Good morning, and thanks to Soul II Soul for inspiring the page title. Your Washington State Cougars basketball team took the floor Saturday night, hoping to continue their sudden and inexplicable run of semi-competent play. Like the cold Palouse air that smacked the dozens of fans in the face on their way home, however, the Utah Utes poured cold water all over the idea that WSU was possibly anything but a bad basketball team.
WSU’s defensive incompetence has been well-chronicled this season, so much so that any opponent suffering from offensive malaria quickly finds its quinine when Ernie Kent’s squad is on the other side. Utah came into the game averaging 76.9 points-per-game in Pac-12 play, and easily surpassed that in Pullman, hitting nearly 46% of their staggering (I think?) 35 three-point attempts.
Somebody named Sedrick Barefield, who averages 16 points-per-game, and who hadn’t eclipsed 26 points in Pac-12 play, absolutely torched WSU, pouring in 33 points on 10-19 shooting. Robert Franks rebounded from a subpar shooting performance against Colorado, registering 29 points on 10-16 shooting, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough.
WSU heads to the Bay Area next weekend, taking on Stanford Thursday night and Cal Saturday afternoon. Both games can be missed by avoiding the Pac-12 Networks, which is about the easiest thing in the history of broadcast television.
This Ernie Kent quote might be one of my favorites this season:
“Every time we broke down, they made you pay.”
They made the reporter pay? I’m confused. Looks like Ernie’s grasp on the English language ranks up there with his ability to hold a roster together and coach competent defense.
Washington State’s perimeter defense deteriorates against Utah in 92-79 home loss | The Spokesman-Review
The loss dropped 11th-place WSU to 11-15 overall and 4-10 in conference play. Utah moved up to fourth place in the league standings, improving to 15-12 and 9-6.
Great headline alert:
Utah hangs on to beat Washington State 92-79 - Washington State University Athletics
WSU wasn’t within two scores for the game’s final 15 minutes.
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Minshew’s rise at Washington State is one of Mastrole’s biggest success stories, but this draft class could produce even more.
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Pac-12 football just completed its 15th year without a national championship, the longest drought among Power Five conferences. The league has missed the most College Football Playoffs (three of five) among its peers.
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The average Power 5 program hands out roughly 200 more scholarship offers than it can follow through on, and the numbers game has real-life consequences.
Feel Good Story of the Week
Sometimes, ok most of the time, Twitter is pretty much the worst thing ever. There are some exceptions, however, and Saturday night provided one of them. I stumbled on to this thanks to Jake Tapper, and if it doesn’t tug at your heart strings, nothing will.
First, there’s a lengthy Twitter thread from BBC reporter Dan Walker. Please read it for some background. (click on “...people are talking about this” for the entire thread)
Just met an amazing man in Endcliffe Park, Sheffield. Tony Foulds was an 8-yr-old playing in the park when a US plane crashed in Feb 1944. He has diligently maintained the memorial ever since. He was planting new flowers. Almost 75 yrs of service. What a man. I’m in bits pic.twitter.com/DpdDmSZ0F3— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) January 2, 2019
Then there’s the video where Tony finds out that he’s going to get his wish.
Wow. Hell of a show from the @usairforce. Now excuse me while I try to get all this dust out of here. https://t.co/1DZaYd3qLL— PJ Kendall ✈ ⚰ (@Deathby105) February 23, 2019
I could watch that video 1,000 times, and it would never get old. What you don’t see is the tremendous amount of work and coordination that goes into executing something like that. Bringing together aircraft from three different wings - KC-135 from the 100th Air Refueling Wing at RAF Mildenhall, CV-22 and MC-130 from the 352nd Special Operations Wing at RAF Mildenhall, F-15Es from the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, along with British fighters and a WWII-era C-47 - can take a mind-boggling amount of time and preparation.
And you know what? Mr. Foulds deserved every bit of it. What an honor it must have been for those airmen to take part.
This Week in Parenting
The seven year-old can sleep anytime, anywhere, and I am completely envious of that ability. We had a really early wakeup for the flight back from Portugal Monday, and he didn’t last 15 minutes on the ride back to the house.
I’m compiling a photo album of his sleep sessions so I can embarrass him later in life, and I’m almost to 30 pictures already.
Later on, we were watching another episode of Dynasties, this one revolving around a tigress raising four cubs. When another female came into mama’s territory, mama tigress quickly chased her off. That prompted the seven year-old to yell, “Get off my lawn!” I had no idea where he picked the line up, so I asked. Turns out it was on Boss Baby. Nonetheless, I was proud that he used it in the right context.
Drove to Metz, France on Saturday to do some exploring. Aside from Normandy, France is not among the many places I’m eager to see in this part of the world but it’s not without its small charms. One of the reasons I’m not overly excited is the staggering amount of tolls one must pay to drive throughout the country.
There’s one toll booth between the border and Metz, and they charge €4,90 each way. As we approached, we noticed a bunch of people in bright reflective vests waving cars through. Turns out they were apparently those yellow vest protestors who are upset about, well I don’t really know but anyway they’d somehow taken over this toll booth and were letting everyone pass for free. Long live the yellow vest people! Unfortunately they’d either been chased off or gone on a smoke break when we were on the way home, because we had to pay the toll.
Best beer I had this week: Happened upon quite a few tasty selections while in Metz, and two beers share the top spot. First, there was Cherry Chouffe, which was one of the bar’s super awesome “pour your own beer” selections. Later on I tried a pint of Gouden Carolus Cuvée van de Keizer Whisky-infused Imperial Dark, and it was also sensational.
Ask Kate About Beer: How do brewery-band beer collaborations work?
Breweries collaborating with bands on beers is not a new concept. Musicians from the Grateful Dead to Run The Jewels have their own beers, and new ones hit the market every year.
Shopping in Pyongyang, and Other Adventures in North Korean Capitalism - The New York Times
Far from the stereotype of total economic isolation, the black market has brought a surprising degree of modernity and consumerism — for some.