WSU Baseball falls, Pac-12 Track and Field titles up for grabs

As another year of WSU Athletics winds down, we celebrate individual success at Mooberry Track, lament another baseball defeat, and preview grilling season.

Good day, Coug fans, and happy 34th Mt. Saint Helens anniversary. Some of my earliest memories occurred on that day in 1980, when I was just shy of turning four. I remember the sky over Spokane getting very dark, and something resembling snow falling for what seemed like weeks. It was quite a sight, especially since the stuff didn't melt. Unfortunately, I didn't have quite the rollicking time that some WSU students (cough, Hollyweird, cough) had during that period.

While the results on the baseball diamond these days aren't quite as disastrous as a Mt. Saint Helens eruption, they still aren't very good. The Cougs lost another game to Stanford Saturday, 9-4. After taking an early 2-0 lead, WSU quickly found itself in a 7-2 hole, and never recovered. What has been an up and down season seems to be ending on a down swing, unfortunately.

The results were a little better at the Pac-12 Track and Field Championships, where Kiwi Charlotte Muschamp took home the high jump title, setting a personal record in the process. That obviously pleased Head Coach Rick Sloan, who is coaching the Cougs for the last time before he retires, ending an incredible 41-year career. Once baseball and track and field come to an end, another year for WSU Athletics will as well. While it seems like a long time between now and the start of football season, there are a few very important topics that need to be addressed. With that in mind...

May 26 is Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer. The onset of warmer weather signals the start of an equally important time of year, grilling season. If you live in the South, grilling season never really ends, Armageddon-like ice storms notwithstanding. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, though, this is the part of the calendar that portends mild (hopefully) weather, sunshine, and meat on the grill. Anywhere meat products such as burgers, hot dogs, and bratwurst are present, condiments are not far behind. If you prefer soy burgers, or some other non-meat entree on your grill, well, why do you hate America?

There has been a considerable amount of discussion in comment threads throughout the years regarding condiments. For example, there are some tasteless people among CougCenter's ranks who think it is acceptable to put mayonnaise on a hot dog. I have no logical explanation for wanting to add mayo to anything except tuna and chicken salad. The only other possible excplanation for using mayo is if one spreads it on a shoe that is about to be ingested, the result of an emphatic statement that turned out to be false. You know who you are.

With that, it's time for some personal thoughts on the subject. We'll follow that with a poll. Hopefuly, this will be similar to the heated yet healthy debate over Girl Scout Cookies that we had in February. The poll will not be all-inclusive, as we could list upwards of 15 choices, so feel free to nominate additional candidates in the "Comments" thread. Once again, be prepared to defend your answer.

Overrated: Ketchup - If you're an adult, you should be treating ketchup like a fire extinguisher. In case of condiment emergency, break glass and use it. Otherwise, be an adult and use barbecue sauce.

Underrated: Horseradish - This stuff isn't nearly as prevalent as it should be. There are only two instances in which it is seen regularly, either with a slab of prime rib, or in the form of Horsey Sauce at Arby's. Are you telling me there's no middle ground here? Even better, it comes in different forms. This is the Malcolm Smith of condiments. It may get picked out of the fridge toward the end, but once it gets in there, it turns in an MVP (MVC?) performance.

Formerly Underrated but now possibly Overrated: Sriracha - This is the condiment version of that band you loved when nobody else did, leading you to have a certain cool factor. Then it became mainstream, the cool/edginess factor is gone, and you now resent the fact that it's so popular. You still like it, but how cool can it be if freaking Subway is advertising it? By the way, if you act this way in terms of music, please stop.

Under-the-radar Sleeper of the Century: Chick-fil-A Sauce - First off, I just looked at the website, and there isn't one Chick-fil-A in either Washington or Oregon. There is one in Cheyenne, Wyoming. How is this possible? Anyway, Chick-fil-A Sauce is possibly the greatest condiment ever. They keep it behind the counter, and they only give you one. I would ensconce myself in Chick-fil-A Sauce if it were socially acceptable. It's that good.

Tell us what you think.

Mike Leach

Washington State football coach Mike Leach studies, and writes about, unique leadership | Larry Stone | The Seattle Times
Mike Leach, as we’ve learned by now, is a man of eclectic interests, but also one of nearly obsessive passions. When the Washington State football coach wraps his mind around a topic that particularly fascinates him, he doesn’t let go.

Mike Leach and Geronimo: Behind the scenes with a brilliant mind | Take 2 | Seattle Times
A press release to promote Leach’s appearance, said this: "Pain, pride, humility, family — many things shaped Geronimo’s life. In this remarkable book, Mike Leach illustrates how we too can use the forces and circumstances of our own lives to build true leadership today."

Washington State University football coach Mike Leach talks law, football at annual bar association luncheon - The Eagle: Local News
"I do love coaching. I do hate coaching," Leach said. "I think about it all the time, and it reminds me that I'm thinking about it right now."

Deone Bucannon

College coaches scout Deone Bucannon - NFL Nation Blog - ESPN
"Well, he was an enforcer," Arizona State coach Todd Graham said. "One of the most physical safeties we played against here. Very physical tackler. An imposing player."

Track and Field

Leaving bar set high - Spokesman.com - May 11, 2014
I missed this last weekend. WSU Track and Field coach Rick Sloan is retiring after an incredible 41 years on the job.

Charlotte Muschamp triumphs for WSU at Pac-12 track and field championships - Spokesman.com - May 17, 2014

After a successful indoor season, Muschamp’s outdoor season has, in her words, "proved Murphy’s Law. Anything that can go wrong, has."

WSU’s Felix prepares to defend pole vault title - Spokesman.com - May 17, 2014

Felix stands only 5 feet tall and must make up for her lack of height with speed and momentum on the runway. She must also be strong enough to transfer that energy into propelling her up and over the bar.

Baseball

Homers Hurt Cougars in Loss - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Three home runs helped Stanford beat Washington State 9-4, Saturday in Pac-12 Conference baseball at Sunken Diamond.

Non-Sports

A Soldier Fights Off the Cold - NYTimes.com
PTSD never goes away. On bad days, it’s so close you can’t breathe. On good days, it’s off in the distance like a gathering storm.

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