So, that was a rough weekend. I planned on writing this sooner, but I've been in a state of Cougar Football-induced depression. I haven't been able to bring myself to watch the game yet (I have it recorded). It won't be fun.
But that's not the point of this post. I'm not shocked we lost Saturday, it was entirely expected. A lot more losses are going to follow the rest of the year. I knew this going in, and that is why I thought up the idea for this series in the middle of the summer. Coug fans have endured enough losing lately, I wanted to give them something to look forward to.
In that light, I will offer up an alternate reality. Every week, I will follow up the game that really happened with something better, something more exciting, something completely ridiculous.
I draw my inspiration from a particular episode of the series Star Trek: The Next Generation. (NERD ALERT) In this episode, the character "Dr. Crusher" is caught in a warp bubble and enters an alternate reality. In it, she finds that everyone on the ship is disappearing and she is the only one that remembers them. By the end of the episode, we find out that the alternate reality works off the last thought one has before entering it, and Dr. Crusher had been having a conversation with an old mentor of hers, who had seen most of his friends die off.
Today I'm going to let you in on some TOP SECRET information. Paul Allen, WSU alum and potentially the biggest Trekkie on the planet (Seriously, the science fiction museum connected to the EMP is almost entirely his personal Star Trek collection and he chose to name is Multi-billiondollar conglomerate "Vulcan"), being the rabid Coug fan he is, was spotted in the luxury suites with fellow billionaire T. Boone Pickens. Sources say he was showing Pickens his prized working miniature Starship Enterprise when there was a sudden flash.
The flash managed to encompass the entire Washington State Football team and staff. All of them were thrown into an alternate, but parallel reality based on their thoughts at the moment of the "flash."
*DISCLAIMER FOR OBSESSIVE STAR TREK FANS: Yes, I realize that Dr. Crusher was transferred into the alternate reality and was no longer present in the original reality. But this is my story and I say there are parallel realities. So put your toy phasers away and deal with it.
Lucky for us and themselves, most of the players and coaches were thinking about winning a close football game (Even luckier for us, some of them were thinking of other things!). For the next few months, we will chronicle the journey of the Wazzu football team. Click on for this week's adventure.
CPW: Coach's log. Football date 141-1. We've traveled to a strange land known as "Oklahoma" to take on a humanoid race known as the "State Cowboys." Victory in this mission should prove to be difficult, given the intimidating nature of the colony's Halloween-colored traditional attire and the insistence on every being to carry pistols.
Scene 1 (I'm not a screenwriter, I'm just making this up as I go along).
Having completed the coin toss and opening kickoff, the Washington State offensive unit takes the field for their first series of the game.
Jeff Tuel: Alright men. By the looks of it they're outclassing us in speed and size out there. I want to make sure we start this game off on the right foot.
Reid Forrest: Mr. Tuel, if my calculations are correct, the humanoids on the other side of the ball would not be able to stop an "android from the future sent to save the human race and win Heisman trophies" like myself from scoring an any given play.
Tuel: Sounds like a plan to me.
Reid Forrest takes the first play from scrimmage 80 yards for a touchdown, making sure to knock all eleven Oklahoma State players on the field on the ground before casually strolling into the endzone.
Simultaneously a giant cheeseburger, no doubt from the mind of Cougar defensive tackle Micah Hannam, has made it's way onto the field. The cheeseburger floats down and completely envelopes Forrest, leaving him unable to move.
CPW: (rushing over with the rest of the team) What the hell happen here?
Micah Hannam: I don't know coach, but it sure looks like a delicious cheeseburger.
CPW: Micah, how long do you estimate it will take you to eat him out that thing?
Hannam: I once ate a burger half this size in about an hour in Moscow, Idaho. Factoring in the extra cheese and pickles on this particular piece, I'd say somewhere around 3 hours.
CPW: Dammit! We don't have that kind of time. Try to work faster.
Hannam: I'll do my best, coach.
CPW: Very well then. Engage.
Micah Hannam begins devouring the giant hamburger encompassing Reid Forrest. Meanwhile, the team misses the extra point without the steadfast guidance of Forrest's hand on the hold. Freshman John Fullington steps in as the right tackle.
It is now midway through the second quarter. Washington State has failed to properly recover from the early loss of star Reid Forrest. Oklahoma has jumped out to a 17-6 lead and has possession of the ball. The Washington State defense is huddled up and preparing to defend a key 3rd and 1 near midfield.
Alex Hoffman-Ellis: Alright defensive line, this is your time to shine. We need this stop right here. Did you hear me, Brandon? Brandon?
Brandon Rankin, staring off into distance space, finally comes around and turns toward Hoffman-Ellis.
Rankin: I just remembered something I was thinking about earlier. I'm completely awesome and there is no way these guys can stop me, also that it would be sweet to have an Inspector Gadget-like stretchy arm.
Hoffman-Ellis: Ummm...okay Brandon.
The team breaks huddle and lines up for the play. After the ball is snapped, Rankin extends his right arm into the backfield, snatching the ball from the quarterback as he attempts to hand the ball off. Rankin's arm continues to extend down the field until the ball breaks the goal line. The confused referees, left with no other choice, signal touchdown for WSU.
Amid the pandemonium, an Oklahoma State fan leaps from the stands and heads toward Rankin's mechanical arm yielding a large orange axe.
OSU Fan: GAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! DEVIL ARM!!!!!!!! MUST DEEESTROY!!!!!!!!!!!!
The fan hacks Rankin's arm off at the mechanical wrist. Rankin winces in pain and heads over to the sideline. The fan is invited up to the suite of T. Boone Pickens for a drink. CPW meets up with Rankin on the sideline.
CPW: What's the damage report?
Rankin: One severed mechanical hand. Our defenses are severely depleted.
CPW: Can you stay in the game?
Rankin: Of course, Coach. It's merely a flesh wound.
CPW: Can we call you "Inspector Rankin" from now on?
Inspector Rankin: Nothing would make me happier.
Nico Grasu knocks through the extra point, leaving the score at 17-13 in favor of Oklahoma State.
It is now very late in the fourth quarter with less than a minute to play. Inspector Rankin has almost single-handedly (or literally single-handedly) stopped the Cowboy offense. The Washington State offense has continued to struggle and the score remains 17-13. WSU has taken possession of the ball at the Oklahoma State 30 after Inspector Rankin forced his third takeaway of the game. During the media timeout, CPW gathers with his coaching staff to discuss the final drive of the game. Reid Forrest remains incapacitated by the giant hamburger, as Micah Hannam seems to have hit a wall.
CPW: Alright gentlemen, we've tried everything with this opponent. Coach Morton, do you have any ideas?
Coach Morton: We're going to need Reid.
CPW: Well, that's obvious, but it is becoming very clear that Reid will not be available to us. Micah is the best eater we've got, and it's no use.
Coach Morton: Unless...What if we pulled all the offensive lineman over to the giant hamburger and had them help out. If we can just buy enough time until fourth down and get Reid in there for the final play, we could win this thing.
CPW: (Pauses for dramatic effect) Make it so.
All traveling offensive lineman are rushed over to the giant hamburger. The biggest available players left jog out on the offensive line. Quarterback Jeff Tuel elects to take a knee for the first three downs. The Cougs burn their final timeout with one second remaining on the clock.
CPW: MORTON! What is the status on Reid?
Morton: We're cutting it close, Coach. I'm not sure if they can him get completely out in time. There may be a pickle or two holding him down still.
CPW: You and I both know it will take a lot more than two pickles to stop Reid Forrest. If he can move his legs, I want him out there.
The referee sets the ball and blows the whistle. The 40 second play clock begins.
John Fullington (mouth full): We've got to start moving him towards the field!
The offensive lineman pick up the burger-covered Reid Forrest and move him towards the line of scrimmage.
30 seconds on the play clock.
Wade Jacobson: I got his right leg out!
Forrest: What's the status on the other one guys?
Hannam: We've got a tricky onion here wrapped around your left knee, and none of us really can stand the taste of them.
Fullington: I prefer them grilled.
Forrest: Does anyone on this team like onions?
Freshman Wide Receiver Marquess Wilson approaches the group.
Marquess Wilson: I do.
Forrest: Then get on it!
Wilson begins working on the giant yellow onion wrapped around Reid Forrest. After several seconds, he finally sets him free.
10 seconds on the play clock.
Tuel: Everyone get on the line!
The closest available Cougar players rush to the line to form a makeshift, legal formation. Reid Forrest, hobbled slightly by a giant pickle attached to his left shoe, makes his way behind Tuel.
Five seconds on the play clock.
CPW: Marquess, put that onion down and get on the line to cover the tight end!
Wade Jacobson: Ewww, I've got mayonnaise stuck under my shoulder pads.
Mike Gundy: (Thinking to himself) That Reid Forrest sure is a man, running with a giant pickle on his foot like that. Such a grown man, and he is not even 40.
Tuel turns and hands the ball to Reid Forrest, who predictably takes it in for the game-winning touchdown.
Shocked by the upset, Pickens Stadium quickly turns into a riot. Kevin Durant, disgusted by the scene, calls up Lebron James and they agree to buy the Oklahoma City Thunder and relocate it to Seattle, where they will play together. The new Seattle Sonics go on to win ten straight championships. The rest of the NBA remains only watchable when "nothing else is on."
CPW: Coach's Log supplemental. Football date 141-1. Today tested our team. They were several peculiar occurrences throughout the challenge, but we overcame them. Oklahoma really is a strange place. The team and I are just happy to escape the state with most of our limbs intact. As an added bonus, the athletic department saved hundeds on post-game meals.
Stay tuned next week as our Cougs take on the Montana State Bobcats.