Good morning. We’ll get to the terrible basketball team and another terrible loss later. First, though, let’s talk about something that makes people feel good. WSU signee Rodrick Fisher took part in the US Army All-American Bowl Saturday, hitting another milestone in a remarkable journey. Fisher’s story has been well-documented locally, and continues to resonate nationally.
Shortly after the All-American bowl concluded, Fisher and his family were featured on NBC Nightly News, which averages north of eight million viewers per telecast on a typical week.
I watched this game for the first time ever Saturday, hoping to see Fisher get a shot to catch some passes. Unfortunately, I didn’t see him out there, and he didn’t register a stat. None of that really matters, though. Fisher is a remarkably-talented and resilient young man, and I can’t wait to see him catch passes for WSU in a year or two.
Despite the fact that Andrew Andrews wasn’t there to deliver the dagger, WSU kicked away another game to Washington on Saturday, coughing up a double-digit second half lead along the way. After a back-and-forth first half that featured seven WSU turnovers in the first seven minutes, WSU went to the locker room with a 30-27 lead.
Whatever Ernie Kent said at halftime looked to be working, as the Cougs built a 45-35 lead after five minutes. So of course UW scored the next nine points, and stayed within striking distance. After WSU got the lead back to seven, UW slowly crept back in it, and eventually took a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
I think my favorite play - and by “favorite” I mean a terrible play that perfectly encapsulates Ernie Kent’s tenure - occurred when Viont’e Daniels missed a free throw, Matisse Thybulle took a David Crisp pass and raced in for a breakaway dunk. Yes, WSU allowed a breakaway dunk on a missed free throw.
Robert Franks had the best game for WSU, but faded away down the stretch when the team really needed him to shine. The starting five turned the ball over a staggering 19 times, and if anyone can locate the Malachi Flynn that we’ve seen many times in the past, please send him back to Pullman. The guy we saw Saturday was far more liability than asset.
Following the game, Ernie Kent pulled the arm on his “Slot Machine of nonsensical quotes” and the word “toughness” came up the winner.
Coach Kent: you could say it was turnovers but I say it’s toughness. They’ve (UW) been there before and made tough plays down the stretch. It’s toughness. We don’t have ike. Josh. Charles. It’s their turn now. Mal. Robo. You can’t be up 10 and get comfortable and it’s layup city— Matt Chazanow (@M_Chaz) January 6, 2018
His team gave the ball away more often than my grandpa used to give away hot meals to the elderly, but apparently that wasn’t as important as the the idea that WSU wasn’t tough enough. But wait, there’s more.
Coach Kent: toughness. We have to grow. Crisp. Thybulle. Dickerson. Timmins. They have a nice team and they’re all back. Our 17 offensive rebounds we were bodying behind Dickerson it allowed us to do that. We are better than that. Settled for 3’s. We can shoot, need better looks— Matt Chazanow (@M_Chaz) January 6, 2018
You’ll recall that those guys who are “all back” return from a team that finished with a 2-16 Pac-12 record, losing its final 13 games. When does spring football start?
Analysis: Washington State lacks closing touch in loss to Washington | The Spokesman-Review
For large portions of Saturday’s game, the Evergreen State nemeses also looked like they’d just returned from extended breaks away from their craft.
John Blanchette: Carlos Johnson and backseat strategy help Huskies find way to defeat Cougars | The Spokesman-Review
It’s a lonesome road, that ribbon from Spokane to Pullman. Especially so in the 1 a.m. darkness, when you figured to be snug under the covers against the chill, visions of tipoff 12 hours away dancing in your head.
Saturday Night Five: Playoff cash, NFL Draft decisions, Arizona stumbles, Grinch leaves Whether the Cougars remain a factor in the post-Grinch era depends, to a large extent, on Leach replicating his success with the hire.
Ranking All 78 Head Coaches This Bowl Season | College Football News
Washington State was embarrassed in last year’s Holiday Bowl and lost to Washington with a thud.
Best beer I had this week: I’m not smart enough to know when/where the really rare beers are sold around my area, so it was nice to get a chance to try Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout on draft this week. It was sensational.
I Lived On Nothing But Beer For a Week, and Survived - Willamette Week
For the seven days leading up to Christmas Eve, I subsisted on nothing but beer.
If you have young kids, you’re almost certainly aware of the Paw Patrol theme song, and you probably have some Paw Patrol toys occupying space in your house. Luckily for me, my boys have graduated from this phase. Unluckily for me, the Paw Patrol toys still take up space, and that theme song is burned into my brain.
But aside from that, has there ever been a more incompetent city official than Mayor Goodway? The only thing she’s ever concerned with is keeping that chicken safe. And how the hell does Captain Turbot still have a license? He’s always making mistakes that jam up the waters around Adventure Bay. Oh, and you’ll never convince me that the monstrosity known as the Paw Patroller is able to navigate through a jungle. But I digress.
What’s Paw Patrol’s secret? How it captivated children and conquered the world - The Globe and Mail
Ian Brown explores how a Canadian company found the formula for pleasing preschoolers and becoming a toy-selling giant: Action-adventure with puppies.