on every play.

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