I watched the entire 2nd half of the game last Saturday in my pajamas. 35 degrees, a little windy, and I'm out there like I'm ready for bed.
I was wearing jeans when I arrived to the stadium, and was in the best mood. The Cougs were FINALLY playing a meaningful mid-October football game, I drank one too many of some crazy Game of Thrones beer that my buddy Josh brought to the tailgate and was high-fiving everybody on the way to my seat: cops, fans, stadium attendants, Jared Karstetter, you name it. In four short hours, all of the crap we've put up with over the last decade would finally be laid to rest and I was ready to take it all in.
Then everything came crashing down in a matter of seconds when I received the queen mother of all omens.
A woman a couple rows in front of me asked me about my new daughter, and being in the world's best mood that I was, asked her if she wanted to see a photo. (Side note: The overnight metamorphosis from not wanting to see anyone's baby photos to wanting to show everyone who says one word to me every single photo I have on my phone is not lost on me.) There is nobody sitting in the row between us, so I am able to climb over the seat in front of me to show her a photo. Rather than step on the seat in front of me, I figured I'd do the polite thing and step over the seat and land all the way down to the concrete. And when my foot stepped down, I heard and felt a solid three second tearing. I had split my pants from knee to knee and we hadn't even kicked off. I wasn't really even wearing pants anymore. It was more just two really long denim socks loosely tied together with a belt at the waist.
If this were any other game, I would've left immediately to head out to United Colors of Benetton or wherever it is my wife buys my pants and bought a replacement set so I wouldn't have to endure the frozen prevailing wind traveling exactly where it shouldn't be traveling, but I wasn't missing this game. I put up with the cold for the first half and bolted to the tailgate where I was praying a pair of slacks from work would be stuffed under the back seat of my car. But such as my luck goes, the only thing I could find in my car were a pair of WSU pajama pants. And while we watched Connor Halliday throw interception after interception and Oregon State score touchdown after touchdown, I was told more than once "You look.....comfortable." Have you ever worn pajamas with shoes? It's not as amazing as it sounds.
So in a span of mere hours, I went from happy, drunk and ready to witness the return of Cougar Football to being cold, depressed and pantsless. Much like our football team.
And the Gravitron spins on.
The worst part about this is we probably saw this coming and chose to ignore it. For months, I told anyone who would listen this was a 3-9 football team, and now with five games remaining where we will likely be favored in none of them, we have a pretty good chance at finishing as that 3-9 football team who received a gift from Lane Kiffin on his way out. We saw this coming. Yet we chose to believe something different. Am I happy we're still capable of such hope after the last ten years or am I just embarrassed to know a gut punch like last Saturday is bound to happen again soon? I've already envisioned a scenario where we catch Utah or Arizona off-guard and we spend Apple Cup week convincing ourselves that anything can happen in a rivalry game right before the Huskies beat us by four touchdowns. And my car will be so far away, I won't even be able to change my pants at halftime.
I know we treat this coaching staff with kid gloves, because frankly we should be thrilled Mike Leach is our coach, but I begin to wonder when we will start holding this staff accountable for winning football games. At "Night with Cougar Football" last February, you would've never believed the team went 3-9 in the previous season. Everybody was too busy getting their pictures taken with the Apple Cup (myself included). Cindy Brunson's keynote speech ignored the 2012 season entirely and just focused on the day she was excited Mike Leach was hired. I get that WSU has to dig itself out of a hole left by its previous coach and there are inherent disadvantages to recruiting to Pullman, but how many 4-8 seasons is Mike Leach allowed to have before we are allowed to demand the team finishes 8-4? It's fun to blame the quarterback for everything that ails us, but that quarterback that threw a hundred interceptions last weekend is probably our quarterback next season, too. And that secondary that gave up 500 yards at home, along with seemingly dozens of 3rd and 14 conversions through the same damn fly sweep over and over and over again is still going to be around next year, without its best player. So do we write off next year as another Paul Wulff mulligan, too? I really don't know at this point.
I debated not even bringing up our upcoming trip to Autzen in this space, simply because there's really no point. The only thing worth watching is whether or not the Ducks can put up 35 points in 16 minutes against the Cougs like their little Beaver brothers. And if they could do it more than once. It takes a special kind of team to make us think we had a shot at a bowl game in one week and to think a 39 point spread is probably too low in the next. We root for that special team. Kind of sickening, isn't it? Such is the purpose of the Gravitron. Enjoy the Whitesnake video. Hopefully you don't rip your pants this time.
Go Cougs (take Oregon and give as many points as allowed)