clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Looking forward is usually better on this weekend

No reason to look the other way!

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 29 Washington State at Washington Photo by Jesse Beals/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Good morning. How screwed up is that stupid November day every year? Well, the picture is apparently from the pregame flyover. The caption says that those airplanes are F-16s from McChord Air Force Base. In fact, they are not F-16s, they are F-18s. And they definitely are not from McChord AFB because F-18s are Navy planes and there are no F-16s stationed at McChord. But other than that, AP writers, you nailed it!

What’s the point of that story? Well, nothing really, aside from another illustration of the fact that even the simplest parts of that stupid day are difficult for some people. This has been the case with the Washington State Cougars for seven straight years now, and I hate to break it to you, but as long as Mike Leach faces Chris Petersen in this game, it is going to be the case ad infinitum.

From my point of view, the only advice I can give is to tell you to do something - anything - else with your life while the game is taking place. For example, I spent the day bumming around London with my family. By the time the game came on, I decided to spend my last couple waking hours watching the Ken Burns PBS series about country music. I could have watched the game, but what’s the point? I got to learn all about the early days of Hank Williams and Johnny Cash instead of watching WSU once again turn into Corporal Upham at the site of the gold helmets.

Now look, I know it’s easier for me - way over here on another continent without a sidewalk UW alumnus in site - to just ignore this game every year, but I promise that you can, too. The best thing you can do if you live and/or work around them is to talk and act as if you won’t bother watching the game and don’t care much about the result. I know it seems stupid, but I promise you that it will make you feel better than building false hope before the game, and grasping at reasons why WSU keeps losing after the game.

My personal favorite among the idiotic takes is, “Mike Leach doesn’t care enough about this game.” A little news for you - lots of other WSU coaches have cared about this game, and they all got their asses kicked, too. Plus, if there’s one thing we know, it’s that Mike Leach cares about few things in his professional career above money. Leach gets a $25,000 bonus for winning this game, so I can assure you that he cares.

I did read a little about Mike Leach’s postgame reaction, and was pretty much nonplussed, since he always acts like that when someone dares ask him a question he doesn’t like. But I did notice that he brought up the recruiting disparity once again, and I just...what? Uh, coach? You are responsible for recruiting better players, and those players you recruit are near the bottom of the rankings. Whose fault is that?

Oh, and while I have you here, Mike, I’ll wonder the same thing John Blanchette did - why do recruiting rankings suddenly matter when you get your ass kicked, even if they don’t matter when you talk about your signing class every year? Maybe you should put up another sign that says, “You’re either recruiting it or allowing it to happen” because I’ve got news for you, Washington isn’t the only school in the conference who is running circles around you on the recruiting trail. Pretty much every other school in the conference is doing it as well, so if you want to beat Washington, maybe do your job and recruit better. Or you can continue to make excuses while continuing your abject hypocrisy when it comes to talking about injuries because, as you say, it’s a convenient excuse.

On the bright side, for the fifth straight year we’ve got a bowl game to look forward to, and as much as the loss in the 2018 Apple Cup stung for many of you, just try to think about the elation that came with a 11-2 season and Alamo Bowl win. While this year almost certainly won’t reach that emotional high, the prospect of another winning season and bowl trophy is a pretty good salve.

But seriously stop watching the Apple Cup. Like we talked about in the Slack chat, just consider WSU as a team that plays an 11-game season and hope for 6-5 or better. With a furious rally down the stretch, they reached that mark. That makes me happy.


Let’s start with a team that can actually beat Washington.

Apple Cup Sweep - Washington State University Athletics
No. 25 Washington State volleyball took down rival No. 9 Washington for the second time this season, beating the Huskies in five sets on the road Saturday evening.


Washington State rewind: Max Borghi says Cougars hung their heads early on in 31-13 Apple Cup loss | The Spokesman-Review
WSU now gets what essentially equates to a third bye week before learning its bowl destination, which will be announced Dec. 8 and perhaps unofficially revealed a day or two before then.

Bowl Projections, College Football Playoff Predictions: Week 14
The bowl projections, picks and predictions for the College Football Playoff after the Week 14 games.

This Week in Parenting

I mentioned earlier that we were in London this weekend, as the eight year-old asked for a trip here for his birthday. On Friday, we promised that we’d take them to Hamley’s, which (I learned the hard way in Prague last May) is a huge toy store. As we left the Imperial War Museum, Google Maps informed me that the Hamley’s at London Bridge was the closest.

We decided to stop for lunch about a quarter mile away, and were leaving the restaurant when a guy standing at the door stopped Mrs. Kendall and said something to her. She immediately shooed the boys back inside while he spoke to us, telling us to head the other way. We did so, walking away from the river and jumping on the Underground for a ride to a Hamley’s at Piccadilly Circus. Aside: I absolutely do NOT recommend going anywhere near this location on Black Friday.

I don’t think we’d have unwittingly put them in any sort of danger or anything, because in all likelihood I’d have been throwing elbows at a**holes standing in the middle of Hamley’s, blocking traffic while staring at their phones, and we’d probably not have been walking around the bridge when the incident happened. But it would have been quite an interesting discussion had we seen the police shoot someone.

Anyway, I was trying to figure out what to tell them as helicopters hovered overhead and police car after police car blared past. We decided to just tell them there was an accident and let things cool down before talking about what really happened. When we got back to the hotel, the eight year-old settled into playing games on the iPad while the 11-going-on-65 year-old finished up a World War II documentary and turned on the BBC. Wasn’t long before he figured out what really happened, which we anticipated.

Talking to the kiddos about these kinds of situations is a bit weird, because there’s no “what to say in the event of a nearby terrorist attack” in the parenting handbook. I figured doing whatever we could to minimize it while not trying to hide it from them wasn’t the worst course of action. But I had wondered what kind of situation we’d have seen if we hadn’t stopped to eat. The older boy mentioned it a couple times as we walked across the Tower Bridge and made our way toward the London Bridge Saturday morning, but for the most part they were unbothered.

I must admit that it was a bit eerie seeing all the buses stopped and abandoned atop the bridge. But never fear, the honorary captain of the HMS Belfast has a message for the terrorists: “You won’t scare this city! Not on my watch!”


Best beer I had this week: Made our way to a pub called The Hercules on Wednesday, and despite the staggering price (which seems to be par for the course in this city, no matter where you go), the Fierce Beer Coconut VBM was quite tasty.

The 50 Best American Breweries of the 2010s - Paste
How can we suss out those ones that made major contributions to the field, rolled with the punches, innovated and improved the scene around them? Because it’s those breweries who truly deserve the title most.


Secret bunkers and mountain hideouts: hunting Italy's mafia bosses | World news | The Guardian
The Cacciatori unit searches the rugged landscape of Calabria for fugitives who have dug themselves deep into the earth.