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Reflecting on another disappointing Apple Cup

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Another year, another no-show.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning. This Sunday greets us largely bereft of WSU football news for the first time in a long time. While that is kind of a bummer, the upside is that for the third time in four seasons, Cougar fans get to look forward to a postseason game. Before we get to that, though, it's probably necessary to talk about what we saw Friday afternoon at Martin Stadium.

Like many of my fellow CougCenter authors, and probably many of you, I hate this game. I hate everything about it. The only time WSU wins is when everything seems to break right, because UW almost always has superior talent. In nearly every instance, if Washington shows up ready to play, we see what we saw Saturday.

Even still, I'd be lying if there wasn't at least a glimmer of hope as I took my seat. This was presumably the best WSU team in a long time, and the Cougs were at home in a high-stakes game. Heck, even UW was a bit sloppy, chalking up false start after false start. Didn't matter. UW faced one third down on the opening drive and converted easily. As soon as Jamal Morrow fumbled and UW scored again, it was over.

It's pretty sad that I was able to write that last sentence with 100% conviction, given that there was still a ton of time remaining. If you didn't think it was over at 14-0, I don't know whether to applaud your optimism or feel sorry for you. So here we are, finished with a regular season that brought us an astounding eight-game winning streak, bookended by four horribly disappointing losses, for different reasons.

On a personal note, or notes, when my wife and I had our second son in 2011, we decided that we were going to travel to see family on Thanksgiving and stay home for Christmas. I "innocently" suggested that we start with my family in 2012, not letting slip that we'd be there for the Apple Cup years. 2012 started off great. 2014 and 2016 returned to form, and convinced me that the karma police will punish me in perpetuity for engineering the visits this way.

The karma police seem pretty set on not letting up, either. My boys have been to two games, Portland State and last Friday. Both times, they had a great time because they love everything that surrounds the game, but don't care much about the game itself. I am so envious. To recap, my last time witnessing a WSU victory was Idaho in 2013. Since then, it's been a garbage barge of the 2014 Apple Cup, Portland State, and the Colorado game/Apple Cup this season. JEALOUS!!?? Well, I'm sure many of you were at those games too, and suffered just as much.

So how bad is this sickness called Cougar Football? I've already begun thinking about bringing the family back for a game next season, AGAINST A BIG SKY TEAM IN THE OPENER. Despite that litany of bad football I've seen in person over the past two seasons, I'm thinking seriously about going to the bowl game if the Cougs wind up in San Diego.

In the big picture, the weekend isn't a total loss. I got to meet Kyle Sherwood (lives up to the hype of being an excellent hugger) and Britton Ransford for the first time. I got to meet CougCenter's version of Keyser Soze, none other than Brian Floyd. I'm not gonna lie, I was completely mesmerized by his breathtaking beard. I also got to sample more incredible beers supplied by craft beer shaman Craig Powers.

I got to see my brother's family and my parents, which only happens about twice per year, and my boys got to play with their cousins. We are currently in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho, where we went on the Journey to the North Pole Cruise. Seriously, if you live in the Spokane/Coeur d' Alene area, or even a little ways away and have young children, you should do this. It's really fun.

So given all the good that came from this weekend, not even another WSU crapshow in the Apple Cup could ruin what has been an otherwise fun trip. But damned if they don't give it a run. See you at the bowl game.

Football

After Apple Cup loss, Cougars await bowl destination | The Spokesman-Review
At least there is a next opponent for Washington State, which will play in its third bowl game in four years after having not played in the postseason for a decade prior to 2013.

Basketball

Washington State's Upset Bid Falls Short Against No. 5 Maryland - WSUCougars.com | Washington State University Athletics
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Sophomore Borislava Hristova led the Washington State women's basketball team with a season-best 25 points, but the Cougars could not finish off their upset bid of No. 5/6 Maryland on Saturday at the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout. UMD (6-0) used a late game run to dispatch WSU (4-2), 79-69, to take home the tournament title in the desert.

Beer

Best beer I had this week: Lots from which to choose, since I've been drinking Northwest beers for a few days now. Hop Valley Cirtus Mistress was quite good. My Office had Bale Breaker Bottom Cutter on draft, and it did not disappoint. However, Craig provided easily the best one, Epic Brewing's Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout. I hope to find some to take back to Florida with me. Outstanding beer.

World Record Holders Headline 2016 Beer Mile World Championships | FloTrack
This looks fun!

Non-Sports

We Tracked Down A Fake-News Creator In The Suburbs. Here's What We Learned : All Tech Considered : NPR
WARNING - This does delve somewhat into the last election, but I think stories like this are important, and go beyond politics.