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Bowl Memories: Christmas Day with the Cougars

Santa delivered presents and a Cougar win!

Washington State Athletics

Good morning, Cougar fans, and welcome to whatever this is. By that I mean it’s after noon and I’m still sitting here at a loss for a topic. We’re around the nadir of bowl prep - too far removed from the announcement and a tad early regarding concrete game previews - and the basketball team won’t get into the meat of its schedule until the new year.

So, what to do? Well, Kevin ranked some wins and losses on Saturday, so why don’t we talk about WSU’s bowl moments throughout the years? Even though the Washington State Cougars don’t exactly have a lengthy bowl history from which to draw, there are some moments and games - particularly of late - to talk about.

The first WSU bowl game of my memory was the 1988 Aloha Bowl, in which the 8-4 Cougs took on the 9-3 Houston Cougars. I still remember being more excited for the game than for Christmas morning, because until that day, the only time I ever saw the Cougs in a bowl game was if a couple guys were playing in the Kelly Tires Blue/Gray All-Star game, which always preceded the Aloha Bowl.

My brother and I ran into the living room and there were Aloha Bowl t-shirts hanging there, waiting for us. Oh happy day. The Cougs scored all of their 24 points in the second quarter and held on for a 24-22 win. A Christmas tree overhanging a bunch of presents and a Cougar bowl win?! BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!

Other great bowl game memories include the 2003 Holiday Bowl, in which the Cougs stood as 9-point underdogs to the Top-5 Texas Longhorns. I was too much of a coward to pick WSU in my bowl pool, but not-yet-but-soon-to-be Mrs. Kendall wasn’t so pessimistic, taking the Cougars to win. The one thing that stands out in my memory from that game is Will Derting, D.D. Acholonu and company harassing poor Chance Mock to the point that he probably wished he’d taken up croquet or something other than tackle football.

Another great memory occurred in a loss, as just seeing my favorite team run out of the tunnel in 1998 with the roses and script “Cougars” interwoven gave me goosebumps. Other random memories: Lamont Thompson coming from nowhere to intercept a Kyle Orton pass late in the 2001 Sun Bowl, Luke Falk’s option keeper to seal the win over the Miami Hurricanes, Drew Bledsoe and Philip Bobo absolutely carving up Utah in Tucson, and Dezmon Patmon’s “wait, he caught that?” grab to clinch last year’s Alamo Bowl.

I was all set to run through some less-than-great bowl memories as well, but who wants to relive that nonsense?

So that’s what I’ve got. What are your favorite random WSU bowl memories?


‘Delightful clash of contrasts’: What national writers are saying about Washington State’s Cheez-It Bowl matchup with Air Force | The Spokesman-Review
The 2019 Cheez-It Bowl may piggyback on the success of last year’s game, which was low on offense but high on entertainment. TCU and Cal needed four quarters and an overtime period to score just 17 total points.

Washington State vs. Air Force: Cheez-It Bowl Prediction, Game Preview
As a program, this is just the 16th bowl for Wazzu and just the ninth since 2000.

Cheez-It Bowl features vastly different offenses from Air Force and Washington State, but some commonalities | Sports Coverage |
Washington State tops the country in passing yards behind a coach in Mike Leach, whose Air Raid attack utilizes four receivers and runs a variety of the run and shoot.

Receiver Ben Waters nears end of 'storybook' season with Air Force football | Sports Coverage |
Waters may not know what the next chapter might hold after the Cheez-It Bowl against Washington State on Dec. 27, but the business major has sure enjoyed the twists and turns that led to a memorable season.


Cougs win!

Isaac Bonton’s breakthrough performance guides Washington State past Incarnate Word | The Spokesman-Review
Isaac Bonton had a breakthrough performance for the Cougars (8-4) with a game-best 19 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.

Balanced Attack Leads WSU Past Incarnate Word - Washington State University Athletics
The Cougs used a balanced attack to win their fifth-straight contest as five different scorers went for double-figures led by a Isaac Bonton's 19.

This Week in Parenting

I mentioned last week that we were in Copenhagen. While we were there, we ate dinner at Warpigs Brewpub, which I learned is a joint venture between Mikkeller and 3 Floyds Brewing. Besides serving great beer and some of the best barbecue I’ve ever eaten (for real) they have a small, glassed-in space called the Generals Room. I guess you can reserve the room if you have a party of four, but it was unoccupied while we were there.

As we were about to leave, the oldest spotted this set of photos on the wall.

Then he asked me if I could identify all of the generals pictured. I got most of them - Patton, Montgomery and the perennially-overrated MacArthur - but didn’t look closely enough to identify Eisenhower, and I had no clue who the guy below Ike was. So of course the kid rips off name after name and goes, “I think the guy under Eisenhower is General Bradley.” I looked it up on my phone and, sure as shit. He didn’t know the guy on the bottom left and it’s still bothering him. Now, I haven’t run a survey of pre-teens from the U.S. and Britain, but I’m willing to bet 95% couldn’t identify even one of those guys. 11 going on 65.

In other news, the 8 year-old continues to drop one-liners that come from, I have no idea where. We were getting ready for bed in our hotel room, so I said, “turn off the lights.” He responded, “and I’ll glow.” Now, it took me a couple seconds, but my kid pulling a Vanilla Ice reset may be one of my proudest moments as a parent, regardless of whether he earns a billion dollars or becomes President.

Later in the week, Mrs. Kendall’s parents arrived. The boys refer to them as Mimi and Pops. As we were eating dinner, the 8 year-old said, “Pops, you know the one thing I like about your face? Your mustache.” The fact that kids can somehow turn intended compliments into shiv-like insults is what makes them the best source of comedy around. Then for some reason, just before bed, he exited the bathroom and felt the need to inform everyone that he’s “on a tight pee schedule.” Good to know.


Best beer I had this week: As I tried to catch up on my Mikkeller Advent Calendar of Beer this week, I came upon Awful Gato, a barrel-aged brown ale. I haven’t had a brown ale in a while, and man did that hit the spot.

Regarding the article, it reminded me of my time spent in Tampa. Oftentimes, super duper awesome brewery Angry Chair would announce an upcoming release, usually on a Saturday. My decision process would almost always go in the same direction. It would start with, “Sweet! I’m definitely gonna go and grab a bottle.” Followed by, “If I wake up early enough, I’ll go wait in line.” Followed by, “Well, it’s a bit of a drive and there will be other people there.” Followed every Saturday morning by, “Am I really going to leave the house around sunrise and stand in line for hours, just for a bottle of beer?” This happened at least 15 times, and not once did I ever go.

The Insanely Competitive World of Craft Beer Resales - VICE
Long queues, hyped releases and overinflated prices? It's not a Supreme drop – it's the grey market for rare beers.


Pagers, Pay Phones, and Dialup: How We Communicated on 9/11 | WIRED
The world was a different place when the 9/11 attacks happened 18 years ago. Imagine how social media would fuel—and befoul—the reaction to a similar event today.