When we have our meetings in our secret gated compound in the heart of Pakistan, the authors here often like to joke at how the launch of CougCenter had the timing of a Colin Quinn punchline (if you don't get what I mean, watch any one of the times he butchered Weekend Update on SNL). The website joined SB Nation right in time for the worst three-year stretch in Cougar Football history. Needless to say, the writers here have become very good at writing about the very bad. Any of you diehards remember this post? You haven't seen much of that since then. Instead of actual analysis on what lies ahead, we've often been left looking for positives in total blowouts. When we get tired of that (believe me, we reach that point earlier and earlier each year), we start creating our own alternate realities to deal with things.
So that brings me to quite possibly the worst Cougar event this site has ever been tasked to cover.
I know what you are thinking. You went through a year of scotch therapy to erase this game from your mind. You tried a hypnotist. You banged your head against wall repeatedly hoping the memory would just fall out. Still, this game ate at you constantly for several months and still does from time to time. Your only way of fighting it is to try your best not to think of Oregon, basketball, or striped shirts.
And here I come along throwing it right back at your face in what is supposed to be a series of top moments.
Just remember, the title doesn't say "great moments" or "happy moments." The New Year's Eve 2009 basketball game between Washington State and Oregon is a moment none of us will ever be able to forget, no matter how much liquor we consume. The strange, and the very uniquely CougCenter part, is that many of you will remember experiencing this game in front of your laptop with dozens of others on a game thread or post-game author rant. Much like when that one guy left for some money on the East Coast, this site provided a place for everyone to come and be be angry without kicking their dog or pissing off their girlfriend.
The emotion of the moment when Casto made the supposed game-winning layup to when the referees decided they wanted to work an extra five minutes was captured beautifully on game thread:
(After the jump)
Jeff Nusser: NO PUMP FAKE THAT TIME!!!!!!!!!!
Coug1990: What a comeback
TiltingRight: Technical Foul for celebrating????????
BigWood: wait, what?!?!?!?!
TiltingRight: Fire. This. Crew. Today.
Jeff Nusser: This is so wrong.
hollywierdcoug: so lame
The anger really showed through in the post-game threads, when many of you had finally grasped the situation. Even in our heartache, the community was able to band together against a common enemy. An Oregon fan who decided to troll and piss us all off. He was even called out by non-WSU fans and warned by ATQ. The biggest travesty is that he never received a formal reprimand because none of the current mods were present on the thread.
No need to worry though, as of a few minutes ago, I banned him from the site. I'm hoping it may be the most delayed banning in SB Nation history and I liken it to a cold murder case from the seventies being solved with current DNA technology.
After the authors were able to collect their thoughts on the matter, January 1st, 2010 brought two of the best posts the front page has ever seen. Once again, CougCenter was able to shine in a moment of darkness.
First, Grady chimed in doing what he does best: Mocking the sports establishment. "Pac-10 refs call great moments in history" will forever be one the greatest things the internet has ever produced. From Presidential assassinations, to liberations, to civil rights movements, no controversy was left untouched by the Pac-10's finest. My personal favorite from the post:
"A technical foul has been assessed for excessive celebration."
It was a moment of laughter in what otherwise was a hungover and pissed off day for many Cougs.
Just a few hours later, Nuss came along to do what he does best: Research and analysis so thorough, you are left with no choice but to agree with him. "Anatomy of a blown call" blew any argument that may have been left against the Cougs out of the water. Some of the best it had to offer:
In other words, here's what he's saying: Oregon was ready to inbound the ball, the referee had begun his five count, and the Ducks could not do so because WSU's bench personnel were on the floor. Thus, a violation occurred that interfered with Oregon's ability to play the game, which is the spirit of the rules cited.
That call would be absolutely correct, and would be a call I absolutely would begrudgingly have to support, except ...
THAT'S NOT WHAT HAPPENED!
That's revisionist history on the part of the referees after the fact in an attempt to justify their call. None of Oregon's players had picked up the ball to try and inbound it before the referee had signaled for the technical foul. There was no "thrower." I suppose it's possible the referee under the basket could have started his five count within a few seconds after the shot going in, but when have you ever known an official to start his five count -- in that particular situation -- before the opposing team had picked up the ball to inbound it?
Basically, the referees blatantly lied after the game. (And that, in and of itself, should be a firing offense.)
So after all this, you are probably still mad at me for bringing up this event in the first place. But you'll have to forgive, because I thought the way CougCenter handled the event displayed perfectly the three things that we do best: Community, analysis, and humor.
Feel free to be raging pissed in the comments. We are "re-living" the moments after all.
Seriously though, Colin Quinn was terrible on Weekend Update. Especially after Norm MacDonald had just been killing it for years. That reminds me....you know who was the head ref for the WSU-Oregon game? You guessed it...